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!)


What It Really Means When You Marry Into Family

Being a part of our team is no part-time gig

by Annie D.
This is going to sound like some bigger-than-my-britches bragging, but I need to say it: I’m incredibly proud of my family. My family is better than those big, happy, movie families. We are funnier, and sweeter, and smarter. We have our problems, of course, but we always seem to stick together. We help each other and celebrate each other. We enjoy each other’s company (truly). And while this has been a total blessing while wedding planning, it came at a high price. My younger sister (we are only fourteen months apart) has severe autism. She will... read more

Should I Attend a Frenemy’s Wedding?

Ask APW: Should I go if she's not invited to mine?

by Liz Moorhead
Q: There is a “friend” who is just truly not a friend to me. My feelings about her are that it is time to move on and stop playing the “pretend friend” game. There is just one catch: she is getting married a bit before I am. And although most people have a similar relationship with her as I do, she wants all of us to be involved in the bachelorette, throw her showers, come to the wedding, etc. While I am all about a good party, I keep going over and over what I should do about this in my head. Our relationship was so toxic that I have no... read more

Ask a Psychologist: My Partner Is a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

How do I make sure I'm supportive?

by Shara M. Brofman, Psy.D.
Q: Dear APW, My partner just informed me that he was sexually abused as a child by some of his relatives. I will not go into details here, but what matters for the sake of this letter is that he forgives his abusers and continues to have a relationship with them. He doesn’t seem concerned about them abusing others in the future. And he chooses to keep this a secret from the rest of the family. I just learned this, like, yesterday. We were planning to visit his family, including the abusers, over the holidays. In fact one of the holiday dinners will... read more

Planning a Wedding After The Loss Of My Best Friend

Experiencing a milestone she'll never reach

by Stacey Hentschel
She was my first soulmate. I told her that. I told everyone else that too at her funeral about eight years later. I am rapidly approaching the point at which the time spent without my friend will exceed the time I spent with her. The differential astounds me. Even now, six years post-funeral, as I plan my wedding I feel the sting of loss when I think of our dusty-but-not-fading friendship. She was my best friend. She defined my formative years. We bonded over hating our Algebra teacher, who, in retrospect, was really not all that awful. We passed notes,... read more

Reconnecting With My Sister Through Wedding Planning

Building a new relationship between my sister and myself

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller
Karley is my younger sister. We’re almost two years apart, and we’re very different people. I’m bossy; she’s stubborn. I can be a nervous people pleaser; Karley doesn’t have time for any of that. She is sharp and funny. Sometimes I see kids and teenagers who struggle with authority, and I always think that these are the kids who are going to grow into my kind of people. Because some of the qualities we, or at least I, prize in adults—independence, irreverence, wit, a strong sense of self-advocacy—are not the qualities that make up a “... read more

The Magic We Lost When My Father Died

The bell still rings for you

by Lauren from NH
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him…” We all listened eagerly. All three of us in our PJs. Me in my high four poster bed on the right, petting the silk corner of my blanket absently, my sister in her identical four poster bed on the left, leaning over the edge, rabbit locked tightly under her arm, and our little brother draped, like a child shaped blanket,... read more

Ask a Psychologist: Autism and Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding, as an autistic person

by Shara M. Brofman, Psy.D.
Q: Dear APW, I’m getting married in just under a year. Planning has been going fantastically so far, but there are some tricky things that I am trying to work out, because I am autistic. I was only recently diagnosed, and the past year has been a year of answers and explanations, and finding out reasons why my brain works this way. Finding out why things that have always been so painful are that way. I’ve been finding ways to work around solutions, and realizing that my differences are okay. But a lot of the challenges I have are things... read more

Should I Invite a Friend I Slept With to My Wedding?

Ask APW: Sex and Lies

by Liz Moorhead
Q: I have a situation and am not sure where to turn. My fiancé and I are getting married in five and a half months. When we first started dating, we did not ask each other too much about our sexual and dating histories and still don’t. I have a lot of good guy friends and the only question my fiancé asked me was if there was any history with any of them. I did mess around (but never slept) with one of my best guy friends during college. (We are in our early thirties. My fiancé is in his late thirties.) Then about five years ago, we had one... read more

What if Photographers Shot Grooms the Same Way They Shoot Brides?

Turning sexist wedding photography on its head

by Maddie Eisenhart
It’s no secret that the wedding industry is a pretty sexist place. Grooms are almost universally ignored as human beings, and it’s assumed that all women have been dreaming about their wedding days since birth (and that’s not even counting the numerous ways the industry ignores LGBTQ couples at large). But sexism in the wedding industry isn’t always as overt as say, this diamond ad. Sometimes it’s more subtle. Like, in the way photographers pose couples for portraits. So this week, as we were writing a post about how to... read more

Marriage and Babies Didn’t Happen for Me (Yet)

So I'm making a home in the sky

by A Practical Wedding
Home was supposed to look like an adoring husband and three kids. That was always the plan for this point in my life. I’m thirty-four. I’m supposed to be spending my days helping little fingers play their Twinkles on squeaky violins, watching little hands knead bread dough as I make soup nearby, and ruffling curly heads as we snuggle in for a story. Instead, home is… an airplane seat? I’m in my actual house so little that it doesn’t quite feel like home. Airplane seats are where I get to curl up with a good book. Make to-do lists. Pour out my... read more

Open Thread: Making New Friends as an Adult

The hardest thing to find as an adult in a new town

If you would have told me when I was a teenager in the South that when I was thirty-four, I would be living in Silicon Valley, married, with a baby, I would have said that you’ve lost your mind. Yet, somehow that’s exactly what happened. After years of living in NYC, one fateful day I met an irresistible man at a dinner party, and life changed forever. We immediately fell in love, and I was more than happy to accept his marriage proposal and start a new life. When one dreams of a new life, one does not usually dream about the emotional components.... read more

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