Introducing the Newest APW Staffer: Maddie! by Meg Keene Two weeks ago, when I told you that APW editor Lauren was spreading her wings and leaving APW, I promised that as sad as you were to see Lauren go, you would be equally excited about her replacement. So today I’m absolutely thrilled to announce the newest APW staffer: Submissions Editor Maddie Eisenhart! Maddie will be back a little later this morning with her own Wedding Graduates Return post, but first, some facts. Maddie has been reading APW since month two (that’s all the way back in May 2008) and has been popping up on the site for years (Fact: it took me awhile to realize Maddie was all the same… Maddie. I thought we just had a bunch of awesome readers named Maddie because I am slow). Here is a quick recap of Maddie and APW: Maddie shares her lazy girl wedding. She says, “Just when I feel like maybe I don’t belong in the wedding blog community because my wedding didn’t include enough details and pretty things (not a type A), you go and post about lazy, yet blogworthy weddings. Because, here’s the thing. We’re uber lazy.” (Hint: Maddie is lazy about wedding details, not about busting her ass to make her life awesome. Just sayn’.) Maddie shares her ridiculous proposal story, “On the way to the beach so that he could propose after everyone had themselves convinced we were getting engaged but I didn’t believe them because the boy told me we weren’t and I believed him because our relationship is built on honesty and trust. Me: I’m glad that you’re not proposing to me today anyway. Because I REALLY don’t want to have to change my status on Facebook. Boy: Seriously?! That’s the stupidest f*cking thing I’ve ever heard.“ Maddie pops up in my bridesmaid compendium, as the lady who wanted her wedding party to look like an Erykah Badu music video. Rad. After some months of harassment on my part, Maddie and her partner Monica launch their brand new photography business, Hart & Sol Photography on APW. Maddie writes about figuring out the process of getting married with a divorced family (or as she puts it, having a family rainbow, not a family tree). She says, “While other kids grew up with two parents who arrived at parties together and stayed in the same hotel room for out-of-town competitions, mine were the kind that came in separate cars, maybe didn’t speak to each other at the party, and yet still would be introduced as ‘My family (exclamation point, pause, jazz hands)’ to inquiring parents of friends.“ Maddie and Monica, now the duo behind the super successful Hart & Sol Photography, write a love letter to APW. Maddie says, “The difference between APW clients and non-APW clients, is that you guys really let us in. There’s no veil here. For one, I’ve seen more APW boobs that I know what to do with. So to thank the community, we’d like to renew our promise to treat your wedding like it is the mother effing boss.” I finally meet Maddie in New York, where she bakes the crazy ombre pink cakes for Yay New York. She is as excellent and hilarious as imagined. And now… Maddie joins the APW staff. I know. I know. Awesome. How did it happen? Well, the week I was getting my head around hiring a new staffer, Maddie emailed me to tell me she was moving to the San Francisco area. I knew I was looking for someone who A) knew the APW community like the back of their hand, B) loved weddings so much that reading Wedding Grad posts still made them cry sometimes, C) could write, D) was funny, E) was local. And I knew Maddie was already A-D, and suddenly she was local too? RIGHT AT THE SECOND I WAS HIRING? Well, if that’s not fate, I don’t know what is. So I asked her if she wanted the job, and it turned out she’d had a secret plan to work for APW for years. Talk about fate, right? I asked Maddie to write about joining the staff, and she said this: I’ve been reading APW since just about the very beginning, and I became fan girl almost instantaneously. It sounds melodramatic, but APW kind of changed my life. As someone who grew up without any real married role models (my parents and my parents’ parents are all divorced), APW provided the communal chorus that I so very much needed in order to find comfort in the commitment I was making to my now husband. And I still feel this way about APW. To this day, almost all of my married friends are ones I’ve made through this community, either as a reader or a sponsor. Now Meg doesn’t know this, but I’ve been plotting my eventual membership on the APW staff since they announced Alyssa as the APW columns editor.* I think that for a wedding blog to still be relevant to me two years into my marriage speaks volumes of the content this site puts out. I’m really just excited to be part of that—to read APW stories, to help Meg bring readers content that matters, and frankly to alleviate enough of Meg’s workload so that she can bring us the next big thing. *This is not an embellishment. I heard APW was hiring and started fantasizing what my future position could be. And here is the kicker. Last week, Maddie sent me her bio for the site. The next morning I woke up and turned to David eyes wide. “Oh my god,” I said, “Maddie went to NYU, worked in the entertainment industry in New York, decided she hated it and quit, got a corporate job that paid her well but killed her soul a little, started her own business, and is moving from the New York City area to the San Francisco area for her husband’s career. She’s also really funny. Does this sound like anyone you know? Shit. I THINK I JUST HIRED FIVE YEARS YOUNGER ME, and I didn’t even realize it.” And then my husband laughed at me. The joke is on me kids, and that makes you a really lucky bunch. So, welcome Maddie, we can’t wait to see what magic you make here! Photo: Hart & Sol Photo 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.