There is nothing like a six week wedding deadline to make me want to finish reading and reviewing my wedding books. I can use all the help I can get! The second book I am reviewing is Christine Egan’s How to Have the Wedding You Want. It had good online reviews, and the title couldn’t help but draw me to it. I started reading this book before wedding apathy set in and completed over half of it before I set it down again. Honestly, my one criticism of it can also be one of its strength. Much like in Stalling’s Offbeat Bride, Egan gives lots of advice heavily sprinkled with personal and shared wedding planning stories from couples she interviewed. The difference in this approach is that I felt like there were a lot tales of horror and mishaps mixed in with the success stories. Readers can learn from previous couples’ mistakes, but I ended up feeling anxious at times thinking about what could go wrong with our wedding planning (which was already going wrong enough to begin with). I think the intention, however, is to make planners not feel alone if they too are struggling.
In praise of the guide, I found it easy to read, often comical in tone, direct when needed, and thorough about the many steps of wedding planning. I love The book is broken into three “phases” of planning: “The Politics of Planning,” “Nuts and Bolts,” and “How to Have Fun.” My favorite phases were the last two, especially the chapters on tackling the guest list, attire shopping, registering, timing the honeymoon, and, of course, relishing in the entirety of phase three. All couples want to enjoy the finished product after all! That part in particular has some helpful advice for how to be prepared on the actual ceremony day and how to take care of yourself the week beforehand. Also, anyone having a band or DJ at their wedding will want to read her advice on avoiding hiccups in that area.
I think this guide is particular helpful to brides who want to give themselves permission to follow their own hearts and ideas about their wedding day. Especially if you are early into planning, there are many little helpful tidbits you will be glad to have stashed away for the later stages. I will definitely be referring to a few sections myself.