Finding Friends and Family on APW: Marchelle

Y’all know Marchelle, right?  You know she’s brilliant and funny and has great Twitter comments that make you want to reply, even if it’s hours later, but you don’t because if you did it’d make you look weird and like a stalker and you’re TOTALLY not a stalker, just an admirer because she’s smart and funny and from Trinidad which is SO cool, right?

No?  Just me?

Okay, fine, here’s Marchelle on APW.

This is going to sound incredibly corny and possibly a little weird, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s true: I’ve made some of my dearest friends through A Practical Wedding.

Let me explain. Having become engaged way back in the ancient mists of time (December 2007), I found myself in the lonely position of being the first in my close circle of friends to do so, and sought solace from APW after stumbling across it shortly after its inception in March 2008.* It would still be many months before I tentatively started blogging about my own wedding planning experience, and very many more again before I gathered up the courage to begin to comment on posts here, where intelligent women dared to confidently voice opinions at odds with those widely bandied about by the WIC (and, um, BIC), but once I finally did there was no turning back.

I never really used APW for basic wedding planning advice, as my then-fiancé and I had pretty much already figured out what we wanted to make of our wedding by the time I found it. But it was here, bolstered by the unmistakable voice of the whip-smart, sassy and cuttingly funny Meg, that I garnered real confidence about my choices, and real certainty that I could do things differently to the ‘norm’, and it would still all be OK. Heck, I even came to believe that it would be bloody fantastic (and it goes without saying that it was).

So then I got married. Three times. By which point I was beyond tired of weddings. After our final celebration, I purged my blog reader of wedding websites faster than you can say “I do”… all except for this one. Because by then it had become apparent that APW was about so much more than just the wedding It was about smart women examining and processing the decisions that they make in the course of getting married, in such a way that the lessons learnt from them turn out to be hugely useful for, and very applicable to life in general. It was about that subject then seemingly so taboo on other wedding planning websites – the everyday reality of married life after the wedding. It was about post after post that made me sit up, and made me think, and blew my mind with how exactly spot on they were with what was going on for me in my marriage and in my life. But most of all, it was about all the other amazing women who regularly hung out here.

I can’t remember exactly which tunnels down the infinite rabbit hole of the internet first led me from one of my favourite blogs to the other, and so from one burgeoning friendship to the next, but I do know that the wonderful ladies whose wise words, enlightening perspective, and incredible support are now as invaluable to me as those of the friends I’ve had since high school, are all a part of this APW community. From bandying comments in response to posts here, and reading one another’s blogs, we’ve now moved on to meeting up in person, never-ending intimate chats on Twitter, and being present in one another’s lives in a very real way. I know for certain that my life is richer, saner, more thoughtful, and much more beautiful for knowing these women. Somehow, in the midst of the geographically disconnected life that I lead, here on APW I found a virtual village of my own, one which I now carry with me everywhere I go. From what I see in the comments every day, I’m absolutely certain that I’m not the only one who’s found a new family here in the midst of the wonderful larger community that is APW.

So, I’ve got nothing but love and respect for you, fellow members of Team Practical.

Long may we cause APW to prosper.

*Newly engageds, take it from me: read the firetrucking archives. For real.

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  • LPC

    Marchelle, it’s a rich experience to know you. Even only via words and photos on a computer screen.

    • Marchelle

      Thank you my dear. And you know, we really MUST change that. :)

  • meg


    • Marchelle

      … which is maybe what I was doing while I was writing it. Just a little. Perhaps.

      Love you, lady. BIG smooches.

      • Alyssa

        Meg, did I not tell you that you would be snotting on yoru keyboard??

        It’s been a three-hanky week.

  • YES. I want to exactly this whole thing. Thanks for expressing it so well, Marchelle!

    • Since we’re into the lovefest, I’m really happy we became real-life friends, Jenny. :-)

      • Me too! :) I never would have thought that reading about your wedding story last year would lead to our real online and in-person friendship, but I am so glad it did!

  • Ummm…fellow twitter/blog stalker over here. You’re rad. As are all of the other wonderful people I’ve had a chance to be in community with since discovering APW.

    Thanks again, Meg, and Team Practical. Hugs all around!!

    • Trisha

      I’d like to second that!

  • Nicole

    I wish there was an exactly button on posts….

  • Ditto everyone else above. You’re my kind of (virtual) people. I’m privileged to be a part of this community, and I need to not lurk so much and show it more.

  • Marchelle

    Group hug! Much, much love to each and every one of you.

    • aw, that’s the first vitual group hug i’ve ever been a part of– and it just re-emphasizes your point. this place is awesome. these people are awesome. and meg rocks for pulling us all together in the first place. :)

      • Marchelle

        No way, Caitlin. Really? We need to hang out more. :)

  • Yes, yes and yes again. To the post. To APW. To the amazing women in this community. And to a the million exactlys that happen in my head every time I read each post and comment.

  • Yes, I have “met” several of my favorite blog friends through APW by clicking through to their blogs from the comments here (Marchelle, Angie, Sarah, Liz, Kerry and Sara- I’m talking about you). My life is much richer for it.

  • Liz


    agirl, you’re on the money.

  • yay marchelle! so happy to have met you and others via the online wedding world, even though i didn’t end up getting married (yet).

  • Marchelle, I guess only you could get me out of my new baby bubble and make me come here just to tell you how much I love you. And everything you said is so true; you guys really are a meaningful part of my life. I never thought this would happen when I started reading this blog in 2008.

    Much love to all the smart ladies here.

  • love this. I started telling my husband about APW last night because it was literally the highlight of my day yesterday to spend time on here reading the new posts and comments. And I was saying how disappointed I was to meet the last meet-up and how next time I wanted to plan a northern-Europe one and got all excited and then got teary and he found it all highly amusing :)

    I want to Exactly! all the posts this week!

  • He he, I come back to comment and Love Shack comes on the radio. APW: “a little old place where we can get together.” :)

    Love you guys. x

    • Leahismyname

      Ooh, how weird! I had that song stuck in my head this morning while I was getting dressed for work.

      And I find the community here very supportive and amazing. I’m still new, though, so I guess I can’t say I have friends on here yet, but I’m happy to see that some do.