Hana Schank had never given much thought to her wedding, or even really imagined herself married, so when she found herself suddenly sporting a brand-new engagement ring she assumed planning a small, low-key wedding would be no big deal. But soon she finds herself adrift in Wedding Land, a world where all brides are expected to want to look like Cinderella, where women plan weddings with fantasy butterfly themes, where a woman's wedding is, without question, the Happiest Day of Her Life.
Despite her best efforts not to become a Bridezilla, Hana finds herself transformed from a thirty-year-old woman with a 401(k) into a nearly unrecognizable version of herself as she spends weeks crafting save-the-date cards, worries about matching her cocktails to her wedding colors, and obsessively reads Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.
She decides that, if she is going to follow traditions like wearing white and walking down the aisle with flowers, she at least wants to understand why. In her search she turns up interesting wedding facts: bridesmaids, for instance, were originally recruited to confuse evil spirits. Ultimately, she casts a critical eye on the $72 billion wedding industry, from the women at wedding websites who cackle over the etiquette missteps of others to wedding magazines that provide checklists of 187 tasks to plan the perfect wedding, suggesting that to have anything less is to fail as a bride, as a woman, as a wife.
Part confessional memoir, part social critique, A More Perfect Union chronicles a year in Wedding Land, capturing as it does not only the stresses but the undoubted joys of becoming a bride.
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March 05, 2001
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