Many new books on wedding planning take this go-your-own-way approach, not only telling couples it's fine to do what they want, but also attempting to show them how to achieve it. Diane Meier Delaney's The New American Wedding is a 256-page pep talk on just this subject. It convinces would-be brides and grooms that it's perfectly acceptable to have what some would term a nontraditional wedding and shows that more couples are choosing to do their own thing. From alternative engagements (and jewelry) to different-from-normal vows, ceremony locations, attendants, showers and more, couples are finding that putting their own marks on their special day makes the ceremony and experience of their wedding much more personal and real. Delaney offers inspiration, stories and examples from her own experience and from other couples who have crafted their own ceremonies and had beautiful, heartfelt weddings as a result. Though the book sometimes reads like an ad for the author's favorite vendors (many of whom she works with in her day job as a marketer), it is helpful to couples who want to do something different but have no idea what their options are.

Sarah E. White is a freelance writer in Arkansas.

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