As the title indicates, this book is a wedding etiquette guide for brides (and others) who don’t quite fit into the traditional wedding mold. They don’t necessarily want to feel like a princess on their “special day,” they don’t want to spend six figures on their wedding reception, and they don’t want to buy a whole bunch of crap and annoy their families in the name of tradition or etiquette. To address this audience, Elise Mac Adam (erstwhile etiquette columnist at the now-defunct Indie Bride website) has written a straightforward, bare-bones approach to wedding etiquette. She describes the most common traditions surrounding various aspects of wedding planning, from the wording of invitations to the etiquette of gift registries. Then she explains why these traditions exist and how they can be modified to work for modern brides. Finally, she shares questions and answers from her days as an advice columnist to give examples of proper etiquette in action.
As I read this book, I couldn’t help comparing it with Meg Keene’s A Practical Wedding, which I think is a fantastic resource for engaged couples. This book is good, too, but it fulfills a somewhat different need. Keene’s book is more philosophical and doesn’t get into very much detail about invitation wording and the like. In contrast, this book gets a little bit more specific about the nitty-gritty aspects of wedding planning. Still, it’s not as detailed as it could be, so brides who are extremely type-A or who dream of the perfect Martha Stewart wedding likely won’t get much out of it. But for brides who want a more laid-back affair and just don’t want to upset their grannies, this book could be a good resource. I’ll likely keep my copy around for future reference!