Buy The Book

If you’re new here and you want the APW philosophy laid out for you, may we humbly suggest that you buy Meg’s bookA Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration? Meg spent a long time summing up the most helpful tips she knew and all the best stuff she’s learned writing this blog in a compact 60,000 words. Plus, you can pass it to your Mama and say, “Mom, look. Aisle runners are a totally made up thing,” and she’ll have to believe you because it’s in a book with historical source material and everything. Seriously, it’s super helpful in a way the blog just can’t be. (We don’t have chapters! You can’t write notes in our margin! We’re sorry!)

Search for Vendors

The wedding industry can feel a lot like this, no? That’s why we’ve worked hard for the last four years to assemble a collection of vendors who are deeply sane and not looking to rip you off. You can browse through the APW Vendor Directory, where every single vendor has signed our sanity pledge. (And if they violate it, let us know right away. We’re serious about that sucker.)

Browse Real Weddings

Ever notice that the story of weddings is always told by someone… else? The photographer tells you about it, or the planner, or the journalist. Well, back in 2008, Meg realized that she wanted her already married blogger friends to write her a little letter about what they’d learned, what they’d tell their pre-wedding selves. The APW Wedding Graduates series was born with East Side Bride’s excellent advice, and it has expanded to tons of women writing about what they learned. You can search our real weddings to your hearts content, to find what’s most relevant to you.

Logistical Advice

Our Get Sh*t Done column, written by down to earth planner Elizabeth Clayton, provides advice on everything from how to buy booze for your wedding, to creating your wedding timeline, to everything you need to know about rentals. Sure, it would be nice if everyone received a magical free wedding planner when they got engaged, but this is the next best thing.

Download Our Planning Spreadsheets

Because wedding planning has a lot less to do with inspiration boards, and a lot more to do with figuring out who’s going to get the beer to the venue. And yes, you’ll want to be organized about that.

How To... do Anything

Want to know how to make a bouquet from supermarket flowers? How about making a store bought cake into a trio of wedding cakes? Looking for non-floral centerpiece ideas? Hair and makeup you can do yourself? Looking for easy cocktail ideas? We’ve got that and more in our How To section.

Search For Venues

Yes. We know. Finding a wedding venue can make people want to tear their hair out. That’s why we started the APW Venue Directory made up venues that readers loved. (And yes, if you loved your venue, you should pay it forward and submit it.) Start poking around, even if you don’t have a venue in your area, we’re pretty sure it will give you ideas. (Firehouses! Carousels! Community centers!)

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How To Sell A Wedding Dress

Or in this case, how not to

by Carolynn
Finding my wedding dress was stressful and not fun. I was on a budget and fighting an emotional battle with my mom who believed that $200 was an appropriate amount to spend. Ever the pragmatist, she was convinced that I was dashing around to fancy New York wedding dress shops, a la Lady St. Petsois JuJu, and would hear none of my explanations that under $2,000 was considered so budget that many places didn’t carry anything in that price range. Even the Bridal Garden—a nonprofit that sells used wedding dresses and donates proceeds to charity—rolled... read more
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The Raging Hour

Because only boys' names matter

by A Practical Wedding
I cried again last night. It happens every now and then. The stresses of life build up and fester, and then one little comment, one news story, one work setback too many, and it all comes flowing out. Usually in bed, in that hour around midnight, when the world is dark and quiet, the chores are done, the cats curled up with us in a big ball of human and feline limbs. When my husband wants to sleep. And I want to talk. This time the explosion was about Facebook, of all things. Not even a status. A comment on a status, a picture of an ultrasound. “A boy... read more
Vivian Chen

Making the Wedding Playlist

Dancing our way from wedding planning to marriage

by Lauren Fitzpatrick
With our September 24th wedding date staring me in the face, there were certain tasks I could no longer avoid. Music was one of those projects, pushed back until it couldn’t be delayed anymore. Jared and I decided from the beginning that we’d do the iPod thing, even though I had my doubts about the logistics—does that literally mean an iPod? Because mine has a glitch and randomly skips songs and his is so small I don’t know how to work it. I could take my temperamental laptop, but it’s four years old, which is like one hundred... read more
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Open Thread: Post Wedding Reactions

When you're having all the feelings, and they're all okay

by Maddie Eisenhart
When Michael and I got married, I was frequently warned about the inevitable post-wedding depression that would settle in once the festivities were over. I was told that after all the “fun” of planning an event for a year (or however long), suddenly having nothing to do with our spare time would make our lives seems sad. Ha, as if. I hated wedding planning, so I (wrongly) assumed that I would be spared the inevitable let down. What actually happened was that the wedding was a shiny beacon of awesomeness. The morning after, I sat on the... read more
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Meet The House

The Burrow lives!

by Diana Cater
I grew up in the company of ghosts. My great uncle Alfred lives in the attic, next to his boxes of bank notes. Uncle Andrew lives in the guesthouse, Lila Hus, where he said the nisse were hiding in the ceiling. If I want to be with my grandfather, I look up into the rafters of the barns he built. And now that my grandmother has passed away, I like to think that she visits us in the form of the feral cats she used to feed. I think the orange tomcat is still looking for her. A hundred years ago, the house I grew up in was a hunter’s shack in a Douglas... read more
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Goodnight Noises Everywhere

The emergency room witching hour (cry warning)

by Rachel Sommer
When you are a hospital chaplain awoken by a page in the middle of the night, the news tends not to be good. Occasionally, a new nurse will call you with an innocuous request, “317 window would like a Quaran,” and you tell her, kindly, that non-urgent requests for spiritual care will be answered in the morning. But tonight, when you answer a witching hour page, tragedy is on the other end. You hang up the phone, crawl out of the on-call bed and slip your dress over your head. You realize you are not breathing, and you remind yourself to inhale. En... read more
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Bringing People Together

Lauren: When you can't keep everyone separate anymore

by Lauren Fitzpatrick
Hawaii is the halfway point between our families, but that’s not the only reason we chose to get married there. We picked Hawaii because going to the States gave us access to American Sign Language interpreters (the tropical island thing was also a plus). It would have been a hell of a lot easier to throw a wedding where we live, but the interpreter thing kept bugging me. What were the odds of finding an ASL interpreter in Australia, where the standard sign language, Auslan, is so different? People suggested that we ask one of my sisters to... read more
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Adulthood, Round Two

Putting yourself back together when things fall apart

In the beginning of 2013, just after my twenty-eighth birthday, I thought I had it all figured out. I had a Masters degree and a steady job; I’d just published my first book with a reputable London house; I was finally independent financially; and my long-term boyfriend and I would soon be engaged and moving back to my home country to start our own American Dream. I was content, settled in my age and my accomplishments for the first time I could remember—if that wasn’t the definition of adulthood, I didn’t know what was. Then, a few months into... read more
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Veiled Issues

KELSEY IS GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW! Wish her luck!

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
When I first cut my hair short seven-ish years ago, I was not thinking imminently about getting married. So it was surprising that my first thought when my hairdresser turned me around to see myself in the mirror after chopping off eight inches was that, someday, this haircut was going to look slamming in a short veil. Going into actually planning our wedding, I had no idea what kind of ring I wanted, I didn’t really know what sort of wedding dress I was going to wear, but whatever I ended up with was going to go with my sweet birdcage veil, that... read more
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Hey Mr. DJ

Kelsey: The Pursuit of (Im)perfection

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
Jules and I are sitting in a coffee shop near her office, waiting to meet the DJ our coordinator recommended. Ostensibly we’re sharing a giant, delicious, chocolate peanut butter cookie, but with a beet salad on the side for Julie. The candidate walks in, only a few minutes late, and we all make awkward blind date halfway eye contact until we establish that we’re all here for the same meeting. We hand him the filled-out stack of papers he had emailed us with for our first dance song, etc. I tell him we haven’t decided on a couple of... read more
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Planning a Wedding After Losing a Parent

She is with me, through all of these moments

by Darci
This Easter marked the one-year anniversary of the day my brother married his wife. You see, my brother and his wife didn’t have to fight the WIC, they didn’t have to send out invitations, they didn’t even have to announce the date. What I have come to consider an extremely fortunate and extremely unfortunate wedding took place in an impromptu, never could have imagined sort of way. They exchanged vows on April 20, 2013, next to the bedside of my mom, who was living her last days with lung cancer and brain cancer. They stood at the foot... read more
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Wedding Planning Frustrations, and Entering the Home Stretch

Kelsey: Excitement, anxiety, and a house full of stuff

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
With only a couple of weeks until our September 6th wedding, we’re feeling the pressure. I wake up in the middle of the night and my chest tightens up while I mentally go over the checks that still have to be written, comparing them to the balance in our wedding savings account. Then I spend some time chiding myself for worrying about things like money instead of fine-tuning our ceremony or reflecting on the very serious commitment we’re about to make. I try to soothe myself by thinking about our honeymoon but then reprimand myself for not... read more