One Perfect Day (Rebecca Mead) – Review

One perfect day : the selling of the American weddingOne Perfect Day:  The Selling Of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead
Genre: Nonfiction / Weddings/ American Weddings
Publisher: Penguin Press, 2007
ISBN: 9781594200885 , 245 pages
Source: Library copy
Find this book at your local library

In this expose, Mead takes us through the various elements of an American wedding and examines how the concept of tradition has been corrupted, and transformed into a new form, often guided by the desires of the now common concept of a Bridezilla. This book is a look into the multi-million dollar wedding industry inspired by the growing Bridezilla culture and how the entire process of planning a wedding has altered over generations.

There isn’t much about Bridezilla in the book, just more about how one day in a couple’s life together is trivialized with overly ornate and irrelevant elements that are now deemed as part of a “traditional wedding”. The author’s disdain for marriage ceremonies with even a hint of grandiose was a turn-off for me (to be fair, her disdain is aimed at the vendors, not the consumers). Although I can understand why she wrote about the certain locations, people and types of ceremonies, I do think she veered as far into the culture of cheesy and fake as she could get to make her point. It wasn’t until the last chapter on destination weddings, and the epilogue about Mead’s own experiences planning her wedding where I really began to appreciate and like the book.

The book could have used some editing though. Some of the sentences and chapters dragged on, and I had to go back and re-read them just to remind myself of what she was talking about.  It also would have been nice to have more variety in anecdotes to balance all the information. There is a lot of information in this book, so it requires a lot of close reading.

I think the most important message to come out of this book is that the actual meaning and importance of a marriage get lost in all the commotion of planning the ceremony. I think couples planning their wedding should read this book to look for ways to trim the fat and excess from their wedding and really focus on what the marriage means to them.

I don’t think I would have planned my wedding any differently had I read this book before I got married. My ceremony and reception where low-key affairs as was most of the planning. The book did cement a lot of my concerns of “just why do I need to do this for my wedding?” that I had in the planning stages, and I feel more justified for having cut certain elements out of the ceremony & reception.

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3 responses to “One Perfect Day (Rebecca Mead) – Review

  1. hardlyregistered

    What does the book say about destination weddings and what are your thoughts on them?…

  2. The author’s view of destination weddings is much more forgiving and favorable. Although, she does make a point in saying that even destination weddings fall into the traps of the wedding marketing machines. Venues, hotels, and small time merchants still know how to sell to the market to make a profit. Just because you’re going somewhere else to get married, doesn’t mean you’re leaving all the “traditional” wedding elements behind.

    My thoughts on the whole thing is that a wedding should be a pure representation of the couple getting married, regardless of where or how its held. I like to think my wedding stayed very true to my husband’s and my personalities without being over the top or superfluous. Sure, we bought into some of the aspects of the traditional wedding, but it was our choice to do so. I don’t think we were fooled into doing anything we wouldn’t have originally wanted.

  3. hardlyregistered

    That is pretty interesting, because I find that in our experience of planning our “destination” wedding has been a very smooth and efficient process. The hardest part was finding the planner and from there everything is pretty much falling in line. We don’t have to visit a bunch of tastings, venues, etc, which is totally practical and just like us.

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