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The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World: The Ultimate Source of Ideas, Advice, and Relief for the Bride and Groom and Those Who Love Them. Paperback – December 30, 2003

56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bookstore shelves brim with wedding guides, and while this one might not offer earth-shattering planning advice, it's got just about everything a future bride and groom need to prepare for the big day. Editor-in-chief Roney, along with the editors of The Knot magazine and, share their extensive knowledge about weddings in this friendly, revised and updated volume. The book addresses the basics, the tiny details and the things that most young couples don't realize that they need to know-such as that it's better to put an even number of guests at each reception table, so that everyone has a partner for conversation. Among the chapters are tips to take couples from pre-engagement to post-honeymoon planning, snapshots and stories of real weddings and answers to wedding FAQs, as well as general advice. Hiring a black limo, for instance, the authors reveal, is 10% percent cheaper than hiring a white one, and wedding videos should be stored upright and away from electronic equipment. At first glance, this book's hundreds of pages might make the whole process seem even more overwhelming, but Roney offers a thorough, friendly one-stop guide.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“The chicest ‘wed’ site in cyberspace.” —Vogue

“Don’t get hitched without The Knot! . . . It has help for every conceivable detail before, during, and after the wedding.” —Business Week

“The Knot is a megasource for everything from dresses to tips for the bachelor party.” — Newsweek

“Hip, informal, and humorous, this book includes all the basics of modern matrimony.” — Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Second Edition edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767916425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767916424
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #983,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carley Roney is at the helm of the world's favorite wedding brand as editor in chief of and its sister sites, (for newlyweds) and (for first-time parents). She appears regularly on national television shows, including Oprah, Today and The View. She is the author of several popular wedding and home decor books from The Knot and The Nest and will be releasing a highly anticipated baby book, "The Baby Bump". "The Baby Bump" will feature expert and real mom advice on everything future moms really want to know.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amy McGhee on November 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book helpful as I began planning our wedding. I've never been much of a "wedding person," so prior to getting engaged I hadn't spent much time figuring out which flowers I wanted in my bouquet or what color my bridesmaid dresses should be. This book was exactly the crash-course I needed to get oriented and then get to work.

At first the planning was a little overwhelming, but The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World provided a great overview in the first section of the book, before delving into the endless details in the second section. This format works well, and the book is well-organized, with the middle section comprised of chapters on all of the aspects of your wedding: your gown, the ceremony, the reception, music, photography, etc. That makes it easy to find exactly what I need to know depending on what I'm working on at the moment. The third section includes helpful information on all kinds of situations you may face, from spats with your darling fiance, to cross-cultural issues, to managing your future inlaws.

One of the best features of The Knot Guide is that it doesn't assume you know a lot about planning a wedding, but it doesn't talk down to you, either. It includes a lot of helpful illustrations, explanations, and glossaries to help you figure out what different bouquet shapes mean, what kind of cake frosting works best depending on where you're having your reception, and what the different shades of white are when shopping for your gown. Reading this book helped give me the information I needed to communicate effectively with my vendors and "speak their language."

Overall, this book works best as both a guide and a resource--it walks you through everything step-by-step, and is also helpful to refer back to as you progress through your planning. Because of its general nature, it's not the only book I used when planning our wedding, but it is one of the most useful.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Clements on October 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the groom-to-be, I originally was not as interested in reading books about wedding planning as my wife. After hearing way too many times that I was not helping enough with the wedding planning and decision making, I started paging through this book. I quickly became engrossed in the book and soon found myself becoming more involved in helping with the planning. The book is well organized and reads as if the author was speaking to you directly in a casual conversation. It walks you through the wedding planning from choosing a date and location through writing the thank you notes. There were very good explanations of the various dress and tuxedo options, which previously all looked the same to me. I really appreciated the advice on developing the invitee list and dealing with family and in-laws- two of the most stressful parts of the planning process. I would highly recommend this book to any couple getting ready to tie the knot.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sally Roman on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just started planning my wedding and found this book extremely helpful. It has all the details and steps of a wedding and great ideas for different options for each of them. For every part of the wedding planning I find my self referring to the book to see what exactly I am supposed to do and how early before the wedding I should do it. It also has some creative ideas to reduce costs. The book does not have very helpful checklists and I am using another book for that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brooke on December 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Just got this updated book for my sister's engagement. I had the previous edition and loved it and this update is perfect- the same great practical advice yet updated with all the newest trends and technology. It's huge and full of tons of great advice for your wedding... they think of topics that never even occurred to me! Not to mention, they talk about them in a way that relates to me and doesn't scare me! A must-read for all newly engaged couples!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By April *Another Geek Girl* on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually got this wedding book and read it first before any other book. And I'm glad- its a pretty good book and covers all the basics. Its also pretty well written and laid out.

My only complaint is that it IS a knot book, which although I looove the knot, they have this tendency to hype up a lot of unnecessary things for profits sake. There are some money saving tips in this book, but mostly for very small things. It does have very nice lists and is organized well.

AFTER you read this book, I totally recommend the book "Bridal Bargains" Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budgetas your next wedding book. This will help your perspective a bit when it comes to the big day and such, or at least it did for me.

Please check out my other wedding book reviews, as I am reading a lot now in order to get ready for my wedding!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Konen on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just got engaged and am floored on how to plan a wedding. "The Knot" was recommended to me as a website, and I found this book while searching for a wedding planner. It's been extremely helpful. And I especially like that it's not stuffy - the information is well laid out, easy to find, and they throw in interesting tidbits/facts and advice. It's made planning my wedding much more enjoyable. Even my fiance enjoys looking through it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mairead O'Sullivan on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let me preface this with a disclaimer: I am not one of the girly-girls who started envisioning her dream pretty-princess wedding when she was 5. I wanted practical details and advice. This book does have those details, but you have to wade through a bunch of frilly, super-sweet, romanticized crap to find the useful info.

I got married last year and used this book, and I am now sending it off to an engaged friend. However, I gave her the same warnings I'm posting here.

The Good:

Skip the first couple chapters. Save yourself the irritation. Go look at the detailed sections in the latter 2/3 of the book, which are the parts that actually justify the cost of this book.

-Good advice on dress shapes/silhouettes: The book gives a thorough explanation of bodice and dress shapes, complete with sketches and advice. (Busty women should try X, Y, Z, slender women should try the following, etc.) For non-fashionistas, the pictures and labels of dress and bodice types are great. (If you can properly describe your dress to the bridal shop, you'll have a much easier time finding the right gown.)

-Checklists: who does what among the attendants, what to do 6 months/a month/2 weeks etc before the wedding, what to have on hand for last minute fixes

-Guidelines for scoping out venues and hiring vendors, including lists of questions

The Not So Great:

-Fairy Tale Wedding Syndrome: This book isn't the worst out there in terms of catering to the prima donna, diva bride, but I got really irritated at all the references to the bride as a princess. Bridesmaids are not a "court of adoring attendants." (Yep, actual quote.) They're good friends who are helping out and supporting the bride on a big day.
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