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Weddings can carry a stigma for over indulgence and unrealistic desire for perfection. I was sick of seeing the princess fairytale weddings offered by TV shows like Rich Bride, Poor Bride, or the way too perfect ideas coming out of the homemaker bible of Martha Stewart magazine. Since I am getting married next year, I’ve read way too many wedding guidebooks to get ready for the big day. A lot were laughable and some had about two pages of solid suggestions, but I wanted some realistic advice without too many frills and DIY Wedding offered exactly what I was looking for. The book offers fair counsel on the unavoidables such as: attire, reception, flowers, favours and food. The book has an eco friendly focus so there’s lots of priceless info. Consider using an heirloom as a wedding band instead of buying a new one, dazzle up a drab shoe by using some material from your dress, cook up some favours instead of opting for the typical landfill giveaways. Other worthwhile info is how-to advice on making cufflinks for the groomsmen and cluster earrings for the bridesmaids. The most useful tip in the book was not doing it all by yourself, but actually establishing a DIY team. Put any of your friend’s creative skills to good use. Who’s capable of doing the invitations, who’s great with a sewing machine, who’s got a massive record collection? The one beef I had with DIY was it lacked a section on transportation. How will the couple and their gang of bridesmaids and groomsmen get to the church without having to do it in a stretch limo? If you’re getting married skip the wedding planner and do yourself a favour DO IT YOURSELF! (Andrea Nene)

by Kelly Bare, $14.95, 225 pgs, Raincoast Books, 9050 Shaughnessy St., Vancouver, BC, V6P 6E5,

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