February 2008

Beauty on a budget

By Khris Cochran
By Wiley Wiley
By Karen Bussen
By Martha Stewart
Review by
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Crafts of all sorts have made a huge resurgence right along with the DIY trend, and women who knit, sew or are otherwise crafty will want to incorporate some of that into their wedding (and save a little money in the process). Khris Cochran's The DIY Bride: 40 Fun Projects for Your Ultimate One-of-a-Kind Wedding provides inspiration and projects for save-the-date cards, invitations, jewelry and accessories, ceremony decorations, programs, favors and more. Cochran, who founded the website, also provides a cost comparison to show how much a similar item would cost if purchased in a store, allowing busy couples to decide whether it would be better to buy or make certain projects. A hair ornament for a flower girl, for example, costs about $5 to make but would cost about $40 to buy. The DIY Bride provides clear instructions and suggests whether a project could be completed by the couple themselves, with the help of the wedding party or with members of the family, offering clever ideas and the potential for fun invitation-building parties with friends.

It's the money, honey

Bringing all the pieces of a dream wedding together can be difficult no matter how organized a couple is. Staying on budget can be even trickier, as there's always one more detail (and expense) to add. Rich Bride, Poor Bride: Your Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide aims to help couples stick to their priorities and their budgets. Based on the WE television show "Rich Bride, Poor Bride," this general wedding planning guide contains tips from couples and wedding planners who have seen everything. The book emphasizes the importance of having a wedding planner, since their experience with vendors allows couples to stay on budget and keeps them from having to deal with last-minute details. But even for those who don't hire a planner, Rich Bride, Poor Bride offers advice from the pros that will be useful in getting to the ceremony with finances and sanity intact.

Minding p's and q's

There's a lot of tradition behind the wedding ceremony, and while some of that can be tossed aside in favor of what makes the couple happy, it's useful to have a guide to explain how things should be done. Simple Stunning Wedding Etiquette: Traditions, Answers, and Advice from One of Today's Top Wedding Planners by Karen Bussen, follows in the footsteps of Bussen's other books by pairing useful information with beautiful photos. From handling pushy parents to wording the wedding invitation, from talking about prenuptial agreements to canceling the event, this guide covers the basics of etiquette for the modern wedding. It also covers wedding showers, putting together a non-traditional ceremony and planning the reception. Simple Stunning Wedding Etiquette serves as a reminder that the right thing to do in almost any situation is the thing that makes the people who are important to you most comfortable.

Fresh from the oven

Martha Stewart provides some do-it-yourself inspiration in her new book with Wendy Kromer, Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes: More Than 100 Inspiring Cakes. While there may not be many brides who have both the skills and interest necessary to make their own cakes, all brides will benefit from learning how cakes are put together and what to consider before ordering one. Stewart and Kromer suggest basing your choice on the style of wedding, the season, a stylistic element of the wedding or the wedding's location. Brave souls who do want to go it alone will find recipes for several of the cakes and a section explaining how to bake, decorate and transport them. For everyone else, the 100 color photos and detailed descriptions of fillings, icing and embellishments serve as a great jumping-off point for a discussion with a professional cake baker.

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