Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Book Review: Guide to Smart Wedding Planning

I'm already married, so I'm planning absolutely nothing, but are you? Do you know someone planning a wedding? This is an absolute must!

Guide to Smart Wedding Planning

Edna Dratch- Parker & Jeri Solomon


The Real Deal Wedding Insiders® Guide to Smart Wedding Planning
gives you practical and actionable steps to take control of your wedding planning, make the best decisions, and keep your sanity along the way.

You’ll learn how to:

* Navigate stressful relationships
* Create a vision that represents you both
* Understand and build a realistic budget
* Choose the right venue and vendors
* Stay present and enjoy your wedding day

With a combined 30 years and hundreds of weddings produced, the Real Deal Wedding Insiders® have seen it all. Edna Dratch-Parker, founder and creative director of EFD Creative—Event Planning & Design, and Jeri Solomon, owner of Jeri Solomon Floral Design, together bring their depth of knowledge and real life experiences to help you on your wedding planning journey.
Way back in the day, in the pre-Pinterest days of 2002, I was once a young gal overwhelemed with planning her wedding. I bought a book that was supposed to help me, and though pretty, it wasn't really helpful at all. It turned out that I wasn't going to have a fancy, formal wedding and reception, so none of what I was finding in terms of how-to books was going to be very helpful. 

Long story short, I basically winged it. It turned out fine, we ended up married, people came, and ate food, danced the night away, and it turns out we forgot to cut and serve our wedding cake. How did that happen? Well, it turns out when you book a hall at a casino and plan to serve a two meat and five side buffet for 150 people, you get a dessert buffet. You would know that if you had read the terms of what you were signing, but you didn't, because you were 20 and incredibly stupid when you signed that. So in the end, you had a cake nobody ate, and you started handing it out to random people in a casino while you're wearing your wedding dress that was starting to fall out of the bustle and your strapless bra was somewhere around your belly button but you couldn't get it back up so you were freeballing it for a few hours and it shows in photos people took. Only to get to your hotel room and find that your husband's asshole friends literally ruined every towel by smearing what you hope was Vaseline on them so you couldn't even shower, and the hotel was out of towels, so you had to use bed sheets as towels. Whoever told you hosting a gift opening early the next morning so travelers could get on the road was an idiot, because nobody wants to see you open gifts, everyone looks (and likely feels) like hell, and who eats fruit with donuts? Nobody, that's who. 

I digress. If you would like to avoid all of that, get yourself this book because it will save you so much time, and so many headaches. It talks about forming your wedding committee, having a vision for your wedding, creating a budget and sticking to it, deciding who you're inviting and where you're going to do the shindig, and then everything you need to know about vendors! Even better? It talks about unexpected costs! I remember there being so many random things we hadn't even thought about, one of them being our actual wedding license. Did I know it was going to be $90?! No, I sure didn't. Did I take a picture of the pile of coins we cashed in so we could get the marriage license? You bet I did, because now we look at it and laugh, but at the time we were grabbing all of the change from every cup holder, cushion, desk drawer, and junk area we could to get there! 

I also really loved that the book stressed the importance of staying in the moment, enjoying your day, and knowing there will be hiccups and bumps despite all the plans, but it's OK, because at the end of the day, it isn't about perfect centerpieces and flowers, it isn't the songs played, or your drunk uncle's speech on top of a table, it is about you and your husband/wife and starting your new lives celebrating and coming away with a handful of stories to laugh at later on. 

A huge thank you to authors Edna Dratch-Parker and Jeri Solomon for sharing this gem with me, this is easily going to be my new go-to engagement gift for brides to be! Nobody should be stressed out planning the most magical day celebrating love. 

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