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Mother of the Bride: The Dream, the Reality, the Search for a Perfect Dress Hardcover – April 7, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With light, humorous prose and attractive drawings, Beckerman deftly recounts her journey down the winding path between watching a film clip of the royal wedding of Elizabeth II in 1947 and becoming the mother of a modern American bride in the 1990s. Her daughter's announcement of her engagement, accompanied by "a ring you wouldn't be afraid to wear on a subway," initiated 12 months of decisions and crises involving flowers, cakes, champagne, hors d'oeuvres, dresses, music and an all-knowing, ever-present, unflappable and impeccably dressed wedding consultant named Deirdre. With an enticing mix of wry sophistication and loving na?vet?, Beckerman succinctly expresses motherhood's enduring push-and-pull: "All the parenting books say, 'Don't rush in with advice,' but who else is going to tell a daughter she needs a slip under that dress?" Her well-selected memories illustrate the joys and headaches of mothering a daughter--the aspirations, worries and wishes that buoyed and buffeted her from the time of her pregnancy through her daughter's adolescence and early adulthood, culminating in a year of wedding preparations. As Beckerman tells it, "childbirth was easier than being the mother of the bride." Beckerman (What We Do for Love; Love, Loss, and What I Wore), who started her writing career at the age of 60, breathes fresh vitality into this familiar rite of passage, in an account that is sweetly sentimental and brutally honest, touching and witty--in short, a true gem. 50,000 first printing; Book-of-the-Month Club selection; 25-city tour. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"An enticing mix of wry sophistication and loving naivete...a true gem." -- Publisher's Weekly

"As much about the bond between mothers and daughter as a quest for the ideal wedding gown." -- New York Times

As much as every mother wants her daughters to get married,says Ilene Beckerman, no mother is prepared to be a Mother Of The Bride. Beckerman's daughter wanted a grand, traditional fete, no skimping. Every detail--from the type of stamps used on the invitations to the shade of the flowers--was crucial. The details were too much for even a supermom like Beckerman to handle, so she hired a wedding consultant. Still, Mom--not the consultant--had to accompany the bride as she shopped for a wedding gown. Beckerman was unprepared: "I thought peau de soie was something Julia Child made.... That Alencon lace was a cheese people with bad cholesterol could eat. My daughter tried on a dress made from 50 yards of Thai silk. I couldn't find her." But this is no mere humor book. Amid the drolleries are the poignant reflections of a mother who is not just gaining a son-in-law. She is also, in a way, losing a daughter. (Beliefnet, June 2000) -- From Beliefnet
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565122593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565122598
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Soozie4Him VINE VOICE on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As the mother of a recently engaged daughter (my first, so this is very new to me!), I'm heading for the bookstores and the libraries to read up on how to plan a wedding. In the midst of books about what the maid of honor's duties are, lists of lists, pages of worksheets, and tomes about every single thing that a successful wedding...
There stands a small pink book that has a cover illustration which communicates as succinctly as the subtitle "The Dream, the Reality, the Search for a Perfect Dress." This book is 156 pages long, but can be read in an hour or so (including time to linger over illustrations and time to laugh some hearty laughs and shed a few tears).
Ilene Beckerman is not only the author of this book, but its illustrator as well. And that's part of the beauty of this book; the drawings are so perfectly entwined in the text.
It's a rare and very special author who can have you laughing one second and crying the next - especially when the author doesn't use a lot of words! Ilene succeeds beautifully in this wonderful combination.
From the book: "What do five girls - one short, one tall, one buxom, one flat, one who gave birth a month ago - have in common? A bridesmaid's dress they all hate."
Throughout the book, Ilene zigs and zags from telling about planning her daughter's wedding to writing about her daughter as a little girl and their very special relationship during her grown-up years. In a world where way too many people can't wait for their children to grow up and leave home, this type of writing is both poignant and refreshing.
Here's a letter that the author wrote to her daughter as the wedding grew nearer "I never knew before I had you that I could love anyone so much.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
When my daughter became engaged, I got three copies of this book as gifts. I loved it so much that I have given away the two extra copies that I received to friends who will soon be MOBs!
The book is so real, so funny, so poignant. It succinctly summed up the relationship between mothers and daughters as it detailed the intricate and involved planning process for today's weddings. I loved the way Beckerman gave us glimpses of her daughter's growing-up years.
I felt every feeling the author was feeling --- I laughed, I cried, and I called my daughter to read portions to her.
And today....I found the perfect dress!!!
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Format: Hardcover
Having married off my three daughters in the past decade made reading and reviewing this latest witty masterpiece from Ilene Beckerman a delight ! Never having met Ilene Beckerman, I was convinced after reading her first book entitled Love, Loss, and What I wore, that we were soulmates. My God, I grew up in NYC and went to PS 80 !This cemented my feelings after she announced that the "bride" now has two daughters of her own - just like my "bride". Her clever style of writing combined with her joyful life experiences add up to a roller coaster fun-filled ride through life's ups and downs. Buy it, you'll love it and then you will rush right out to buy her previous two books which are equally tickling. What will come next might be a hilarious "Grandmother" book -
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Format: Hardcover
This is basically an autobiographical comic short story, with wacky illustrations to add to the fun. I bought it as a Mother's Day present for my mom right after I got engaged, and we read it aloud together in our favorite spot on the front porch, passing the book when one of us was overcome with laughter -- or tears. Ilene Beckerman can really write, and she does it with devastating humor and tear-jerking poignancy as she explores -- from the front row view of the mother of the bride -- the fun, the fights, the work, the tears, the trials, and often the complete insanity that all contribute to the creation of a beautiful wedding. At the same time, she critically (and beautifully) examines the complex relationship between a mother and her daughter. This short little gem will help you remember the things you appreciate most about your mother, your daughter...or both.
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By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am currently planning my own wedding and my mother and I have been experiencing the usual tension... This book made me see the event from her point of view. It's funny and touching, and so accurate I feel like Ms. Beckerman was recording us as we went through the planning stages. The book is more about a mother's feelings about her daughter growing up than about the wedding per se, so I would recommend this book for every mother and daughter going through "growing pains".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great. It is written with humor and insight, and I probably would not have appreciated it before this adventure we call "being the M.O.B". It is definately worth every penny.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a cookie book. It's fun and sweet and quick. It really isn't a full book but it is certainly worth the read and it's delightfully illustrated. I don't usually use the word "delightfully" but it seems to work for this book. I especially recommend it for mothers of brides. It's laugh out loud funny and then you have to get a Kleenex. The format is unique and I liked it. James Thurber would have loved it. I would recommend it as a gift for a friend as soon as she tells you her daughter is getting married. She'll appreciate it.
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