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Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big…

Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women…

by Colleen Curran

Other authors: Samina Ali (Contributor), Jennifer Armstrong (Contributor), Julianna Baggott (Contributor), Amy Bloom (Contributor), Janelle Brown (Contributor)22 more, Anne Carle (Contributor), Lisa Carver (Contributor), Carina Chocano (Contributor), Elizabeth Crane (Contributor), Meghan Daum (Contributor), Daisy de Villeneuve (Contributor), Jill Eisenstadt (Contributor), Rory Evans (Contributor), Kathleen Hughes (Contributor), Catherine Ingrassia (Contributor), Ruth Davis Konigsberg (Contributor), Lori Leibovich (Contributor), Elise MacAdam (Contributor), Farah L. Miller (Contributor), Jacquelyn Mitchard (Contributor), Julie Powell (Contributor), Dani Shapiro (Contributor), Curtis Sittenfeld (Contributor), Amy Sohn (Contributor), Lara Vapnyar (Contributor), Amanda Eyre Ward (Contributor), Gina Zucker (Contributor)

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A nice balance of scenarios by some very entertaining writers. A pretty safe book as a gift for the newly-engaged, in that it's all happy endings. Even the person who calls off the wedding seemed to do it for the right reasons and now be at peace with it. One writer wasn't particularly likable and things were going badly, but that appeared to be how she prefers things. Janelle Brown's piece on the wedding registry made me laugh out loud (and cringe with recognition) several times. I would have preferred more than one piece on wedding food, but Julie Powell did a great job with it. Of course. Overall, the strongest pieces were in the final section. Wow but Princess Di comes up a lot. I'm old enough to remember the wedding but we didn't watch it and I always thought she looked over-poofed. But it certainly influenced my generation. Martha makes many appearances as well, naturally, and induces similarly mixed feelings. Not a lot of serious in-depth grad student discussion of materialism and gender roles, but you still end up thinking about what you'd want to do yourself and -- most importantly -- why. ( )
  kristenn | Jan 10, 2010 |
this is a great collection of essays written by women writers. i really enjoyed all of them and found some of them especially illuminating. there was a full range of experiences captured. one commonality i did notice was that a lot of the authors referenced princess diana's wedding. i didn't realize how huge of an impact her wedding had on women, but then again she married the year i was born. and i already knew that modern weddings were insanely expensive but i didn't realize that the wedding industry WAS an industry. a multi-billion dollar industry.

some of my favorite essays include the pictorial with typewriter text that chronicles the author's lackluster relationship history, starting with a drawing of princess diana and the date of her wedding that she watched on tv with her sister at age six; the author who called herself a wedding junkie, watched princess diana's wedding at age four and as an adult vowed to attend every wedding she was invited to no matter how far away or how distant she had become from the bride; the woman who started indiebride.com in her quest to rebel against the industry; the indian muslim woman who grew up in both cultures and was groomed from a young age for an arranged marriage at 19; the couple on the survivor-like honeymoon.

there's also the story of the woman engaged at age 35 who decides it would be best to try getting pregnant while they are planning for the wedding because it could take up to a year to conceive and she suddenly felt like she was losing time. she thought if they started now then by the time she was walking down the aisle she would be about three month's along. the author got more than she bargained for, she got pregnant immediately and was six month's along by the time she got married, her dress didn't really fit, she was exhausted, felt bloated but she finally started to enjoy herself at the end of the day.

there were so many great essays, there is no way i could cover them all. some of them had some great thought-provoking tidbits. such as the wedding day is just one day. the wedding industry tries to instill in you that it is supposed to be the happiest day of your life and if it isn't you're a failure.

i would like to share a passage from the essay 'happily ever after' by dani shapiro.

"2. The Engagement. Having been twice married was the strangest thing about me, a major glitch on my C.V. It was very hard to explain, even to myself. I had had two white weddings. Two engagement parties. I had gone shopping for two designer gowns. I had spent a lot of time dreaming about the wedding day and not nearly enough thinking about the marriage."

and that got me thinking. i have never particularly spent a lot of time thinking about weddings in general. and as a child i never thought about getting married at all, never dreamed about some big fancy wedding. as a child i thought marriage was stupid, a recipe for heartbreak. as an adult i spent most of my time thinking that i would never get married, that i didn't really want to. and then somewhere along the line my thinking changed and i saw it as a remote possibility. and now here i am engaged.
but what i did spend a lot of time thinking about growing up was indeed marriage itself. not a big wedding day. but what constitutes a marriage. what makes a marriage last. and these are the things that b and i talk about. have been talking about.
and we both subscribe to the 'it's just a day' philosophy.

and that makes me feel good. ( )
  jehara | Jan 4, 2009 |
In Altared: 27 Writers Tell the Truth About Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings Colleen Curran presents a fantastic collection of essays by and for modern women that invite readers to examine the meaning of weddings and marriage. I was never one of those girls who knew from the age of 5 what I wanted my wedding to be like, so when I read this a few weeks before my wedding, I found it to be a refreshing change from the tulle- and satin-covered world of wedding planning. The feminist perspectives presented in Altared bring to light the history behind many traditional wedding elements and suggest modern alternatives for the bride who cares more about being true to herself and her future husband than about making everyone else happy. The writers also share stories that illustrate the importance of remembering that a wedding is one day, while a marriage is (hopefully) a lifetime and keeping things in perspective. I recognized myself in these women's voices and felt reassured that I was not the only bride who didn't end every sentence with an exclamation point, obsess over finding the perfect shade of red, and live, eat, and breathe wedding planning. The essays in this collection are funny, sad, honest, and authentic. I've recommended Altared to friends both married and single, and I think it should be required reading for any bride-to-be. 4 out of 5.

If you liked Altared, you'd also enjoy One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead. ( )
  bnbooklady | Jun 30, 2008 |
A decent read. Covers various aspects of modern weddings and the joy and turmoil that surround them. A good release for the stressed-out bride. ( )
  tiny-robot | Oct 22, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colleen Curranprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ali, SaminaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armstrong, JenniferContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baggott, JuliannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, AmyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JanelleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carle, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carver, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chocano, CarinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crane, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daum, MeghanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Villeneuve, DaisyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eisenstadt, JillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evans, RoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, KathleenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ingrassia, CatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Konigsberg, Ruth DavisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leibovich, LoriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacAdam, EliseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, Farah L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mitchard, JacquelynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Powell, JulieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shapiro, DaniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sittenfeld, CurtisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sohn, AmyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vapnyar, LaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ward, Amanda EyreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zucker, GinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307277631, Paperback)

Original essays by Top Women Writers
Julianna Baggott _ Curtis Sittenfeld _ Catherine Ingrassia _ Elizabeth Crane 
Lara Vapnyar _ Lisa Carver _ Carina Chocano _ Rory Evans _ Jennifer Armstrong _ Elise Mac Adam _ Janelle Brown _ Daisy de Villeneuve _ Meghan Daum _ Amy Sohn _ Samina Ali _ Farah L. Miller _ Gina Zucker _ Kathleen Hughes _ Jacquelyn Mitchard _ Ruth Davis Konigsberg _ Lori Leibovich _ Julie Powell _ Jill Eisenstadt _ Anne Carle _ Amanda Eyre Ward _ Amy Bloom _ Dani Shapiro

Anyone who is intimated by the prospect of planning a wedding will laugh out loud and take solace in Altared. In this unexpected, heartwarming, thought-provoking collection, more than two dozen of our most perceptive and entertaining writers offer a wide range of takes on the modern wedding.  It's all here. Fantasies. Realities. Fond memories. A few regrets. From planning it to doing it and everything in between.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:14 -0400)

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