Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review: Bride in Overdrive

Last weekend, the in-laws came down and we talked about all kinds of wedding stuff and went bridesmaid dress shopping.  Also during the weekend, my future mother-in-law offered me a book, Bride in Overdrive.  I read most of it on the plane ride home from Colorado last night, and I'm worried.  I'm worried because she told me that parts of the book reminded her of me.  And the bride in the book is selfish, immature, and expects her fiance to be in the background while she and her step-mom plan everything.  (I'm pretty sure she gave it to me because they got engaged on Federal Hill.  Or that is what I'm telling myself.)

I haven't finished the book yet, but most of the chapters resolve themselves with, "I got over being crazy/selfish/bratty and realized that it would be better if my fiance and I picked out the invitations/things for the registry together." 

The problem with this book is that it is the kind of book that most people who know a bride find funny, because the bride they know has of course, "gone crazy with wedding planning".  Which we have.  I certainly got obsessed with invitations for a little while, and then I found the perfect ones and I've let it go.  But I didn't call my father and demand a lobster dinner for 200 people.  I didn't go insane.  Every once in awhile, I let something get to me, work out a way to resolve it, and leave it alone.  So, in short, it's the kind of book that parents and friends find funny, because they see your behavior reflected in it; and will make all of the brides that I know get defensive and go, "well, I'm not like that!!!!"

The thing about this book though, that really bothered me, was that I didn't like the main character.  Not because she acts bratty and immature and selfish sometimes, but because she's planning a wedding that isn't really about her and her fiance.  She's throwing a wedding that has been planned by Martha Stewart and Modern Bride magazine. She doesn't worry about expressing herself, she worries about impressing other people and having the "best" wedding around.  The only redeeming, interesting part is that she does talk a lot about dealing with divorced parents in the planning and marrying process. 

The book is also lacking in any kind of common moral or theme.  It is simply a memoir of one girl's wedding planning process, and while she does call herself out for acting crazy, she doesn't do any of the work that Kamy Wicoff does in I do but I don't.  (If I can ever find my copy and finish it, I'll review that one too.)  She doesn't propose any solutions to the acting crazy, or explore the reasons why (the way Ariel does in the new Offbeat Bride, which I will review shortly.) 

I may or may not finish Bride in Overdrive, because now that I'm off a plane and have other things to read, I don't feel invested enough to know whether the main character has a perfect wedding or calls the whole thing off or whether she does, in fact, serve lobster at her wedding.  I don't care whether she gets "uncrazy" or not.  And I particularly enjoyed the part in which she discussed how great it was to go from a size 6 to a size 4.


  1. >from a size 6 to a size 4.

    Wait, really? Because that sounds like one of those books that make me want to smack the author.

    (and I'm not a violent person, I swear LOL)

  2. Ugh, I hate bride stereotypes. Everyone assumes we're wedding crazy while our fiance's are throwing away their lives. Very, very aggravating, and it's sad that books like these promote the assumption that all brides are wedding crazy. Yes, sometimes we get caught up on the details, but by the sounds of it, this book is only exacerbating the problem.

  3. Do I get to dive for the Lobster?