Alyssa’s APW Book Review

Dear Meg,

I just finished your book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration. I’m really honored that I’m the fourth person to read it, after Kate, who edited it, so isn’t exactly a reader; David who you forced to read it and is married to you, so practically doesn’t count; and your publisher who obviously is a business not a person. So I’m the first person to read it, I think, technically! I WIN! You know what a voracious reader I am, so it’s exciting to read something before anyone else has a chance! Did I mention I was technically the very first reader? I am.

Now that I’m done, I have to say…

I’m pissed.

You and David dated for what, five years? I respect your choice to wait until it felt right, it’s a mature decision and blah blah blah… whatever, this is about me. And my problem is that you both waited so long to get engaged and then married that your wedding date is just a month before mine. Therefore, it took you two years of wedded bliss before you wrote this book and had it published. And that’s two years too late to help me.

Quite frankly, I find that damn inconsiderate.

I mean, really. You start off, right there in the introduction, where you set the stage for the whole book. (As people do in introductions…) You talk about all the pressures that brides feel from all sides: the expectations, the industry pressure, the just general insanity that surrounds weddings. You let us know that you’ve been there, you know women who’ve been there, and they’ve all made it through. You set the tone for the reader to know that this book is for her and that it understands her and her partner. Now where the hell was that when I was planning, huh?

Also, throughout each chapter, there are quotes from real brides and real readers of APW, discussing the topic and giving their viewpoint. It’s like you’re letting us be a part of a bigger conversation—it’s not just you sitting there telling us what to do. It’s you, plus everyone else, cheering us on and letting us in on tips and tricks. For nearly every possible outcome, you have a bride going, “Yup, we did this. It worked out swell.” When I was planning, I mostly had people telling me what I couldn’t do, and here you are letting new brides know that they can do pretty much anything they want? Rude.

Next, you have bullet points throughout the book, summing up each chapter. Now that’s just a slap in the face. You know how much I love bullet points! I write Ask Team Practical with bullet points before I flesh them out! It’s like you’re purposely mocking me with your fancy asides and chapter recaps.

The other thing is that the book is actually researched! There are quotes! And acknowledgments! And historical perspectives! And not only that, it’s funny! You say f*ck and make things fun! Most wedding books I had were dry single-opinions from women very far removed from their wedding day, or breezy and anecdotal pieces of fluff bolstered by pretty drawings of brides with waspish waists, running around with veils and cartoon sweat drops surrounding their heads. How dare you write a book that’s in-between, one that appeals to the rest of us?!?

Finally, there’s the admittance of things that most wedding books and websites don’t even cover. You devote not one, but two chapters to it; one on the crying and fighting that might occur during your wedding planning and then a final chapter on what happens after you get married. You even bring up stuff that we don’t like to admit, like the “I’m going to f*cking kill you” moment that can happen when a friend or relative pushes you a little too far. Where the f*ck was this on my wedding day?!? Typical wedding books devote a page or two to this, at most. It would have done so much more good for me to know that I should just take a breath and walk away, not internalize it and then feel guilty later about not acting like a “bride” on my wedding day. Why did you do this to me???



You know what? I’m happy for you.

I’m happy for you and your stupid book and your stupid Great APW Book Buy and all the stupid readers that will be able to use this at their stupid wedding and have a better time because of it. I hope that you’re all happy with all the advice and knowledge that I didn’t have on my wedding day. Yes, it was one of the happiest days of my life, but the time leading up to it could have been better if you weren’t so damn selfish.

I hope you’re pleased with yourself.


P.S. My mom wants an autographed copy because I’m on page 8. Can you swing that for me?

Photo by One Love Photo. Read all the posts on writing the APW book here. The APW Book buy is on Wednesday!


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  • Bahahahaha!

  • I’m so totally chomping at the bit for this book. I pre-ordered my copy months ago and when Book Buy Day rolls around I’m sticking 10 more in my shopping cart for my clients. (If any of my clients are reading this…. shhh, it’s going to be a surprise!)

    And this review makes me want to read it even more! I’m, like, gnashing my teeth and making little grabby hands … I want my copy!

    Also, Alyssa, you are hilarious :)

  • Nicole

    Alyssa, would you please narrate my life?

    Great, thanks.

  • Anne

    Amen, Alyssa! And why yes, I *am* still planning on buying myself a copy of this book and reading it cover to cover (in addition to the copies I’ll be purchasing for my engaged or soon-to-be friends as well, obvs) even though my wedding was 6 months ago. Because one of the benefits of APW? It didn’t just make me a better bride, it made me a better friend to brides. Also, Meg is awesome and I’m psyched to have this opportunity to support her!

  • can. not. wait.

  • Haha, great review! My wedding is in 5 months but I’m determined to cram reading this book into my hellish schedule because I know I need it.

  • I love that not only does APW stand for doing weddings and marriage by our own definitions, but book reviews, too. Awesome, thorough, and personal review Alyssa. I have two friends that just got engaged… guess what they’re gonna be getting soon? :) Wheee!

    Thanks Meg. You rock.

  • haha what a perfect review. we’re looking forward to wednesday!

  • carrie

    AMEN! I got to the APW party a little late, but it still kept me sane and I’m honestly not sure what I would have done differently even I had landed here right after I got engaged. I’m so grateful for this community, and how it continues to help me nurture my marriage and it sparks conversations between David and I. And I feel like this place has armed me with great advice to give to brides, when they ask. Super excited, y’all. Congrats!

  • Okay, I searched the comments from the other APW Book Buy posts, and couldn’t find an answer to this question–if I order the book in e-book format, does that count towards your position on the bestseller list? Or are they only counting one kind of format (hardcopy OR digital) for the bestseller list?

    (Aside: YAY and THANK YOU for offering it digitally!)

    • meg

      If you want to book digitally, PLEASE don’t be silly and buy it digitally (in the end, the thing that really matters is that people buy the book and like it, and tell other people about it). But I think Kindle orders count as a separate edition of the book, so in sum, it won’t count into the main book buy.

      • Pff, that just means I have to buy two copies–a digital one for me and a hard copy for another engaged friend. ;) Seriously, it’s a steal. No qualms about that one at all.

        • meg

          Awwww…. I will tell you that I finally have exactly one copy of the actual book, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. So it’s worth it as a pretty thing to have :)

  • Rachel

    Well said Alyssa, I completely agree. Where the f was this when I was in the middle of planning and feeling pressured from all sides, felt like a lonely bride, and then argued with my then-fiance for no reason over something not even remotely important?? Where was this book. At least we had APW to keep us sane but a book always makes things better.

    Congrats Meg.

  • Hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be plugging the hell out of the APW Book Buy on my blog. Cannot wait for this and I’m so happy to be a part of Team Get APW on The Bestseller List.

  • adorable/hilarious review, alyssa.

  • Ultimate thumbs-up for this review. Damnit. Now I have to read your “stupid book” and feel all the things Alyssa felt because I, too, am already married. Sigh. Life it just toooo difficult.

  • hahaha Alyssa!

    I can’t wait to read this stupid boooooook…!

  • Wednesday is the big day- so soon! I wish the book was published before my wedding too but hopefully I can pass along the sanity to my friends & family :-)

    Alyssa, best book review ever!!!!

  • Class of 1980

    Yeah, the bride I know that got married this past October could have used this book. Man, that Meg is awful.

    ;) Hee.

    • Class of 1980

      Of course, I suppose Meg wishes SHE had the book to read when SHE was planning too. So there’s that. ;)

      • Alyssa

        There is no room for your reasonable and accurate logic here, m’am! ;-)

        • Class of 1980

          Wow. What a faux pas!

          I shall retire to my room until the storm is over. ;)

  • Gillian

    I love this review, first of all. But secondly I have a logistical question.

    I’ve been waiting eagerly to buy this book for both myself, and a stressed engaged friend – and after seeing the book buy plan I was going to purchase on Dec. 7 – but if I’m in Canada and therefore buying on – does that mean it’s not going to help the numbers at all?

    • meg

      I think… it won’t? I’m not sure though. Since we’re only two days away, you might as well just wait and buy it then anyway (some canadians will be buying it!) At the very least you’ll feel part of the party, right?

      • Gillian

        Fair enough! I’ll be supporting in spirit anyway. Maybe we’ll make it a best seller on the Canadian charts as well :)
        (also am I allowed a moment of giddiness for the fact that Meg is talking directly to me? inner nerd squeal!)

        • Laurel

          That’s totally how I felt the first time Meg replied to one of my comments.

    • I am totally buying it from Chapters online in Canada on the big buy day- other Canadians should too!

    • Hmm, I was waiting and wondering about Canada and too…. Here’s hoping Canada numbers count too!

  • abby_wan_kenobi

    A perfectly Alyssa review :) I feel *exactly* the same way. Thx Meg for getting this out approximately 2 years too late. Sigh. Now I just have to buy a copy to read bitterly to myself and 2 more copies to give away to engaged friends who will (thus) have more practical wedding experiences than myself. Bitches, all.

    In other words, I’m SO PROUD of you Meg and SO EXCITED to read the book and SO EAGER to share it with the women I love.

    • abby_wan_kenobi

      p.s. How can I support your book tour (financially, emotionally, logistically or social media-ly)? I have dollars in my pocket, love in my heart, a spare bedroom and a twitter account.

      I’m ready for anything Just tell me where to aim.

      • meg

        That is still SUPER fuzzy right now. Much more complicated than originally thought. But I’ll let you know more when I know more, and thank you.

  • I need this book today.

    So I can use it to choke my naysayers to death….. Ok fine. I’ll just read it and be a calmer bride.

  • Can’t wait for this to be out. I’m going to make Mr. EG read this so he can understand what I’m talking about when I say we don’t need to have *that* type of wedding.

    Alyssa, this is the best book review I’ve read in a loooong time. Makes me want the book nownownow even more. Will be ordering on Wednesday and suggesting my local independent bookstore stock it.

    • meg

      Ooo! You’re the best. Suggesting your local indie stock it is so key. I’ll make sure to bring that up at the end of the day Wednesday!

  • Best book review ever. Seriously cannot wait to get my hands on this book. I’m happy to have the great APW book buy occur a day before my birthday, how convenient for my husband who I’ve been talking to about this book since I first heard about it. Hopefully he got the hint.

  • Oh, Alyssa. You make me giggle!

    I can’t wait to buy this either– even though, like Alyssa, I’m kind of mad that you went and wrote it AFTER I GOT MARRIED. What is that about?!? Hah.

  • Having not read the book, I feel the exact same way damnit! Ah, luckily unmarried readers.

  • Alyssa! I was not prepared to spit water all over my screen laughing on a *Monday* morning. That is strictly restricted to Friday Team Practical posts! You’re grounded!

    • Alyssa

      AWWW. MOM….GAWD.

  • Alyssa, thank you for the way fun book review and Meg… I am so excited to read this book!

    I have to say though, thank you Meg for having APW in the first place. This blog world was definitely not a book (and I can’t wait to read your writing in book form!), but it helped so much throughout my time wedding planning and post-wedding processing. I can actually remember when I started reading APW (amidst all the other wedding blogs) and realizing… things didn’t have to be the way they were on those other blogs. Things could be sane, and we could plan things the way we wanted to, and it was okay if compromises were made – what mattered was getting married. And that was amazing.
    So, thank you! Big time!!

  • Alyssa is the best. Rock on Wednesday!

  • hahahahaha!!! Great review, Alyssa!
    I wish the APW book was around when I was getting married as well; however, I did have offbeat bride the book (and blog), which led me to APW the blog and I have been an avid reader ever since. So excited to get my copy of the book! And I have friends that are newly engaged so they will definitely be receiving copies from me. Yay!!!! APW to save the wedding world from insanity in book form!!!! :) :) :)

    • meg

      All of us have the OBB book :) They are complementary!!

      • Oh absolutely!!! And if I hadn’t found OBB, I might have not found APW as early as I did, which I am super grateful for. :D

  • merryf

    Even though I’m just about 18 months past my wedding I will still be reading this book so I can imagine how my wedding (and the following sad and stressful 18 months of married life) could have been different if Meg had written the book in 2009. But still, I got to read APW when it was a youngster blog and I got great advice, and now there’s a book of even more great advice! YAY for you, Meg!

  • I gotta figure out which page I’m on! I feel like Meg has put me one step closer to my own goal of writing a book some day. She’s so nice to share big life goal things like that with others.

    • meg

      Um, lemmie look you up: the index says you’re on 16 & 37, with a bio on 212!

      • Cool!! 212 is a palindrome.

  • I can’t wait!

  • Dear Alyssa – Clearly you just needed to stumble on the blog sooner. <3 BIP

    (j/k – this ain’t your first rodeo, so what do I know?)

  • april

    I’m so freakin’ excited for this I might barf.


    I mean that in the most loving, non-gross, appreciative sense, BTW.

  • This pretty much sums up how I felt when I found out there was going to be an APW book.

    Also, I got an email from Amazon recommending it! … Despite the fact that it’s already been in my cart for WEEKS. But I assume this means that other people who’ve even glanced at wedding books on Amazon have received the same recommendation.

    • meg

      YOU DID NOT. You guys totally rule. Without you, Amazon would not think it was a hot new book, clearly.

  • Jo

    Alyssa is ADORABLE!!!!!

  • <3 Love the review, Alyssa. The book is also, sadly, too late for me. But I'm glad I've had the blog! I have so used APW language to talk to my mom and remind her that I need to do what genuinely works for me. The latest instance is getting my normal lady to do my hair instead of the fancy pants salon. Sure, my normal lady won't be all fancy. But she'll be affordable, and I'll be comfortable.

    Thanks to APW, I know that vendors should give me a good, happy, enthusiastic feel. So I am only going with vendors that are thrilled to be part of my wedding. Even the vendors I just met for the wedding feeling like BFFs. If people gave me a "meh" feeling (not bad, just meh), I moved on and found someone else.

    Oh, right, back to the book: I am sure it will be fabulous. I am grateful that, at a minimum, I had the blog to guide me :-) It has been a tremendous help.

  • ellobie

    Alyssa, you managed to express my thoughts on pretty much every post here… Why why WHY didn’t I know about APW sooner???? :D

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