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Advice Sisters' Wedding Q&A
(From A to Z)
by Alison Blackman Dunham and Jessica Blackman Freedman
Reviewed by Audrey Snowden
Publisher: Self
Format: Electronic
Rating: * * * stars

Weddings are supposed to be joyful. Bring on the cake! Bring on that girlie dress! Bring on the migraines. The Advice Sisters, twins Alison Blackman Dunham and Jessica Blackman Freedman, have turned their attention from their syndicated advice column to produce a book of wedding advice.

"Advice Sisters' Wedding Q&A (From A to Z)" is helpfully organized into short sections by topic with an easy-to-read table of contents. The whole book is easy to read, and that's one of its big strengths. If a question arises, the idea is to find an answer quickly, not to pore over an encyclopedic tome with a useless index. An uncluttered book sacrifices length, though, and therefore has potential for sacrificing breadth as well.

Dunham and Freedman selected their questions to guard against this potential downfall, so if your wedding question isn't covered, you'll probably be able to find something that's at least in the same ballpark. If you're really pressed for a personally-tailored answer, you can use the Advice Sisters' online fee-based counseling service.

Getting the right questions is only half of the fight. What about the answers? Well, the authors take a traditional view of weddings, so their advice is colored by the weight of custom. The bride's family is expected to pay for most things, but the groom's family pays for x, y and z.

The book also contains some good common sense. Q: Are receiving lines necessary? A: How else do you expect to see everyone in attendance at least once? Q: We don't want china; it's a pain. We'd rather have power tools. Can we say, no china? A: Buck up! Someone's giving you a present; whatever it is, you should acknowledge it graciously with a personal note. And register at outdoorsy places, so people will get the hint.

Given its nature, "Advice Sisters' Wedding Q&A (From A to Z)" will be really helpful to those planning a traditional wedding. If your idea of an utterly romantic honeymoon involves a heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub in a lodge in the Poconos, this book might be for you. It sports cute wedding graphics, it has a humorous wedding poem as a preface, and it's accessible. If your wedding plans aren't traditional, the book's usefulness is severely limited, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

Dunham and Freedman promote their work at the beginning and end of this book, and the naked commercial aspect here might be off-putting to some readers. Then again, the naked commercial aspect of the wedding industry is about as off-putting as you can get.


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