What You Want From How We Did It by Meg Keene Since my early days of reading wedding blogs (which were, in fact, the very early days of wedding blogs), I’ve spent a lot of time wondering: but… how did you do it? And I don’t mean this in an, “Oh, I see that you have listed links to your vendors, which totally does not help me since none of those vendors list prices and/or explanations of services on their websites,” but in a nitty-gritty, logistical, “How did you really put it all together?” kind of way. This question hits me the hardest when I’m looking at non-traditional weddings. Like, okay. The amazing wedding from which the photo above comes. I know they: rented SF city hall on the weekend, had a food truck reception at an art gallery, had a custom wedding dress made. But… how? How did they go about finding the art gallery? How did they go about find the person who made the dress? What did it cost, and were there other major trade offs or decisions they could have made to make it a significantly different cost? What was worth it? What really wasn’t? I know I’m not the only person with these questions, because every time one of my friends gets engaged, they end up asking me questions like, “But. How do you even go about throwing a beach wedding?” or “What steps do you have to go through to make a city hall wedding happen?” And the problem is I don’t even have a place I can point them for resources. Ninety-nine percent of blogs out there are focused on giving you a glut of pretty pictures, with no real way to replicate them except hire the (expensive?) staff that worked on said weddings. And ninety-nine percent of wedding websites just want to sell you crap/make you crazy (hey The Kn*t’s to-do lists). Since APW has historically been focused on the emotions of the thing, aka getting you through wedding planning in one sane piece… I don’t have anywhere to point people. I mean, the book. You should really read the book. But that’s still not going to tell you how to find an art gallery in your city that you can afford to rent. So, last week we introduced a new series: How We Did It. The idea is that, like Wedding Graduates and Wordless Weddings, it’s a way of sharing your wedding with APWers. Maybe you don’t want to talk about what you learned emotionally (Wedding Graduates), or show us lots of pretty pictures (Wordless Weddings), but instead you just want to tell us how you put it all together. Well guess what? You’re in luck, because we totally want to hear about that. As we develop this series, we want to know what questions you want us to ask. This is our starting list, but let’s break it down. When you look at a wedding, what do you want to know? Favorite Things About the Wedding Planned Budget Actual Budget Number of Guests Where we allocated the most funds Where we allocated the least funds What was totally worth it What was totally not A few things that helped us along the way My best practical advice to my planning-self ** Caveat: As APW begins to delve into wedding budgets, I want to be very clear that our rule here is No Budget Shaming. I have volumes to say about this practice (but that’s another post), but suffice to say, APW is not a place where, “Seriously? You call that budget practical?” is any more tolerated than, “Ugh, I can’t believe you spent so little, how cheap.” Reader budgets go from…what’s the cost of a marriage license? That much. All the way up to $60K or $80K or more. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re spending $1 or $1,000,000, you’re just as much a part of the community as anyone else, and deserve just as much respect. ** Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief 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.