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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Long Distance Relationships Suck. But So Does Uprooting Your Whole Life.

Moving for love isn't always what it's cracked up to be

I would tell my husband that I would cross oceans for him, but being the overachiever that I am, I already have, way too many times. John and I met in Singapore almost five years ago—where I am from, and where he studied. For two years we bonded over weekend getaways on Instagram-enviable islands in Thailand and Indonesia where we basked in the tropical sun and devoured our weights’ worth of seafood. I watched my partner develop a more international palate and sweat way too much on our dates. Then, John graduated and left for LA, and I was... read more
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Kate Bolick’s “Spinster”

In which, once again, the white woman is still the Everywoman

by Jennifer Tomscha
Not long into elementary school, we realized a man never changed. He was permanently and always a mister. But as Miss Priest went away in the summer and returned Mrs. Benson in the fall, we learned quickly that a woman was a creature unfixed, defined by different terms. Her wedding day was a pivot upon which she turned into someone else, new not only in name but also in the way she was to be addressed. This transformation from Miss to Mrs., unwed to wed, remade her. There was a third mode of address—the Ms.—the hybrid that always had me [&hellip... read more
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My Best Friend’s Wedding Wasn’t About Me

My humbling epiphany

by Eve Sturges
Not too long ago, I was having a bad week. A very regular doctor’s appointment quickly turned into a very serious doctor’s appointment, which turned into lots of tears and phone calls to a few close loved ones to say, “There’s a problem, there were tests, there’s nothing to do but wait.” There are few agonies in life worse than waiting for medical results. The Unknown swept in and clouded everything; I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was in a terrible mood, our whole house was full of pregnant silence.... read more
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Stop Telling Me My Wedding Registry Process Will Be Overwhelming

It's meaningful for me

by Andrea Cote
My mother received an enamel casserole dish as a wedding gift. It is green and shiny. All the comfort food of my childhood came from under that lid. Homemade macaroni and cheese, baked ziti, and taco casseroles were served and seconded. Leftovers ladled out for lunches, and the pot left to soak in the sink. I recently inherited the table of my childhood, from my parents’ kitchen. It stands in my apartment now, stain worn off the chairs and table slightly scratched. It was the table of my mother’s childhood too, in a different state, a different... read more
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What Happens When Type-A People Plan for Pregnancy

We treasure what we can measure

by Angela Brett
Down here, on the southern side of the world, The Holidays means summer. If we’re lucky—and this year we were—we can barbecue for Christmas dinner, spend New Year’s on the beach. Those of us blessed with being teachers in a country where the salary gets us through the summer without a second job can take our plan books and holiday research out to the backyard and “work” while stretched out on sun warmed grass. It’s a lifestyle I can recommend. Sometime this past week as I was… ahem… making calculus notes… I noticed that, for what may... read more
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Am I a Selfish Parent if I Have Only One Child?

Maybe, but having one kid is kind of fucking awesome

If having one child is selfish, I’m not sure I want to be any other way. You know how before you get married, everyone’s asking when you’ll get married? And after you get married, the first thing people want to know is when you’re having a kid? Well, surprise: after you have the first kid, people are practically beating down your door asking when the second one is due. At first the questions are easy to shake. You can be all, “Oh whoa! Slow down! Our first is only two months old!” Two months can be substituted for four, then... read more
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Open Thread: Today’s Marriage Equality Arguments

One step forward, I hope

by Meg Keene
This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments about the future of gay marriage in the US. The hope is, this will be the last time the issue is in front of the court, and in June, gay marriage will finally be legal all over the United States. If today doesn’t get you reflective, I don’t know what will… which of course means, today demands an open thread. This morning, the APW staff got into a discussion about the importance of gay marriage in the context of other critical issues in the LGBTQ community. For the past few years, gay... read more
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Learning Unexpected Lessons on Our Hawaiian Honeymoon

Unlearning fear

by Eve Sturges
At my wedding, I knew my dad would thank everyone for coming and express some sincere sentiments about me as his daughter, and my husband as his son-in-law. I did not know that my mother would also give a speech, and I felt pretty nervous as it began. She began by announcing that, in case anyone didn’t know, I was engaged to be married once before, to someone else, and canceled that wedding at the last minute (cue my sweaty palms, crowd’s nervous laughter). Turns out that no one needed to feel nervous; my mom had a very real and [&hellip... read more
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Caught Between a Name Change and a Hard Place

I didn’t want my birth last name, but what comes with this new one?

by Chelsea Risley
I no longer share a last name with my father. I carry another man’s name, and it still tastes strange in my mouth. On legal documents, I check the married box, and I had to change all my emergency contact information. No one prepares you for the paper trail that comes with marriage. No one says, “Congratulations on your engagement! Have you thought about writing your wills?” At least, no one did for me. No one told me that I’d have to pay extra attention when signing my name. No one told me I would look at my driver’s license, [&hellip... read more
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In Search of My Sacred Wedding Ceremony

Carving out a ritual that goes beyond our vows

by Jennifer Tomscha
I was inspired to go to divinity school by the religious scholar Mircea Eliade who, in The Sacred and the Profane, argues that humans have an inherent yearning for the sacred. Even if we don’t practice a form of organized religion, we create our own divisions of sacred time and space. We carve out the sacred in a profane world. We make holidays of significant events, we create rituals for ourselves, we give spaces their own powerful significance. Growing up, I loved a set of strange boulders settled in the valley of a neighborhood park. I called them... read more
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Guide for Millenials with Grieving Friends

Simple steps for difficult times

by Abbey Agresta
For me, it started around the same time the first of my friends got married. Other friends were losing their parents. Mostly cancer, a few other illnesses, not as many funerals as weddings, but enough to make me think about how I was dealing with my friends’ grief. Not very well, I felt. Every time, I would be overwhelmed by what they had lost, and how little I could do to fix it for them. I would pull back for fear of imposing on them, and then worry that I was abandoning them when they needed help. I got some etiquette tips, [&hellip... read more
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Why Does Friendship Get So Much Harder When We’re Older?

Or maybe age isn't the issue at all...

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
My friend Rebecca called me last week. Among other things, she was calling to talk about friendship, and how, recently, she’s been feeling like it gets harder as we get older. Not only does it get harder to make friends, but relationships with existing friends get more challenging as well. I couldn’t agree with her more. As we get older, as we get partnered, and as some of us become parents, one of our most important support systems—our friends—becomes complicated, as does building any sort of community. We get so many messages about the... read more