APW was featured on CNN.com today! I know! I was interviewed for an article about creative and cost-saving wedding choices in a terrible economy (though I’m a fan of creative and cost-saving wedding choices in any economy). Ariel and a whole lot of Offbeat Brides were also interviewed, and they even have a slideshow of Offbeat Bride wedding planning tips (whee!) Add in a mention of $2,000 Wedding, and I think the article was a very very good thing for our small-but-growing sane and practical wedding community. Because as someone said on my Get Rich Slowly feature earlier this week, “I didn’t know so many people were having practical weddings these days!” Well, they are. And they are rocking them.

I just want to point out that the article closes with a quote from the executive editor of The Kn*t, saying roughly that weddings are recession proof, and brides will always spend-spend-spend, since they are your one magic fairy princess day. Yeah. I think we’re proving every day that The Kn*t doesn’t own weddings, as we give brides and grooms their power back. And you know what’s magic? The rest of your lives together.

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  • I don’t to feel like a magic fairy princess.

    I want to feel love, that’s what weddings and ultimately marriage is all about.

    Go APW! Whoop!

  • More articles on weddings should quote Meg and Ariel. They make much better wedding authorities than some WICy Knot person.

    I loved that the Knot’s quote wasn’t until the end too — most people don’t make it to the end of articles. That’s why journalists are taught to put the least important information at the end.

    • I suspect that there are many engaged people out there who *don’t even know yet* that they’d be perfectly happy with a practical or offbeat wedding. There’s just not enough coverage of the joy and beauty of simple and/ or non-cookie-cutter celebrations. BUT a change is gonna come, starting with exposure like this.

      Congrats, Meg! Get the word out, y’all – we’re starting a revolution! Woo hoo!!!

  • Kimberly Croteau

    I love it! I only looked at this article because my friend Tiffany was the beautiful bride in the picture holding the piggy bank and she posted the article on facebook. Coincidentally, she and I both got engaged this year and I am sooooooooo excited to learn about your site and other, more-frugal, alternatives to the craziness that weddings that become. Thank you for what you’re doing!

    • meg

      Welcome, lady :)

  • I’m planning my very own practical magical fairy princess day. And you know what? Chair covers are not invited. Favors are an afterthought. The dress that costs twice my rent is still on the rack, and the one I took home is a dress I like for an amount I love. I’m not spending money in ways that make me financially uncomfortable. I do think it’s important to acknowledge, as you have, that there is a difference between spending to get the “perfect” day, and throwing money at the problem. I am spend-spend-spending where it matters or where thinking about it stressed me out. Peace of mind has a pretty high value. The trick is separating peace of mind from unnecessary wedding crap. (Yes, unnecessary is relative, but if the Knot makes you say, “crap, I didn’t know I needed a “bride” sign to hang on the back of my chair!”, that’s a sign that something is unnecessary.)

    • meg

      Yeah, I think the second someone guilts you or manipulates you into buying something, you should put your wallet away. BUTTTTT…. as you know, I am a GIANT fan of throwing money at horrendous wedding problems that I never want to have to think about again, to make them GO AWAY.

      That, and I think everyone is allowed a few small indulgences :)

      • j

        This was our rule of thumb – if it felt icky to spend X amount of dollars on anything in day to day life (a two thousand dollar dress, six hundred dollar shoes etc) then it was probably going to feel us feeling icky after the wedding. I’ve seen a lot of friends feeling buyers remorse the day following their wedding. We spent on things we were used to paying a premium for (good wine/food/beer) and the others we shopped for bargains.

  • Yea, I don’t feel much like a fairy princess either. Nor do I want to feel like one.

    In any case, you and Ariel are the bees knees and I’m so glad you were spotlighted on CNN!

    *Raising the roof.

  • Congrats! Well-deserved and about time.

  • Da-yum! A reason to start reading CNN.com again!

    Brava, ladies :)

  • Woohoo! So proud that our wonderful ladies were featured as eminently sane voices. *toasts with virtual alcohol* :)

  • Congratulations! It is extremely wonderful that the sane voices are getting coverage, as well as the lavish ones!

  • WOWZA. Big time, Meg. Big time.
    The Knot knows how to make infuriating checklists and that’s about it.

    • Jennifer

      I looooove checklists. Especially ones that have lots of unnecessary items on them that I can check off right away and suddenly have 35% of my wedding tasks completed. Videographer? Great, we’re not having one, that’s those boxes checked off!

      • Jennifer, that’s what I thought during the 5 minutes I spent on the Knot (which my DAD told me about, weirdly). Bwahaha, 35% done in 5 minutes. Take that Knot.

      • Haha!!! Jennifer – that is EXACTLY what I did with my checklist I printed off the Knot. OY VAY. Shame on me for not finding APW prior to getting married! Gah! But seriously, photographer – got my friends to do it: check! videographer – uncle’s got that: check! A million other random things I’m not including and did not even know existed prior to seeing this knot.com list and therefore not doing: check! haha

  • Alis

    Glad to see APW on CNN!

    “So far this year, wedding spending has improved — with the economy — to an average of $23,800,” CNN says, numbers from The Wedding Report, Inc. Ummm, there’s a company that just reports on the wedding economy!? WIC, indeed.

    PS: Just googled them. Link says “Wedding Industry Reports – Wedding Statistics and Market Research.” Oy.

    • Emi

      Oy indeed.

      Though according to Rebecca Mead’s awesome “One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding” (which everyone should read, whether or not they’re planning a wedding, imho), these statistics are always inflated/skewed because they’re compiled *by bridal magazines.* So practical/offbeat brides and grooms who don’t read Modern Bride or whatever tend to fly under the WIC radar aren’t included in these figures.

  • Congratulations! It’s great to read an article in the mainstream press that isn’t all WICy. And that quote from the knot lady was ridiculous. Seriously, did she miss the point?

    • Okay, it’s probably a little lame to be commenting on my own comment, but I just had to add: what’s up with the bride in the article who “estimated she will save up to $15,000 by making her own bouquets”???? I hope that’s a typo because otherwise her florist must have been quoting a price for some rare Amazonian flower that’s illegal to import into the U.S. or something.

      • Liz

        maybe she had 34 bridesmaids.

        • ElfPuddle

          And they’re all carrying some rare amazonian bud cut at a precise time before fully flowering? ;)

          I suppose it’s possible she was going to spend that much. If so, I would happily change bank accounts with her. :)

        • dev

          Liz, thinking about that made me shudder a little bit.

          But maybe that’s because I’d have to invite every female family member coworker I have in order to have 34 bridesmaids. Yeah, that’s a scary thought…

          • liz

            mmm. taking 34 girls dress shopping? who wouldn’t love that?

      • meg

        I caught that. I am on the other hand, totally a fan of making up numbers of what I saved. “By re-finishing our floors, we saved $737,000. We are BAD ASSES, clearly!” So maybe she was doing that?


        • I know. I love when they do that on HGTV too. By making my whickey soda at home and drinking while reading APW I saved eleventy zillion dollars!! Go me.

          • Harder to type while having me drink.

      • Laura

        I thought that was bizarre. We are having really, really nice flowers and the whole florist bill is $1500, for the bouquets, the centerpieces, everything. And this is in the northeast where everything is expensive.
        That has to be a misprint.

      • I did enjoy that…you have to hope she actually meant $1500.

        Although I love the thought of 34 bridesmaids, all laden down with luscious orchids and peonies…

      • dev

        Speaking of funny numbers, did anyone think the “wedding cakes cost up to $250 for 50 people” was maybe missing a zero? I’ve heard wedding cake prices in the thousands tossed around like that’s totally normal.

  • Liz


    first, cnn.

    next, THE WORLD.

  • Ashley

    Congrats! So exciting to see you on CNN! Put that in the reclaiming your 30’s file.

  • Congratulations! I am so happy I found this blog & I was really excited to see you quoted on CNN. SO refreshing in the wedding world. I tell anyone & everyone that they should read APW!

  • So awesome!! My husband was telling me about an article he’d read online re: inexpensive weddings, and then I checked your site and realized it was the same article — “I totally know these people!” (well, kinda sorta ;-))

    Here’s to more of APW and Offbeat infiltrating the mainstream media!

  • Abby

    “Four out of five couples set a budget for their wedding?” That. is. crazers.

    • Who are these crazy 1 out of 5 couples who just go about willy nilly buying sh*t and hoping it all comes out alright?!

      Oh, wait… maybe cross-reference with divorce stats. Hmmm.

      • meg

        Money? What? THERE IS A MONEY TREE IN THE BACKYARD. Wheeeeee!

        I always say all weddings are budget weddings even if the budget is a million dollars, but apparently I AM WRONG.

        • Money tree … that used to be called the Bank of Dad back in the day. Do you remember how ashamed Steve Martin’s Father of the Bride felt when he found his daughter reading a book about how to have a beautiful wedding on a budget? That was the real turning point of the movie, when it suddenly became okay to take out a second mortgage and remodel their house for their daughter’s Only Special Day of Her Entire Life.

          Poor Kn*t. Stuck in the Dark Ages.

          • Liz A

            My “Bank of Dad” is paying for most of my relatively expensive wedding.

            Does that mean I can’t play here anymore?

            Meg, wtg on the nod in the article. **virtual high five**

          • meg

            No. But those of us who paid for all or part of our wedding are still allowed to talk about that fact.

          • Liz A

            conversting about money never does well here.


            and moving on (hands held up, backs away slowly)

          • meg

            Conversing about money is great, but please don’t make satements like “can’t play here anymore.” Diversity should be celebrated, yes?

          • Carreg

            Well, yeah… Except even if parents are totally happy paying for some/all of their offspring’s wedding, they’re still likely to want to know how much they’re going to end up paying. I would budget just as carefully with someone else’s money as I would with my own — maybe more so.

          • Liz A

            I wrote “play here anymore” in jest.

            You know, that whole making jokes in the comments thing that doesn’t work well?

        • AL

          My father walked out on us when I was a kid, and I’m blessed to have a big brother who insisted on paying for our wedding because he wants us to save for a down payment on a home. He actually informed us of this way before we got engaged. When we started planning, we discussed how much he was willing to spend, created a budget based on some of the budget worksheets out there, and proceeded with the shopping and deposit-making. I was increeeeeedibly paranoid about spending his money because I don’t feel entitled to having him pay for my wedding (and I have a feeling that if my father was around I would still feel the same way…my mentally ill co-dependent mother is a mooch who *expects* other people to support her, so I’m desperate not to be like her, and am fiercely independent). Not to mention that my fiancee is incredibly reluctant to accept money from his own parents, let alone my brother.

          It got to a point where my brother would tell the vendors to send the quotes directly to him because he saw how anxious I got about the totals. I would be reluctant on saying what I actually wanted because I was afraid it would be too much money. I did end up helping to save lots of money on certain things I did myself (invitations, programs, escort cards, favors) and found a deal on my dress (which I insisted on paying for myself), but I have a feeling that if my brother had his way, we would be having a MUCH more expensive wedding. So I’m very blessed to have a Money Tree in the backyard, waiting to be harvested, but I prefer to only pluck what I need.

      • Jennifer

        Although I suspect you are right in your skepticism, I know that, depending on how the question was phrased, I could end up being lumped into the 1 out of 5 who don’t just because, while we have a budget for all of the major vendor items, other smaller items (well, small for me, like gifts/accessories for my flower girl nieces) I am buying not quite willy-nilly but more along the lines of “that fills a need/want we have, and that’s a reasonable price for what it is, and hey, I have the cash for it right here.” Or things like my shoes, which I fully intend to wear many times after the wedding — is that part of the wedding budget? Or just a normal clothing expense? This is how our non-wedding budgeting works, too, at least for now – we make sure all the major expenses and savings goals are taken care of and then don’t worry too much about how we spend the rest as long as we can pay cash (and it seems a reasonable price to pay).

        So maaaaayybe the 20% of non-budgeters aren’t quite as irresponsible, depending on how the survey phrased the question? (…she said, hopefully but without confidence.)

        • What you’re describing IS a budget. You have a “miscellaneous” category for the smaller/fun things, but you are still describing a method of budgeting.

          • Jennifer

            It does get into semantics, I guess. Is a budget “we can probably do this wedding for around X dollars,” or “we have X dollars to spend on everything and not a penny more” or is it “we have X dollars, and we’ll put about Y% to photography and Z% to music” or something else? We’re more the former and I tend to think of “having a budget” as the latter. But at any rate, if some survey person asked us “do you have a budget for the wedding?” the answer would be “kind of? how are you defining ‘budget’ and ‘for the wedding’ here?” or asked us “what is your budget for the wedding?” we’d have to answer “a dollar figure? yeah, we don’t have one.” And the survey person would probably end up putting us in the 20% who don’t have A Wedding Budget. Which isn’t to say this is the case for all of the 20%, of course. In any case, not having A Budget doesn’t necessarily mean thoughtless or lavish spending, just as having A Budget is no guarantee of thoughtful or frugal spending so I’m not sure how telling a statistic like that is.

      • dev

        I might be that person. Which is not to say that I had a crazy, frivolous wedding. I had quite a reasonable, not-very-expensive wedding. But in my personal life I’ve just never been a budget calculating, checkbook-balancing, spreadsheet-reconciling kind of girl. I’m just naturally frugal. So we thought about a range of money that we would be comfortable spending, tried to make inexpensive choices along the way, and spent cash. We made sure we didn’t go into debt, and that we had money left over for regular expenses and savings. But if someone asked me whether I had a budget, I’d probably say no. What can I say, people have different approaches to money.

        P.S. I don’t think my marriage is in jeopardy because we didn’t say “our budget is $7,000” or something like that. :)

        • meg

          Y’all. PLEASE LET PEOPLE MAKE JOKES IN THE COMMENTS. I know weddings are sensitive, but we don’t need to defend ourselves all the time from every joke ever, no? Seriously…. it’s like when I make jokes in the posts. The interwebs HATES them.

          So let’s chill out, mmmkay?

          • dev

            The smiley face was supposed to indicate that I knew she was making a joke.

            Still, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to point out that while collectively we are a bunch of practical, down-to-earth people, we don’t all do everything exactly the same. If we did, these comments would probably be a lot less interesting.

            Btw, congrats on the CNN article. Between that and your GRS post, you’re certainly getting the message of practical-ness out there.

          • I don’t think anyone is saying that jokes should not be allowed. But people have the right to be sensitive about stuff, especially if they are *minorities* on this site in terms of their large budget. And, of course, they should have the right to voice their sensitivity (even IF it’s “oversensitivity”). I don’t see anything wrong with defending yourself as long as you’re not offensive in doing so.

            So…it doesn’t mean that Sarah can’t make jokes. It just means that almost every joke is offensive to SOMEBODY. And that’s just how it goes. It’s the cross that funny people have to bare.

          • Clearly, I hit a nerve, which was obviously not my intent in referencing a comedy with an absurd premise.

            I challenge you to watch the scene with Steve Martin feeling bad that his daughter is reading about how to have a wedding on a budget and NOT see the absurdity in the idea that this grown woman who is getting married should be spared from having to learn how to manage money. The scene is played for poignancy, making it even more absurd.

            Here, Robin at HitchDied explains the joke better than I can: http://hitchdied.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/movie-review-father-of-the-bride-1991/

          • Sarah, your link…

            Mmm…yeah, that was pretty funny, actually, hehe. But I still stand by my statement! ;)

          • Carreg

            Yeah — it is funny :-) Didn’t mean to have a defensiveness spasm

          • meg

            Ladies. I had a large budget. And a good chunk of this site is spending more than $20K on their wedding. So, really, please don’t be sensitive. I work SO hard to make sure everyone is treated with respect and gets wedding graduate posts to reflect their weddings. It’s hard when I have to try to put out fires everywhere in the comments too. So for this person working 65+ hours a week to make sure this site stays up, go easy, yes?

          • meg

            Thanks Carreg :)

    • We’re not setting a budget for our wedding. We’re spending what we can and if we don’t have the $, we can’t have it. But we’re not saying “ok, $XX for flowers, $XXX for a dress” or whatever. I’m tracking what we’ve spent so far and I have rough ideas in my head, but, nothing formal. It’s too stressful for me.

  • I think the rise of the practical wedding also has something to do with women being married later in life. I mean, with my (first) wedding 2 months shy of my 35th birthday, I’m not looking for pretty pretty princess.

    This is awesome, the more sane voices out there, the fewer women will feel pressure to succumb to these ridiculous ideals!

    • meg

      Also, can I just say, when you’re playing for a big chunk of your wedding with cash you earned? You treat it differently I think. Or, I do.

      • Oh, totally. My parents (and apparently my deceased grandfather) are chipping in for the wedding, but the other half is entirely me and my fiance. My parents already paid their half (deposits and the first half of the catering/venue/etc), so now it’s down to us.

        It makes you think twice about going into debt for all this, and makes you reconsider priorities. I’m right now hemming and hawing because we’re already really, REALLY strapped for cash (yay wedding savings and avoiding debt!)– but I really, really want a photobooth (and this one company gave us an AMAZING quote). And my biggest problem is that I think it’s something that my guests would love, and would pay dividends for a long time, with amazing photos of our friends and family being the goofs they are. But because it’s our money, I’m being very cautious.

        The other neat thing about paying for it yourselves– I feel like a total effing badass. We’ve saved a TON of money in the last six months, and with that knowledge is the confidence that we can do it again. Saving for a new couch? Done. Emergency savings account? Easy. Down payment for a house? Totally in the bag. It has given me power over money and control in a way that makes me feel like I can wrangle our future together. It’s empowering and I love it.

      • liz

        this was the opposite for me! i felt so self-conscious of any spending of any of my/his parents’ willingly donated money. we paid for probably 75% by ourselves- and that money, i freely threw around (well. you know. it was budget and diy, so “threw around” may not be the right words)

        but once money was handed to us, i felt like i needed to justify each purchase and run it by them 32 times each.

      • Yep. Also, we’ve started playing the “what can we sell in here?” game, which is kind of fun. Less crap in our house, more bourbon to serve at the wedding.

        I’ve paid for everything pretty much my whole life, though, so it’s not any different than when I needed clothes in high school or tuition for college.

  • Kashia

    Meg you freaking rock!

  • I would like to say how strange and out of sync with the world the Kn*t sounded at the end of that article. The quote really came off sounding like begging. Pretty please, please come back and spend oodles of money on crappy personalized favors. Please don’t think about practical things. Here look, a fluffy pink pompom. You know you waannnttt it.

    • meg


  • I love that The Kn*t is a curseword in this community. It makes me smile.

    • AL

      Not to be crude, but because The Kn*t is treated as a curse word on APW, I mentally pronounce “The Kn*t”, as typed, phonetically. So basically, I cringe every time I see anyone refer to ‘The Kn*t!”

  • Alyssa

    Yay for mainstream exposure! I love that Ariel mentions the “WIC”. I bet most people don’t even catch the reference…

    And, umm, I don’t know about y’all, but I am ALWAYS a magic fairy princess.

    Every. Single. Damn. Day.

  • Kim

    Congrats on the media exposure! Very much deserved!

    We’re almost a month away from our intentionally green (i.e. saving the earth, and not going into debt) wedding. It’s amazing how many people are surprised/touched/brought to tears when they find out how hard we’re trying to make this OUR wedding. Dress from Brides Against Breast Cancer. Check. ASPCA registry. Check. Beautiful invitations by up-and-coming designer on 100% recycled paper. Check. Friends volunteering to dig up weeds for my bachelorette party. Check. Unity tree instead of unity candles. Working on it. Homegrown wheat grass centerpieces. Growing. Recycling at the wedding venue – better work on that!

    I’ve always been a sensitive, do-anything-I-can-to-help-those-in-need, tree hugging gal, and my fiance’s right there with me. Our wedding is not going to change who we are, its joining to be a blissful representation of who we’ve become and how we chose to live our lives.

    And our wedding is inspiring others, apparently. Who knew!? My mom was approached by a few young girls in her neighborhood who just started a “Clean Up Crew” to encourage neighbors to recycle, etc. After she listened to their agenda (an industrious group of 12-year-olds!), she mentioned our upcoming green, earth-friendly wedding. Their eyes lit up. They were so excited to hear that you could be a bride AND make a difference.

    How great would it be if the next generation of brides had free reign to fold their lifelong dreams into their weddings? I just hope these girls find A Practical Wedding (wherever it may be) in 10-20 years to help them through it all!

  • WAHOOO!!! way to go! that’s rad! :)

  • That’s fantastic, Meg. Congratulations!

  • Suzanna

    Awesome. Congratulations!

  • ddayporter

    I love that my husband found this article and sent it to me with exclamation points before you even posted it on the blog. yay APW ! congrats :)

    • liz


    • Sophia

      My fiance sent this to me :)

  • Congratulations! That’s quite exciting.

    Every time I see “The Kn*t” written as such, my eyes think it says something much more vulgar…

    • liz

      theres NOTHING more vulgar.

  • Katelyn

    From the comments of referenced article:”Remember your guests, remember this is the most beautiful day of your life, be classy about it.”

    Someone needs a good healthy dose of APW.

    don’t read the comments unless you want to feel anger.

    • Alyssa

      I read two comments and then decided that I wanted to spend the rest of the day happy and without wanting to shove stabby things at people I didn’t know, so I stopped reading.

      • Erin

        Hahahaha. That happens to be my philosophy of just about the entire Internet. Except here. Yay APW!

      • Nataliah

        But how grateful for the APW ladies did reading them make you?!! Personally I read about 20 and just wanted to come back here to warm, sane, comfortable comment-land…

    • liz

      yum, fresh hilarity. i’ll have to go back.

      • liz

        my vote for comment that misses the point the MOST:

        “My advice to prospective grooms: Let her do whatever she wants to do, no matter how expensive or how outrageous. Just say, “Yes, Sweetie” and NOTHING ELSE. You will hear about it for the rest of your life if you do anything else.”

        • Nataliah

          hahahah, either this guy is single or we should pity him…

        • meg

          Sadly, apparently all the brides interviewed said they talked about how their grooms did 50% on everything, and had half the ideas… but grooms were never mentioned.

          I am wise :) or just overloaded. Didn’t look at a single comment.

          • Rollergirl

            I am one of the brides featured in the article (rice krispie cake). When writing to CNN I made sure to write it was my partners and I idea and how excited he is over making the cake and designing it himself (he has even made two ‘prototypes’ lol). However he is not mentioned at all not even alluded to. As a feminist I try to pay particular attention to giving my partner credit (when credit is due of couse). I think that article is a major fail on that point. If I (and other brides) have had thier ideas muddled to fit into ‘the bride is the ruler of the wedding’ mentality then I think much of what we wanted to protray has been missed.

  • Carreg

    Awesome to see the article. All I’d read in the mainstream media before that about weddings was that in a recession fewer people get married — as if it’s a choice between something costing a year’s salary and not marrying at all. So glad the other options are getting some publicity.

    • meg

      Right? Right!! :)

  • F’ing props Meg. This is so spectacular! :) Love the Kn*t comment. Really?!

  • Woot! I love that you’re starring the effing Kn*t. Word on the CNN article! <3

  • Class of 1980

    Why is it that every time I see an article on the costs of weddings, no matter how practical the discussion is, they ALWAYS have to get a representative of the WIC in at the end?

    It’s like they feel the need to water down the message.

  • You and APW and goin’ spectacular places honey. For sure!