Equally Wed by Kirsten Palladino, foreword by Lance Bass and Michael Turchin (Seal Press 2017) $17.99; 263 pp.
Like many people, Kirsten Palladino grew up dreaming of The Perfect Wedding. She pictured it, but making it happen started out wrong: when she got engaged to her now-wife, Maria, and went looking for help getting started, she could only find books for straight couples. That was definitely not going to work, so the Palladinos created an online wedding magazine … and eventually this book.
So what if you just got engaged? As you might guess, there’s a lot of planning that goes into a wedding, starting with whom (and how) you tell about it. Palladino advocates being gentle with family members who may feel uncomfortable. She says, “give them some time” and know how to decide to invite them or not.
Time management will be your friend in this process, so find a system that works for you and be faithful to it. Keep phone numbers, contracts, ideas, lists, worksheets, and budgets in the same place, and keep track of all gifts received. Take a look at Palladino’s list of possible items needed, then remember that nothing there is mandatory.
Decide on the kind of wedding you want, the venue you’ve dreamed about, and the size of your ceremony. Remember that age and gender of attendants isn’t cast in stone, and the only requisite for attire is comfort. Know what questions to ask the “wedding pros” you need to make your day special: a planner, photographer, videographer, the officiant, baker, bartenders, and your DJ. Remember that flowers are optional or you both can carry bouquets; in fact, your decorations and what you carry down the aisle can be anything unique to the two of you. Personalize the ceremony in ways that make you happy; there are all kinds of options and it’s your wedding.
Ever since you were small, you’ve dreamed of getting married but, if you don’t have a model to follow, it can be hard to know where to start and where to get what you want. Equally Wed shows prospective “grides” and “brooms” the path.
Beginning with gender-neutral terms for wedding participants, Palladino progresses through the year-plus-long preparations for the Perfect Wedding, and beyond. Prospective newlyweds will find lists and bullet-points that are useful and reminders for things they may never have considered, including ideas that may seem to fall into an “over-the-top” category. Still, she stresses that individualization is what makes a wedding special and that “Something will go wrong on your wedding day,” but nobody can ruin it unless you let them.
This is an easy-to-use book that covers all bases, from “will you?” to “I do.” If there’s a wedding in your future and you need a starting point, Equally Wed is a big “Yes!”
— Terri Schlichenmeyer
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 21, 2017.