This book of essays was what I chose to read in between Water for Elephants and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – I figured it was something I could drop at a moment’s notice if I had to, since it’s not a narrative. It was a good choice in that respect.
It’s also an enjoyable read for any woman who has planned a wedding, or thinks that she probably will at some point. It’s not practical advice, but it is thoughtful, reflective, amusing, and honest writing by women who’ve been through it. Some fought the wedding industry all the way along, and others intended to, but got sidetracked and sucked in anyway. And others really wanted The Modern American Wedding, whether or not that’s what they got. A few ended up not having the wedding after all, and others support the truth that the wedding itself isn’t an omen for the marriage that follows, one way or another. A couple of the contributors aren’t even married (yet) – Curtis Sittenfeld and Megham Daum have included pieces about being single wedding guests.
Being an essay anthology, I liked some of the selections better than others; besides the ones I mentioned above, I also particularly liked the essays by Jennifer Armstrong and Carina Chocano (planning), Amy Sohn and Gina Zucker (family), and Ruth Davis Konigsberg and Julie Powell (ceremonies and, for Powell, reception food).