Link Love: A Practical Wedding

Something I hate about blog rolls is that you never know why they are there.  What’s the site about? Are they just friends, or is it like Facebook and you add someone just you were added to theirs? Do the bloggers owe the blog rollers’ money? So I plan to try to share the whys of my blog roll with Link Love every week.  Till I run out of blogs that I’ve added. Or get bored with it. One of the two.

And because of that, I was going to do a post about A Practical Wedding, the blog I am a columns editor for.  It’s one of my daily reads, so of course it should be posted about.

But then I realized something.  With the exception of my mom, pretty much all my readers are FROM APW. 

No? 

Okay, how many of you don’t know what WIC, shame blasting or The Kn*t are? 

Show of hands? 

Yup. My mom, my sister-in-law and Jessica. (Hey, y’all!)

On the off-chance that some of you have appeared from other venues, A Practical Wedding could be termed as a blog about having a practical wedding, but it’s more than that. It’s about women, then relationships and then weddings.  It’s about marriage and serious relationships and what that means to us ladies. Is changing your name a big deal? (YES.) How do you reconcile “wife” with who you are as a person? What’s the damn deal with chair covers and do I need them? (NO.)

I write “Ask Team Practical” where people write in and ask questions about life issues, logistics issues, societal issues and family issues.  (OH, the FAMILY issues.  They’re heartbreaking.) But the best part about my column is I write it, give my opinion (within the framework of APW’s core beliefs. Meg says I’m not allowed to just say “EFF THE BASTARDS!!!” I have to be helpful too. See, I earn my paycheck.) and then sit back.  Because it’s after the column is published that the magic really happens.  Out of Meg’s 44,000 readers, those who have experienced the same problem or issue choose to speak up and offer help. There’s lots of “Me too!” comments, but most of them are of the “I feel ya.  Here’s how we did it.” variety.  Or, “I don’t know how to help you, but I sympathize and hope it gets better.” Or, “You are AWESOME and I just needed to tell you that.”

The amazing environment at APW is practically troll-free, which is pretty much unheard of.  But Meg (and to a lessor extent, Lauren and I) rules with a iron-first clad in a kid glove; you respect the reader contributions and you respect each other. End of story. Which some people love, and some hate. But when you own the sandbox, you can smack people for kicking over other kids’ castles.

I can’t remember how I found APW, but what kept me after I was married was the incredible conversations that continued to happen.  Talk about miscarriage, divorce, death, expectations, aspirations and just life in general. So why am I posting about something that y’all all know about? Because I want to know how APW has affected you.* What are your favorite posts?  What are the ones that come to mind when you think of APW? What about the APW book club? Tell me about the friends you’ve made through APW, on and offline.

APW bookmarks 

Image by kristy the coffee girl

*And yes, Meg reads my blog AND I plan on sharing what y’all say in the comments with her anyway.  Everyone needs an ego boost.

18 Comments on “Link Love: A Practical Wedding”

  1. Sarah
    February 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Ooooh, I have the best idea. I’ma write your questions down and take them to the APW DC happy hour we’re doing tonight. LOTS of answers for you when I get home!

    • kindofamess
      February 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      This is why you are my favorite.

      • Sarah
        February 14, 2011 at 10:28 am #

        For the record … they’re coming. I’ve had NO time to sit and compile them since the HH. SOON. Promise.

  2. Heather G
    February 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    APW, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

    1. Life lessons, not just wedding lessons. I am not yet married (or engaged), but I feel so much braver delving into wedding planning. And also, I feel much more brave about the LIFE stuff. For example, since reading APW and processing the comments, I have decided to keep my name. I’ve also decided how I will handle this with the in-laws. See? Wedding and Life.
    2. You said it, Shame Blasting.
    3. Chore Wheel. Well, I don’t know what this is exactly, but these are real life issues were are talking about! Chores! Who does them? How do we divide tasks? How do we talk about it? What if we feel guilty? What if we feel like we do too much?
    4. The Diamond Olympics–something I have quoted repeatedly. I don’t need to be a part of it and that is OK. In fact, I suggested we have an engagement trip instead of any ring. It turns out the future hubby is more traditional than I would’ve guessed. But the point is, I had this conversation because I read about it on APW.
    5. The people. Honestly, such a great collection of smarty-pants and witty women, 5 of which I’ve had the pleasure to meet in person (Hi SLC meet-up!). And also because of this, I have a new word: bewbs. :)

    There are more than five reasons to love APW, but they take more than my lunch break.

    Oh, and keep it coming, Alyssa!

    • kindofamess
      February 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      YES to all this! And the people, they’re so fun! It’s like a giant happy hour all the time.

  3. Kristy
    February 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    APW makes me think. It’s a very open forum that invites and allows discussion of pretty much everything under the sun. And it’s a really great, encouraging community of people. I think that’s my favourite thing. And book club, because (1) I love to read, and (2) Trinity Hall has a great beer selection. I’ve met and “met” a lot of great people from having read the blog for so long.

    • Kristy
      February 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      (Oh, and thanks for the link! :)

      • kindofamess
        February 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

        And you are very welcome! :-) (Y’all BETTER have clicked on that and read her blog!!! Support awesome women, people!!)

    • kindofamess
      February 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      We have so much fun at those, I can’t wait till next month’s!

      I love how Trinity is our go-to place. I’m totally getting shepherd’s pie next time…

  4. irisira
    February 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Let’s see …
    I read a couple of local newspaper blogs pretty regularly – one who frequently writes about weddings, though that’s not the topic, and one who writes about simplifying, who got engaged around the same time I did (and also got married the same weekend – kinda funny). On the second blog, someone pimped Offbeat Bride (that someone is a friend of mine, too). I started reading OBB, and then she linked to Meg’s blog. I can’t remember what she linked to, but I do remember shortly after that, reading about how your wedding is not an imposition, I was totally hooked.

    Shortly before, I found Channamasala’s famous Bridezilla post. These two posts were really important for me. My husband and I had decided on a “mini-destination” wedding (it was about 3 hours away from where we lived, and neither of us were from there, so everyone had to travel), and both that fact and the fact that we decided on a date 8 months from our engagement caused me to catch a lot of heat from my family. (They thought our engagement was too short.) These posts really helped me to put my foot down and speak to them honestly and assertively about things.

    After that, I was totally hooked. :)

  5. Jo
    February 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Oooh this is perfect, I just shared APW twice this week! Today was our first pre-marital counseling session, and at the end our counselor revealed that she’s planning a wedding. I turned to C and said “Should I tell her?!!” and he nodded enthusiastically and I went on to gush about how APW is wonderful community, such smart ladies, and IT WILL SAVE YOUR SANITY. I told her I’ve been reading it for two years, that I love it so much, that we get to read books and look at wedding pron and that there are vendors and blahblahblah. She told me she’d been on the Kn*t and it was ridiculous, but she didn’t say it with enough force–on the ride home C looked at me and said “It may be too late to save her.”

    I laughed so fecking hard!

    APW was what got me back into blogging, because it was smart women with things to say, things that need to be talked about. It was a lifesaver to me when I moved across the country and needed to talk about real things with people, not deal with all the crap of getting to know everyone around me. It helped me again when I moved to live near C, with all of his friends and family. It’s helped us talk about stuff, and it’s helped me think more about myself!

  6. Katie A
    February 10, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    So I’m a quiet APW gal. But a fiercely loyal one. I found Meg and APW through Mighty Girl and her Mighty Summit post…and it has totally been my go-to blog since. I’m in a long-distance long-term relationship and it’s hard (duh). But we’re getting to that ‘next big step’ phase and it’s scary. APW has helped me realize that it’s more than okay to have the hard talks, stand your ground, and ask questions (not only about society and Boyfriend, but about myself and what I really believe). I get some crap for reading a ‘wedding blog’ when I’m not even close to being engaged, but then I get to launch into my ‘It’s SO much MORE than weddings; it’s about LIFE!’ rant. I’m a stronger, smarter (and yes, slightly sassier) gal because of the APW community. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  7. Ms. Bunny
    February 10, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I’ve been reading APW since at least November 2008. Originally it was Meg’s sass that kept me around, and then this amazing community developed. It’s what made me want to start blogging. I’ve made such close friends through APW that it’s kind of amazing. Most of whom I’ve never met, but I figure I will some day. It amazes me that it’s a forum for such smart conversations. Sometimes fun conversations. Sometimes really deep and soul searching conversations. It’s like the best slumber party with your most intelligent and witty girl friends.

  8. Kristy
    February 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    I just remembered how I found APW. I was just starting to do wedding research online and had signed up for the Kn*t (I know, I know – but where else was a clueless gal to go?), and they sent me a newsletter linking to another blog that had a list of the 100 Best Wedding Blogs. APW was on there, and I was pretty much hooked from the beginning. Kind of hilarious, no?

  9. Sharon
    February 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    APW totally revolutionized the way I thought about weddings when I was engaged. (I went from a good girl who’s always done what she was told and would’ve just followed that damn Kn*t checklist til the bitter end because I didn’t know any better to a bride who could articulate why things like marriage equality, bucking certain traditions and keeping others, and not changing my name were important to me.) I stuck around because Team Practical consistently challenges and refreshes my definition of “wife” and “marriage.” I think I’m a better spouse (and maybe a better person because of it).

    Also, meeting incredible people from APW! I was so lonely when we first moved to the Bay Area, and the APW women who reached out to me over the Internet and in real life have been so incredible. I really do count a bunch of them (you) as friends.

  10. Jenny- Adventures Along the Way
    February 14, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I started reading APW late spring/early summer 2009, as I was beginning to plan our fall 2009 wedding. It was nice to read someone who was getting married only shortly before me and hear Meg’s thought process. I think APW had a lot to do with me being able to embrace all the emotions of how the wedding day really felt, even when things didn’t exactly go as I had imagined. So that was an amazing gift. And since then…..APW has only gotten better. And the community! Amazing. I still read it because I feel challenged by the content and community- to think about things in new ways, to not accept “settling” for the life and marriages all the “you’ll see” people promote. APW challenges me to continue working to create the life I dream of…something I never thought a blog could do. :)

  11. Morgan
    February 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I found APW when I was engaged to my last boyfriend – so, early 2008. I stopped reading it when I called off the wedding, late summer. When things started to get really serious with David, uh, early 2009I found it again and read through the entire thing again, starting at the beginning.

    I’ve been married for 11 months now, and yeah, it’s the conversations that keep me hooked. Because where else do you get to talk about this stuff? I mean, occasionally with your best friends, but 3 voices can’t compare with thousands of voices.

  12. Madge
    March 18, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    so i live in the UK and a friend in the States got engaged. i couldn’t be there with physical assistance, so i trawled the internet to make her a wedding scrapbook of advice and pcitures and funny things. i stumbled on APW and fell in love with meg (i actually bought a top becuase it looked similar to the one she wore on her wedding rehearsal. no one in real life knows this. it was a size too big and i had to put in serious sewing hours to get it right and everything) and her sass and the way she owns her sandbox and protects her writers. i have learnt more about weddings and engagements and life than i thought was there to know about. in a way, it makes me terrified that there’s so many things i haven’t thought about, but on the other hand, i am so much better prepared for a whole lot of other things.

    i’ve also learnt a lot about friendship and respect and love from reading the HUNDREDS of comments and it has actively made me a better friend in real life. i want to be one of THOSE people who supports their friends and actively LOVES people.

    meg rocks. the APW is amazing. and Alyssa? you’re hilarious and brilliant.

    i’m going to stop gushing now.

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