Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Book Review: Altared

"The overt messsage in the bridal industry is that your wedding is the most important day of your life."

Altared, edited by Colleen Curran, is a collection of essays by strong female writers about their weddings. They are the type of women who for the most part didn't have the princess dream wedding as little girls and either found themselves surprisingly swept up in the fantasy or rebelling against it furiously.

I loved it. Of course, it validated my belief that the wedding is just one day and the marriage is supposed to last forever, so the marriage is what you should put more effort into. It's nice to know women have been thinking like this for a few years now.

I started wondering though... what if the antibride movement is perpetuating the myth of the bridezilla industry? The antibride industry wants to make money, too, obviously, or it wouldn't be hyped up in the way nothing has been since Generation X. But then I remember creepy Precious Moments cake toppers and think that the antibrides have it right. As long as those things are still being bought by someone, there's still a bridal industry to rail against.

That tangent aside, this really was an entertaining read, and all true tales from real women. One woman called off her wedding. A widow remarried. One woman writes of her arranged marriage that fell apart when her husband finally revealed he was gay (and in the community's eyes the bad marriage was all her fault). A woman writes about her and her partner's anguish over whether they should have a wedding or not, since as lesbians they feel they can probably never be legally married. There's a wedding for everyone in this book.

I know summer reading is over, but these are brief essays that you can read during commuting train rides or quiet moments at home. Check it out.

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