July 15, 2016

woman staring at the ocean

APW Happy Hour

Herein we will collectively feel all the things

by Stephanie Kaloi
Hey APW! I can vaguely remember the beginning of this year, when I thought that the worst thing 2016 was going to throw at us was the death of David Bowie. Make no mistake—that death hit me hard. Now I’m beginning to think that we should have all seen this entire year coming. I don’t mean to say that his death is as terrible as the many, many horrific things we’ve seen so far in 2016 in cities around the world, including Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Baghdad, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas, and now Nice, France (where over eighty people were [&... read more

July 14, 2016

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The MOB Is Freaking Me out (and It’s Not Even My Wedding)

The worst part is that the bride has no idea

by Liz Moorhead
Q: My best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. We’ve been friends for over ten years, and she was a bridesmaid in both of my weddings. Even though I live on the West Coast and she resides on the East Coast, it was a no-brainer. Both my weddings were very simple: few guests, no shower, no bachelorette, and no need to buy a special dress. I assumed I’d need to buy a dress, but my friend never set expectations that I’d be involved much beyond that. Quite out of the blue, I found out that I’m being recruited [&hellip... read more
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15 Modern, Ethical, and Beautiful Wedding Rings Under $500

Aide-mémoire creates beautiful, environmentally friendly rings that won't break the bank

by Stephanie Kaloi
By the time you’re shopping for rings, you’ve probably learned—possibly the hard way—that wedding planning takes lots of compromise. Sometimes the exhausting, “I never want to make another decision ever again” kind of compromise. Which is why we do a little dance at our desks every time we see a vendor like Seattle-based Aide-mémoire Jewelry, which will make your rings one area of planning that requires exactly zero compromise—from design, to materials, to customer service, to price. Founder and designer Aran... read more

July 13, 2016

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Can I Survive a Wedding and a Divorce at the Same Time?

It's hard to keep it together for her when I just want to fall apart

by Laurel Fitzpatrick
When my best friend called me from Europe in the middle of a work day, I knew she had gotten engaged. I missed the first call, but I picked up the second one immediately. We switched to video chat; she and her fiancé popped up on my desktop computer. She held up her ring. “I knew it!” I shrieked. We chatted for a few minutes. I texted my then-husband the good news. She asked if I would be her maid of honor. They asked if he would play music for the ceremony. For the next few months, I gathered information [&hellip... read more
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We Didn’t Know How to Register for Our Suburban Queer Future

A little convention ain't so bad

by Aly Windsor
Nine years ago when my partner and I were planning our wedding, same-sex marriage was legal in exactly one state and it wasn’t even close to the one we lived in. That was a drag, but we were used to it. Here’s the beautiful thing about being queer, though, especially in the South: If we can survive, we bloom into (often very glittery) steel magnolias (and whatever the genderqueer and masculine versions of that are). Here’s the second beautiful thing: We question everything, and our families of origin, if they accept us, generally let go of any of... read more

July 12, 2016

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I Met the Love of My Life and Then Found out He’d Had a Vasectomy

Sometimes you don't get a choice

by Anonymous
When we told our wedding guests that twenty-five children would be attending our wedding, most of them were incredulous (to put it politely). That’s right: A quarter of our guests were under the age of five. Considering our wedding was already a little out of the ordinary (we hosted a four-day celebration at a mountain hotel in the Swiss Alps), we knew our single and child-free friends sighed and our parent friends gulped, all at the same time. Funnily enough, our friends who are parents rejected our kid-friendly wedding most robustly: did we... read more
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Sarah Gormley’s Photos Will Truly Reflect Your Love and Life

Serving the East Coast and the nation for $3,800 flat

by A Practical Wedding
East Coast–based Sarah Gormley of Sarah Gormley Photography has been an APW favorite for years and years, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why: Her work is incredible, her rates are affordable ($3,800 with free travel nationwide), and she’s one of the kindest human beings on the planet. (Ask us about that one time she ended up replanning an APW contributor’s let’s-make-it-legal DC elopement in the midst of a government shutdown.) TL;DR Sarah Gormley loves APW, and APW loves her right back. Sarah also has that intangible... read more

July 11, 2016

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15 Tips That Will Help You Live in the Moment on Your Wedding Day

Ideas for when you want to remember it all

by Meg Keene
Seven years ago, when I got married, I was, you know, writing about my wedding planning live on the Internet. And that meant having a million ideas about what I should make sure I did on our wedding day. I wanted to hang out with friends who’d flown in from all over for the party. Internet commenters insisted that I should really focus on my new husband. Our rabbi thought we should keep an eye to the religious experience. Some of our parents thought our priority should be making time for relatives. So at the end of the day, I boiled it down to... read more
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How to Have a Bridal Shower That You’ll Actually Want to Be At

The party is SUPPOSED to be fun, right?

by Stephanie Kaloi
Like many things wedding-related, the bridal shower has come a long way. It’s generally agreed that the first “official” bridal showers date back to sixteenth-century Holland (though we all know women have been getting together in small groups to dole out relationship advice since the dawn of time). In fact, the bridal shower began as an alternative to the dowry system—if your family couldn’t afford a dowry or refused to pay one, then your friends could bring you gifts that you could substitute for the dowry. The bridal shower... read more

July 8, 2016

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APW Happy Hour

#BlackLivesMatter

by Meg Keene
Hey APW, I–and the whole team at APW—comes to you today without the right words. Most of us have been crying on and off for days. The team tried to work on an essay on whiteness and race yesterday, which involved us all arguing with each other for hours, because well… no words seem like the right words right now. Other than their names: Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, and two additional Dallas police officers. As a human, I’m hit by overwhelming fear for so many people I love, for my... read more

July 7, 2016

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What Can I Do to Help My Bridesmaids to Chill about Their Bodies?

I haven't asked them to be my bridesmaids because of how they look

by Liz Moorhead
Q: I am getting married next year and have chosen three wonderful brideswomen, a bridesman, and a bridesgirl (my younger sister). Of the adult women who are kindly rocking up to support me on my wedding day, all of them have mentioned losing weight for my wedding. I am trying as much as possible to enable them to feel confident on my big day. I have said it would be cool for them all to pick their own dresses in a similar color—so people can wear what they feel comfortable in—and at no point have I mentioned losing weight! I am [&hellip... read more
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Where You Can Find a Modern (Personalized!) Ketubah or Wedding Certificate

Ink with Intent has it covered

by Meg Keene
Jewish ketubot, Quaker wedding certificates, or secular prints of your vows have a special place in wedding planning. Because, like pictures, they last for the rest of your life. But unlike pictures, they offer you a chance to lay out your philosophy and intent in marriage (which can be amazing to look at in the middle of a fight years later… trust me on that one). But for years, it was tough to find beautiful modern ketubot that didn’t cost a fortune. And it was nearly impossible to personalize the text of your ketubah without paying all... read more

July 6, 2016

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What’s the Most Romantic Thing Someone’s Done for You Lately?

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours

by Najva Sol
A few weeks ago, I spent a not insignificant amount of time stuck in the bed of a Korean guesthouse with a debilitating viral infection, crying and cursing that I was across the world, far from anyone who could pop by, give me a hug, or bring me soup. Just when it seemed like too much to bear, there was a knock on the door. I was handed a bouquet of fragrant flowers tied in a purple ribbon and accompanied by a heartfelt note, courtesy of my partner, who was miles away in the grand ole USA. I remember thinking “THIS. This is [&hellip... read more
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