Back when I was just a wee babe planning my wedding, I used to wake up every morning and navigate my way over to APW (on my fancy new touchscreen cell phone, ooh la la). I’d read the articles, and then spend the better part of the day at my desk job hunkered down in the comments. When Twitter was born, I made friends with a group of APW readers over there (one of whom is now my work cohort at APW, you may know her as Keriann). And every once in a while, I’d send an email to Meg detailing the absurdity of wedding planning, pretending that I knew her. I didn’t. But she very kindly almost always answered. When I moved from the East Coast to West, the only people I knew in California were “internet friends” and wedding professionals I’d met as an advertiser for this website. And look where we are now. Turns out internet wedding planning friends are real friends after all.
It’s hard making non-work friends as an adult, y’all. And it’s isolating to plan a wedding. Combine those two truths and you’ve got a recipe for angst and loneliness. But for me, APW basically stepped in and filled the void. It gave me the thing I’d been craving so desperately since I’d graduated college: community. After nearly a decade, I watched that community come together in real life at The Compact Summer Camp, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. So when I got back, I resolved to create more of it.
So that’s what we’re doing today. Introducing The After Party, a community just for APW readers in the depths of wedding planning, where you can meet other smart feminists and talk about… everything. We’ll have dedicated discussion threads, group hangouts, live video Q&A sessions, and that’s just to get started. Basically, if the comments section of APW had a baby with Facebook’s better looking, less creepy younger sister, this is what you’d get. Here’s what we’re hoping to do over there:
What HAPPENS AT THE APW AFTER PARTY
Our goal for this community is to create a space where all your wedding planning questions can be answered, and you don’t have to wait for us to publish a post about it. Not sure what readings to pick for your wedding ceremony? Put a call out to the group. Want to connect with someone planning a wedding in the same town as you so you can share decor? You can do that. Want an opportunity to talk to us personally about the trials and tribulations of wedding planning? There’s that too. We’re launching small scale in beta to start, but as we grow, we’re also hoping to bring in professionals and vendors alike so you can have direct access to members of the wedding industry and all the information stored in their brains. (Think: a live video version of an Ask Me Anything.) Here are some of the perks we’ll be rolling out with our beta launch:
- Regular live video chats with members of the APW staff, where we’ll answer your burning questions in person. Not sure what to do about your brother’s meltdown over your venue choice? Want tips on booking vendors? Need a virtual hug? No ask is too small.
- One of our goals is to facilitate connections that can be taken offline. So our community allows you to connect you with other people in your geography. And nothing says instant BFF more than finding a friend to share DIY duties with, trade vendor recommendations, or split a chair rental.
- You’ll see exclusive content and conversations you won’t find on the APW site. Want to strike up a discussion around emotional labor based on an article you saw on APW earlier that week? The After Party is where it’s at.
HOW IT WORKS
The APW After Party is powered by Mighty Networks, a new kind of community platform that makes it super easy (thanks algorithms!) to keep track of what’s going on (instead of conversations getting lost in a giant feed) and automatically connect with other members who share similar interests or are located near you. Plus, since it lives outside the distractions and noise of other social platforms, it’s a private space to focus on wedding planning and hang out with your favorite APW people (instead of getting sidetracked by your third cousin’s political leanings). Plus, it’s private. So you can spill your guts out of sight of the whole internet.
We need your help creating the wedding planning community you need, so all founding members who sign up this week get a free month’s trial to test it out—and a special monthly rate of $14.99 ever after. (Even if prices go up in the future).
We hope that for the price of a fancy cocktail, you’ll come away with a priceless amount of insider knowledge and, more importantly, new friends to have a cocktail with. And we’re upping the ante one more too. The first hundred people who sign up will automatically be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Minted gift credit.
So if you wait every week for Happy Hour, then The After Party is probably the thing you’ve been waiting for. I mean, I helped four of my nearest and dearest plan weddings last year, and I know that it takes more than what we’ve got in our archives to see you through. Now go sign up. I’m already waiting.
P.S. You might have noted that we said The After Party is for APW folks planning their wedding, and it is. So what if you’re not planning a wedding, but are really into the smart women that hang around here? In that case, hold your horses (just a tiny bit). We’ll be launching a community for The Compact very soon, and we are VERY excited.