An item I’ve been surprised to not see on wedding budget sheets is “literature.” I’ve been officially engaged for 15 days and I have already spent TENS OF DOLLARS on a stack of wedding-related books and magazines!
There are some obvious solutions to this hidden money drain:
- I could stop reading about weddings. Not likely.
- I could limit myself to wedding literature on the Internet. But I do want to read some “mainstream” “professional” material, and The Knot tends to overwhelm my old and slow laptop.
- I could start to rely on my local library. But then I’d have to pay those overdue fees I racked up during finals last term.
Instead, my current genius plan to forestall spending on wedding literature is reading free samples of wedding books on my Kindle.
Some Kindle samples are nothing more than the title page and table of contents (I’m looking grumpily at you, The New Jewish Wedding); others resemble a book excerpt you’d see in a magazine, one cohesive chunk of the material to introduce you to the main point of the book (which sometimes does sell me on buying the entire book); and others are a collection on random snippets from the entire text.
The free Kindle sample of Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget falls into the last category.
Either the person who put together the sample is an evil genius, or Bridal Bargains is one of the most annoying books ever published.
Though offering one of the longest Kindle samples I’ve ever downloaded, Bridal Bargains‘s sample makes the book appear to lack any actual content. Much of the book is written in future tense:
- “We’ll reveal our five commandments for Bridal Bargains on page 10.”
- “We’ll show you how to save on your dress with 29 money-saving tips!”
- “You’ll learn the 17 steps to buying the right dress!”
Are all these teases intact in the actual text that people spend money to read? That would make me want to punch through the page.
It’s even more annoying because the introduction boasts that there are no paid advertisements in the book, as though that were unusual. Paid is the key word, because Bridal Bargains never stops advertising itself, or the other books the authors have published (including some sort of planning binder). Sorry to be repetitive, but it is ANNOYING.
Another terrible flaw this book appears to have is that they apparently budgeted their publication costs by forgoing an editor. The book is on its ninth edition. Unfortunately, all the internal references haven’t kept up with these updates! Remember those “five commandments” promised on page ten? It turns out there are SIX commandments. And page-to-page the book cites different “average costs” for things like engagement rings and wedding gowns, even though the book debunks average costs within the first few pages of its introduction. It comes across as a mess, and sends a bad message about what “budget” can mean for the polish of any finished product, be it a book or a wedding.
While it is possible the print edition or the full Kindle edition smooth out these kinks, I’ve been so turned off this book that I’m definitely not going to buy it, despite some attractive features like a chart that gives a letter grade to various popular wedding gown designers. Maybe when I feel like paying my library fines I’ll take the book out and read the whole thing. If it sucks as much as I suspect, I’ll post my thirty-one-point list of reasons the book is terrible. But first, I’ll give you eleven ways to spot a hackjob wedding book on the shelf before you buy! Also coming up: seven ways to use crappy books in makeshift furniture.
March 18, 2010 at 10:21 am
I have two nice wedding books, I’d be happy to mail them to you for a long term loan if you think either
The Knot Guide to Wedding Dresses
The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Rev. Judith Johnson PhD (which is the most helpful book I ever saw when planning a wedding, and has since helped two other weddings be awesome).
March 18, 2010 at 10:23 am
That would be fantastic. Could I paypal you the shipping costs?
March 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Sarah has been relying a lot on this book and it is SO FUN.
(I’m taking a gamble on that html link, by the way.)