Practicing Practical: DDay Porter

Hey, y’all!  It’s Alyssa, and I’m taking over A Practical Wedding this week!!  I can post whatever I want!   I can rant about anything!  I can post whatever I feel like!  I could fill the entire week with pictures of kittens!  Kittens in outfits!   With hats!!!!!!
*ahem*  Okay, so that’s not true.

So I am heading up most of the posts this week, because this week is all about APW.  Not just weddings or marriage or etiquette.   But A Practical Wedding.  And readers like me.  And like you.  Our whole little lovely community and what it means to us.

We asked some APW readers to do some posts on A Practical Wedding – their experiences, feelings and thoughts on what started as a little wedding blog to help Meg keep her sanity and has turned into a daily dose of sanity from loads of awesome women.    Throughout the week we’ll have responses from women of varying experiences, marital status and ages, women that y’all already know and love.  We were surprised, excited and honored at the responses that came in, and on short notice!  The best part is that as different as each response was, the one thing that they all hit upon was “community.”  It’s not just a word (AND a great TV show) but it is something bigger, better and more important than we ever usually realize.

Also, Meg hasn’t read any of these posts this week, so she gets to be a regular reader (with pink privileges) and experience each post for the first time with you guys!  Which is important because these aren’t love letters to Meg.

They are love letters to each any every one of you who read and particpate in APW.

These are love letters to our happy, fun, contentious, heart-warming, informative and touching little piece of the blogosphere.

So let’s get going with Operation Community 2010!!

And fine.  No kittens.

Today’s post is from Rachel, or DDayPorter in the comments.

DDay is awesome.  Not only is she a smart lady and a regular commenter, but she’ll send you lovely little messages when you have a bad day or give away her wedding dress for no reason other than she’s super nice.

If you ever meet DDay, even if you’ve never met her before, you KNOW that she’s the type of girl that will see you across the parking lot, holler out your name and then come streaking across to give you the best hug ever.

And then take you out for drinks and to dance your face off.

Take it away, DDay!!

I wish I could remember the first post on APW I read.  I really have no idea when exactly I started reading, or how long it took me to make a comment, or at what moment I realized I was, in fact, a member of Team Practical.

What I do know is, APW has been a guiding force in my life for umm, a while.  Not that I don’t roll my eyes at just the idea of calling a wedding blog a “guiding force in my life.”  But we all know by now this ain’t no damn wedding blog.  And as awkward it can be to explain it to the uninitiated, I think we all also know that this blog is damn important.

I know I started out as a normal person, of maybe above-average intelligence (debatable).  And then one day we whispered to each other something about marriage in the future, and I slowly morphed into a semi-crazed lunatic, obsessively collecting wedding imagery and worrying over the politics of picking a bridal party.  And then I stumbled upon this blog, and everything in me lurched, and did a few double takes, and the zeal started to fall away from my eyes.  Who is this lady crying foul to the wedding industry?  Who are all these other people egging her on?  You mean, you mean, it’s not required that the DJ announce our arrival at the reception, and we go right in to our first dance??  That’s not set down in law somewhere??  And the little timid me who said “Oh ok,” when the caterer insisted these things must be done, stood up and said “Oh hell naw. We will walk in unannounced, and the first dance will happen afterdinner.”  This site helped me have the conviction in my voice that made the caterer say “Oh, ok.”

And that was just the beginning.  I don’t even have time to talk about how much I’ve learned about my own perceptions of wife, shame, anxiety, appreciation, and being an ally, just to name a few major topics.  And what I mean by “what I’ve learned about my own perceptions,” is basically that APW has helped me be a better critical thinker.  Something will be said on here and instead of going “Oh that’s what I’m supposed to think, ok good,” it’s more like, “Hmm this is new for me. How do I feel about this?”  And then I go home and ask my husband what he thinks about this. And we grow.

I was going to try to put together a Top Ten or something of favorite posts and/or comments, but umm I don’t know if y’all noticed?  This blog has big archives.  And this kid<– did not do so well bookmarking favorites.  [Bad DDay.  No cookie.  – Alyssa]

So many words on this site get absorbed and internalized and after a while I can’t remember where I heard this or that bit of wisdom but I know it came from this community.  But here are a few of my favorite bits from posts and comments.  Some of them are universal, some are just special to me personally, and all are completely out of order:

Well, I just received my umpteenth wedding invitation addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow” when my name is “Dr. Jane Sassy-Blow”. Geesh! I’ve been married to this guy for almost 24 years now and no one in his family has still bothered to learn my name! Whoever said the woman with the Dr. title should get to use it was right on! Or at the very least, let me use my legal – hyphenated – last name! Thanks for letting me vent! – Anonymous

Cheapest vases ever? mismatched glass jars out of the recycling bin! (They make great candleholders, too!) [I had no idea until I was perusing the archives that this is probably where I got the idea to use mismatched jars out of the recycle bin for our centerpieces… Thank you Rachel!]

I love that you have shelves and shelves of books surrounding you. Makes me think of all those people, pouring their souls and lives into their writing and therefore having just a little bit of themselves there, blessing your wedding. Is that weird? That might be a little weird. But I’m fine with that. – Alyssa

It was one of the great joys of my life, and one of the best parties I’ve ever been to, but I’m not sure it was the best day of my life. The best day of my life probably involved a few more naps. – Meg

and of course:

It is not your business what other people think of you. – Meg

This community isn’t perfect. It’s made up of humans after all. What I love about it is, we allow ourselves to be imperfect and then do our best to help each other be better. My dad disapproves of perfection as a goal, he always insists on saying, “Practice makes better. Nobody’s perfect.” Since I can’t picture my future sanity without APW, I pledge to do what I can to keep this place humming.  I’m looking forward to umm, practicing practical with everyone here as long as this place exists.

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  • ddayporter

    baha I love you Alyssa. you know my sister lives in Dallas, I’m totally looking you up next time I visit her and we are just going to have to dance our faces off (maybe if I’m lucky the trip will coincide with a Dallas APW meet-up!).

    • If I find out you missed a DC meet up, but attended a different one…we will have words. Hopefully words fueled by dericious drinks.

    • Mallory

      I’m pretty sure we could make an impromptu Dallas meet up – we don’t tend to discuss the books anyways so no need to read a novel just to come to Dallas!

      • Alyssa

        YES! DDay, you make it to town, we will do a meet-up.

        I hope you’ll have like six hours. We Dallas girls DO NOT PLAY. When we meet-up, we meet the eff UP.
        And bring prezzies.
        You inspired one I brought, you’ll see in the pictures tomorrow! :-)

  • Oh, DDay! I just had to utilize that quote from Meg about what other people think in my life today! Totally unrelated to weddings. It’s a great life thing. And I always look forward to your comments in posts. Wise and hilarious.

    Alyssa, you’re rockin’! I’m so excited for this week!!!!

  • Liz

    yes to critical thinking. YES.

    • Marchelle


    • Hells to the yeah. I definitely believe this site has improved my critical thinking in all areas of my life — not just wedding planning.

  • sylvia

    Lovely lovely post. This is EXACTLY why I love APW too!

  • That last quote, the one from Meg, holy cow RESONATING!

    I second, third, and fourth everything you just said.

    • meg

      I think that’s something they teach in AA. It’s totally not original with me, though I do like to say it often and loudly on APW ;)

  • Yay for sane people!

  • ‘practicing practical’ makes me grin.

  • JT

    “This community isn’t perfect. It’s made up of humans after all. What I love about it is, we allow ourselves to be imperfect and then do our best to help each other be better.”
    –exactly to this! I don’t think there is anything more we could ask for from a community. And it makes me think of the community inspiring each other to activate our shame blasters, give away our dresses, avoid saying “you’ll seeee,” and follow our hearts in the decisions we make about our relationships, our weddings, and our lives.

  • Ashley

    Oh I ‘m going to love this week so much, because you know what ? APW just makes my heart happy and more than my heart, it makes my brain happy too. And sometimes, when you’re a thinker and a feeler like me, it’s hard to make our brains and hearts happy at the same time. APW does that for me. I’m so excited to hear about why APW makes everyone else happy all week long.

    • ka

      This post made me grin. And this, says it so perfectly. APW: Good for the brain, and the heart. *warm fuzzies*

      (And Alyssa, in my head I heard that intro in South Park’s Cartman’s “I do what I want” voice. Prolly not intentional, but definitely hilarious.)

      • Alyssa

        I like. Though if I were to read it aloud like I would say it, it’d sound closer to Elmira on Tiny Toons…. :-)

        • ka

          Hahaha, yes, that does incorporate the kittens.

        • Tina

          I love references to cartoons that are post 1980s. Animaniacs anyone? :)

  • DDay, I love what your dad says about perfection. Exactly, exactly, exactly.

  • “And what I mean by “what I’ve learned about my own perceptions,” is basically that APW has helped me be a better critical thinker. Something will be said on here and instead of going “Oh that’s what I’m supposed to think, ok good,” it’s more like, “Hmm this is new for me. How do I feel about this?” And then I go home and ask my husband what he thinks about this. And we grow.”

    THIS. As someone who’s not yet even engaged, I get a bit cagey about admitting that I read a wedding blog every day, but APW is not just a wedding blog. It really is a place where I can see people challenging what we’re supposed to do, and challenging some unexamined ideas that I’ve had, and provides me with endless fodder for Eric and I to examine our relationship and figure out how we can live honestly and bravely and give a big middle finger to what everyone thinks we’re supposed to do.

    Also, I love DDay’s comments a lot. <3

    • Sara_B

      I’m another reader in the “pre-engagement negotiations” but not yet engaged. I love APW for bringing up all sorts of topics related to relationships and marriage along with all the wedding pretties. I’m constantly going back to my man with “So, I read this on that Practical wedding blog I read and…” to get conversations started.

      I LOVE the wisdom and support that is on APW and that I can tap into it to build myself and my relations with others. Thanks Ladies!!!

      • Another Thea

        I did that so often that my boyfriend put APW on his RSS feed. Which was GREAT, because now he sees it and thinks about it, and I see and think about it, and then we write to each other and go, “did you SEE APW today?!!”

        • Tina

          I know we’re supposed to reflect on aspiration and inspiration, but this is what I aspire to. Ha ha. Then I wouldn’t have to recap the whole day’s post and comments before getting into the nitty gritty of discussion.

  • Leahismyname

    This is slightly off topic from this post’s purpose, but has to do with the whole APW Week theme.

    I’ve said it before, maybe obliquely, but I’ll say again that I’ve never, NEVER, come across such an across-the-boards intelligent and sane community of people on the internet. The people on APW manage to discuss difficult topics, disagree, and otherwise engage with each other in a way I’ve never seen elsewhere. Pat yourselves on the backs, Team members.

    I’d love to see an APW forum, too. I’ll be making my contribution as soon as my wedding is past and the finances have settled down (12 days to go!). I hope that the contribution button will remain active beyond this week??

    • Liz

      I KNOW, RIGHT?

      i find internet people to be (by and large) moronic.

      how did all us smarties happen to gather in the same place?

      • leahismyname

        I don’t know, but I’m loving it.

  • Katelyn

    Rachel really hit it on the nose for me – APW gives me conviction to know what I want and not feel guilty or bounded by WIC standards.

    When B and I went ring shopping a few weeks ago, I knew what I wanted. And what our budget was. And instead of being ashamed or apologetic for wanting something “different,” APW gave me the confidence to look the salespeople straight in the eye and flatly state my expectations. And they all smiled and helped me find what I wanted.

    Thanks APW :)

  • JEM

    Having drinks and dancing my face off is one of my specialties. Next DC meet up? It’s onnnnnnnn.

    • JEM

      and now the comment I intended to write before I got too excited and hit ‘Submit’ (did someone mention something about intelligent commenters…?)

      I love the fact that APW has brought together groups of bright women all over the WORLD to foster new friendships. And the fact that when we meet up we engage in mentally stimulating conversations, laugh our asses off, and learn new things? Beyond awesome.

  • Adam Adolfo

    “Practicing Practical”. Totally an excellent phrase.

    I’ve been lurking on the site for over a month, reading old posts – recognizing the lack of men commenting – and screaming at the screen occasionally “Oh My Gawd! I do that too!”

    But what’s truly interesting is that “A Practical Wedding” really is about a way of thinking as opposed to wedding/relationship planning.

    I’m totally a convert and check the blog and see what craziness is being discussed and find that it’s just a new way to look at old challenges – and to echo other commenter’s – it changes the way you think about everything else. Which rocks my face off.

    (Yay for my first post!)

    • liz

      yay for boys!

      • ddayporter

        ah! haha you beat me.

    • ddayporter

      :-o a dude! may I be the first one to welcome you and say thank you for de-lurking! :)

      • Adam Adolfo

        Yay, for feeling the love from ‘the sistas’.

        I’m no longer a lurker!

        Lovin at DDAY PORTER & LIZ.

        • What movie is it from: “Let’s hear it for the boys!” (I hope you sang that!) Top Gun, was it?

          Love that your on here Adolfo. I’m trying to get my partner in crime to come take a look-see. I’ve sent him links and I might start sneaking printed out blog posts in his socks. Maybe I’ll wait till we’re married on that one.

          Prolly not.

          • “Footloose”
            let’s give the boy a haa-aa-aaand

        • Alyssa


          I brought this one to the party, ladies. And he’s SO coming to our next meet-up.

  • Aine

    Is there still room for more posts? Because I think you’ll get a lot of them. I went to the NY 2.0 meetup yesterday and…we didn’t quite get to the book. Because we mostly started talking about things said here, on the site instead, and about how we found APW and how great it is (I was lucky- my only married friend came to visit after i got home from the trip when I got engaged, and gave me a copy of Committed and told me to check out apracticalwedding. I am so, so grateful.). And about how nice it is to have this space, of people not just being sane and cool and intelligent, but actively, consciously being so, choosing to be supportive of each other.

    And that is effing awesome.

    • meg

      I’m writing up the book club meetups in a few hours, so send me an email with how it all went down, the new york ladies thoughts, and whatever else you have to say, if you want to be included :)

  • I love this post SO SO SO SO much!! It just makes me happy and what a great way to start off the week. :) Thank you DDay!!

  • Reading this (awesome! oh so awesome!) post made me realize that I do, in fact, remember the first APW post I read: — I mean hello, empowering!

    I’ve been directing folks to APW ever since, starting here: A friend who got engaged last month is probably wondering when I’m going to stop sending her reminders to check it out, already.

    • JT

      I’ve read a LOT of the APW’s archived posts, but somehow I missed that one and I am so happy that I’ve now seen it. LOVED IT. Thanks! :)

    • JEM

      Thanks for relinking! I missed that one, but it totally is spot on with how I feel. I think I can design my OWN wedding quite nicely, thankyouverymuch! *sass*

  • Nini

    Love this post. Love A Practical Wedding.

    I really cannot remember how long I’ve been reading APW. I do, however, remember the first post I ever read and how I found it.

    I was Googling something like, “I sleep on the couch when mad at boyfriend – is this normal?” or “We go to bed angry – is this wrong?” (note: don’t Google things like this… especially at 3 am.. or actually, do, cause it might lead you to APW!)

    A post (which I am far too lazy to actually find at the moment) from APW popped up, and in it Meg said (and I’m paraphrasing), ‘there is nothing wrong with going to bed angry and hell, she sleeps on the couch sometimes too.’

    And I fell in love. Not because Meg sleeps on the couch when she’s mad (obviously I was a fan of the validation of my feelings), but I fell in love because it was step towards my common sense epiphany; Since when did I start letting some random, nonfactual saying become a barometer for normalcy in my relationship?!

    Thanks to APW I learned that sometimes words are just noise you gotta block out. And sometimes people say these things because it what is safe for them, and they want YOU to be safe too. But dammit, sometimes you just have to stop living your life for someone else because it makes THEM feel good, and live your own life – mistakes and all. It’s about trusting your instincts that you really do know what is best and what is relative to your life. Make your choices and own the eff out of them. You know, maybe going to bed angry isn’t what works for couples, I don’t know – I just know that going to bed angry sure as hell works for us. Seriously, once I stopped fretting that by doing it we were doing something ‘wrong’, I was able to see how much it truly did benefit our relationship.

    APW, in a post that really had nothing to actually do with weddings, although I was engaged at the time, was bookmarked that early morning, under the folder labelled “I Need You In My Life”, and returned to daily.

    So thank you A Practical Wedding, and thank you Meg. Now if you’ll excuse me, darlings, I have to go make a donation.

  • msditz

    I feel like we need to all come up with a better way to describe to other people what it is exactly we are reading/becoming a part of. Because so often I find myself saying to people, “So I read this REALLY AWESOME thing on my favorite wedding blog…” and then they roll their eyes and tune out what I am saying. Because, hi, that sounds really lame. But APW is the exact opposite of lame. But it also sounds incredibly forced to say, “So I was reading my favorite life-changing blog the other day…” Thoughts?

    • Tina

      I was going to say this somewhere else, so I’ll add it here. I feel like I used to just say “this blog I read.” Mostly because I am not engaged or planning to be any time soon. It required a lot more explanation to say wedding blog than I was willing to give before I got to the point of my story. Now after being a part of this community for as long as I have. I don’t care. I say it AND I own it! But I do agree with you that if you say, “You have to read this blog, let me send you the link.” You may get a few people who eye roll when they see the wedding part. However, isn’t that part of the point? To reclaim these ideas that all things wedding, bride, and wife aren’t insanity? Reclaiming Wife wouldn’t really fit me either, but I have a feeling Reclaiming Domestic Partnership and Long-term Commitment or Daily Dose of Relationship and Life Sanity just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I’ll read forever and ever no matter what.

  • My first APW posts were the ones on Modern Jewish Wedding Traditions. I’m pretty sure I was reading them after the fact, but I found them fascinating. It was so great to learn about other traditions in such an open way.

    I’ve stopped reading all the wedding blogs I used to read, especially now that we are a year into our marriage. But APW isn’t really about weddings so much as it is about life. I look forward to it every morning.

  • Maggie

    Love this post! I still remember the day I stumbled upon my first APW post and immediately fell in love. I sent the “hard stuff” post to my other 21 year old girlfriends who I knew would tear up and emotionally fill up on the same story I did, and then, out of some new-found bravery, sent it to my boyfriend of 2.5 years and asked him his thoughts. Minimal, at the most. My girl-friends teared up as I did, about this couple’s story and their determination and how admirable they are. My boyfriend, who is still slightly not ready enough (not that I am!) to be at this point, found the story sad and inspiring, but I don’t think it had the same emotional effect as it did on me and my girls. But regardless, this site is wonderful, and full of inspiring and wonderful advice and information. I’ve always dreamed about my wedding and how it will be, and this site is helping give me ideas about how to incorporate loved ones into my future wedding and is inspirational on the hard stuff. My mom died when I was 17 and seeing how others have incorporated moms and dads into ceremonies is so helpful. I am not planning a wedding, and probably won’t be for a few years, but I love love love the ideas and concepts behind this site. Absolutely wonderful, and thank you for being so inspirational to everyone. You all are great <3

    ps–the post, the day before my 21st birthday when I stumbled upon this life-changing site… drea and josh, best of luck to you both <3

  • angela

    i don´t remember the first post i read…but i remember the feeling i had then….and that´s it why i keep reading this blog and why i always try to make time for reading it all straight down to the comments….
    practicing practical and thinking critical are two of the things i try everyday to conquer….
    thanks ladies and also to the boys brave enough to share with us

  • Abby C.

    Yay! Thank you, thank you SO much for this series. I discovered APW right after I met my FH. As in, a few dates into the relationship. I knew right away that our relationship would change alot of the shape of my life, and I was terrified to be in such a place of tradition. APW grounded me, made me sane, made me realize what I was going through was normal. It even helped me to ask the hard questions, both of myself and of my FH.

    A great moment was when, several days after I had tearfully proposed, we were discussing our ideas about a wedding. He said to me, “This may sound odd, but couldn’t we have, I dunno, a practical wedding?” I may have jumped up and ran around the room cheering. Before showing him this blog. Several months later, he’s a regular reader and he’s working his way through my copy of Committed.

  • monicawesome

    I’ve never commented on anything, but I’ve been reading for a while… I just wanted to say how much I love this post. I mean, I love them all, but this one especially right now. Because it really says what I wish I could say about APW… At least once a week this community and it’s lovely, bright people find a way to get me all choked up and sniffly (in a good way!!) and even though I’ve never commented, since day one I’ve felt like this is a place I can go, a safe haven of awesome and understanding. So, thanks. :-)

  • I found APW after reading Offbeat bride for a few months but I was finding myself more drawn to Offbeat Mama even though we weren’t really thinking of having kids right then and there. I realized after reading APW for awhile that I was drawn to the discussion about life rather than the stuff we were picking for the wedding.

  • Class of 1980

    This is a great post. Anything that promotes critical thinking has to be a wonderful thing.

  • Marbella

    Hi APW. My fiance and I have been together over 8 years, and I always imagined a long engagement where we would get to put into action all the ideas I ever had about our wedding. As it turns out, due to various reasons (immigration, money) we are not having the wedding we had always talked about (castle, Ireland, fireworks, all our friends….) As a slight control freak, letting go of those things was hard, and I was finding it tough figuring out everything I needed to know to plan a wedding in 5 months in an unfamiliar country. While at first I was excited by all the wedding porn available in the USA (I’m a Brit, my fiance is Irish, and we just don’t have the level of hysteria apparent here), I quickly began to become engraged over the amount of ‘dos and don’ts’ forced upon brides, and the unwanted opinions everyone seems to proffer about your plans. Even more so, I couldn’t believe all the wedding blogs seemed to contain these insane brides going on about ‘upgrading’ engagement rings, or dumping their bridesmaids if they don’t pay them enough attention. I didn’t realise these people existed. Then I found APW, and realised I wasn’t the only one, and that there actually are people on the interwebs that aren’t completely insane. At first I thought it was a trick, that after I lurked for a while I would come across some back-stabbing or idiocy that would piss me off and I would be done. It has been a couple of months, and it hasn’t happened yet. Thank you APW! I promise to lurk no more.

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