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on November 6, 2003
Ok ladies. Getting married? This is pretty much the ONLY book you'll be needing. I happened upon this book at a book store one evening, and I bought it right away... one of the best wedding-related purchases I made. This book covers just about everything you'll need to know to plan a fabulous wedding that costs you a lot less. It is well laid out and easy to follow. These guys know ALL the tricks of the trade, providing insightful information regarding ways to save money, pitfalls to avoid, wedding dress directory, useful websites and much, much more! Being from Canada, I also appreciated the Canadian section that was included. My wedding turned out wonderfully, and I have to say this book saved me a TON of money!!
This book is small and compact, easily fitting inside your purse or pocketbook. Ladies, don't get caught up in the hype! You don't need to purchase dozens of planning books. In my opinion, this is all you'll really need!
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on December 7, 2011
I am currently reading this book for helpful tips for a less expensive wedding. I find this book to be extremely helpful and also full of knowledge from people who have actually experienced these tips. I really like that they have actual websites and names of businesses that are useful. I would highly recommend this book for those looking to cut costs for their wedding. Although I found that many of the same things are repeated in the same chapter just more in depth.
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on October 25, 2002
I just got engaged a few months ago, and another bride-to-be recommended this book. I've already found it to be extremely helpful in my planning, as the book thoroughly reviews your options for various aspects of the wedding such as bride/bridesmaids dresses, invitations, photography, etc. I particularly liked the lists of suggested questions for vendors--when I emailed one photographer with some of the questions in the book, he wrote back and said "you couldn't have asked better questions if I had given them to you myself!" I've actually found the book to be less helpful in the area of saving money. This might be partly due to the fact that we're having a pretty small wedding--we only expect about 40 guests to attend, and we're not having a bridal party. Another minor negative is that when I tried some of the websites in the book, the URLs were no longer valid; although they talked about use of the internet in planning quite a bit, I wish they had addressed this area even more, especially use of email to get information from potential vendors. Overall, however, this is a great book that you definitely will use frequently in your planning--I find myself referring to my copy again and again.
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on October 19, 2002
I cannot stress enough that this book is a godsend for anyone planning a wedding in any price range. The first section alone is worth the price of the book. No bridal magazine or web site will give you honest-to-goodness information about how to save money by buying on the internet or getting great little-known deals because they're entirely driven by their advertisers, but this book is entirely independent. I can't imagine shopping for a wedding dress without having read this - did you know that the majority of bridal salons illegally rip tags out of their dresses so you can't shop around and compare prices? Did you know that they don't make most of their money on dresses, but on accessories (by sticking a $4 piece of tulle on a $5 comb and charging - I'm not kidding - $115?) I feel confident after reading this book that I can avoid being taken to the cleaners.
The problem with the bridal industry is that most brides don't have any experience with the different brands or products, so they are easy targets to take advantage of (for example, you'll be charged hundreds of dollars to clean and "preserve" (i.e. stuff it in a plastic bag) your gown when most bridal shops just throw their samples in the washing machine and they come out fine). Okay, I'm ranting now, but this book exposes a lot of dirty little secrets that are invaluable to know.
They also offer great tips about alternative sites for ceremonies and recpetions; they help you clear your head about whether you REALLY need imported matching orchid corsages for your cake server and guestbook pen; they absolutely cram the pages of the book full of information so that the book itself is a "bridal bargain." They also have a web site that reviews dozens of wedding-dress designers for quality, reliability, fashion, and whether they're made in sweatshops.
As you can see, I cannot say enough good things about this book. I'f you're a bride, or know anyone who is, or anyone who might one day be one, buy it now.
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on October 3, 2002
I highly recommend this book. Unlike the Knot's Complete Guide, it doesn't assume you have all the money and time in the world. And unlike 1001 Ways to Save Money, it doesn't merely give you a list of ideas. What Bridal Bargains does is show you how to save money, gives you lots of ideas, and then tells you what to do and where to go to turn those ideas into reality. There are TONS of ideas for ceremony and reception sites, and tips on dealing with vendors of all types. There are a lot of websites featured. They review all the major designers and vendors, and there are some excellent tips on how to find the perfect dress. DO NOT do what I did - I bought all the books referenced above, and found out that most were worthless. Only get this one. BTW, this book paid for itself within two weeks - I found a tiara I loved in a bridal shop for $200 and this book told me where to look for a less expensive one - so I used their suggestion and found an almost identical tiara for $43! I have several more exapmles of how I saved money and frustration by following this book, but that was the first!
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on August 8, 2001
I was given this book by my mother to help plan my wedding--we have a short engagement and little time to plan. Even if your goal is not to have a "bargain wedding", you will learn more from this book than from any of the others I have examined.
This book is crammed with honest, uncompromised advice. The authors are not connected to the bridal industry, which gives them "Consumer Reports-like" freedom to evaluate products, manufacturers, and industry secrets with blunt frankness. I trust them in a way I could never trust the bridal mags.
The book is full of tips--it can show you how to buy wholesale flowers, it rates the quality, design, and service of gown and invitation manufacturers...and it gives web address for most of the companies and products that it mentions. I learned a tremendous amount by reading this...I followed the book page by page and checked out urls as I went along.
Will I save money from what I learned in this book? Absolutely. If I had even more time to plan, I imagine I could have saved thousands. If one of my friends were to become engaged, my first piece of advice would be to buy this book!
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on June 26, 2001
I absolutely love this book! I'm one of those lucky people that has to pay for a majority of my wedding - this book has been my bible - not just for finding bargains and insider tips on everything from gowns to caterers to DJ's, but also just for basic planning and practical advice. This book, in addition the the authors' website... are really all you'll need to plan your wedding. With so many new websites popping up on wedding services, this book sorts out the good from the bad, saving you time and frustration. The author's write as if they are your good friends - and no offense, but no maid-of-honor could ever be this helpful or knowledgable! They've gone undercover to unmask the ugly side of the bridal industry, while still being optimistic about brides finding good quality service at great prices. Even if you're not bargain hunting, you should get this book for it's great lists of important questions to ask any service provider. And if you ARE bargain shopping, you need this book for sure. Older editions may be available at your library, but to be really useful (especially with updated web advice) you need the latest edition. Take it from me - I found my wedding gown, brand new and BEAUTIFUL for $152.00 including tax - in MY size, no alterations needed, and I brought it home the same day I paid for it! My Veil was only $18.00! I'm finding that I can do many things myself - this adds not only a personal touch, but it's exactly what I want at great prices. I can't reccomend it enough and from what I read, other brides feel the same. Buy this book!
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on April 18, 2001
I will be forever in debt to my future sister-in-law for buying me this book! Not only is it packed with everything I've ever had a question about, but it is really FUNNY! I've chuckled my way through this book. It is a very easy read and very well organized too. I consider myself pretty savvy but there is NO WAY I would have caught onto the hundreds of scams that everyone is pulling on brides! It is sickening but now I feel confident that I won't be taken advantage of!! It has great links to online sites too. I just ordered their book Cyberbride to get even more online info. My fiance and I have very little money but big, close-knit families. (I have three brothers w/spouses and another brother with a SO!) A big wedding is a must for me and this book has really given me some great ideas for cutting the costs down BIG TIME. I will forever recommend this book to any bride! I've already sung its praises to my cousin and my younger brother will be sure to get this book too when he's ready!!
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on February 28, 2001
My sister gave me this book (3rd edition) after she planned her wedding, and we ordered her bridesmaid dresses from the discount bridal service mentioned. Not only did we save close to $70 on each bridesmaid dress, but when I called the same service to find out about the designer gown I wanted for my upcoming wedding, the DBS had it for over $700 LESS than the bridal shop less than 20 miles away! Just making one toll-free phone call the book mentioned was worth it! I also was able to find the perfect paper and supplies for printing my own invitations and programs from the distributors' numbers that were provided here. Until you start planning, you'd be surprised at how many vendors attempt to rip you off. It's that whole "woman at the car repair shop" kind of thing. Granted there are also a couple things here and there that you will snicker at, but over all, this continues to be a great wedding advice guide! This book covers ideas and information that only the most complete wedding planner would know about!
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on February 27, 2001
I did find some information that was useful, but I did read some that are suggesting couples to be dishonest. I feel that could cause bigger problem on their very important day than paying out a few extra dollars. Like telling a reception hall that the event is a retirement party rather than a wedding to get a "better deal". There is a reason why the cost is different. There is more involved with a wedding than a retirement party.(if the author wrote a book on "how to plan a retirement party", it would be very thin) coordinators are there at your wedding making sure everything is going perfect when the couple does not even realize it. Who works with the MC when annoucing the bridal party to make sure the names are correct and in order? Who makes sure the first dance and the cake cutting ceremony is at the right time? Do I need to go on? these are things that the bride and groom don't have time to handle. This is handled by the coordinators of the reception hall. Please think through carefully before considering dishonesty as an option. If a reception site is very overpriced just don't have your reception there. There are a lot of nice sites with reasonable prices.
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