Book Smart

By Chandra Orr

July 18, 2008 5 min read


Read up on practical advice for the wedding and beyond

By Chandra Orr

Creators News Service

So much to do, so little time.

Whether you're planning a wedding that's six weeks away or just gathering ideas for your 2010 nuptials, it helps to have a little support. The latest crop of wedding manuals and how-to handbooks is the next best thing to a professional wedding planner.

"What's Your Bridal Style?" by Sharon Naylor and Casey Cooper ($15, Citadel Press)

This chunky little tome works on the premise that once brides know their personal style, putting together a wedding is a cinch. An extensive questionnaire, covering everything from home-decor preferences to career choices, helps brides define their personal style -- and their vision of a perfect wedding.

Best advice: Your personal style is important, but it's not all about you.

"Your bridesmaids will want to express their individuality and be comfortable when they select dresses," Naylor and Cooper write. "Try and rein in any control-freakish tendencies you might have. It is all about compromise."

"Plan a Great Wedding in Three Months or Less: Everything You Need for a Bride on a Tight Schedule," by Judy Allen ($15, Sourcebooks)

This petite wedding planner helps brides with a tight deadline get it all done on time. Organized by week, each chapter features handy checklists, little-known time-savers and insider advice on working on a budget.

Best advice: A short schedule can actually work in your favor.

"Sought-after locations that have been reserved months in advance can open up as plans change. Don't let the short planning schedule keep you from calling your dream location or suppliers," Allen writes.

"The Wedding Blue Book: The Definitive Guide to Wedding Correspondence Etiquette," Amanda R. Haar, editor ($20, Crane & Co.)

The etiquette guide from Crane & Co. has been revamped to include classic traditions as well as modern trends. This book answers every question you've ever had about proper invitation protocol and the customs of wedding correspondence.

Best advice: Don't let writer's block keep you from writing thank-you notes.

"You know pretty much what you want to say. Just say it. And don't worry about repeating yourself. Everybody understands that it's impossible to write something original on each and every thank-you note."

"The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day," by Mindy Weiss ($20, Workman Publishing)

From one of the top wedding planners in the country, this hefty how-to covers virtually every aspect of the wedding-planning process, from spreading the news about the big day to saying thank you once all the gifts are unwrapped. Quick tips and tons of graphics make this 500-page primer an easy read.

Best advice: Wait to choose your wedding party.

"You really can't make good decisions about the wedding party until you have booked your location," Weiss writes. "Remember, you can always add to your wedding party, but it's horribly awkward -- and possibly permanently damaging to a friendship -- to have to rescind an invitation once it has been offered."

"Help! I'm a Newlywed -- What Do I Do Now? Wife-Saving Advice Every New Bride Must Know to Survive the First Year of Marriage," by Lorraine Sanabria Robertson ($20, 30 Miles Media)

A new husband, a new household and new in-laws? That's a lot to handle all at once. Robertson offers sisterly advice on making the move from girlfriend to wife, sharing your space without going insane, balancing love and money and what to do when wedding withdrawal sets in.

Best advice: Order two copies of your marriage certificate and keep the extra in your purse for the first year while you're making changes.

"Most places, like the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Office, need to see an original, no photocopies, so it's best to have more than one just in case," Robertson writes.

(c) Creators News Service

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