When I was back home doing wedding planning two weeks ago, I was immersed in the wedding industry, The Knot magazine, Wedding Wire, Bride magazine, and a ton of other wedding websites, magazines, blogs, and pamphlets that said they would help me plan this important day. Well, I tired quickly reading that stuff and was grateful for Meg Keene’s new book, A Practical Wedding and the chance to attend her book talk.
During the wedding planning process I have had to remind myself that my resources are not limited to things that say “wedding”. A wedding ceremony is a ritual and a wedding reception is a party. The planning process requires listening, negotiation, organization, working in a team, and social design amongst other skills. That is to say, your wedding planning reading list can expand beyond checklists and how to look beautiful on a budget.
Here are a few books I am reading that I would recommend:
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton – This book is a classic, used by business leaders and ambassadors, and now, brides and grooms. Whether you are working with vendors or friendors, there is a lot of negotiation that takes place to make sure that you are on the same page and will be able to have a win-win. I love this book because it shows you the alternative to either hard or soft negotiation (hard on the problem, soft on the people), so that you can maintain a good relationship with those people who have agreed to help on your wedding day.
Community by Peter Block – One of my pet peeves is when people imply that the host of a meeting or party has little to no control over the outcome, in particular in terms of attendees feeling welcome and having a good time. This awesome book by Peter Block talks about how we as party planners, or in his case, community organizers, can create the future we want by designing a space that welcomes that future. I love this book because it combines theory and practice. It can help you understand the difference between seating your guests at round tables or at rectangular tables. It helps you understand why everyone hires florists for important community gatherings and how you can incorporate nature into your meeting space. If you are hoping to bring your family’s together into one cohesive community, I would highly recommend this book.
Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone- Meg, on the site A Practical Wedding has a lot of great stories and explanations about why this wedding planning time can be so difficult for couples and families. It is really a time when you are forming a new family unit, and that may take some adjustment or changes to your role in the family you grew up in. Anyways, I guarantee at some point with someone you are going to have to have a difficult conversation, a conversation that is backed by a lot of emotions and probably some hidden fears or anxiety. This book is a quick read and can be very helpful during this time and for your marriage.
Do you have any recommendations for other non-wedding books that would be helpful for wedding planning?