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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

251 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.

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

5 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.

The new wedding-planning bible for the sane bride

68 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.”

Really good book. A lot of it is just common …

One person found this helpful.
 on November 16, 2017
By NoName
Really good book. A lot of it is just common sense – but honestly, you NEED common sense when you’re wedding planning. You need a voice of reason to cut through all the BS that you hear from every vendor/family member/website/magazine/Pinterest board. It is a calm, logical voice

Perfect Book for the Newly Engaged

5 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.

A good place to start when you’ve just gotten engaged.

3 people found this helpful.
 on October 3, 2016
By Amazon Customer
As a newly engaged man, I am glad I took the time to read this book. It helps to simplify the wedding planning process and has a reassuring tone that is an excellent balm from the frantic tone of the wedding industry. It did not bother me that the expected audience for the book is clearly women, with references to your future husband, your bridesmaids, etc.

and loved the variety and sources of information on wedding planning

One person found this helpful.
 on June 9, 2016
By Dani
I stumbled on the website A Practical Wedding, and loved the variety and sources of information on wedding planning. Especially the user submitted “How We Did It” essays. I didn’t know if I’d want the book with so much available for free, but I gave it a shot due to the extolling of others. The book was an easy read, and boiled down the information (which is nice if you get sucked into clicking link after link reading similar articles.) It wasn’t so much about the nitty gritty of planning, but getting into the right frame of mind to empower the couple to do what they actually want and to not sweat the results. If you want actually How-To information, their blog is a wealth of articles and tutorials.

I really needed this book!

 on February 13, 2014
By Sara G
This book was just what I needed right now. I’ve been engaged for about a month, and felt like I was getting nowhere with the wedding planning — which was bad because we wanted to get married in August this year, only 7 months away. I had so many ideas jumbled in my head, mostly from the myriad of blogs, magazines, and tv shows I’ve seen over the years. Then I started working on a budget and nearly had a meltdown when I realized how much things cost in my very expensive area of the country (Seattle). I didn’t know what my wedding priorities were, or what I wanted to pay for, or what kind of wedding I wanted to have other than a vague idea of “I want people to have fun, and I want to get married.”

The Wedding Planning Bible!

 on November 21, 2016
By Rachel
I’m enjoying the book so far. The chapter about remembering how the day feels and not how it looks really stuck with me. I made a list with my fiancé and we each wrote what we care most about, and I centered our wedding around those things. Saving us a lot of money to not buy into commercialism and “must-have’s” for weddings that really are not must haves. I highly recommend for any bride. Wish I had read this before we bought our venue- would’ve done a backyard wedding like she suggested. Perfect for any un-organized “winging it” bride. 🙂

Meaningful, Affirmative – A Must-Read!

One person found this helpful.
 on December 21, 2011
By Moira Katson
I was so sure I could beat that $28,000 average wedding cost with ease. Then, somehow, after looking at beautiful photos and reading informative budget blogs, I found myself Googling things like, “Is it okay not to have an open bar at your wedding?” and, “Is it okay not to have bridesmaids wear matching dresses?” I was stressed, I was anxious, and I was most certainly not finding the answers I was looking for.