on May 7, 2001
Among the hundreds of wedding books on the real and virtual shelves of America's booksellers, I think this one really is unique. The author has unearthed from cultures around the world (countries and religions) hundreds of great traditions you can actually use, whatever your ethnic background--African American, Asian, European, Latin, Catholic, Buddhist, Amish, etc. It's easy to use, arranged in alphabetical order within chapters that follow the wedding timeline, engagement to the first year of marriage. There are even--and this is great--vows, readings, and toasts arranged by country and religion, so you can find a South American poem or the Quaker vows or a Yoruban rite. Shakespeare and the Apache Wedding Song coexist comfortably here. If you want to find some special, personal touches that'll still keep the ceremony and reception traditional, this is it. My grandfather was from Finland, and we broke the plate at our wedding and did the Dance of Crowns(page 157). AND we borrowed some from other cultures: I carried a tiny horseshoe and put some English lavender in my bouquet, like the Irish, so we'll be lucky enough to have our love last forever. Lots, lots more!
on April 15, 2002
No other book covers the world or makes the customs as easy to find as this book does.
It's worth it just to add a few really special touches to the pre-wedding parties, ceremony, and reception. It explains the origin of customs around the world and includes a variety of religious as well as Native American, Chinese, Japanese,African, Phillipine, Hispanic, and Slavic cultures among the incredible variety.
But it also includes vows AND ceremonies for an incredible variety of religions, great quotes from literary masters, and lots of toasts.
AND it's easy to find what you want because it's divided up into chapters that cover courting, engagement, ceremony, reception, clothes, and post-wedding stuff.
It's wonderful. I added some of the traditions to my wedding and it was so much more romantic.
on May 26, 2004
What particularly struck me about this book was the depth and breadth of information. In addition to an astounding array of well-documented international customs, the author includes useful extras like wedding ceremony vows, readings, and toasts used around the world.
It's a pleasure to read and contains some real gems.