- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Eloise Manfred just sold her soul to the wedding devil.
In exchange for a free $100,000 dream wedding, she'll be featured in a trendy magazine as "Today's Modern Bride." So what if the advertisers dictate what she wears, eats and registers for? From the gown (it has yellow feathers) to the reception hall (vampire chic) to the rings (what metal is that?) to the prime rib (tofu!), Eloise knows that what really matters is the groom (cold feet?). All she has to do is keep a ...
Eloise Manfred just sold her soul to the wedding devil.
In exchange for a free $100,000 dream wedding, she'll be featured in a trendy magazine as "Today's Modern Bride." So what if the advertisers dictate what she wears, eats and registers for? From the gown (it has yellow feathers) to the reception hall (vampire chic) to the rings (what metal is that?) to the prime rib (tofu!), Eloise knows that what really matters is the groom (cold feet?). All she has to do is keep a wedding-planning diary (heavily edited) and have her friends and family ooh and aah over her leather veil in photo shoots.
Friends, Eloise has: bridesmaids Jane, Natasha, Amanda and oddball co-worker Philippa, the magazine's "Traditional (ha!) Bride." Family, she doesn't have. Eloise's mother passed away, her father took off years ago, her too-cool-for-words brother is either climbing Mount Everest or scamming a rich older woman in Beverly Hills and her fiancé's family is certifiable. So between choosing rubber bridesmaid dresses and worrying about the photo shoots, Eloise finally asks the question: Hey—whose wedding is it anyway?
For example, let's say that your best friend Jane's aunt Ina was paying for her July Fourth wedding and insisted on an Independence Day theme (yet failed to see the irony in that). You might find yourself spending two hundred and sixty bucks on a red, white and blue striped dress with stars on the straps. The bridesmaid dress equivalent of the American flag.
"I could either live a good life, a sane life for the next six months," Jane had said in self-defense, "or I could spend the next six months arguing with Aunt Ina, who reminds me every day that she's paying for my wedding. I choose my sanity."
And so Jane spent her weekend afternoons pricing tri-dyed (guess which colors?) peau de soie shoes with a two-inch kitten heel.
Embarrassing dress number two was an iridescent purple taffeta, the stiffest ever made. It was your standard-issue hideous bridesmaid dress, with tiny polka-dot bows along theneckline and a huge polka-dot bow on the butt. Amanda's very intimidating mother-in-law had paid for her huge Southern wedding - enough said there.
Despite the flag dress and the polka-dot bows, Jane and Amanda were now staring at the bridesmaid dress they would wear at my wedding as though it were worse.
Okay, it was.
Much, much worse.
My bridal party, a co-worker's bridal party and half the staff of Wow Weddings magazine were squeezed inside It's Your Day bridal salon, staring at a mannequin wearing ... was that a dress, actually?
"This dress would be perfect for your bridesmaids, Eloise!" raved Astrid O'Connor, editor in chief of Wow Weddings. She stood next to the mannequin she had moments ago unveiled with the flourish and megawatt smile of a game-show hostess.
Uh, isn't there a door number two?
"This is payback, right?" Jane and Amanda whispered to me in unison.
"No payback," I whispered back. "That's the point."
No paying at all. Not one penny. This shopping trip at It's Your Day was my first foray into the "free dream wedding" I'd been promised in exchange for being featured as Today's Modern Bride in Wow Weddings. I, Eloise Manfred, was going to plan my wedding, every single iota of it, in the pages of Wow Weddings. I'd be photographed choosing my wedding gown, the shoes, the flowers, the caterer, the reception site, the invitations - the everything. Tens of thousands of Wow readers would see me checking out the posh Hudson Hotel and the Waldorf-Astoria for reception sites. I'd be photographed at Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue, snootily rejecting ten-thousand-dollar wedding bands that just weren't The One.
All expenses paid! All I had to do was point at what I wanted and smile for the camera for my picture spread in America's least favorite bridal magazine. Wow was no Modern Bride. The not-so-famous Astrid O'Connor had been promoted or demoted, depending on how you looked at it, from the much better performing Wow Woman magazine, to turn Wow Weddings's numbers around (circulation was at an all-time low). One of her brilliant ideas to increase advertising revenue was to feature two real-life engaged women as Today's Modern Bride and Today's Classic Bride, who would wear, eat and register for whatever the advertisers wanted to feature and sell millions of. That little nugget of information would be kept from the readers, of course.
Look, readers - our Modern Bride, Eloise Manfred, has "chosen" Overpriced-and-Not-Worth-It Brand's Wedding Gown, Same As Any Other Photographer and Super Rubber Chicken Caterers for her dream wedding - and so should you, brides-to-be-of-America!
According to Astrid, I would become a major trendsetter, like Sarah Jessica Parker and the Hilton sisters.
But if the bridesmaid dress that Astrid had chosen for me was an indication of what was in store for modern brides of America, I could pretty much count on making Blackwell's Worst- Dressed List. I could forget about Tiffany's too.
Talk about handing over control. I was beginning to have the sneaking suspicion that I'd sold my soul to the wedding devil.
Four days ago, the free dream wedding had seemed like an unturndownable offer. Astrid had overheard me and Philippa Wills, recently engaged departmental editorial assistant, oohing and aahing over my diamond ring in Wow's tiny kitchenette. Astrid (who I'd dubbed Acid after my last performance review) ordered us both inside her office. I'd expected to get the Eloise, as you're still quite green at magazines, you should spend your spare moments learning the business instead of chatting routine. I'd been working at Wow for almost two years, but was still considered "quite green" because the bulk of my work experience had been designing book covers for a publishing house and not glossy magazine layouts.
As Philippa quaked next to me, I waited for the "Here At Wow" speech, but instead, Astrid ordered the intern to bring in coffee for three, then explained to Philippa and me that our engagement rings had given her a major brainstorm. The sight of Philippa and me standing next to each other (a rare occurrence) had apparently stopped her in her tracks. There was Philippa, with her sleek white-blond hair, pale green shirtwaist dress (Ralph Lauren, of course) and Ferragamo penny loafers. And there was I, with the "crazily cut auburn hair" (I wouldn't say crazily), weird shoes and Le Chateau ensemble. According to Astrid, Philippa and I represented two opposite ends of the bridal spectrum: the Classic Bride and her traditional taste (Philippa) versus the Modern Bride and her edgy taste (that would be me).
If we would allow Wow Weddings to feature us as real-life bride-to-be models in the June issue as we made our wedding plans and "chose" our gowns and caterers and invitations and kept cute wedding-plans diaries detailing our every hot pick, Wow and its advertisers would pay for our weddings, which she estimated at a hundred thousand dollars apiece -"to do it right, of course."
"Of course," Philippa and I had repeated in shocked unison.
"You do understand that we'll have to hustle," Astrid said. "We're almost ready to put the May issue to bed. That means we'll only have about six weeks to plan your entire weddings."
Fine with us! We shouted our yeses like shampooees in a Clairol Herbal Essences commercial. Two hours later, we signed long contracts that we didn't bother reading. Hey, we had whirlwind weddings to plan!
When I told Noah about the deal I'd made with Astrid, he kissed me on the lips and said, "Whatever makes you happy is fine with me." Then he added, "But you do know there's no such thing as a free wedding, right?"
Excerpted from Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? by Melissa Senate Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted July 13, 2009
Posted December 8, 2006
Pros: Before I even start reviewing this book, I have to admit that I'm about as anti-commitment as anti-commitment can get. I don't want kids. I don't want to get married. I have the worst time staying in relationships. But halfway through this book, I started daydreaming about my OWN wedding and took a 'Dream Wedding' quiz to put on my MySpace page. I felt like I sold out to Proudly Single Sistas everywhere, but hell, when a book is good, it's good and GREAT books make you think about things you usually don't pay attention to. Now on to the book...Melissa Senate uses her dry sense of humor, sarcastic jokes, and great dialogue sense to weave a hilarious story about two people who are being paid to have 'free' weddings, although these weddings are planned beforehand and the exact opposite of what the two brides want. There's everything from feathers on a dress to copper rings to hired family members to replace those 'less fortunate.' 'Acid' was entertaining with her strict stylistic view, but Devlin cracked me up. The 'Modern Bride's' honeymoon location made me cringe, especially since I'm FROM this city and frozen in December! The story went smoothly throughout and I enjoyed the twists and turns of cold feet, pregnancy, marriage, family, and the identity crisis. Cons: What is up with Red Dress Ink books? Are the authors required to only make blonde people with blue eyes as the good-looking ones? Hitler would be proud, but what about everybody else? That is getting old. In mid-conversation, there were sections on someone having blonde hair. For no reason at all, the author said one of the ladies flipped her 'blonde hair' and put it in a ponytail. Why does the color of hair need to be constantly remembered? Maybe it seems so insane to me because I come from a different culture where the color of hair does not make a woman pretty. I also got tired of Emmett's constant fits, but it's not like it wasn't realistic just annoying. Regardless of the few cons I could think of, I really love this author's writing style. I thought Lynn Messina was going to be my favorite author from this publishing company, but she may have a run for her money.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2005
Posted December 9, 2008
WOW Weddings provides the $100,000 funding for each of two marriage ceremonies if the brides agree to being videotaped, keep journals, and accept the type of ceremony offered. Thinking she will receive a free wedding, co-workers Eloise and Philippa agree to the terms. Eloise will have a modern ceremony while Phyl will be more of a traditional bride.--- Rather quickly, the two brides learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch as the cost of freedom is high. Eloise hates her modern wedding that emphasize a yellow wedding dress with bird feathers out of Sesame Street and a hall that looks like Dracula was the interior decorator; Phyl detests her traditional setting that reminds her of her grandmother. Both would like to swap roles, but neither wants to say anything that might jinx their nuptials as both have relationship issues to contend with even as they step closer to the first step down the aisle.--- Though this chick lit tale sounds like an inane reality show and contains some silliness, Melissa Senate injects several deep issues on relationships within the amusing story line. Eloise and Phyl are strong centers to the dual plot while the support cast provides depth either to the wedding scenarios or the brides. Sub-genre fans will want to attend the galas while agreeing with the two women as to WHOSE WEDDING IS IT?--- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 18, 2004
Can you get something for nothing? If you think so, then read this book and be disabused of that fallacy. Elouise thinks she is getting a free wedding, courtesy of WOW weddings, in return all she has to do is be filmed and journal every stage for the magazine. It sounds simple enough to her and the other bride. Elouise will be the modern bride and Phyl the traditional bride. They did not realize the freedom of choice they have about each facet is severely limited. Nor did they realize that although Elouise looks very modern, she does not want a Big Bird Trekkie wedding. Phyl does; traditional trappings remind her of her grandmother. Added to all this chaos, Elouise longs to reconnect with her family, which is not as easy as it might sound. With her job and her future happiness riding on what happens next, what will Elouise do? .................................. **** Often silly and more often realistic, a touching center hides under the laughter. Readers need not be familiar with the prequel to be able to follow along. ****Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2010
No text was provided for this review.
Posted October 25, 2008
No text was provided for this review.