My mom went to a we're-moving-our-warehouse-and-so-getting-rid-of-all-our-stock book giveway down in Austin and she sent us a big package of wedding books. "They were free, so feel free to toss them away if they're terrible," she said.
Beautiful Things to Make for Brides (subtitle: "Clever ideas for a perfect wedding"). It's a combination of recipes, for things like a Champagne Breakfast or Engagement Party, craft projects like a Painted Pot Place Marker and a Padded Floral Hatbox, and general wedding advice like "Good health and clear skin make a beautiful bride." Oh, and here's the very first sentence of the book: "A wedding is a very special event for the bride-to-be, her family and good friends." I understand that there are plenty of grooms who check out of the wedding planning. But dear lord, the guy's going to be there.
Our Wedding, by Deanne Smith. Hey, it's not just one book, it's a box with an Our Wedding guest book and an Our Wedding Gift Record and an Our Wedding Memories book that's a pre-made scrapbook with blank pages labeled "Our First Meeting" and "The Proposal, When, Where, I Remember..." On the "My Wedding Dress" page there are blanks to fill in what was the Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. Garnish with quotes about weddings and low-rent Monet knock-off illustrations.
I Do: A Guide to Creating Your Own Unique Wedding Ceremony by Sydney Barbara Metrick ("Co-author of The Art of Ritual"). This book actually looks pretty useful. She goes through each element of a "traditional" marriage ceremony and examines its meaning and then provides alternatives and examples from a wide variety of sources. Neato. (Is it weird that I like liturgy so much, for a guy who only goes to church when his niece is in a skit?)
Brides Wedding Book by Elizabeth Hilliard for Brides and Setting Up Home magazine. This is a British book and let's just contemplate for a moment the awesomeness of a magazine named Brides and Setting Up Home. This is actually a frightfully complete book, including under "Personal Matters" a Contraception Chart. This book comes to us previously owned, and the previous owner highlighted just two things in the book: the address for the National Association of Goldsmiths and two months' Birthstones, "May - Emerald - Love and success" and "November - Topaz - Faithfulness." I hope that all worked out for them.
The last book also comes to previously owned ("This Golden Book belongs to Ali Michel") and is the best of all:
Barbie Loves Weddings by Mary Man-Kong. Barbie loves weddings. Barbie loves weddings so much that when her friend Stephanie asks her to be her maid of honor, Barbie takes over and plans the whole wedding. At least, that's how I read it. Barbie's a jerk.