As a recent engagee (WHAT? It's a WORD.), I suddenly felt the desperate need to read and own every single book currently stocked at Barnes & Noble with the word “wedding” in the title. I believe that this is a common illness that befalls newly betrothed women. It’s called weddingbookslut-itis. Luckily for us newly engaged persons, Real Simple has made the beginning stages of the wedding planning process super easy – thanks to the 2011 version of their wildly popular Real Simple Weddings book.
Image Courtesy of: Real Simple
I was thrilled to get a copy of this book the day after I became engaged – I tore through it! Lots of stuff to cover so I’ll dig right in. This guide is a great basic planning tool – it doesn’t go super in depth into anything (like those massive binders you can buy at the bookstore) but it is FILLED with a TON of amazing details and loads of helpful advice and information. The chapters are well-laid out and feature GORGE photos, they cover: Timeline, Budget, Location, Guests/Attendants/Invitations, Attire, Flowers, Vows, Photos/Videos, Food, and Scene. My only complaint was that there was no chapter dedicated to the groom – would have been nice to see some advice or tips directed specifically to him.
Another of my favorite features of this book was the "10 Common Questions…" spreads. Covering topics (such as registering, budget, invitations, etc.) these pages were definitely some of my favorite parts of the whole book – incredibly helpful and loaded with TONS of “Duh, I would never have thought to think of that” topics and tips. I also really enjoyed the real weddings that Real Simple chose to feature in each chapter. These are REAL PEOPLE of all levels of income, ethnicities, sizes, religions, and ages (no only featuring 98 pound, 5’11”, blondes here!) – SUCH a nice change from standard wedding magazines and blogs. Plus, the weddings are CUTE (I got quite a few fun little ideas for my own shindig)!
Some of my OTHER favorite things about this book are:
- The venue tips were excellent and really made me stop and think about what exactly I was going to need for my at home wedding – would it REALLY save me money (for example, 1 bathroom for every 50 people – WHO KNEW?)?
- The Silhouette Glossary (pages 54-55) is REALLY helpful. I look at wedding dresses all day and hadn’t realized just how many options there were out there and what their proper names were. A very good page to flag and take with you on your wedding search and fittings.
- The Color Guide (pages 72-73) is FAB. Real Simple put together some really lovely traditional combos + some most excellent contemporary and fresh color schemes. LOVE the strawberry/turquoise/and white and the mossy green/light aqua/and navy blue.
- The Flowers at a Glance guide is exactly what brides need. I literally could not find one of these seasonal guides anywhere. Perfect for someone planning a wedding based upon seasonal flowers or colors – this is a GODSEND.
- The chapter on vows should be seen and saved by every church and justice of the peace in the world. It features excellent points regarding the “question of intent” and the “exchange of vows” (these are not the same thing!). Also, THANK YOU – someone FINALLY pointed out that vows are promises you are making to each other – not love letters or compliments.
Last (but not least), Real Simple included a short 5”x7” pull-out mini planner. This is perfect for 3-hole punching and slipping into your day planner for a quick reference you don’t have your big-ass planner/binder. It’s very simple but totally covers the basics and helps you concentrate on the important things if you get into a tight squeeze.
The 2011 Real Simple Weddings guide can be found at any bookstore or grocery store and retails for $13.95 (US). With 136 pages of great information – that’s a steal!