Maddie’s APW Book Review

As a long-time reader of APW who has been married for over two years, I’ll admit, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get from the APW book (don’t buy it till tomorrow!). I mean, hello, I’m a seasoned veteran here, folks. I already got married, I work for APW, and I photograph weddings for a living. What do you think you’re going to tell me about weddings, Meg, that I don’t already know?

And then I read the book. And I was blown away.

Within the first ten pages of the book I was crying in the waiting room of a Subaru Service Center mourning the wedding-planning experience I can never have because this book wasn’t around during my engagement. Oh the easily avoidable family drama! The DIY projects that never should-have-been! The time I cried in the car about sparklers!

What the APW book does differently from every other wedding book, blog, or magazine out there is it actually removes things from your to-do list rather than adding to it. Meg isn’t trying to convince you to buy more, do more, spend more. She just wants to make sure that the things you’re buying, doing, and spending on mean something to you. Did you just read that? It’s wedding literature that gives a shit that you’re a person. Novel.

But, back to why this book matters to you. The part that is going to blow you away. Are you ready? The APW book is the only wedding literature you’ll ever read that actually saves you money (and not in a “follow these tips to get 10% off a bunch of crap we just convinced you that you need,” kind of way). Trying to figure out how to cut costs but are tired of people telling you to eliminate guests? Go buy the book. Can’t figure out why your totally reasonable budget is suddenly too small for the wedding world? Seriously, go buy the book. Still fighting with your mom because she thinks you need chair covers? Yeah, just go buy the book. And then buy another copy for your mom.

It’s hard to put into words, but what the APW book provides for weddings (and if I’m being honest here, life) is that it gives a freedom to care about the things that matter, to cross off things that don’t, and the WIC-free wisdom to know the damn difference.

Now, I’m sure that some of you probably don’t believe me. Of course, it’s so easy to say these things now that I’m married and the wedding itself is far behind me. But as I read the book, I steadily ticked off a mental checklist of all the money and stress I could have saved if I’d had Meg’s book while planning my wedding. And let me tell you, it is worth the investment. Allow me to demonstrate:

Wedding Costs I Could Have Avoided:

Gocco Printer – $400
DIY Invitation Supplies – $100
First Wedding Dress – $100
DIY Flowers (that died) – $300

Total: $900

Cost of Meg’s Book:

A Practical Wedding (Book) – $10.88

Total: $10.88

Savings: $889.12

More importantly, I was able to make a list of all the emotional headaches that were completely unnecessary but somehow seemed so unavoidable at the time, such as:

The fight we had about sparklers and their relative safety to our guests

The time my mom and I fought about earrings

The time my mom and I fought about my ever-growing DIY projects

The week I spent not sleeping because I had to make my own invitations

The midnight photoshoot for our save-the-dates that I insisted must be done immediately, or else

The time I spent feeling bad about these things when I should have just let myself off the hook and moved on


And if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe we can talk about something else that’s important—the fact that the wedding world is kind of out to get us. Between the reality TV shows, the magazines, and the blogs, the wedding industry makes us out to be both the victims and the villains of our own wedding stories. We’re either doing Too Much or Not Enough and we can never win. And the industry is making boatloads of money off our insecurity. But this book, this monumental labor of love, it doesn’t want that for you. It gives you the power to own your wedding, to make it something that is meaningful, joyful, respectful—and that’s powerful. In fact, I’m surprised the wedding industry even allows this book to exist, that’s how much it challenges the commonly-held notions about what weddings are supposed to be. And that, my friends, is something worth celebrating.

Which is why, even though I’ve already read it, I’m going to buy a few copies for my clients and my newly or soon-to-be engaged friends tomorrow. It’s time we reclaim the word “wedding,” and I can’t think of a better way to do it than by taking this book to the top.

Photo by One Love Photo. Read all the posts on writing the APW book hereThe APW Book Buy is tomorrow!

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