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Meg Keene


A Diva is the female version of a hustler

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Meg Keene


A Diva is the female version of a hustler

About Meg

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I'm Meg Keene. I'm a publisher, author, essayist and proud #GirlBoss. I founded the website A Practical Wedding in 2008, and in the past seven years have turned a love of glitter and feminism into one of the fastest growing wedding brands in the country. Since it's start, APW has helped more than ten million couples plan their weddings, and has an audience of well over half a million readers each month. My first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, is a continuous wedding bestseller. The follow up, A Practical Wedding Planner: Planning The Wedding You Want With The Budget You've Got (Without Losing Your Mind In The Process) hits the shelves in December of 2015.

Because of my dyslexia, I assumed I'd never have a shot at becoming an editor, so I'm extra proud to spend much of my time these days editing the work of whip smart women writers. My own writing (of the non-book variety) spans personal essays about motherhood, feminism, entrepreneurship, and how I need to get off Pinterest already. If you'd like me to write for you about something that's not weddings (because my plate is a little full on that front), drop me a note STAT. My work has been referenced by publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. It's also showed up on sites like Jezebel, Feministing, Refinery 29, and The Hairpin.

As an ex-theatre professional, public speaking and teaching is in my blood. If you'd like me to speak or teach on topics such as: being a woman and an entrepreneur, or exactly what's wrong with the wedding industry, or how to build a publishing business in an evolving media landscape, get in touch, like, yesterday. I also do lots of interviews about how the wedding industry is (hopefully) changing, and I'd love to chat with you about it for your article.

I grew up in a part of California known as the Inland Empire, that will always be home. I did almost a decade of time in and around Brooklyn. I now reside in Oakland, California with my husband and son.

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Publisher, A Practical Wedding (Website)


Wedding planning, minus the insanity, plus the marriage.

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Publisher, A Practical Wedding (Website)


Wedding planning, minus the insanity, plus the marriage.

[A Practical Wedding] offers almost-engaged girlfriends, brides-to-be, and new wives something like what Sassy magazine, in its early-90s heyday, offered pre-teen girls terrified by Seventeen: a space where messy reality is normalized and confronted. Most of the site is devoted to real-world wedding stories, with budget advice and how-to’s included…. But the most striking posts delve into complicated and touchy issues like coping with toxic family relationships, planning second weddings, dealing with infertility—all things that are routinely airbrushed out of the glossier wedding media.
— Tablet Mag
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Author, A Practical Wedding (Book)


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Author, A Practical Wedding (Book)


Expect a big-hearted, broad-minded, super-smart low-down on the indispensable practicalities of getting married. Keene helps readers define expectations (your own and others’, as well as those of popular culture at large) and craft an individualized plan to achieve the authentic ones. Keene outlines options for how to prioritize, hack just about anything, shop smart and ask for help, and brings in pithy insights from experienced brides.
— Book Page (Top Pick, Lifestyles)
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.
— Library Journal, 12/23/11
It’s like having a very cool older sister who went through all this already to help guide you on what is and what isn’t important. It doesn’t look down on weddings in general, and it doesn’t discount expensive weddings but also helps you create a rocking smaller affair. The book is written with humor, grace and perspective and never stops feeling like she is talking right to you. If you or someone you know is getting married soon I cannot tell you enough how much you need this book. And get one for the moms involved too. And the bridesmaids. Oh heck, let’s just say all of the wedding party and everybody attending should read it too.
— Not Martha
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)
— Portland Book Review
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Essayist


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Essayist


Featured Essay

Moving (Forward)

This Saturday, I stood alone in our empty apartment. The movers and my husband had gone downstairs, and it was just me, the sunlight, and the dust. I stood in the apartment that was where we’d moved in together the first time (after moving across the country with everything we owned, combined for the first time, in a Ryder truck), where we’d come home the afternoon after getting engaged, where we’d woken up the day after our wedding. It was the apartment where we’d struggled with soul-sucking employment, law school, with unemployment, and where I’d written my first book. Echoing through my head was Edna St. Vincent Millay’s line, “… but the rain/ Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh/ Upon the glass and listen for reply.”

The ghosts coming out of those walls were painful, in a sometimes-you-don’t-realize-how-hard-it-was-till-it’s-over way.

Read the full article...

 

Highlights From A Practical Wedding

Huffington Post
Chores and Marriage: Get Cleaner, Happier, Sexier 
March 7, 2012

Huffington Post
Your Bridesmaids Are Not Accessories, And Other Truths 
March 7, 2012

Etsy.com
The Stuff
January 30, 2012

BRIDES Magazine
Blog Star: 12 things you won’t miss
October 2011

Offbeat Bride by Ariel Meadow Stallings
Let’s Get Practical: Budgets
Seal Press, Second Edition, 2010

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Editor


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Editor


Photo by Corey Torpie

Photo by Corey Torpie

My Life Is Good*

Despite the ubiquity of the Like button, the dominant culture of most major blogs and websites is overwhelmingly negative. They (we?) find a way to hate pretty much anything. In fact, finding people who hate the same things you do is often what makes the internet so amazing. The hot app at SXSW this year? Hater, an app that is all about the thumbs down button. While the founder claims it’s just a place to vent and to be authentic about the things you don’t like, I’m not sure why he thinks we need a separate app for that. It’s happening on every major social network already. Read the full article...

Photo by Rachel Miller

Photo by Rachel Miller

Feminism And The "New Domesticity"

The domestic arts are hot right now, or so the trend section of every major media outlet would have you believe. There have been numerous articles in the past year about young women’s newfound desire to take part in traditionally feminine activities like baking, gardening, and sewing. The authors’ discomfort with the idea of rich white women spending time in the kitchen or at home with their children is palpable; each article has a tone of skepticism at best, and clear disgust at worst. Pinterest is always mentioned, as are the subjects’ tattoos. The articles always suggest (either subtly or outright) that these activities and the women who enjoy them are anti-feminist. Read the full article...

Photo by Simone Gutkind, Archive Photo

Photo by Simone Gutkind, Archive Photo

Photo by Kelly Benvenuto

Photo by Kelly Benvenuto

Do We Want Kids?

Before we moved, the toddler in the apartment next door cried a lot. Screamed, actually. From what I could hear through the wall, she wanted her daddy so bad that she was willing to burn through her entire range of emotions until her mom made it happen. I also learned that her mom’s preferred method of dealing with these tantrums was to raise her voice and yell SHUT! UP!  I tried not to judge her parenting, but it was hard to hear a disembodied voice shouting at a little girl, even if I, too, desperately wished that she would stop crying. Read the full article...

Starting A New Adventure, Inching Toward a Dream

... the same quote that resonated with her stayed with me, too: “Figure out the life you want, and run hard at it.” But not, I don’t think, for the same reasons. For me, it was because my approach to dreams has been a little different. Like so: “Hazily articulate your goals and dreams, put them in a little box that you keep close by, tiptoe around it every once in a while, and as the weeks go by, peek under the lid a few times but not so much that you scare yourself off.” Catchy! Read the full article...

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Speaker and Teacher


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Speaker and Teacher


Photo by Christina Richards, top image by Calin + Bisous

Photo by Christina Richards, top image by Calin + Bisous

TEACHING

Pitching To Brands
Alt Summit
June 2014

Making Money In a Changing Media Landscape
Alt For Everyone
May 2014

Business in a New Media
Alt Summit
January 2014

The Business of Blogging
Alt Summit
June 2013

The Art of the Hustle
Mom 2.0
May 2013

Creating A Powerful Media Kit
Alt Summit
January 2013

Creating An Independent Advertising Network
Alt Summit
January 2012

Building An Engaged Community
Alt Summit
January 2011

RADIO

Career Coach Caroline, CBS Radio
Coach Me
July 24, 2012

The Kojo Show, WAMU, Washington DC
One Fine Day: Wedding Planning
July 12, 2012

Forum, KQED, San Francisco
Weddings: Ecstasy and Agony
June 15, 2012

Morning Living, Martha Stewart Radio
January 27, 2012

Talk of The Nation, NPR
Planning Your Insanity Free, ‘Practical Wedding’
January 26, 2012

The Emily Rooney Show, WGHB, Boston
Weddings. Minus The Insanity. Plus The Marriage.
January 25, 2012

 

NATIONAL BOOK TOUR

Sponsored by Amtrak

Vromans, Pasadena CA
February 12, 2012

BookWoman, Austin TX
February 7, 2012

Young Blood Gallery, Atlanta
February 2, 2012

Barnes & Noble, Park Slope Brooklyn
January 28, 2012

Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 25, 2012

Japoix, Denver, CO
January 22, 2012

Green Apple Books, San Francisco CA
January 12, 2012

 

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Press


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Press


 

The Daily Mail
Creative couple has a team of puppets officiate their wedding
May 29, 2015

The AP
DIY Wedding Playlist? Doable, But Demanding
May 5, 2015

The New York Times
A Gift? Bring A Dish (With Some Food In It)
September 26, 2014

Jezebel
Is Wedding Drunk America Ready for Rented Bridal Gowns?
July 29, 2014

New York Post
Would you rent your wedding dress?
July 29, 2014

Salon
“We’d bring up painful memories” to make brides cry: Exposing the brutal world of wedding reality shows
July 24, 2014

Time Magazine / Money
Say Yes To A Cheaper Wedding Dress
June 27, 2014

Time Magazine / Money
Wine And Dine Your Wedding Guests For Less
June 26, 2014

Time Magazine / Money
8 Ways To Throw A Memorable Wedding For Less
June 25, 2014

Jezebel
Being A Bridesmaid Is Driving Me To The Brink Of Bankruptcy
June 24, 2014

The New York Times
The Rebirth of the Wedding
June 13, 2014

Racked
Pinterest Weddings: 50 Most Inspirational Pinners
June 11, 2014

The Atlantic
So Long, Partner
May 21, 2014

Fusion TV: Alicia Menendez Tonight
What’s The Wedding Etiquette On Sex Tape Profits?
May 20, 2014

US News
Three Ways To Find Your Wedding Zen
May 12, 2014

Shape
Ten New Rules For Wedding Season
May 10, 2014

The New York Times
Your Hand in Marriage
May 7, 2014

Jezebel
For Shit’s Sake: If You Don’t Want To Be A Bridesmaid, Just Say No
April 4, 2014

The Hairpin
The Engagement Phone Cover and the Wedding-Industrial Complex
April 2, 2014

Main Street
Financially Illogical Wedding Traditions I Still Can’t Avoid
March 20, 2014

Deadspin
Do Not Write Your Own Wedding Vows
February 11, 2014

Ozy.com
A Practical Wedding: We’ll take all the Feminists
November 27, 2013

Huffington Post
Feminist Weddings: Going Beyond The Dress
November 22,1013

Rangefinder
RF Wedding of the Week: An Intimate D.C. Wedding, Photography by Sarah Gormley
November 21, 2013

 

The Bold Italic
Brides: Would  You Wear Pants To Your Wedding?
November 13, 2013

After Ellen
Morning Brew
November 11, 2013

After Ellen
That’s My Tomboy
November 11, 2013

DailyLife
Flowergirl Outfits For Tomboys
November 11, 2013

Feministing
Weekly Feminist Reader
November 10,2013

Refinery 29
Tomboy Flower Girls Are The Cutest Wedding Trend We’ve Ever Seen
November 7, 2013

Jezebel
Tomboy Flower Are Maybe The Cutest Thing On The Internet
November 6, 2013

The Billfold
Buying A Wedding Dress When You Hate Yourself and Love Money
October 29, 2013

Daily Finance
How To Have A Dream Wedding On A Practical Budget
July 23, 2013

Main Street
Top Affordable Wedding Tips
July 12, 2013

Bridal Guide & The Huffington Post
Wedding Planning Myths Everyone Needs to Know About
June 28, 2013

The Chicago Tribune
Scaling Back on the Honeymoon
June 18, 2013

The New York Times
The ‘I Do’s,’ Unplugged
June 7, 2013

CNBC
Will Pinterest Ruin Your Wedding?
May 20, 2013

Christian Science Monitor
Will Pinterest Ruin Your Wedding?
May 19, 2013

MarketWatch/ The Wall Street Journal
Advice on Reducing The Cost of Your Wedding (Twitter Chat)
May 3, 2013

MarketWatch/ The Wall Street Journal
10 Things The Wedding Industry Won’t Tell You
April 25, 2013

Bridal Guide
Your Budget Your Way
May/ June 2013

The Huffington Post
A Beautiful Day—In All The Right Ways
March 21, 2013

Bridal Guide
Planning the Happiest Day of Your Life (During a Difficult Time)
November, 2012

The Huffington Post
How We Had A Beach Wedding For Under $10K
September 11, 2012

The Baltimore Sun
Downloadable spreadsheets begin to quell the pre-wedding panic
August 8, 2012

New York Times
You Eloped? Let the Parties Begin
August 3, 2012

 

 

San Francisco Chronicle
Twitter goes to London–impact felt worldwide
July 31, 2012

Career Coach Caroline, CBS Radio (Guest)
Coach Me
July 24, 2012

The Kojo Show, WAMU, Washington DC (Guest)
One Fine Day: Wedding Planning
July 12, 2012

Forum, KQED, San Francisco (Guest)
Weddings: Ecstasy and Agony
June 15, 2012

Women’s Day
10 Things Never To Say To Brides
May 2012

Savannah Morning News
Break out the Gift Cards For More Great Books
April 18, 2012

Daily Candy
San Francisco Spring 21012 Wedding Guide: Love Story
April 9, 2012

The Washington Post/ Associated Press
No Urge to Splurge on a Bridal Gown?
April 3, 2012

Portland Book Review
A Practical Wedding (Five Stars)
April 2, 2012

The Austin Statesman
Practical Wedding Tips
March 28, 2012

Deseret News
Preparing for Marriage While Planning A Wedding
 March 25, 2012

Huffington Post
Chores and Marriage: Get Cleaner, Happier, Sexier  (Author)
March 7, 2012

Huffington Post
Your Bridesmaids Are Not Accessories, And Other Truths  (Author)
March 7, 2012

Tablet Mag
Brides’ Aid
March 5, 2012

Equally Wed
Interview: Meg Keene, Author of A Practical Wedding
 February 2012

CreditCards.com
Interview with Author Meg Keene
Febuary 10, 2012

Book Page
A Practical Wedding (Top Pick)
February 2012

Shelf Awareness
A Practical Wedding Draws A Crowd
February 3, 2012

Morning Living, Martha Stewart Radio (Guest)
January 27, 2012

Talk of The Nation, NPR (Guest)
Planning Your Insanity Free, ‘Practical Wedding’
Aired: January 26, 2012

The Emily Rooney Show, WGHB, Boston (Guest)
Weddings. Minus The Insanity. Plus The Marriage.
Aired: January 25, 2012

Scottish Wedding Directory
A Practical Wedding Book Review
January 2012

Library Journal
First Look At New Books
December 22, 2011

 

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Contact


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Contact


If you'd like to reach out for a press inquiry, please use this form. If your question pertains to A Practical Wedding, please use the contact form on the site, right here.

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