Ceremonies: Honest & True


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

You guys. I’ve had a bad, bad, no good week. And I’m tired. And I want to see Where the Wild Things are and eat Dosas with my husband (hee!), and see my sassy hair stylist this weekend. Nothing that can’t be fixed by that right? That and a Scottish beer. So, I’m tired and slightly sad, so for now I’m just giving you a snippet of the magic to come. Thanks for all your amazing emails this week, and comments, and vibes. You guys have been rocking my world extra hard lately, right when I need it the most. -xo, M.

The wedding I’m featuring Monday is the wedding of Sarah, AKA, Ms Grrrl over at So You’re EnGAYged. I was poking around through posts she’d written over there, and found something that she tentatively attributed to me. Honestly, I have zero idea if I said it, though it sounds like something I *would* say. Anyway, I love what Sarah wrote so much, and I think it’s so true, that I wanted to share it with you as a sneak peak of what is to come:
“One of my favorite wedding bloggers (sadly, I can’t remember which one… but I bet it was Meg at apracticalwedding, she was my wedding planning guru through the whole process) said that a personal, moving ceremony sets the scene for the entire wedding. She seemed to think that it didn’t really matter what happened after the ceremony because if people felt like they had just played a part in something deeply moving and sacred, they would experience the wedding as a wonderful event, no matter what kind of table linens or music or favors there were at the reception. That bit of advice really stuck with me and looking back on our wedding I think it is absolutely true.

Read the rest of the post over here. And the rest of this wedding is coming soon, soon, soon!

Photo by Kelly Prizel

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Oh that is a lovely thought. At the moment Mr B and I are planning all our ceremony bits and pieces and it's exciting. This is what it is really all about. It's so easy to get caught up in all that other crap some days and forget what you're actually doing. Thanks for sharing this today. Hope you're feeling more yourself next week!

  • Oh, it's true, I think. We still get comments on how … true and real the whole ceremony was. That, and fun. Or, some old guy said "interesting." Which I think he was expecting more Pachebal, not Appalachian goodness.

  • Oh my darling Meg–you know that I, and the entirety of the internet, love you, right? Have a good, fun, restful weekend–you deserve it.

    As for the ceremony setting the tone–a million times yes. I feel like wedding culture is obsessed with "setting the tone"–through our invitations, our colour scheme, our venue, our whatever. But since my own wedding and the couple I've attended after it with the fresh eyes of a woman on the other side, I have learned that yeah–you could have your wedding in a geedee dumpster for all that it matters. If the ceremony is right, then it will be magic no matter what. That intimacy sets the tone.

  • We had a very intimate ceremony. We had our closest friends and family surrounding us. We had no bridal party so that we could focus very simply on us and the importance of the ceremony. I couldn't believe how many people came up to us afterwards saying it was one of the most moving they had ever witnessed. Focusing in and not losing sight of the real reason behind the day really does help set the tone for not only whatever happens that day to celebrate, but for all the days to come in your marriage. Great post! Feel better.

  • hope all is well. bad days/weeks aren't fun :-/

  • Meg, you rock my world and you changed the way that I planned my wedding. I hope that you drink your beer, watch Where The Wild Things Are and have a nice weekend. You.are.awesome.

    P.S. Making time for planning the ceremony, not just the reception? priceless advice. It was the most magical and wonderful and precious part of our whole day.

  • Hannah

    Truth. Ultimately a wedding IS the ceremony, a wedding is the beginning of a marriage. A pretty white dress and gorgeo invitations and millions of flowers are just nice things to have at a party. The reason for the whole shebang is 'to have and to hold, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live'.

    And feel better, Meg. Scottish beer will fix everything.

  • Feel better, Meg.

    I'm glad my comment over on soyoureengayged gave you the pat on the back you deserved at a moment when you needed one… god knows your writing gave me the same over the past year!

  • Amy

    I agree!! I had been reading wedding magazines that said.. to save money focus on your reception. No one cares about the ceremony anyway!

    *dead stop*
    No one cares about the ceremony? *blink*
    Seriously?

    I care! I'm not saying these vows for nothing! (Pardon the double negative.) And so disconcerted.. I found your blog… and I was like.. Oh thank Buddha.. other people get it! and we put our hearts and souls into our ceremony.

    <3 keep your chin up.

  • Moz

    This is absolutely true, without a doubt. I sing at weddings and by golly if people aren’t invested in the ceremony they won’t care about the rest.

    I say that as someone who has sung at hundreds of them. When people choose readings or write vows or include beautiful, novel things in a ceremony that is as old as the hills – that’s when you really care.

    I’m sad to say that two of my best friends had a wedding that felt very false and empty because they didn’t care about the ceremony and making it meaningful. I think this was partly because they were having a church wedding and not really interested. But once they committed to it they just weren’t interested in it.

    Which is sort of the second point. Pick a ceremony you WANT, don’t have one you’re not invested in. We all know when you’re not there. How do you expect your guests to get into it?