SAN FRANCISCO, CA, November 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A Practical Wedding, a forward-thinking, laid-back feminist wedding blog reinvents itself as an online magazine today with a fully redesigned website. Launched in 2008, A Practical Wedding has long been devoted to inspiring intelligent engaged and married women with its in-depth stories and inspiring photos from real weddings, from full-blown community affairs to meaningful courthouse nuptials, romantic elopements, convivial backyard ceremonies and more. Founder and editor-in-chief Meg Keene started the magazine on the premise that feminists want to get married, too, but they aren't always interested in what the glossy mainstream media is selling, such as a bride always marries a groom (some marry other brides), a bride always wears a puffy white wedding gown (some brides wear pants) and a bride must take her husband's name (understandably, Keene and her editorial team have much to say on this topic).
A Practical Wedding is the destination for smart women discussing everything to do with relationships, not just planning the wedding day. But that's how this rockin' feminist site was born: planning a practical wedding that doesn't make you lose your mind, your morality, your money, or your (pending) marriage. APW has grown immensely since its inception 5-and-half years ago, and the thousands of pages of inspiration, wisdom, real weddings and resources have — until now — been buried under a blog-like navigation system. Keene and her stalwart team have implemented a complete redesign of the website, and in this, have grown their blog-like community to a full-fledged online magazine with hordes of real weddings in courthouses, backyards, restaurants, churches and the like. Readers may now get happily lost in browsing, clicking and commenting on the wedding features, along with smartly written essays on relevant and interesting topics ranging from not ever making it to the altar, to change or not change your name, combining finances, equality in marriage, marriage equality, making decisions as a couple, retaining your identity, children changing everything (or not), and Keene's brilliant side section: Reclaiming Wife, which explores a woman's "role" in marriage, life and society at large in a "critical theorist meets best friend let's discuss this over wine" kind of way that envelops her readers in an "I understand you" format. With the newly minted layout, readers new and old will be able to expertly navigate nearly six years of articles, as well as join the conversations, suggest new threads and be welcomed into the folds of the heartfelt, supportive community that Keene and her team have built.
THE NEW HOME FOR A PRACTICAL WEDDING
Designed and developed by Cooper House, A Practical Wedding's new online home is as colorful and fun as a Kate Spade Christmas ad and as inviting as a bustling, aromatic coffeehouse with an open seat always reserved for you. What's new on apracticalwedding.com: the snazzy new color palette of a bright blue, a pretty pink and a glitz of metallic gold; thin, delicate typography; and navigation and organization with a search function so far-reaching that even Amelia Earhart could plan her own kickass feminist wedding. What's staying put from the old site (awash in a lovely shade of lilac with elements of lace and chalk scribbling) is crowd-sourced award-worthy writing from Keene, her mighty team and the fierce community of readers, all chiming in to create a purposeful blend of wedding realism and wedding prettiness of 2,820 articles and growing. The site's main components of Real Weddings, How To (simple ways to make your wedding your own), Tool Kit (veteran lessons and (sane) pro advice on everything from budget spreadsheets with free downloads to shopping roundups and music playlists), Planning Essays (testimonials from women who've done this wedding planning thing and survived) and Marriage & More (the subsection of APW for lengthy discussions on marriage). Also staying the course are APW's bevy of sponsors, wedding vendors and advertisers who have taken the magazine's sanity pledge, which includes respecting all couples, no matter their sexual orientation, promising not to charge an insane amount just because the party happens to be a wedding reception, and agreeing that "Weddings come in all different shapes/sizes/colors/budgets/etc., but as long as you two end up married to each other, it will have been a successful wedding."
"Wedding trends come and go, which means that most of the information featured on popular wedding websites becomes irrelevant before it's even had a chance to sink in," says Keene. "But the stories featured on APW never go out of style, because they're about the parts of wedding planning that really matter, like navigating complicated family relationships and staying true to yourself while planning a wedding (without going into debt.) Our new navigation and information display allows users to easily find content that speaks to the exact situation they might be facing at this very moment, from someone who's lived it. With our archives displayed in a new user-friendly calendar-format (with the option to display in list or thumbnail format), readers can scroll through the robust history of APW's content to find everything from how to self-DJ your wedding with an iPod to how to plan a wedding with divorced parents and everything in between. For new users, our Pre-Engaged, Engaged, and Married pages introduce readers to the basic philosophies of APW and direct them to some of the most helpful articles we've ever published (because posts on how to merge finances never go out of style, right?) We used to joke that APW's tagline was 'The best content you can't find.' We consider that problem solved. Now we've just got some of the best content on weddings, marriage and life that you'll come across online, all contained within the supportive online community that you've been looking for."
Team Practical continues to publish new articles daily with a unifying theme each month, such as family, feminism and friendship. "This hybrid format merges the best of what blogs provide — new daily content rich in storytelling and visual appeal — and what magazines provide — regular features organized under a cohesive monthly theme," explains Keene.
1,000 BRIDES IN PANTS
Especially exciting with the re-launch of apracticalwedding.com is Keene's newest brainchild: 1,000 Brides in Pants. "1,000 Brides in Pants was born of a bit of a verbal barroom brawl," says Keene. She was discussing APW's mission of promoting feminist weddings over some whisky, and a friend asked, "How can feminist weddings even be a thing, if women don't feel like they can wear pants on their wedding days?" Challenge accepted, and 1,000 Brides in Pants was born. "One of the early feminist fights was getting women the right to wear pants," says Keene. "As hard fought as that right was, most of us don't think about when we pull on our jeans in the morning. On our wedding day, however, different rules apply. Outside of the queer community, very few women even consider pants to be an option when getting hitched. You may not own a single skirt, but when it comes to shopping for your wedding outfit, the only acceptable option seems to be a dress."
To celebrate the re-launch of A Practical Wedding, Meg Keene and her team of editors have launched the 1,000 Brides in Pants project. They aim to collect inspiration to prove that you can wear a (hot as hell) pants ensemble, and still feel as bridal as you wanna. They'll be sharing photos of women who wore pants to their weddings, along with information about that First Wave Feminist fight to give us sartorial options. The goal is not to convince women that they should wear pants to get hitched (because we all still love a good dress), but to start a conversation about why we feel like our wedding options are limited to dresses. Beyond that, we hope to discuss the basic rights that the feminist movement has gotten us, and where we can go next.
Quick social media links:
Hi-res images of Meg Keene, copies of A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, artwork and website screenshots are available upon request.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
MORE ABOUT MEG KEENE
A pioneer in the wedding space as a poignant feminist writer and sought-after speaker, Meg Keene is the founder and editor in chief of A Practical Wedding and apracticalwedding.com. Her bestselling first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, (January 2012, Da Capo Press/Lifelong Books) remains one of the top three wedding planning books in the country. Keene has her BFA in drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.
# # #