When you scan the glossy magazines purporting to tell brides
everything they need to know to make the big day a success, does it
ever seem like the cost of the nuptials can rival the budget of a
third world country? Do you ever find yourself wondering if a highly
commercial ceremony is the best way a couple, maybe with at least one
set of student loans, can invest their money in this uncertain
economy? Does it seem a bit obscene that our society drools over
prohibatively pricey weddings of the rich and famous, setting them up
as examples for couples of much more modest means?
Why do we set so much stock in the lavish expenditure, the
outdoing of the Jonses when the emphasis, in my mind, at least, should
be on the pledging of love, the two becoming as one, the setting out
on an amazing journey?
Recently I was looking at the album of a couple who would have
flunked Wedding 101 by today's standards. Their reception was in a $5
an hour town hall. Catering was by friends. Bridesmaids wore dresses
from their own wardrobes. But the bride and groom were so happy and
in love that her $5 yard sale gown could not dim her radiance and his
donning his suit instead of renting a tux could not detract from the
tenderness in his eyes. More on them later.
I was thrilled to discover my library has a copy of Emma
Erandoski's THE Handcrafted WEDDING. I can see a lot of you rolling
your eyes. Saying, "Yeah, right! That's for those talented folks.
Nothing to do with me." You couldn't be more wrong. This is not
another arena for Martha Stewart Live competition. It is all about
putting the emphasis on moments and memories instead of endless
details, about making your special day as unique as you are. It
centers on a question posed in the introduction: how will your love
story be remembered?
The author, who introduces herself as Emma, was greatly
disappointed when she, herself, became engaged and went shopping. The
merchandise she saw was impersonal and uninspiring. On line she had
better luck. Her discovery of handcrafted weddings resulted in a blog
and this lovely book.
I think the best way to approach this book is to let yourself
look at the pictures. They are amazing, but not in the Better Homes
and Gardens sense of the word. They are beautiful, tender, colorful,
funny, full of joy and life. A couple holding fishing rods kisses in
the middle of a stream. A flower girl, surrounded by bride and
bridesmaids, beams proudly. Groomsmen pose with croquet mallets. (In
my mind that's a lot better than eyeing a stripper popping out of a
cake.) Boquets of wildflowers serve as centerpieces. Hopefully the
down-to-Earthiness of the gallery will leave you inspired, thinking,
"I can do this."
The tone is wonderfully conversational. Chapter 1 You're
Engaged begins with, "He popped the question and you said yes--now
what's next?" From the outset a couple is urged to think on what makes
them and their love special. Hobbies and interests are suggested for
themes. There are really cool, nontraditiinal invitations. In
subsequent chapters every aspect of the big day is covered. There are
instructions for crafts and hints for coming up with your own. Emma
conveys the attitude that it's all good. Whether you're about to
embark on this amazing adventure or, like your humble reviewer,
pondering on renewing your precious vows, THE Handcrafted WEDDING is a
treasure trove of information and inspiration.
Back to the young couple. I was that starry eyed girl. I am the
woman she grew into. I am still in love. I hope to talk him into
walking down the aisle with me again when we celebrate our quarter
century in 2014.
A great big shout out goes out to new couples who are starting out on
the journey called married life and veterans like the hubby and me who
have weathered its for better and for worses.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod