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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?

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

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 2nd ed. edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738215155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738215150
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

the best wedding planning book I’ve read

232 people found this helpful.
 on December 11, 2011
By Elizabeth Clayton
I’m a professional wedding planner. 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.

The new wedding-planning bible for the sane bride

66 people found this helpful.
 on December 18, 2011
By knobbyreads
I’ve been reading A Practical Wedding, the blog, since my engagement in early 2009. I’m not sure how I stumbled across it, but somehow, in my search of wedding blogs to consume my time and give me ideas on my own wedding planning, I found Meg as she was planning her wedding, and was struck by her wisdom. This was a woman who had her head screwed on straight: a woman who understood that it’s about the commitment, not the décor; it’s about the people, not the “pretty.”

It’s like having a wedding therapist in my pocket for every …

2 people found this helpful.
 on March 13, 2017
By Cara
It’s like having a wedding therapist in my pocket for every phase of wedding planning! (I’m making up the term ‘wedding therapist’ but realistically it should probably be a thing) Meg’s advice is sensible, funny, and oh-so-spot-on. Her smart observations about the wedding industry, familial expectations, and the ups and downs of wedding planning are such a breath of fresh air, and she does a great job gently reminding the reader within each chapter about what’s really important when planning a wedding (here’s a hint, it’s agreeing to spend the rest of your life with another human) without being overbearing or self-righteous. Reading this book was a huge relief (because wedding planning can make even the most down-to-earth couple feel like crazy people), and it has already helped us make faster, more confident decisions about our upcoming day. I *highly* recommend this book to any bride or groom (or overly-involved mother, or pushy best friend, or strangely nosy co-worker) who is not sure where to start with the wedding process.

Buy it!

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 6, 2016
By Kaylee
As a generally anxious and stressed person, I knew wedding planning would be a test of my abilities to withstand stress. This book was very helpful in calming that stress and helping me realize that I am not the only one feeling that way, and also giving ideas on how to move pass that stress, without spending extra money to do it. I’m an extremely price conscious person, so I appreciated this book’s ability to spell out exactly what people were getting for their money. I also greatly appreciate the fact that the book covers most angles of everything. For example, my issues are not the same as the next bride, but she covers ways to solve each problem, as well as everything in between. I may have gotten made fun of for buying a book to tell me how to plan my wedding, but the stress relief it provided is worth the mockery from a few coworkers here and there.

Wedding bells in your future? Start HERE!

One person found this helpful.
 on August 19, 2016
This book was the foundation of all my wedding planning (I discovered it and ordered it 4 days post-engagement!) and helped me to create a wedding that perfectly suited my husband and me without losing my sanity in the process 🙂 The author has great advice for today’s bride from the budget to the getaway car and everything in between (starting with ‘what *really* is a traditional wedding anyhow?’ and the tough stuff like discussing with others why you are or aren’t choosing certain things for your big day without causing offense or hurt feelings). Anyone looking to plan a wedding that is very personal and true to you and your intended, this is the book for you!

Perfect Book for the Newly Engaged

4 people found this helpful.
 on March 19, 2014
By Beauty but a Funny Girl
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.

Must-Have Planning Guide

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 25, 2017
By Lindsay
Excellent ideas for being frugal in wedding planning in ways that won’t affect the enjoyment of your guests! I find myself continually going back to this book throughout the planning process whenever different areas of spending come up. Really has helped keep me sane!

I felt like Meg Keene was speaking directly to me

One person found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2015
By Cheryl Nelson
I’m a bride who wants to avoid the nuttiness and materialistic nature of the current wedding industry as much as possible, so much in fact that I’m reluctant to even use the word “bride” to describe myself. I felt like Meg Keene was speaking directly to me. She keeps it real. (I should add that she lives in San Francisco, and I once met her briefly in person, and she’s even funnier and sassier than I imagined.)

APW-Thank you!

One person found this helpful.
 on July 20, 2016
By Amazon Customer
My partner and I hit a major challenge just weeks after getting engaged: she wanted a romantic wedding with all our loved ones present and I wanted to elope. There is really no compromise between something and nothing. Luckily, a mutual friend (thanks, Carissa!) recommended all sources of APW and I gulped the Koop aid! It’s a super easy read that you can pick away at and refer back to as needed, plus all of the tools that are available online. I’m both happy and relieved to say that we have found the feeling for our wedding and are in the midst of sealing the deal for something that we are both comfortable with–and excited about!

Yes, You CAN Have A Beautiful Wedding Without Emptying Your Wallet

One person found this helpful.
 on August 25, 2014
By J. McDaniel
I adored Meg’s advice in this book – every time I thought she couldn’t teach me anything more, she surprised me and taught me a little more! You CAN have a beautiful, affordable, and most of all MEANINGFUL day starting your new life with your husband & all your friends and family without killing yourself – or emptying your savings account.