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!)

KellyBenvenuto

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
vivian-veil

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
leise-losingparent

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
vivian-abyss

Into the Abyss

And back out again

by S. Grahm
The thing that finally pushed me over the edge was an Oprah quote. It was on my coffee cup sleeve. “The only courage you need is the courage to live the life you want.” That’s how I ended up crying outside a Starbucks at 9:30 AM. I’d been standing at the edge of an abyss for a while, and I knew I had to get in it. There was nothing else in front of me but abyss-ness. If I turned around, I’d have to go through the same shit I’d just gone through. Come on, Grahm. Into the abyss. Into the crevasse, as Jack Donaghy would say. Jack Donaghy wouldn... read more
jeannie

I’m Sorry I’m Missing The Wedding

Motherhood's tiny disappointments

by A Practical Wedding
I don’t actually remember the first wedding I attended, but I’ve heard the story so many times I feel like I do. It was my uncle’s wedding and I was just a baby. My older sister served as the flower girl, but was refusing to walk down the aisle. That is, until the priest offered her a nickel for going through with it. She was triumphant in her payment and happily made it to the altar. However, my mom and I missed her big moment. Right before the ceremony my diaper exploded all over me and my mom’s silk dress. We dashed back to the hotel to clean... read more
Jeannie G

Lauren: In the Photos

Now tilt your chin down... more... a little more... there!

by Lauren Fitzpatrick
“Make sure to hold your flowers like this,” the saleswoman said, clasping my hands together and bringing them down to waist-height. “Otherwise your neck will be too tense.” She raised my imaginary bouquet until it was in front of my chest. “See the strain in your neck? You don’t want that in your photos.” Before I could explain that I might not even have flowers, she’d whisked them away to shift me into a new pose. “Stand up straight. Now slowly bend your right leg and bring it in front of the left.&#... read more
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Kelsey: I Won’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me

(Please?)

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
When our wedding was still an abstract concept lurking happily in my mind, I always imagined the dancing. I could see so clearly the hugging, laughing huddle of my far scattered galpals and myself taking up the whole dance floor. I could see leaning over to kiss my new wife while all of our guests jumped and fist pumped to the Backstreet Boys, and I was very excited. Then, a month or so ago when our wedding was no longer abstract, but looming, Julie came into the house after work, beaming. “I found the perfect first dance song!” she exclaimed,... read more
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Ask a Psychologist: Coping with a Family Member’s Mental Illness

You can't fix everything at once

by Shara M. Brofman, Psy.D.
Q: I’m getting married in around two months, and I am worried that my feelings will spoil the wedding day, for myself and for everyone else. Also, I’m seven weeks pregnant, which casts an extra spotlight on to my worries. In basic terms, my worry is about my father and my own anger and resentment towards him. He’s not abusive; he’s not a drunk; he’s still married to my mum. I know he loves me. He has, however, quit. Quit on living a healthy, rewarding life. He has no hobbies, no interests, no friends. He refuses to support my... read more