Bargainista Bride by Aimee Manis is a compact, no-nonsense guide to creating a “simple and authentic wedding” that reflects the happy couple and their values rather than their net worth. There is no need to sacrifice style in order to trim costs, no matter how modest the budget. Brides-to-be are forewarned about succumbing to the temptations of add-ons and unanticipated upgrades, and each one merits a discriminating chapter: reception, entertainment, florals, dress, photography, invitations, honeymoon and more. “Bargainista Tips” are scattered throughout, peppering pages with gems such as: give the DJ a “don’t play” list along with the play list; getting married from “November through March can save you 20 to 30 percent”; and online wedding sites can cut stationery costs to nil. Bargainista Bride empowers readers to create priceless moments and memories without going into debt.

CHECKING IT TWICE
The Wedding Planner & Organizer is just right for the bride-to-be who won’t feel comfortable without a three-ring binder in hand, complete with tabbed dividers, pockets and lists galore. You know who you are: Your fingers itch to fill out the wedding dress crib sheet, catering contacts, location pros and cons, guest list, the amazing budget spreadsheet and every other organizing aid. And the fact that all this meticulous information comes straight from Mindy Weiss, lifestyle guru and wedding planner to the stars, makes a legit foundation for this many-layered cake of a book. (Speaking of cake, it gets its own checklist of questions, including bakery contract details.) Keeping everything—worksheets, receipts, business cards, catalog pages, photos, etc.—in one place can help simplify a complicated, expensive and stressful undertaking. For the bride who scrupulously sweats the details, The Wedding Planner & Organizer will make the process fun. And after the big day, the whole thing becomes an instant keepsake.

TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
A Practical Wedding is the book offshoot from Meg Keene’s addictive “alternative” wedding blog, APracticalWedding.com. Expect a big-hearted, broad-minded, super-smart low-down on the indispensable practicalities of getting married. Keene helps readers define expectations (your own and others’, as well as those of popular culture at large) and craft an individualized plan to achieve the authentic ones. Here is where the fabulous dress, venue, cake and so on come in—but without loss of sanity or budget. Keene outlines options for how to prioritize, hack just about anything, shop smart and ask for help, and brings in pithy insights from experienced brides. Readers will learn how to do-it-yourself and when to call in the pros, how to negotiate unexpected upheavals (money, illness, cold feet and worse), how to personalize a ceremony and how to surrender to what will certainly be “one wonderful, wildly imperfect day.”

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