Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A More Perfect Union: How I Survived the Happiest Day of My Life

Okay, I'm going to flat out say it: you should read this book. Hana Schank writes about planning her own wedding and in the process really puts a lot into perspective. Her writing is quick witted and honest. She describes everything from searching to the dress to dealing with family drama. It is refreshing to read such honesty about guest list tug of wars and trying to hold your own against the wedding industry.

I really wish I would have read this book earlier in my planning process. When I began planning I knew that I wanted to be as laid back as possible, like Schank wanted to be, but there were a lot of assumptions I took for granted. I had only been to two weddings and never really thought much about my options before beginning to plan my own. I assumed I needed to have a bridal party, assumed I needed to have a color palette, assumed I needed to have a bouquet. Many of these things Schank ended up having as well, but she really made me reconsider a lot of elements. Why do the bride and bridesmaids have to carry flowers?

She also writes about planning a Jewish wedding that incorporates her family's culture, without focusing solely on religion. Although I am not Jewish, it was a great lesson in learning that you can pick and choose which traditions to include based on your relationship.

One of the things that made her arguments convincing was her inclusion of a lot of wedding history. When it came to choosing a dress she researched the history and significance of the wedding gown. The same is true for the significance and history of many wedding elements such as the flowers, hora, chuppah, bridal party and cake.

I only gave here 4.5 out of 5 arbitrary pineapples because at some points the book was a bit of a downer. I wanted to reach through the book and shake Schank and say "you said colors don't matter, so why do they matter to you now?!" But, her honesty with getting a bit caught up in the weddingness of her wedding is what made me really love this book.

Anyone want my copy of A More Perfect Union (or want to trade)?

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