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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2004
I found this book to be fascinating. I would have been completely comfortable with the weddings of the 19th century. Quiet celebrations with no fanfare. After reading this book, it's easy to see the evolution to the now expected performing elephants at receptions! This book is an eye-opener and I would strongly suggest it to all brides-to-be. It might help them to realize what their priorities are instead of getting caught up in the commercialism that is so abundant today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2006
Not because it tells you how to plan or what has to be in your wedding, but because it tells you how all these "traditions" came into practice. There is so much pressure to have every last detail planned out and executed perfectly or else... or else... or else what? When I went to plan our wedding I completely freaked with the burden of decisions, I knew I didn't want everyone else's wedding but I wasn't sure what I'd like to have. And I felt like whatever I chose had to have as much meaning as the thousands of years of tradition that I thought were behind the "white wedding." Boy was this book an eye-opener. That it's a quick, easy read doesn't hurt either. Her structure falls apart a bit at the end, mostly because she obviously enjoys weddings and loses her critic's focus. I think the first three chapters are indespensible to anyone planning a wedding, and the excerpts from "Little Women" got me misty-eyed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2004
I really enjoyed this book and it's description of weddings prior to (and after) 1950. So many interesting turn of events and what was important when. It helped me think of a few ideas to incorporate in our upcoming wedding and helped me eliminate many that were just a product of consumerism and that meant nothing to us, but were
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VINE VOICEon August 18, 2014
Women's history, sociology, economics - popular culture! This book is a multi-course meal that is interesting for many reasons. It is amazing to see how a confluence of culture and business have turned a few ,marketing ideas into "traditions" for an entire culture and/or world. Wallace is able to deftly narrate how culture and economics have combined to give us the "Irrestistable American Wedding" which is now exported the world over.

People planning a wedding may feel relief that all their "must-haves" have a recent past and were dreamed up by an industry for consumption. But history buffs will find much more in these pages.
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on July 13, 2015
Perfect research book for museum clothing... thanks from Duffy's
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2007
This is a good book if you are doing research on modern weddings, from about 1880 until now. Unfortunately I was looking for information about American weddings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, so this book didn't really work for me. I would also have liked more research on the customs and rituals of weddings, such as exchanging rings and the post-vow kiss. Still, there is some good info here and the writing style is clear and easy to understand.
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