Read Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings by ColleenCurran Jill Eisenstadt Online


Anyone who is intimated by the prospect of planning a wedding will laugh out loud and take solace in Altared. In this unexpected, heartwarming, thought-provoking collection, more than two dozen of our most perceptive and entertaining writers offer a wide range of takes on the modern wedding. It's all here. Fantasies. Realities. Fond memories. A few regrets. From planning iAnyone who is intimated by the prospect of planning a wedding will laugh out loud and take solace in Altared. In this unexpected, heartwarming, thought-provoking collection, more than two dozen of our most perceptive and entertaining writers offer a wide range of takes on the modern wedding. It's all here. Fantasies. Realities. Fond memories. A few regrets. From planning it to doing it and everything in between. Original essays by Top Women WritersJulianna Baggott, Curtis Sittenfeld, Catherine Ingrassia, Elizabeth Crane, Lara Vapnyar, Lisa Carver, Carina Chocano, Rory Evans, Jennifer Armstrong, Elise Mac Adam, Janelle Brown, Daisy de Villeneuve, Meghan Daum, Amy Sohn, Samina Ali, Farah L. Miller, Gina Zucker, Kathleen Hughes, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Ruth Davis Konigsberg, Lori Leibovich, Julie Powell, Jill Eisenstadt, Anne Carle, Amanda Eyre Ward, Amy Bloom, Dani Shapiro....

Title : Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings
Author :
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ISBN : 9780307277633
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings Reviews

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-12 07:48

    "The overt messsage in the bridal industry is that your wedding is the most important day of your life."Altared, edited by Colleen Curran, is a collection of essays by strong female writers about their weddings. They are the type of women who for the most part didn't have the princess dream wedding as little girls and either found themselves surprisingly swept up in the fantasy or rebelling against it furiously. I loved it. Of course, it validated my belief that the wedding is just one day and the marriage is supposed to last forever, so the marriage is what you should put more effort into. It's nice to know women have been thinking like this for a few years now.I started wondering though... what if the antibride movement is perpetuating the myth of the bridezilla industry? The antibride industry wants to make money, too, obviously, or it wouldn't be hyped up in the way nothing has been since Generation X. But then I remember creepy Precious Moments cake toppers and think that the antibrides have it right. As long as those things are still being bought by someone, there's still a bridal industry to rail against.That tangent aside, this really was an entertaining read, and all true tales from real women. One woman called off her wedding. A widow remarried. One woman writes of her arranged marriage that fell apart when her husband finally revealed he was gay (and in the community's eyes the bad marriage was all her fault). A woman writes about her and her partner's anguish over whether they should have a wedding or not, since as lesbians they feel they can probably never be legally married. There's a wedding for everyone in this book.I know summer reading is over, but these are brief essays that you can read during commuting train rides or quiet moments at home. Check it out.**This review originally posted on my wedding blog,

  • Melanie
    2019-05-08 05:43

    This is a great collection of short stories by female authors who talk frankly about weddings. Vows, the dress, etiquette, what it's like to go to weddings as a single girl, dealing with family, etc. There's a great one by Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia fame) which I loved, most likely because I have a girl crush on her. I also loved this passage from Elizabeth Crane's story:"This marriage makes me feel that it's OK to be me. Not that I ever had a choice, but God knows I tried, for the sake of many other relationships, to be any number of people who weren't me, always failing miserably. I was finally as close as I'd ever been to being me, and glad to be me, shortly before I met Ben (her husband) . . . This relationship has helped me come to understand that everything isn't about me, anymore, and that apparenty it never was anyway .... If anything I'm more me now, because of Ben."I loved this book because it was a way to step away from the "wedding industrial complex" as the $2,000 Dollar Wedding blog writes about so often and gave me a chance to just read plain old wedding stories without starting to hyperventilate about things on my list that I haven't done yet.

  • Grace
    2019-04-26 08:05

    A good book, however it'd be better for a gift purchase for a new bride rather than a check out at the library. It struck me as a read that would be better enjoyed prolonged over time....a story here, a story there: Perhaps bridal bathroom reading. Reading the entire book at once left me with a lack of respectful attitude for the stories toward the end, as I struggled against the "I'm tired of bridal stories" attitude.So...a good gift, but not something to read all at once. And be prepared to skip stories...some are tailored for a specific target audience.

  • Jennifer Armstrong
    2019-05-14 06:50

    I'm saying little, because I'm in this ... but please do check it out for the other gals' essays. Great, funny, insightful reads from really cool writers like Juliana Baggott. I was shocked by how much I cried reading these, and even more shocked by how hopeful it made me, even--especially--as a single girl

  • Melissa Cavanaugh
    2019-05-11 02:37

    With the wedding 10 days out, I would guess this will be the last of the bridal genre to crop up on my list. It's a good one, though. Some wonderful writers contributed (Meghan Daum, Curtis Sittenfeld) and I liked that they discussed weddings from a variety of perspectives - brides, almost brides, moms, guests. Probably for someone with a vested interest in weddings rather than the general public, but a good read nonetheless.

  • Finkelmax
    2019-05-17 04:06

    I laughed, I cried, and I thoroughly enjoyed these essays. The subtitle doesn't do this book justice--it is such a wide range of women and their comments about their own weddings as well as weddings that they have attended. Really fun and enjoyable.

  • corky
    2019-05-14 08:37

    Altared is group therapy for would-be brides.

  • Jill
    2019-05-04 03:41

    An interesting set of perspectives on wedding hoopla. Validated a lot of the variety of emotions I've experienced while planning my own wedding.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-13 09:45

    Great, fun read ... not your typical bridal book. I enjoyed and related to the very real stories- no fluffy, 'this-is-the-best-day-of-your-life' propaganda here.

  • Mie
    2019-05-18 03:40

    I really enjoyed reading the book! I read each essay by different professional writers little by little at my bedside before sleep so I was able to savor each story. Because they are all written by professional writers, each story is so moving yet funny. Each story is really powerful because it is non-fiction. Though this book did not lessen my stress on wedding planning, I got more perspectives on wedding and marriage and I am so glad that I found this book. It looks like this book is not read by many people yet. I wish every single woman can have a look. I am sure each of us can find a favorite story in it. The best thing about this book is that there are many sorts of weddings from casual to full-blown pricey wedding and also from first pure young wedding to second or third wedding. And some of the wedding ended up as divorce but as a happy separation and a good memory. My favorite stories are "my perfect wedding" by Samina Ali and "father of the bride" by Kathleen Huges because I also lost my dad and he can not see my wedding!! I especially loved the portion of her late-morning dream to dream another wedding and her dad showed up.

  • Jesse
    2019-05-18 10:39

    I have a morbid fascination with how weddings have blown up in the last decade or so. Were reception dresses even a thing in the 90’s? This book did and didn’t meet my desire to dissect contemporary wedding culture. The personal narratives didn’t have the cultural critique I was hoping for but it did make the different scenarios more relatable.I liked the variety of voices. Most of the voices were from married women but we heard from divorced women, single women, women who married while pregnant, a woman who called off the wedding and then the engagement.I was a little disappointed in the lack of bridezillas. All of the women seem self-aware enough, at least in hindsight, that there weren’t any horror stories that reality television thrives on. Most of them saw themselves get swept away in the insanity of the bridal industry and family pressure.The voices here were mostly practical and realistic. While many recognized it was an important event, it wasn’t about me-me-me but everyone coming together. It was really interesting to hear women talk about how they got sucked into Brideland and weren’t sure how to get out. Some admitted it was because they were trying not to think about something else.My favorites were the women who realized that while awesome, a wedding is a just one day. It is a party to celebrate what comes after, the marriage. An extravagant affair won’t guarantee love and respect, a casual affair doesn’t foretell a simple and easy life. The wedding doesn’t foretell anything about the marriage. It just sends it out.

  • Bethany
    2019-04-30 03:47

    I happen to love collections of short stories from authors I already love, so this book was an easy one to pick up. But this collection of several women's views on weddings and marriage was surprisingly heartfelt, perceptive and helpful. I'm about to enter into the engagement/wedding phase of my life (thank the good Lord!), and I've begun to dip my toe into the waters of wedding planning, so this was the perfect book to help me remember what's important about a wedding and all the festivities that will be coming. Do I want a wedding or do I want a marriage? Those of you who are married know that while the answer is always the latter, it's easy to get caught up in the former without even realizing it. And these writers talked about their own experiences - from the cheap to the expensive, from the elopement to the ornate church weddings, from the two-day engagements to the years-long planning process - all while discussing their family situations, bridezilla moments, and whether or not they really even wanted to say "I do".While this wasn't a book of wedding advice, I think this helped me even more than I could expect from the next "wedding for dummies" book I could pick up. Because I learn better from experiences, and I've just had 20 female writers relate their experiences in order to help me make mine even better.

  • Florinda
    2019-05-14 09:00

    This book of essays was what I chose to read in between Water for Elephants and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I figured it was something I could drop at a moment's notice if I had to, since it's not a narrative. It was a good choice in that respect.It's also an enjoyable read for any woman who has planned a wedding, or thinks that she probably will at some point. It's not practical advice, but it is thoughtful, reflective, amusing, and honest writing by women who've been through it. Some fought the wedding industry all the way along, and others intended to, but got sidetracked and sucked in anyway. And others really wanted The Modern American Wedding, whether or not that's what they got. A few ended up not having the wedding after all, and others support the truth that the wedding itself isn't an omen for the marriage that follows, one way or another. A couple of the contributors aren't even married (yet) - Curtis Sittenfeld and Megham Daum have included pieces about being single wedding guests.Being an essay anthology, I liked some of the selections better than others; besides the ones I mentioned above, I also particularly liked the essays by Jennifer Armstrong and Carina Chocano (planning), Amy Sohn and Gina Zucker (family), and Ruth Davis Konigsberg and Julie Powell (ceremonies and, for Powell, reception food).

  • Kristen Northrup
    2019-04-25 07:02

    A nice balance of scenarios by some very entertaining writers. A pretty safe book as a gift for the newly-engaged, in that it's all happy endings. Even the person who calls off the wedding seemed to do it for the right reasons and now be at peace with it. One writer wasn't particularly likable and things were going badly, but that appeared to be how she prefers things. Janelle Brown's piece on the wedding registry made me laugh out loud (and cringe with recognition) several times. I would have preferred more than one piece on wedding food, but Julie Powell did a great job with it. Of course. Overall, the strongest pieces were in the final section. Wow but Princess Di comes up a lot. I'm old enough to remember the wedding but we didn't watch it and I always thought she looked over-poofed. But it certainly influenced my generation. Martha makes many appearances as well, naturally, and induces similarly mixed feelings. Not a lot of serious in-depth grad student discussion of materialism and gender roles, but you still end up thinking about what you'd want to do yourself and -- most importantly -- why.

  • Angie
    2019-05-07 03:43

    While the book isn't exactly revelatory, it was worth a read. In particular, these two quotes really resonated with me:"I felt too old for the optimism that the part seemed to require, too self-conscious for the self-involvement, too broke for the expense, too jaded, in general, to put myself at the center of a tradition so thoroughly hijacked by commercial interests it made the contemporary consumerist Christmas look like a ritual of self-abnegation." - Carina Chocano"Weddings are not marriages, and I wish they were. Weddings are to marriage as a single bamboo shoot is to a jungle, as a seashell is to the ocean floor: nice enough, not unrepresentative, and almost totally irrelevant. Marriage is all about the long road, about terror and disappointment, about recovery and contentment, about passions of all kinds. Weddings are about a party—which is why I think marriage should be approached with blinking yellow lights, orange safety cones, and all other signs of great caution, and weddings should be encouraged as things apart." - Amy Bloom

  • Kara
    2019-05-06 09:53

    "Here is what I know, and it may be all I know on the subject of being a bride: The ring, the dress, the proposal, the place cards and flowers, the music, the minister or rabbi or justice of the peace-it will all add up to exactly nothing. There will be a moment when it's all over. A moment when, in a hungover, happy, bleary state you roll over and look at the guynext to you and think, my husband for the very first time. My husband. The words will roll over and over in your mouth, in your mind-until one day, the concept simply becomes a part of you. You are a wife. You have a husband. The two of you together make a family of two, of three, of four, or even-God help you-more. People may, from time to time, ask how the two of you met. They may ask how long you've been married. But here are some questions I've never been asked in the nine years since my wedding day: Where was the wedding? Who was the caterer? What flavor was the cake? What kind of flowers?"

  • Kate
    2019-04-21 07:47

    To love weddings or to hate weddings? That is the question that this collection of stories brought to mind. A traditionalist myself, I expected to find some jaded and negative views, but not to feel that the traditional wedding was dissed throughout. Isn't it a common theme that the present day wedding can be a unique celebration of love, with the rituals of the past selected by the bride and groom? Though the writing was, for the most part, great I got the feeling that each seemed to say "my wedding was different on purpose, so I am special." or "I called off my wedding because I was better than society's expectations". Not cool.I did appreciate the common themes of women's independence and self expression. None of the writers simply succombed to the wants of others, an that is admirable.My thoughts at the end: you can be yourself and celebrate the way you want while still being courteous to traditions, and happy withtour memories.

  • Kate Irwin-smiler
    2019-05-15 04:55

    This is the book I meant to get instead of Nash's Altared States (above). This is a book of essays by various women, describing, in essense, what being engaged made them do - examining aspect of all the insanity that came with planning their wedding. It ranged from weird behaviors they noticed in themselves, to family relationships, and tribulations that cropped up in their planning. Most of these women were conscious of creating a ceremony or reception that was tailored to them; no one seemed to be blindly following tradition. Some essays were hilarious; most were touching, in some way; some were tragic. I was intrigued by one bride who talked about the effect planning her wedding had on her eczema, which I'm afraid of, myself. Again, interesting, quick read. And because it's made of discrete essays, easy to read a chunk at a time.

  • Stephanie Rose
    2019-05-13 04:05

    This one took me a while to read as I needed to take a break from the wedding-ness of it. (Which sounds silly since I did know it was a book of Wedding related essays). But despite putting it down momentarily I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am no where near, (if ever), getting hitched, but it certainly made me think about what I would want/what is really important when planning and considering your big day. Which is really all it is; one day. It's the rest of your lives together, that's what really matters. To sum it up, I thought it was a sweet, light hearted, yet reflective read that could be enjoyed be anyone in a committed and loving relationship...whether that means getting married or not.

  • Shawna
    2019-05-19 03:03

    I'm not the kind of girl who dreams of her big day but I picked up this book because I was curious about the experiences of others. (Also the book was free, I should admit, I wouldn't have bought it.) I found that it was an interesting mixture of traditional and non-traditional stories. The Indian bride who had had an arranged marriage that failed, then a traditional marriage that failed as well was perhaps one of the most thought-provoking essays in the book. Gay marriage is represented also.Julie Powell author of "Julie and Julia" has an essay included in this book, as does Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife, Prep) and Dani Shapiro (Slow Motion). A good read for the non-marrying kind as well as Bridezillas on rise.

  • Pattie
    2019-05-12 07:00

    The Best. Engagement. Present. Ever. Whether you're getting married, recently got married, or even (like me) 100% committed to "shacking up" without the whole wedding folderol, it's a great book about all the decisions women make when they become part of a couple. From the traditional Big Expensive White Wedding to the funky older couple getting married in the back yard, this book includes stories from women at all points in their lives and with a wide range of expectations are included. A great gift for a woman who is going to be faced with a huge number of decisions once she's said "yes" to the proposal, and one that will affirm whatever decision she makes (from going "whole hog" to calling it off).

  • Beth
    2019-05-12 07:56

    I stumbled upon this book in a bookstore, and I'm glad that I did. I thought maybe I was only enjoying this book because I was deep in the throes of planning a wedding, but my future mother in law picked it up-and then proceeded to laugh out loud, just as I had. It's a rare anthology that doesn't have a clunker in the bunch, but "Altered" succeeds on every level. It's got a diverse group of viewpoints, from gay women to divorcees ruminating on multiple previous marriages. Nothing redundant, no eye rolling required.

  • Steph
    2019-04-19 09:00

    The collection of essays were interesting. I was given the book to help deal with my up coming nuptials and the perceived loss of my individuality. The essays were good, though I couldn't really relate to any of them. None of the writers were "normal, typical" brides. It seemed that most were off-beat brides or those with an interesting, unique story. I was just your average, traditional bride and had trouble relating. Though I enjoyed the stories.

  • Nina
    2019-04-24 05:42

    This collection of essays was thoroughly enjoyable. It has something that most of the other books about weddings sitting in a box in my house lack: good writing. The voices, all women (an interesting choice), are distinct, and often funny and sad in the same sentence. It's nice to read a book that recognizes that a perfect (or close) wedding is not necessarily the precursor to a perfect marriage.

  • Kristen
    2019-05-10 07:44

    Interesting stories, though many from a perspective of 30 and 40-somethings who are on second (or third, or fourth) marriages, or waited until later in life to get married. I think it is a better read as a married person, than as a to-be-married person. It was entertaining, and sometimes touching.

  • Megan Tyson
    2019-05-13 07:57

    Loved this book. Definitely a great way to learn that it's completely normal to NOT be crazy about all things wedding. Great thoughts and perspectives from some great female writers. Passed this on to one of my close friends getting married and we're hoping to just keep passing it on to our other friends.

  • Laurie
    2019-04-25 07:58

    I liked the essays in this book. Obviously, the ones written by former brides are the ones I enjoyed the most simply because they gave me hope that not all weddings have to go in a traditional cookie cutter format and also because a wedding day does not have to be the best day of your life b/c if it is, then what does that say about all the other days that come after????

  • Sarah
    2019-04-29 03:50

    I'm really enjoying this book! It has many different perspectives and experiences to do with weddings, and confirms to me that many women feel odd in their new role. There are funny stories and touching ones, and what-I-would-do-differently ones. A satisfying read, if you are particularly interested in weddings.

  • Erin Newell
    2019-05-01 04:40

    I loved the short-story format of this book, and it was interesting to read all the women's views on their weddings and what was important and stood out in their minds. Unfortunately it made me obsess a bit too much about my own. I was happy to finish it so I could put weddings off my mind for a moment. :)

  • Quynh E
    2019-05-18 10:38

    This is a really lovely collection of prose written by great authors that I read in the midst of wedding planning. It provided lots of comic relief and sense of understanding and belonging to me and helped me to maintain my sanity amidst all of the ridiculous wedding drama. Intelligently written and edited!