wedding-planning-for-dummiesThe Ultimate Everything-You-Need-to-Know Guide for Weddings

Author: Marcy Blum

Being engaged took my breath away in multiple stages. First there was the sheer joy of knowing that I’ll spend the rest of my life with the love of my life. There was also the excitement of returned affection and the peaceful stability of having found THE ONE. Then, of course, there was the total glee-fest over the ring (and all the myriad pictures of said ring which thankfully I was not quite vain enough to post on Facebook . . .yet.) And then, the rose-tinteds slipped off a little and I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to plan a wedding or what even went into it. I didn’t even know the available styles of dresses, much less the lengthy etiquette rules surrounding invitations, save-the-dates, and even registries. It was a stress inducing factor for both me and my fiancé as  we quickly realized that a lot of couples had booked their wedding venue and been planning their nuptials years in advance, whereas we just followed emotion and our own readiness without overthinking the actual ceremony part. Between two very hard-core jobs (and a long commute on my part) the planning became a giant monster so large I had no idea where to slay the beast or even strike first. Fortunately, I’m a reader. I immediately logged onto Amazon and picked up Marcy Blum’s Wedding Planning for Dummies because I needed something both basic and comprehensive to introduce me to what already seemed a complex world. I was very grateful that I did.

Covering everything from the legalities (i.e. marriage license) to the ceremony setup to the honeymoon and beyond Blum, a touted celebrity wedding planner, takes a nice middle-of-the-road approach explaining tradition and high formality while also noting that it is your special day and rules are made to be broken. This was a modern and forthright approach which also educated readers on what some may consider outdated protocol without ever making it mandatory. That’s not to say that Blum doesn’t have her opinions (and isn’t afraid to call something tacky or note where classy elements cannot be cut.) Conversely, she’s not afraid of tallying numbers and figures and stressing the importance of defining and staying within a budget. Blum doesn’t advocate breaking the bank, although she isn’t a proponent of any kitschy do-it-yourself crafting to cut costs. It’s a purely middle road approach that fit both my fiancé and me perfectly.

For the completely uninitiated bride (yours truly) Wedding Planning for Dummies is a quick but thorough tour into a surprisingly multifaceted world. Some steps are obvious (choosing a venue and getting the dress) and others are not so obvious (how do you treat your bridal party and what are they expecting and even more notably, how do you keep guests from bringing ahem, troublesome, children without creating a family breach.) Blum spends a lot of time on registry expectations as well, noting that for this particular item, there is definite (and inflexible) protocol. Of course, along the way Blum deviates from the who, what, when, where, and why and gives some practical advice on managing family expectations, including tricky family dynamics, and even something as sad (but I suppose necessary) as how to cancel a wedding.
Other useful sections that I relied on heavily when venturing out into vendor land were the chapters detailing DJs and wedding music (both ceremony and reception), florists (and terms/images for common arrangements,) photography and videography, the cake, and of course, finding the perfect venue and figuring out how seating (and mental seating charts) work into the vision from day one. Fortunately, my location also provides catering, making choices easy for me, but Blum provides several in-depth chapters all tailored around finding a caterer and ensuring that they know what to do, where to set up, etc. I’m just relieved that I don’t have to tackle that particular wedding monster.

If you’re looking for everything wedding from A to Z and need somewhere to start, this is the book for you. If you happen to be a more advanced wedding planner with your own flare and expertise, I’d say that this is still a good buy. Blum uses concise language to get straight to the point and covers both the generalities and the in-depth details. She mixes taste and practicality into wonderful recommendations, and displays her evident advanced wedding planner status without overwhelming the reader. A complete Index and a detailed Table of Contents making navigating easy if you’re not a read-it-in-order-cover-to-cover type or if you want to reference a section you’ve already read. After reading Wedding Planning for Dummies my anxiety is still high, but distinctly manageable. I have somewhere to start and all the tips and tricks of a pro up my sleeve. And, more than eight months before the date (this coming April!!!) my fiancé and I have everything done and signed for, with the exception of those intimidating invitations. So yeah, let’s do this thing!

        Frances Carden

Follow my reviews on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/xombie_mistress

Follow my reviews on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/FrancesReviews/

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”1118360354″]
Frances Carden
Latest posts by Frances Carden (see all)