You Read About
can be helpful in the planning of your perfect wedding
your ring, you tell your folks. . . . Now what? Living in
this age of abundant information, most brides head on over
to their computer to search away. I found many bridal Web
sites offering suggestions for my big day (my picks: indiebride.com,
theknot.com), but Im a book person. I wanted something
way to start: If you want an outside affair, follow Jewish
traditions, or run away and have a destination wedding, look
for a book specifically written for your day. It will cut
out a lot of information you dont need (like how to
light up a room, or the order of a Catholic processional)
and focus on the essentials you do (how to scare off squawking
seagulls or how to craft a chuppah out of rock T-shirts).
choose your type of bridal book. There are planners and guides.
If you have no organizational skills or tend to lose things,
get a planner. It will be a binder or series of folders or
notebook, with worksheets and suggested questions and specific
spots to put things like the caterers phone number.
If you are the type of person who has a coupon drawer, a basket
for mail (which is sorted twice a week), and can remember
to pay your bills on time, skip the planner and go for a guide.
Pick up your own accordion file or even manila envelope, and
you will be just fine.
are as many types of bridal guides as there are shades of
white at a bridal salon. The best basic book of everything
is The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World,
by Carley Roney, creator of theknot.com. The book provides
real questions that arise during the planning process (What
should a vegetarian bride do if shes feeling pressure
to serve meat?), real brides and grooms sharing their experiences
(Carolyn and Mathew, smiling in front of a New York City skyline,
talking about how to bring up a prenuptial agreement) as well
as generic hints and help (how to identify authorized dress-sellers,
to how to address the invitations). The book has a budget
worksheet and is pretty straight and narrow about costs, etiquette,
and tradition without hitting you over the head with This
is how its supposed to be!
these days are looking for something different. They go to
the cookie-cutter wedding factories, and arent impressed.
Many new books try to help these brides get what they want.
Anti-Bride Guide: Tying the Knot Outside of the Box, by Carolyn
Gerin, attempts to reach this audience. The book helps anti-brides
figure out their priorities (skimp on the calligraphernot
on the booze), but still recommends employing a wedding consultant,
advice no bride I know has taken. The book has pros and cons
of various alternative venues (barns, museums, boat launches)
and tips on dresses beyond sample sales (like white bridesmaids
dresses), but doesnt seem to push too far outside the
comfort zones of most. This would be good for brides who want
to get married barefoot on a beach, not something more extreme,
like on a subway car heading to Brooklyn. Favorite tip: Collect
random vintage water pitchers to use for centerpieces. Eye-roll
tip: Make sure your wedding is professionally lit.
to Sit Aunt Edna, by Hundreds of Heads, offers the guidance
of, well, hundreds of heads. While it has lots of tips from
real people, its broken into general categories that
arent too easy to follow. The advice is as varied as
the brides and grooms surveyed, but includes anecdotes, from
the heartfelt description of one couple who got married at
a bowling alley where they met, to the egocentric but funny:
Dont choose a ring bearer whos cuter than
you. . . . Every family has at least one homely little boy;
he should be the ring bearer.
those instructional-series books? Skip the Complete Idiots
Guide to the Perfect Wedding (the cheesy picture of a blurry
bride and groom surrounded by white doves should be an indicator
of whats inside), but Wedding Planning for Dummies is
worth picking up at the library. It has many tips that can
be found in most bridal magazines, without talking down to
the happy couple.
series offers many types of wedding expertise, with books
focused on a variety of topics like the basics, outdoor ceremonies,
checklists, vows, bridal showers, etiquette, elopement, for-the-bridesmaids,
for-the-groom, etc. All of them are clean, easy-to-read and
resourceful. This might be the inoffensive, nonpartisan book
to keep on hand for when a question arises between the bride
and groom, or the couple and their parents.
(in the world of indie brides, anyway) Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free
Alternatives for Independent Brides, by blogger Ariel Meadow
Stallings, just began being shipped by Amazon last week. Though
I havent seen a hard copy yet, her blog has provided
a lot of amusement to brides over the last few months, from
how to decorate a Port-O-Potty (complete with poetry to hang
up!) to explaining to your parents your choice of Princess
Leia and Han Solo as a cake topper.
probably spend more time, get more stressed out, and plan
more for your wedding than for any other event in your life
(at least until now). Take your time, find a book that fits
you, and remember that the day really is about you and your
partners love for each other.
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