A Practical Wedding: the book!

SO, my friend Meg, author and editor of the brilliant website A Practical Wedding, wrote a wedding planning book. And, you guys? It’s awesome.

When I first started planning weddings five years ago (for friends, I had no idea at the time that I’d one day be doing this professionally) I read pretty much every wedding planning book I could get my hands on that didn’t seem totally insane, because that’s what I do when I want to learn about something – I read. And while I picked up some helpful pieces here and there, there was not a single book that I loved overall.* I wish that this book had been around then.

Now, I didn’t learn anything from this book, but that’s because, well, I now do this professionally (as Meg said when I told her this, “Well, I would be really concerned if you had learned anything from it, and have to start re-thinking whether or not I could recommend you.”) However, if you’re not a professional wedding planner? You will learn things. Good things. Things like how to find an affordable venue, and that it’s OK to sometimes cry during the planning process, and why you should focus on your ceremony, and when and why you need to ask for help.

Also – this book made me cry. And if you know me, I never cry (I do tear up – at weddings, at sappy movies, and at commercials that involve tender parent/child moments and/or deployed loved ones.) I cried because I am just so proud of Meg for writing this book. It’s a wedding planning book that manages to deal with both logistics (important! weddings are full of logistics, and they are often overwhelming) and, probably even more importantly, also deals with the often intense emotional logistics around weddings and marriages. It reminds you that your wedding is not just a big party, it is the start of your marriage.

So go buy it, and buy a copy for your mother, and copies for all of your friends who are getting married. This book is definitely my new go-to engagement party gift. If you are a regular APW reader, rest assured that it’s different than the website. The book walks you through wedding planning from engagement to post-honeymoon, all in a concise, smart, practical way. It pulls from many of the wisest posts on the site, but is in fact an entirely new piece of work that is valuable in an entirely different way to anyone who’s planning a wedding. (Fun fact: while I didn’t actually meet Meg until this year, I was one of APWs earliest readers, and so have read every post ever published on the site. Which, if you’ve just started reading recently, would take you a whole hell of a lot of time to do. Buy the book
instead, and then continue to read the website on a regular basis.)

The wedding industry in America gets a bad rap for a reason – it’s generally full of people and organizations who are trying to get you to buy more, do more, stress more. Couples who are getting married need all the help they can get in getting away from this – it’s insidious, and can trap even the most sane, laid back people into thinking that they have to do things a certain way, because it’s a wedding and it has to be perfect. My favorite line in the book is tied between “There is a whole wedding marketing machine set up to sell you the perfect wedding, but the reality is, things are going to go wrong on your wedding day. That’s fine. It’s great, even.  It’s the imperfections that make the day yours.” and (a quote from a real-life former bride) “I honestly just gave it up to Jesus. I mean, WWJD anyway? He wouldn’t stress about anyone handing out some program fans, I’ll bet you that much.”


*well, I did, and continue to, love One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding, but it’s not a planning book.

note: Meg personally gave me an advance copy of this book to review. Please see here for my policy on accepting things for review.

posted in books, wedding

One Comment

  1. Alyssa G.
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 21:38 | Permalink

    I ordered my copy today and can’t wait to have it here to read!
    Yay APW!

One Trackback

  • By books I’ve read lately – December, 2011 on January 5, 2012 at 15:29

    [...] A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration by Meg Keene. I loved this, you can read my full review here. [...]