A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration

by Meg Keene


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An Insanity-Free Wedding: It Can Happen!

Getting engaged is exhilarating...until it sets in that a wedding costs three times what you thought, and takes five to ten times the effort it reasonably should. And then there are the expectations: from calligraphy invitations to satin chair-covers, all those things that Must Be Done or everyone will be Horribly Offended. Or will they've

A Practical Wedding helps you create the wedding you want-without going broke or crazy in the process. After all, what really matters on your wedding day, what you'll remember 'til you're old and gray, is not so much how it looked as how it felt. In this refreshing guide, expert Meg Keene shares her secrets to planning a beautiful celebration that reflects your taste and your relationship. You'll discover:

  • The real purpose of engagement (hint: it's not just about the planning)
  • How to pinpoint what matters most to you and your partner
  • DIY-ing your wedding: brilliant or crazy?
  • Affording a wedding without having to cut your guest list
  • How to communicate decisions with your family
  • Why that color-coded spreadsheet is actually worth it
Wedding Zen can be yours. Meg walks you through everything from choosing a venue to writing vows, complete with stories and advice from women who have been in the trenches, the Team Practical brides. So here's to the joyful wedding, the sensible wedding, the unbelievably fun wedding! A Practical Wedding is your complete guide to getting married with grace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738215150
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 12/27/2011
Edition description: Original
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 166,214
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Meg Keene is the creator of APracticalWedding.com, the ultimate wedding planning website for independent-minded brides. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, Glamour, Chicago Tribune, Feministing.com, and more. She lives with her family in Oakland, California.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Getting married with grace, joy, and even fun without breaking the bank is what Meg Keene offers the marrying couple with this handy guide book. It's small and short enough to read in one sitting as well as filled with myriad details to refer to when you're ready to plan the various aspects of your upcoming wedding.”

Library Journal, 12/23/11
“Keene’s wedding planning guide is a fresh, sane voice in a field of guides pushing big budget weddings…Keene’s book stands out as she empowers brides to find the elements of wedding planning that are meaningful to them and to let go of the rest without regrets or apology. Verdict: Recommended and required reading for all newly engaged couples. Public libraries would be wise to include this practical guide in their collections.” ElissaRPhotography.com, 12/22/11“This book will be a touchstone of sanity. When you get derailed by something judgmental your Aunt Muriel said, or you feel inadequate because your wedding doesn’t look like something perfectly styled on the pages of a magazine or wedding blog, and you start to reevaluate and question your choices, this book will set you back on the path to stability and reason.”
PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, 1/10/12
“Every bride could learn something—and cut her stress level—just by reading it.”
“Fun to read (she’s got such an approachable tone, very entertaining, just like her blog) and really informative as well.”
QuirkyGirlsRead.com, 1/9/12
“A fantastically fun, humorous, and SANE book for any woman navigating the trying waters of wedding planning.” BookPage (“top pick”), February 2012 “Expect a big-hearted, broad-minded, super smart low-down on the indispensable practicalities of getting married.”
 Portland Book Review, March/April Issue
“Keene offers couples of all faiths, ages, budgets and sexual orientation a wise and well-written hands-on guide for navigating the complexities of etiquette and cultural expectation. (Five Stars)”


Wellesley Free Library Staff Picks (blog), 3/30/12 “If you have a wedding coming up or know someone who does, treat them to this title. It will be one of the best presents they receive!”


Savannah Morning News, 4/18
“This book gives you dozens and dozens if ideas for having a beautiful, uniquely special day without compromising your dream, your plans, or your wallets. Bonus: your guests will never forget your anniversary if you utilize some of the ideas in this book.”

Customer Reviews

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Practical Wedding 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Newly engaged as of three weeks ago, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my pre-order of this book. I stumbled upon the APW website shortly after starting my online search for wedding info and I am so very grateful. The book and the website reflect what I am looking for out of our wedding; love, fun and a way to celebrate forming a new family with our dearest loved ones. The author cuts through the wedding b.s. that is so dominant in current U.S. culture and helps guide you to figure out what you really want. I read it all in less than a day. Between my partner and I we are down to one living parent and I really appreciated the sections that discussed how loss and grief can be acknowledged at a wedding. I will be utilizing this book at every point in my planning.
MsBunny10 More than 1 year ago
This book breaks down wedding planning in a totally sane and supportive way. It talks you through planning a marriage, a ceremony that reflects your love, and a kickass party. Seriously, this book will build you up and make you feel like your choices are the right ones, instead of tearing you down and making you feel like you are doing it wrong (like most other wedding books, magazines, and blogs).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished A Practical Wedding, and as a newly engaged, just starting-out couple, trying to fund our own, unique wedding I found this book extremely helpful!  I loved her straight forward, down to earth advice on how to make this special day our own.  She offers great advice on how to make choices that reflect your personal beliefs and values, and affirms the reader in these choices.  I love her "coloring outside the lines" approach, and I am so much more excited to begin wedding planning with my partner!  
KDespres More than 1 year ago
I'm only half way done with A Practical Wedding, and I can honestly say it has eased my (considerable) nerves around this whole wedding planning thing. I'd recommend this to any bride interested in keeping sane and their eye on the prize (getting married, duh) during the planning process.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of two books I bought to help me plan a wedding.  A Practical Wedding was the least helpful.  This book is not a wedding step by step planner (which I knew), nor is it a book that will guide you thru the decision making processes involved when planning a wedding.  Most of contents of the book is common sense even to the person who has never been married.  Example:  The author states how friends/family will give you ideas about how to plan your wedding.  Her answer to resolving these problems is to discuss the issue with these people.  When deciding on a traditional wedding or a contemporary wedding, the author states the decision rests with the couple getting married.  Well, duh!  The book does not offer any advice on what to look for in wedding vendors. It does not offer you a timeline when planning a wedding.  It did suggest making a timesheet which was something we were going to do anyway.  Of the 231 pages of "information" the only thing I got out of it was a suggestion about how to write our own vows. This book might be good for a person who is in a serious relationship and just wants to get some very basic info about weddings.  It's not a book for someone who is engaged to be married and needs ideas/suggestions on planning the wedding. 
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
This is not a step-by-step how to on planning your wedding. This is how not do go insane while planning your wedding. Meg's book encompasses the entire journey - from engagement to post-wedding. She gives you tips and advice on how to stay sane and keep everything in perspective. To be honest, I didn't read every section. The reason for these skipped sections is either because I'm beyond that point in my planning (venue picking, budget, vendors) or that it did not apply to me (DIY wedding). However, I did scan these sections and they seemed to be just as helpful/informative as any other section I read. Had I not been as far into planning as I am and had found this book a few months ago, I would have read each and every section. An aspect I found to be very cute when when Meg included stories, snippets, or quotes from other married couples in relation to each chapter. Having been married herself, Meg is well aware of the stress wedding planning can bring on, but to hear specifically from other brides regarding DIY, family drama, budget, tradition or the like is a nice touch. She also includes a list of resources you can use along with books she consulted in her research in case you want additional readings to ensure your sanity. While I enjoyed every section, I really liked the section on traditional. She debunks a lot of things people see as traditional when they've really only been around since the 1920s! White dresses, elaborate parities, church weddings - all those things came about in the time. Also, did you know the unity candle was "invented" in the 1970s for a soap opera!? If you are recently engaged or know somebody who is, this is the perfect book to read. Meg does an amazing job of putting things into perspective so that your wedding day will "be the happiest day of your life so far" (204).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I felt like it was a truthful outlook on what weddings are really like. It made me feel like it was okay to not follow every "tradition" out there. I could not put it down, and I would recommend reading it if you are getting married!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish this book had been around when I got engaged. I set aside every other wedding book I bought (you know the ones) because they all fell into the wedding hysteria complex, which I couldn't handle. Meg tells it like it is, and I can't wait for my next friend to get engaged so I can pass this book on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago