One 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
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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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The Perfect Wedding Details by Maria McBride-Mellinger
The Perfect Wedding Details by Maria McBride-Mellinger is a unique assortment of decorative ideas for a wedding ceremony and reception. Along with the creative ideas, is the layout and instructions that come in this elegant DIY wedding handbook. McBride-Mellinger addresses ten aspects of the wedding that can be dressed up in a simple and fun way.
Most of the ideas are pretty general, and can be modified with personal flairs that reflect the bride and groom. I had my eye on a few of ideas such as the Champagne Cage Card Holder which is made to look like cute miniature chairs. I also liked the Pop-Out Table Numbers, adding a little flair and creativity. If I had room on the tables, I would totally use the Table Number Bucket, which is a bucket filled with beautiful flowers, with a decorative number cut from contact paper pasted onto the bucket.
While pretty much none of these cute little details fit into my design plan for my wedding, I think they can double as decorative ideas for any fancy get-together like BBQs and birthday parties because of the simplicity. There are only a few things in this book that stand out as “wedding” the rest are just cute ways to dress up a party.
McBride-Mellinger has set up the ideas to be read as a cookbook. There is one column on the left that is a list of ingredients and a column on the right with step by step instructions for the execution of the design. On the top of the page, she includes a brief paragraph about the use and relevance of the idea. I found her instructions to be very clear cut, and I love that she included the quantities of materials (something I can never figure out properly). In the back, there are a couple of pages about the tools used and a list of stores where you can find all the materials.
I think this book is best for someone who doesn’t have a theme or concept for their wedding yet. I think certain aspects will jump out at the reader, helping them realize what sort of mood they want to create at both the ceremony and reception.
Maria McBride-Mellinger has also written The Perfect Wedding and The Perfect Wedding Reception.
The Perfect Wedding Details
by Maria McBridge-Mellinger
Find this book at your local library