Nearly-Wed Handbook: How to Survive the Happiest Day of Your Life

Overview

From the very beginning, you knew something was weird. On the first date, there were no awkward silences. No early warning signs of psychopathology on the second. By the third date, you were struck with a revelation: "We are actually having a third date!"

And now you're engaged! Together you've entered a strange new world of deranged caterers, militant photographers, and prima donna floristes. You lie awake each night pondering the Big Questions: "Sit-down or buffet?" "Band or ...

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2001 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Still in original shrink wrap film. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 177 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

From the very beginning, you knew something was weird. On the first date, there were no awkward silences. No early warning signs of psychopathology on the second. By the third date, you were struck with a revelation: "We are actually having a third date!"

And now you're engaged! Together you've entered a strange new world of deranged caterers, militant photographers, and prima donna floristes. You lie awake each night pondering the Big Questions: "Sit-down or buffet?" "Band or DJ?" "Cash bar or open bar?" You find yourselves incapable of discussing anything non-nuptial, and you won't rest until you've registered for those perfect pewter grape scissors...

Are the two of you going nuts? No, you're just planning a wedding! And as you begin your new lives as Nearly-weds, keep one thing in mind: To have a successful marriage, all you need is trust, respect, and undying love. But to have a successful wedding, you'll need something a whole lot harder to sustain: a sense of humor. The Nearly-Wed Handbook will keep you laughing all the way down the aisle.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
One thing is missing from your wedding planning list. I am sure it's not there. Come on -- if you think really hard, you will realize what it is that's missing. Still don't know? Your sense of humor. It's easy to forget how to laugh. There is, after all, a limit to the strange dreams about cash bar versus open bar, meetings with militant photographers, and confrontations with prima donna caterers you can have before you find crying yourself to sleep the norm. But there is some relief in sight: The Nearly-Wed Handbook by Dan Zevin is like an instant shot of humor. His book is filled with great tips to help you plan your wedding with a smile on your face.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380975556
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.34 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Humorist Dan Zevin made the leap from Nearly-wed to Newlywed with only minor evidence of psychological damage. The author of the bestselling Entry-Level Life: A Complete Guide to Masquerading as a Member of The Real World, Zevin has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, Us, Spy, Mademoiselle, and Self. He also tours the campus comedy circuit with his crash course on post-college coping, and hosts a local talk-radio show in Boston, where he lives with his wife of two years, he owns his own tuxedo.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Engaged to Be Nearly-wed 9
How to Get Yourself Committed 11
Going Public 21
Registering for Gifts 29
Nearly-wed Fundamentals 39
Blurry Visions 41
Where to Wed 49
When to Wed 54
Seeing Is Unbelieving 57
Making the Cut 63
Anointing the Attendants 70
Nearly-wed Nitty-Gritty 75
Face the Music 77
Catering. To Everyone 84
Flower Power Plays 91
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Bucks 99
The Nearly-wed Invitationals 104
Dressed to Be Nearly-wed 117
From Nearly-wed to Newlywed 127
The Nearly-weddings 129
The Conjugal Countdown 138
The Happiest Day of Your Life! 144
Reception Recreation 148
Honeymoon, Here We Come! 157
A Thank-You Note Tutorial 163
The All-New, Totally Married You 166
Nearly-wed No More 171
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Introduction

Introduction: I Now Pronounce You Nearly-weds

You knew something was screwy from the start. There were no awkward silences on the first date. No signs of psychopathology on the second. And by the third date, you were struck with a revelation: We are actually having a third date.

Yep, you had to admit there was a connection here. Not one of those forced, kind of connections like with that last loser ("Well, I never thought I'd marry someone with three nostrils and a crack habit, but we both really like eggs..."), but a genuine one. You liked the same music, the same books, the same films. Maybe you didn't always love the same music, books, and films, but that was okay. You loved hearing each other explain why you didn't always love the same music, books, and films. Half the time you weren't listening anyway. You were just sitting there, mesmerized by the way each other's lips moved, absorbed in deep, meaningful thoughts such as: "I believe I could watch this person's lips move for the rest of my life."

It was all very weird. You stopped noticing attractive members of the opposite sex. You started referring to yourself as "we." Once, when you heard the Carpenters' rendition of "We've Only Just Begun" on your K-Tell Super-Cheesy Hits of the Seventies CD, you caught yourself singing along. "This is a really good song," you were actually heard saying. From there, it was just a matter of time.

Okay, so maybe it didn't happen quite this way for you. Maybe the two of you got engaged five minutes after your first date. Maybe you waited five years after signing your first lease. Maybe you're going to be deported to a foreign country unless you secure a green card within the next five minutes. But regardless of your background, something deep inside of you changes the moment you set forth on that path to weddinged bliss.

You lie awake each night pondering the Big Questions: "Sit-down or buffet?" "Cash bar or open bar?" "Band or DJ?" You develop a remarkable new ability to tell the difference between embossed, engraved, and thermographic offset-printed envelopes. You become enrolled in swing dancing lessons. You're a Nearly-wed now! And from this day forward, for better or for worse, you're going to devote yourself to a single, all-consuming commitment: a commitment to planning The Happiest Day of Your Life.

Think of it! Your nearest and dearest are going to come from all over, bearing gifts from Crate & Barrel. Photographers are going to trail you. Musicians are going to serenade you. Caterers are going to feed you. YOU, my friend, are going to have your own florist. Everything's going to be perfect. Even if it kills you.

Meet fictional case study Nearly-weds "Stan" and "Peg," who are in no way based upon me, Dan, or my lovely nonfictional bride, Meg. When Stan and Peg decided they were ready to tie the knot, they thought they knew exactly what kind of wedding they wanted. After all, they'd been living in sin for years, which gave them plenty of time to spend every weekend of every spring of every year attending the weddings of all their friends. In their capacity as professional guests, they'd seen it all, from generic McCremonies to Cinderella-style extravaganzas that lasted all week, and once involved the release of two hundred mourning doves.

But Stan and Peg were determined to have a more personal wedding -- a wedding that would reflect their relationship. Something with a sense of substance; of balance; of fun. And as they set out to plan this profoundly meaningful event together, they learned something very important about each other: Neither of them had a clue what they were doing.

Not that there was any shortage of experts. Wedding guidebooks, most of which were very pink and apparently penned sometime before the women's suffrage movement, laid down the laws in no uncertain terms: "When planning a small gathering for fewer than eight hundred on a Saturday before six o'clock, it would be a faux pas of irrevocable proportions for the bride's parasol to be festooned with anything but miniature sweetheart chrysanthemums." Then their parents started getting into the act. "You must get Incredible Wedibles to do the catering," Peg's mother insisted. "Whatever you do, do not get Incredible Wedibles to do the catering," Stan's mother urged.

Tugged in a trillion different directions, Peg -- a woman, it should be noted, who owns four (4) briefcases -- found herself developing a disturbing new dependency on periodicals with names like Bashful Bride-to-Be. Stan would find her flipping through the glossy pages late at night, fantasizing about the genetically superior couples who were always being whisked off by horse-drawn carriage to some perfect little chapel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. "Twenty-four pounds," Peg would whisper, tearing out a page and taping it to her bathroom scale. "Twenty-four pounds and that gown will be mine."

To Stan, it seemed like some mysterious "inner bride" was taking hold of Peg. An inner bride who, deep down, wanted everything to be as perfect as a Bashful Bride photo spread. An inner bride who would never, under any circumstances, festoon her parasol with anything but miniature sweetheart chrysanthemums. An inner bride who once provoked Peg and Stan to have a heated argument -- to actually raise their voices -- over the incendiary issue of linen patterns.

It was then, in a blinding moment of clarity, that they were finally struck with the fundamental truth of the Nearly-wed experience: Getting married is entirely different from getting weddinged.

GETTING MARRIED

GETTING WEDDINGED

 
You publicly declare your love in front of the people who mean the most to you.   You desperately revise your guest list according to which of these people are worth the seventy-five bucks a head it's costing to feed them.
You make the most mature, adult decision of your life.   You spend three hours deciding whether to register for the sterling silver olive pitter or the crystal margarita decanter with cactus-theme swizzle sticks.
You want to spend each and every moment together.   You spend each and every moment together trying to figure out which table senile Uncle Abe should sit at.
You make a profound commitment to the single most important person in your life.   You put down a deposit on a professional wedding planner.

As you enter into your new lives as Nearly-weds, remember: To have a successful marriage, all you need is trust, respect, and an undying commitment to the person you love enough to stick with forever. To have a successful wedding, though, you need something really hard to sustain: a sense of humor. Keep that in mind and you'll not only survive the Happiest Day of Your Life, you just might enjoy it.

Take it from "Stan and Peg."

From THE NEARLY-WED HANDBOOK, copyright ¬ 1998 by Dan Zevin. Published by arrangement with Bradbury Press. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    A Barrel of Laughs

    Our friend gave us this book as a gift at our engagment party. My now husband and I read it to each other that very night. It is histerical. A true must read for all 'Nearly' Wed couples.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    A must have for any engaged couple

    I was in stitches throughout my rapid (I couldn't put it down)reading of this book. Zevin accurately satires the absurdity of every aspect of the wedding industry racket. My wife and I give this book as a standard engagement gift to all of our friends who decide to take the plunge. (One note: it is clearly written from the groom's perspective, and thus, certainly appeals more to the male half of the lucky couple.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000

    Hysterical!

    This book was a big help for both of our jitters! It was so funny and so true. It made both of us examine the wedding and helped us have more fun! I would definately recomend it!

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