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Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest Hardcover – May 1, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this insightful memoir, Doll examines weddings and marriage through the lens of her own friends’ unions. She has been to numerous weddings, and she has stories from all of them, ranging from confronting a high-school nemesis, to aiding a bride who has a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, to having a drunken meltdown in a bar as her friends are trying to get her to go home. Doll’s impressions of her friends’ intendeds are mostly positive, but her inability to support one pairing ends up costing her a friendship. Doll runs into this friend, Ginny, at several weddings, and despite her attempts to make amends, the rift is never quite healed. Though she dreads the clichéd bouquet toss, like so many other singletons, she can’t help but wonder if she will find love during the course of one wedding weekend. Doll is an engaging guide through the landscape of modern-day courtship and nuptials, and her book will have particular appeal for women in their twenties, thirties, and forties navigating the wedding circuit themselves. --Kristine Huntley

Review

“[A] wry Sex and the City-style memoir…Engaging and disarmingly honest.”
People

“Doll herself is a funny, bright, complicated leading lady…Contemporary heroines are not necessarily brides; they are also the friends, colleagues, classmates of brides, and their stories do not want for depth just ­because they’re not the ones wearing white. Doll’s own story — a good one — lays out a disruptive new path.”
The New York Times Book Review 

“Chronicled with the sharply wielded wit that presumably got [Doll] invited to so many weddings in the first place… [Save the Date] touches a cultural nerve, ultimately, because it summons, in unsparing detail, a cultural ritual as relentless as it is familiar.”
Newsweek

“A smart examination of just how weird weddings can be when put under the microscope….The ultimate wedding party favor is a good story. Doll has several.”
Time 

“A meditation on the marriage ceremony and on how, by bearing witness, we shape our perspectives on love, friendship, and commitment… Advice anyone seated at the singles table can take to heart.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Anyone who has ever witnessed a wedding will appreciate Jen Doll’s wry pew-side musings.”
Good Housekeeping

“An endearingly funny memoir of the writer’s vast experience watching other people get married—and the lessons she’s learned about love, friendship, and herself.”
O, The Oprah Magazine 

“To prepare yourself for the summer-wedding onslaught, grab Jen Doll’s ingeniously subtitled new book.”
GQ 

Save the Date is the kind of amusing and inventive memoir that’s almost impossible to put down and ripe for sharing amongst friends (bring this baby to your next girls’ brunch and watch your lady friends clamor to be the first to borrow it). It’s breezy and quick and dead funny, but it also aims straight for the heart with the kind of wit and honesty anyone would want to cherish for many years to come.”
Bustle

“Droll, charming…chock-full of hilarious observations…lively anecdotes…and lovely description.”
Slate

“Hilarious.”
Flavorwire

“Jen Doll knows all the ins and outs of attending and taking part in someone else's big day . . . for better or worse….[In Save the Date] she shares some thoughtful (and funny) insights into dating relationships, marriage, and friendship.”
Pop Sugar

“[Save the Date] offers witty and smart insights into modern wedding culture, while still having a good time with all the tomfoolery.”
The Frisky

“A witty, easily-devoured memoir, simultaneously personal and universal.”
The Huffington Post 

“The insightful, soothing literary balm you need when you’re stuck at the destination beach wedding you’ve paid too much to attend.”
The Daily Beast 

"Save the Date is a hilarious, open-eyed account of one woman's life as a wedding guest. Doll chronicles the good, the bad, and the drunken with wit and insight into the state of modern marriage."
— J. Courtney Sullivan, author of The Engagements and Maine

"Reading Save the Date is like attending a wedding with the coolest plus-one ever.  Jen Doll is witty, charming, and can see through all the BS of the wedding culture while still having a fun time with it."
—Drew Magary, author of Someone Could Get Hurt and The Postmortal

“Jen Doll's sharp, funny true tales of guesthood acknowledge—at last—that attending other people's weddings is a unique rite of passage in itself. Save the Date is a welcome companion.”
—Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life

“Jen Doll address relationships, romance, weddings, and love with the sharp and intuitive eye of a psychotherapist, and the impeccable comic timing of, well, an impeccably good comedian. Not only that, she coins a phrase that is not only brilliant, but important: ‘My unemployment jeans.’ Save the Date is a self-examination of the single gal at its cleverest, funniest best.”
—Sara Barron, author of People Are Unappealing: Even Me

“With humor and honesty…Doll offers a refreshing take on society’s evolving ideas on marriage and the importance of knowing oneself.”
Publishers Weekly  

“Doll is an engaging guide through the landscape of modern-day courtship and nuptials.”
Booklist 

“A thoughtful meditation on the institution of marriage…A great book to pack for the plane ride to that friend’s destination wedding… [a] fun rumination on love, marriage, and adult friendship.”
Library Journal 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631986
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

She tells us about her experiences in such a sincere way.
Sherry Schlotthauer
I am sorry I felt compelled to finish it and even more sorry that I paid to read it.
Donna
It dragged on a bit, though some sections were kind of funny.
Cara Hutchison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As usual I received this book for free in exchange for a review. This time it was from LibraryThing. Despite that kindness I give my candid opinions below.

The nutshell view of this one is easy. This woman goes to a LOT of weddings, as I'm told women tend to do. While there she's made some insightful observations about the human condition. It should be noted this isn't a book full of witty wedding mishaps. This is no America's Funniest Weddings. It's a pointed and thoughtful look at how humans match up with each other.

To the positive side, the author is obviously a wonderfully bright and introspective soul. I started this book expecting something rather vapid but instead got a very thoughtful view of weddings. These are the sorts of observations that I would quietly make to myself during such a ceremony and never tell anyone about. Jen Doll has chosen to tell the world.

To the negative, as much as I appreciate the author's viewpoint, I just couldn't care enough about the her detailed observations of the human psyche to slog through the sometimes minute details of the her own personal experiences. By all means yes, let us converse about the factors that make people find each other in this mad and mixed up world but let's not talk in detail about what you had to drink last night, what you were wearing or how hungover you feel tonight.

In summary, there's a bright light in this book but it is buried under a bushel of randomness. Lots of potential for a more focused treatise but it's not there yet.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By holly on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Meh.

As a single, early-30s, city-dwelling female (target demo, right?), I was hoping for more to relate to. Something saucier or more insightful. Something that delved more into Other Stuff like relationship dysfunction and alcoholism? But instead there's a lot of wearying, skimmable exposition. Names of people you never get a good reason to care about. Details that she admits not so clearly remembering. (Doll's at her best in brief musings on broader implications of weddings, rather than boring background.)

Then there are gems like this: "Taking a leap of faith requires leaping with faith" (paraphrase, but the mind-numbing dumbness comes through). Or when she explains that her family's navy Buick was called "The Blue Buick"...is the laughable redundance implied, or is she just unaware? The self-congradulatory "I live in NYC" theme also got old. Most of her mishaps could've been avoided by not drinking "six or seven glasses of wine."

Maybe my expectations were just too high?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book starts out slow. Jen Doll does make some astute remarks about the nature of women choosing a partners, but they are almost lost in some snarky language about marriage and weddings. The first chapter comes off as a cynical attack on we civilians blinded by the lures of a broken institution. It is all to easy to stand back from the bridal bouquet in fear of the fate of matrimony. In the end she does understand her discomfort with,"that's what life is so frequently about: choosing one thing and in that choice foregoing the other.

The chapters relating her experiences at friends' weddings reveal a warmer and more discerning side to her observations. She takes the time to understand the reason these couples chose each other. Her prose turns more witty than sarcastic, and she includes herself in the follies of her friends. I am glad I persevered with this book because it is an enjoyable riff on the place of marriage among women who wait. It's a wry look at something old and something new in the world of weddings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Natalie on June 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was expecting a lighthearted read on a single girls experiences as a wedding guest and bridesmaid. Maybe I'm a little too old to have read this book but I found her to be someone who has a drinking problem, is not a happy drunk and sleeps with whomever happens to be sitting next to her at the wedding. I felt I was more of a psychiatrist listening in on her problems rather than some funny wedding stories. I couldn't wait for the book to be finished.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kATHIE bROOM on May 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be little more than assorted ramblings of someone whose main storyline consisted of
misadventures due to abusing alcohol at weddings. Every vignette contained the same scenario. I had to make
myself finish it in the hopes that somehow it would end on a different note. Incredibly it ended the same way it started.
I should have followed my first instinct and given up after the first two chapters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Moss on June 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
What happens next to the serial wedding guest? What happens to the guys she met through wedding mortifications? Let's hear about the sweet baby showers for the tots born to the brides and grooms. Did anyone mistakenly take a bite from a first born? How about the house warmings for residences that became homes for single or coupled friends?

I am surprised I even WANT to know, but Jen Doll writes, I read and, for whatever reason, I want to know more. Keep up the good story-telling!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found myself becoming disinterested quite often. Got tired of reading about her drinking problems. Get help! Don't believe I laughed once.
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