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  • Diana Biller 3:00 pm on 2018/07/13 Permalink
    Tags: best wedding guides, best wedding planning books, make it work, wedding planning, Weddings   

    How to Find Your Perfect Wedding Planning Book 

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    So you’ve decided to plan a wedding.

    Most likely this means you’ve found someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. Congratulations! That’s rare and beautiful and romantic and…not really what weddings are about. Weddings are about accommodating up to several hundred members of your community who need to be fed, watered, entertained, and provided with places to go to the bathroom. Ideally, sometime during this event you will have beautiful, romantic moment. Whether you’re relaxed enough to register this moment will depend significantly on how well you’ve set yourself up for success in the previous months.

    But the days of the cookie-cutter wedding is over, and planning advice is no longer one-size-fits-all. Below, we’ve paired some of our favorite wedding planning books with their ideal betrotheds—just scroll down to find your perfect match.

    If you can’t afford a wedding planner, but you want one anyway…

    The Bride’s Essential Wedding Planner, by Amy Nebens
    This is a wedding in a binder. And not just a wedding in a binder—a wedding in an attractive binder which can later do double duty as a memento. The Bride’s Essential Wedding Planner has every checklist and worksheet you can think of, plus places to stow business cards you collect, DIY ideas, calendars, and seating charts, all conveniently tabbed and pre-organized. If you were the kind of child who really looked forward to back-to-school office supply shopping, this is the book for you, but it’s also perfect if you’re feeling overwhelmed and just need something to hold your hand.

    The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer, by Carley Roney & the editors of TheKnot.com
    Another one-stop shop, this cute little binder comes from the wedding experts at The Knot, so it’s probably as close to getting an actual wedding planner as you’ll manage without shelling out the big bucks. The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner is simple and neatly organized—it comes with pockets for the tear sheets you’ll get from venues and caterers, and it’s chock-full of inspiration and, even better, how to implement the inspiration once you get it. The perforated color swatch page for choosing your wedding palette is particularly cool. And there are stickers!

    If you’re an Instagram celebrity…

    Stone Fox Bride: Love, Lust, and Wedding Planning for the Wild at Heart, by Molly Rosen Guy
    Stone Fox Bride won me over on page one, where it instructs its readers to begin by doing nothing. This is how I like to begin everything, and I suspect I am not alone. But the rest of the pages are amazing too: filled with stunning photography and illustrations, with a great blend of celebrity and DIY inspiration that’s low stress while still being Instagram friendly. The coolest part? The flowers section organized by style icons. You knowyou want an Elizabeth Taylor inspired bouquet.

    If you’re seriously practical…

    All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day, by Alison Hotchkiss
    All the Essentials combines fresh, modern design with a pragmatic approach to planning. Along with features like downloadable templates and sample floor plans, the book includes a section on contracts and how to read them—a must for anyone dealing with multiple vendors.

    A Practical Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Wedding You Want with the Budget You’ve Got (without Losing Your Mind in the Process), by Meg Keene
    Now this is the book for the major-league pragmatist. If you don’t care about the soft stuff and your bottom line is numbers, A Practical Wedding Planner has your back. This has your important checklists and to-do lists, with an emphasis on meeting your budget and keeping your perspective. It even comes with pie-charts!

    If you’re broke AF…

    The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide, by Dana LaRue
    If you made the mistake of falling in love while still drowning in student loan debt, but you still want a wedding, The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide is here to help. With sample budgets down to $1000, fun ideas for cheap engagement parties, and practical DIY projects, you won’t need to take out another loan for your big day.

    If you run an Etsy store…

    Handmade Weddings: More Than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day, by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle, and Shana Faust
    Okay, you super crafty types who can whip up a Met Gala ball gown out of two hefty bags and a Ziploc of dog hair, I see you. With over 50 DIY projects, Handmade Weddings is perfect for those who want to bring their own individual flair to their wedding. Cleverly organized by style—are you “girly romantic” or “organic minimal”?—the book includes ideas for favors, invitations, decorations, and even cake toppers.

    If you live for lists…

    The Knot Book of Wedding Lists: The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Day, Down to the Smallest Detail, by Carley Roney and the Editors of TheKnot.com
    A great book on its own or in combination with another book on this list, The Knot Book of Wedding Lists compiles all the crucial wedding planning checklists, timelines, and to-do’s into a book you can tote with you to vendor meetings and venue tours. Basically it’s like having wedding cliff-notes in your pocket.

    The Bride’s Essential Book of Lists: Things to Do & Questions to Ask, by Amy Nebens
    The companion list book to The Bride’s Essential Wedding Planner, this petite book is nicely set up for working on-the-go with comparison worksheets, check-lists, and pockets for business cards, tear sheets, and vendor samples. The Bride’s Essential Book of Lists even takes you past the wedding day with planning tips for the honeymoon.

    And if you have no idea what you’re doing…

    Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding, by Judith Martin and Jacobina Martin
    Weddings are a trying time, and planning them can be overwhelming. Who better to turn to than Miss Manners herself, who, along with her newlywed daughter, take on today’s enormous weddings and urge those about to walk down the aisle to do so in calm, dignified, and affordable manner. Featuring Judith Martin’s trademark humor, Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding is a good place to check in before you embark on the insanity of wedding planning.

    How are you planning for the big day?

    The post How to Find Your Perfect Wedding Planning Book appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Lindsey Lewis Smithson 6:15 pm on 2016/04/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Weddings   

    The Best Honeymoon Destinations for Book Nerd Newlyweds 

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    Wedding season is on the horizon, and with it comes some amazing honeymoon travel opportunities. In the quest to find the perfect spot to relax after the months of planning, family time, and the ceremony itself, consider hitting the country that best suits your literary tastes. Both coasts of the U.S. boast their own wonderful literary histories, or well read and adventurous couples can branch out into more far reaching countries, like Japan or Cuba, to find their literary loves. Of course, there are certain distant havens for the written word, like London and Paris, that should not be overlooked. Wherever you and your beloved decide to go, be sure to bring plenty of books for your downtime.

    Washington, D.C.
    Washington D.C. is a gorgeous city with amazing literary offerings. The Library of Congress can be an almost full day adventure for any book lover, with exhibits that highlight everything from historical maps to the origins of jazz. True must-sees include the Thomas Jefferson Collection, holding many of the actual books read by the third President. And along the National Mall is the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to one of the few copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The Library regularly hosts productions of Shakespeare’s plays, poetry readings, and exhibits relevant to Shakespeare’s world. Visit the city in spring for the beauty and romance of the cherry blossoms, and stay for the fantastic history and literary sights.

    England’s literary bona fides are unending and make it a dream honeymoon destination. Take in one of Shakespeare’s romances at The Globe Theater, walk the moors so loved by the Brontë sisters, sit in the village of Haworth at dusk for an otherworldly view of nature. Take an afternoon turn in the gardens of Jane Austen’s house in Hampshire while chatting about the love affair between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Maybe you want to check out a tour of the Harry Potter sets; they were good enough for the royals to visit. England is an amazing country, full of more literary sites and romantic day trips than could ever be listed in one place.

    Northern California
    Stay at the Hotel Boheme, visit Chinatown and the Chinese Historical Society to relive the worlds of Amy Tan’s novels, and spend a day at The Beat Museum to immerse yourself in the writing of the Beat Generation. Travel farther down the coast that inspired so many writers and photographers, and take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean before a stop in Salinas and the National Steinbeck Center. The dramatic contrast of the ocean and the redwood forest, the fertile valleys and the busy cities, are as interesting as any other characters in East of Eden, and time spent here won’t soon be forgotten. Whether you find the beaches or the forests, the cities or the open roads, California has a stop—and an author—for every taste.

    Even without its astounding literary connections, the City of Lights can be the honeymoon of a lifetime. Make a reservation at Le Procope to eat like Victor Hugo, or drink 40 cups of coffee like Voltaire at cafés around town. A cemetery might not seem like a romantic stop, but Père Lachaise is the most visited cemetery in the world, with residents including Oscar Wilde, Honoré de Balzac, Colette, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, and Richard Wright, where a true book-loving couple will be glad to pay their respects. Or, if graveyards aren’t your thing, step into the 1920s and get a drink in the same speakeasy where Hemingway met F. Scott Fitzgerald in April 1925; Le Rosebud is literary destination like no other. From your perch atop the Eiffel Tower or at a sidewalk café table, drink in the city that was home and muse to centuries of revolutionary writers.

    Now that Americans can travel to Cuba to sightsee, the Hemingway House in San Francisco de Paula should be at the top of book lovers’ travel lists. Just outside of Havana you’ll find Finca Vigía, where Hemingway wrote his classics For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea, and began A Moveable FeastThe house is on both the World Monuments Fund’s list of 100 Most Endangered sites and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places, so it is very much worth the visit. Nearby, visitors can see the National Museum of Fine Arts, the mosaic art at Fusterlandia, and grab something to eat in Old Havana. For a unique adventure in a country few have vacationed to, book nerds can immerse themselves in a culture we’ve only read about in books like Dreaming in Cuban.

    A step outside of Western culture may bring book nerd lovers to Japan. The country is currently home to Kenzaburo OeHaruki Murakami, and Natsuo Kirino, among others, but these literary heavy hitters are just part of a long literary tradition. Plan your trip using this list of cities where famous Japanese stories take place, find a Tokyo jazz bar where you can whip out your favorite Murakami novel, and carry a tour books like Lonely Planet Japan to ensure you hit all the major points of interest. To see Western lit through an Eastern lens, check out a themed night at a restaurant, where they often take on classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

  • Kathryn Williams 6:45 pm on 2016/01/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Weddings   

    Why You Should Bring Books on Your Honeymoon 

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    In response to a heated debate on our Facebook page over whether newlyweds should bring books on their honeymoon, we’ve asked two writers—one for honeymoon reading, one against it—to make their case. Check back tomorrow for the opposing view!

    I have been in 13 weddings, not including my own or the one where I dressed up as a bride for a Martha Stewart Weddings photo shoot (another story). I have not been a reader in all of those ceremonies, but I’ve done my rounds. Generally, I find these readings sweet and stern reminders of what it takes to make a marriage, but there are a few readings that always gave me pause. Most of them have to do with cleaving and two bodies becoming one flesh. It’s the idea of losing individual identity that I just can’t get down with.

    When it came time to pick my own wedding readings, I turned to Ranier Maria Rilke, who wrote, “a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude…. Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

    My husband preferred a Seamus Heaney poem instead, so I jettisoned the reading from Letters to a Young Poet, but it’s still the most pragmatic, authentic, and beautiful meditation on marriage I’ve ever read. The second is a greeting card I saw at a local gift shop, which read, “There is nobody else I’d rather lie in bed and look at my phone next to.” I sincerely thought about getting it for my husband on our first anniversary.

    Maybe this thinking is all a little heavy for the simple question of whether or not to bring a book on your honeymoon. I get that books are just another form of distraction (that’s why they’re so freaking awesome!) and that the honeymoon is, traditionally, about squeezing as much undivided quality time into a week as humanly possible, so that when you come back home and discover (or remember) your spouse is actually a filthy, careless, chewing-with-their-mouth-open philistine who picked up WHOLE milk when you expressly asked for skim, you can dip into that well of romantic honeymoon memories and remember why you love them.

    For so long, we’ve thought of the honeymoon as a time out of time. But here’s the thing: it’s not, and if you expect it to be, you very likely will be let down. There is excitement, passion, deep connection, and discovery on a honeymoon, of course, but there’s also the fact that you are still the two people you were before the honeymoon and the people you will be after. There will be irritations and spats and old patterns manifesting themselves. After a week or four days, maybe even an hour, you’ll need your own solitudes, and THAT WILL BE OKAY, especially if it’s in the form of a book.

    In fact, it will be healthy, and it will confirm what you maybe suspected all along, as your travel agent tried to sell you on the couples’ therapeutic mud bath: the honeymoon is only magical in that it is a distilled version of your relationship. When you’re sipping rum punches on the beach in St. Barth’s or wandering the cobblestone alleys of a medieval Italian hill town, you may get to be your best selves—removed from all the stress of work and family and wedding planning—but you will still be yourselves. The selves that like to read mystery novels. Or surf. Or go for a jog. Or do whatever solitary activities it is that you enjoy. The selves that love each other and joined for the rest of your lives, not as one flesh but as partners walking side by side. If that means reading in bed beside each other instead of steamy sexual congress on a bed of rose petals, then so be it. More power to you. May you live long and prosper as a realistic, relaxed, self-secure, and well-read couple standing before that immense sky.

  • Ginni Chen 5:30 pm on 2015/11/17 Permalink
    Tags: , love quotes, proposals, , , Weddings   

    16 Unexpected Book Quotations To Use In Your Proposal 

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    There’s a lot going on right now. It’s pumpkin spice everything season, it’s decorative gourd season, it’s football season, it’s the holiday season, it’s the holiday shopping season, it’s winter-is-coming season. The list of this season’s attributes go on and on, but let’s not forget the most exciting one of all: it’s proposal season.

    The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is the hottest time of year for engagements. With people everywhere taking a knee and popping the question, the pressure is on to make a unique romantic gesture during the big moment. You don’t want to do what others have done, or say what others have said. We know it’s no small task to find the right words to ask someone to spend the rest of their lives with you, so we thought some of the world’s greatest wordsmiths might help.

    For those literary-minded lovebirds planning to propose this season, these unexpected book quotations just might say everything your heart feels.

    “True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that.”
    The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

    “I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”
    Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

    “When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.”
    A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

    “I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
    The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

    “It has made me better loving you…it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu

    “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind.”
    Jazz by Toni Morrison

    ”I want to be the last person who ever kisses you, too…. That sounds bad, like a death threat or something. What I’m trying to say is, you’re it. This is it for me.”
    Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

    “If you can just get most people to leave you alone, you’re doing good. If you can find even one person you really like, you’re lucky. And if that person can also stand you, you’re really lucky.”
    The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

    “Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.”
    Snow by Orhan Pamuk

    “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
    Airman’s Odyssey by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    “The half life of love is forever.”
    This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

    ”There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
    Dracula by Bram Stoker

    ”There are no happy endings. 

    Endings are the saddest part,

    So just give me a happy middle

    And a very happy start.”

    Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein

    Strength enough to build a home,

    Time enough to hold a child, 

    Love enough to break a heart.”
    Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

    “This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”
    Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Jeff Somers 3:15 pm on 2015/09/29 Permalink
    Tags: , george bernard shaw, , , , ogden nash, , the devil's dictionary, , , wedding toasts, Weddings   

    9 Incredible Book Quotes to Include in Your Next Wedding Toast 

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    The chances you will at some point in your life be called on to make a wedding toast—or, perhaps, will decide all on your own to drunkenly stand up and make an unscheduled wedding toast you were not called on to make—are pretty high. The shy, the gregarious, the loners: no matter what we do to avoid them, wedding toasts will find us all.

    Of course, the vast majority of wedding toasts border on, or at least dip into incoherency, rambling, and inappropriateness. So if you have a wedding toast in your future, don’t wing it: treat it like a job interview and do some prep work, because you will be judged based on your performance. One foolproof trick? Keep it classy with some ace literary quotes. Here are a few suggestions from our infinite library.

    For 100% Ugly Cry Sincerity: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
    Want to ruin everyone’s makeup? Hit them with this gem from Bronte’s classic: “I have for the first time found what I can truly love—I have found you. You are my sympathy—my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

    To Establish Yourself as The Smartest Person in the Room: The Devil’s Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce
    Feeling a bit saucy and need to establish intellectual supremacy over everyone in the room, including the happy couple? Bierce’s fierce sarcasm will do the trick: “Marriage: A community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves—making in all, two.”

    For Total Nerd Domination: The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    If you’re a couple—or celebrating a couple—who has a closet designated for cosplay outfits and a wedding reception theme best described as a LARP, hit them with some serious Ent love: “When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay; When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day; When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain; I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!”

    For Harry Potter Cool Points: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
    All you need to do is somehow work up a speech incorporating the concept of the Patronus, then offer a quote about a man who knew the true nature of love: Severus Snape. “From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. ‛After all this time?’ ‛Always,’ said Snape.”

    For 100% Efficiency: Ogden Nash
    Called upon to make a toast and just want to get in and out as quickly as possible without making a fool of yourself? Nash, the master of the short, whimsical poem, solves your problem: “To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.”

    For that Timeless Romantic Vibe: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
    If you think there’s a more romantic couple than Jamie and Claire from Gabaldon’s time travel series, you’re lying to yourself. When trying to come up with a romantic toast, what could be better than “Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone, I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One. I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.” No, you’re crying.

    For Affectionately Insulting the Groom: Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie
    Christie was a fount of quotes about marriage, including this gem from one of her classic mystery novels, ideal for tweaking the groom: “Women can accept the fact that a man is a rotter, a swindler, a drug taker, a confirmed liar, and a general swine, without batting an eyelash, and without its impairing their affection for the brute in the least. Women are wonderful realists.” That round of applause you’re getting from the women is real.

    For When You’ve Just Burst in to Stop a Wedding: Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw
    Did you just race across town with the assistance of a zany group of friends in order to stop someone from making a huge mistake? George Bernard Shaw, as usual, has the ideal quote for you to use after you’ve ruined the ceremony: “Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?”

    For Cracking Up the Entire Room: The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
    Want to bring the house down? Clink your glass, wait for total silence, and announce you’d like to share the very wise words of the very wise man the Archdean of Florin. Then take a deep breath and say “Mawidge is a dweam wiffin a dweam. The dweam of wuv wapped wiffin the gweater dweam of everwasting west. Eternity is our fwiend, wemember that, and wuv wiw fowwow you fowever.” Prepare to be carried out of the room by a cheering crowd.

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