Alyssa’s APW Book Review by Alyssa Mooney Dear Meg, I just finished your book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration. I’m really honored that I’m the fourth person to read it, after Kate, who edited it, so isn’t exactly a reader; David who you forced to read it and is married to you, so practically doesn’t count; and your publisher who obviously is a business not a person. So I’m the first person to read it, I think, technically! I WIN! You know what a voracious reader I am, so it’s exciting to read something before anyone else has a chance! Did I mention I was technically the very first reader? I am. Now that I’m done, I have to say… I’m pissed. You and David dated for what, five years? I respect your choice to wait until it felt right, it’s a mature decision and blah blah blah… whatever, this is about me. And my problem is that you both waited so long to get engaged and then married that your wedding date is just a month before mine. Therefore, it took you two years of wedded bliss before you wrote this book and had it published. And that’s two years too late to help me. Quite frankly, I find that damn inconsiderate. I mean, really. You start off, right there in the introduction, where you set the stage for the whole book. (As people do in introductions…) You talk about all the pressures that brides feel from all sides: the expectations, the industry pressure, the just general insanity that surrounds weddings. You let us know that you’ve been there, you know women who’ve been there, and they’ve all made it through. You set the tone for the reader to know that this book is for her and that it understands her and her partner. Now where the hell was that when I was planning, huh? Also, throughout each chapter, there are quotes from real brides and real readers of APW, discussing the topic and giving their viewpoint. It’s like you’re letting us be a part of a bigger conversation—it’s not just you sitting there telling us what to do. It’s you, plus everyone else, cheering us on and letting us in on tips and tricks. For nearly every possible outcome, you have a bride going, “Yup, we did this. It worked out swell.” When I was planning, I mostly had people telling me what I couldn’t do, and here you are letting new brides know that they can do pretty much anything they want? Rude. Next, you have bullet points throughout the book, summing up each chapter. Now that’s just a slap in the face. You know how much I love bullet points! I write Ask Team Practical with bullet points before I flesh them out! It’s like you’re purposely mocking me with your fancy asides and chapter recaps. The other thing is that the book is actually researched! There are quotes! And acknowledgments! And historical perspectives! And not only that, it’s funny! You say f*ck and make things fun! Most wedding books I had were dry single-opinions from women very far removed from their wedding day, or breezy and anecdotal pieces of fluff bolstered by pretty drawings of brides with waspish waists, running around with veils and cartoon sweat drops surrounding their heads. How dare you write a book that’s in-between, one that appeals to the rest of us?!? Finally, there’s the admittance of things that most wedding books and websites don’t even cover. You devote not one, but two chapters to it; one on the crying and fighting that might occur during your wedding planning and then a final chapter on what happens after you get married. You even bring up stuff that we don’t like to admit, like the “I’m going to f*cking kill you” moment that can happen when a friend or relative pushes you a little too far. Where the f*ck was this on my wedding day?!? Typical wedding books devote a page or two to this, at most. It would have done so much more good for me to know that I should just take a breath and walk away, not internalize it and then feel guilty later about not acting like a “bride” on my wedding day. Why did you do this to me??? *sigh* Fine. You know what? I’m happy for you. I’m happy for you and your stupid book and your stupid Great APW Book Buy and all the stupid readers that will be able to use this at their stupid wedding and have a better time because of it. I hope that you’re all happy with all the advice and knowledge that I didn’t have on my wedding day. Yes, it was one of the happiest days of my life, but the time leading up to it could have been better if you weren’t so damn selfish. I hope you’re pleased with yourself. -Alyssa P.S. My mom wants an autographed copy because I’m on page 8. Can you swing that for me? Photo by One Love Photo. Read all the posts on writing the APW book here. The APW Book buy is on Wednesday! Alyssa Mooney Emeritus Staff Alyssa received a BA in Theatre and a minor in Gender Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her adorably red-neck husband, Maggie the Wonder Dog, and sassy baby Tater.