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!)


The Day I Decided to Be a Fat Bride

Shedding hate, not weight

by Emily
Today, I decided I am going to be a fat bride. Rather, my body has been deciding this for a few years, but today, I accepted that I am going to be a fat bride. I got engaged a year ago, and the whole time (as well as my entire teenage and adult life) I have been trying to lose weight. Sometimes I am successful; I have a stretch of a few months where I am eating a balanced diet and exercising a healthy amount. Last February after getting engaged, I lost around twenty pounds before our engagement party that [&hellip... read more

Losing My Mother While Gaining My Husband

I didn't get the dream wedding, and that's alright

We were already engaged. I had a dress, a ring, and was committed, but what really solidified the understanding I had chosen the right man with whom to join my life was a conversation with my family, my future husband, and a palliative care social worker about how my mother would want to live out the remainder of her days on earth. I met Camilo in September 2012 in Montgomery, Alabama, a place neither of us belonged, but were brought to by a belief in social justice and the law. I was instantly comfortable with him, finding myself pouring out [&hellip... read more

What Makes a Wedding a Wedding?

"I want a love like that"

by Eve Sturges
My wedding fantasies included, but were not limited to, eloping with a taco truck after party in downtown LA, a three-day extravaganza in my Sonoma County hometown, going to Paris with immediate family only, and hosting a small brunch at our house. My fiancé offered his own ideas, which were primarily film focused and soundtrack based. My folks had an idea that included hymns, his were concerned about a Pulp Fiction themed reception. In the end, we decided to compromise our fantasies with those who would be footing most of the bill: our parents. We ... read more

The Wedding Invite I Almost Didn’t Send

Unfreezing a relationship stuck in time

by Eve Sturges
My younger sister, Clare, and I have a complicated relationship. We never fought as kids, and we rarely argue now. It isn’t that she drinks too much or disapproves of my lifestyle. None of our drama is like Jessica and Elizabeth’s torrid lives in the Sweet Valley High books I read (cover to cover, in single sittings, on the floor of the bookstore) as a middle-schooler; we never liked the same boy or fought over clothes. I used to long for a sisterhood like that, and I wondered which one of us would have been like sweet Elizabeth and which one [&... read more

My Seamstress Made My Wedding Dress Too Small (So I’d Lose Weight)

The wedding dress squeeze

The week before my wedding, I stood in a small room at the tailor’s as a woman zipped me into my beautiful dress. “It looks great,” I enthused, admiring myself in the mirror. My body looked strong, lean, and healthy. The seamstress pursed her lips, cocked her head, and nodded. “So we’ll just bring it in a bit more,” she announced. “We want it snug on the big day.” “Bring it in more?” I echoed in confusion. “It’s pretty tight already.” “Oh, you’ll lose more weight before then,” she said cheerfully, already busy with a... read more

Ask a Psychologist: The 5 Most Important Things to Discuss Before Getting Married

And how to talk about them

by Shara M. Brofman, Psy.D.
If you’re thinking about getting married, you and your partner probably already have a lot of things in common: friends, hobbies, interests, experiences, or values. Maybe you come from similar backgrounds and experiences, or maybe you’ve connected in other ways. The experiences you share in your relationship will serve as the foundation for your marriage, and they can keep you connected and strong in the spaces where you don’t have things in common—or when life throws curve balls. After the excitement and magic of deciding to get married dies... read more
Berkshires documentary wedding photography

Just a Wedding Hashtag or the Crisis of #ThePersonalizedWedding?

#BraveNewWorld or Same As It's Ever Been?

by Jennifer Tomscha
“What’s your hashtag?” my youngest sister demanded over dinner the night Dan and I got engaged. We discussed #tomschakeane and #keanetomscha (both too long and prone to typos); #danandjenny (taken); #keanepartyoftwo (we’re not making restaurant reservations); and #keanewedding (I’ll be keeping my name, thank you very much). My sister brought out a cake topped with a July sparkler. #Danlovesjenny? we wondered aloud. A quick search revealed that no one else had used that hashtag yet. “#Danlovesjenny it is then,” proclaimed my sister. She... read more

Surviving for Six Weeks with a Baby in the NICU

I can't go on. I go on.

by Michelle
I never thought I’d be a person with a scary story. I think of my friend who had cancer, or the one with the disabled twins, and think that surely they must have some source of strength that gets them through it. Some extraordinary power of patience, or endurance, or peace. And then, after a normal (dare I say enjoyable?) nine months of pregnancy and eighteen hours of labor, my beautiful baby girl was born… and she was purple. They took her away and I cried tears of joy when I heard that tiny squeaky cry from across the room. [&hellip... read more

18 Big Weddings That Prove You Don’t Have to Cut Your Guest List to Be Cool

If you don't want to

by Maddie Eisenhart
A small wedding was never in the cards for Michael and me. We both come from huge families; the kinds where cousins are more like siblings, and where holidays are more like family reunions. So when our guest list topped out at just over 250 invitees (and a little more than 200 "Yes" replies on our RSVP's), neither of us was surprised. Involving our community in the wedding was a top priority from the start, so despite our not huge budget, it never occurred to us that we might want to cut the guest list... read more

Ask a Psychologist: Premarital Counseling, Secular and Religious

A guide to religious and non-religious options

by Shara M. Brofman, Psy.D.
When you get engaged, your focus is on planning the wedding. Which makes perfect sense. After all, APW would not be here if we didn’t love weddings. But thinking about the actual marriage tends to feel a little further away. A friend of mine told the story of calling her uncle to announce her engagement. “Congratulations!” He replied. “Your aunt and I wish you a long and happy marriage.” “Who said anything about marriage?” she asked. “I just got engaged!” The fact is, it’s important to give the marriage thought and... read more

My Sister Is Difficult, But Should I Still Ask Her To Be In My Wedding Party?

Ask APW: Is it worth it to involve her?

by Liz Moorhead
Q: I have always had a difficult relationship with my sister. We have very different personalities and values. At just two years apart, we are also peers. Jealousy inevitably gets involved, and I was terrified to tell her I had gotten engaged. I asked if she truly wanted to be my maid of honor—I was trying to give her an out. My sister does not value celebrating other people, and I really do—so I felt like I was setting myself up for disappointment. She got really wrapped up in the role of being MOH, but didn’t put much effort and [&hellip... read more

To New Beginnings: The One Toast that Always Fits

Starting new chapters, big and small

by Kate Phipps
My husband-to-be only knows one toast: “To new beginnings!” I hear them on the night we first meet. I am celebrating the end of my undergraduate honours thesis; he is my best friend’s cousin, tagging along. “To new beginnings!” he shouts, drunkenly sabering a bottle of champagne. Fitting words for the end of a degree and the start of the next chapter. They return on our awkward first date, this time over cups of green tea and bowls of pho. My wisdom teeth have just come out. Our conversation is clumsy with Tylenol 3 and confusion over how to be... read more