The Bridal Wave by Erin Torneo and Valerie Cabrera Krause

The Bridal Wave by Erin Torneo and Valerie Cabrera Krause

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Trade, 231 pages, 2007

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: My bridal wave started last year.

Synopsis: The subtitle of this book is A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know- is-Getting-Married Years, and when you need this book, you will absolutely know. The Bridal Wave offers up tips on everything from dealing with your ‘lobridemized’ friends, to managing nosy relatives who want to know what’s wrong with you that you’re not next down the aisle, to basic etiquette, to handling your own panicky, “I am going to be the last single girl on earth?” feelings.

Why you should read this book: Most of us are thrilled when a good friend announces her engagement, especially when we think the groom is worthy of our friend, but directly after the celebratory moment comes a little bit of panic. Your wallet is in for a big hit; feelings of ‘why am I still single/why didn’t my boyfriend propose?’; relatives with ‘old maid’ cracks; the sudden realization that people are getting married in part to have kids, and what if you’re too far off a timeline to ever have a shot at these things…Deep breath, Torneo and Krause are here to help out with a reality check. There’s lots of good advice, and it’s delivered in an upbeat-but-understanding manner that will allow you to deal with things in a non-hysterical manner. For example, yes, you do have to be happy for the bride-to-be and cheerfully go along with pretty much anything (even the bridesmaid dress) unless you want to lose a friendship, because this isn’t about you…get a bunch of other single friends to commiserate with if the jealousy/ panicky/I-can’t-take-it-anymore bug hits; and no, you don’t have to put up with relatives (or strangers) prying into your own single-but-happy life unless you actually want to share things with them, and there are ways to deflect all but the rudest of people without becoming one of them. The underlying theme of The Bridal Wave is that you’re great even without a rock on your finger, and rather than moping you should be focusing on all of the fabulous things you can do while you’re still single. Helpful in many different ways, be prepared to keep this one within grabbing-distance during your mid-twenties through your mid-thirties.

Why you should avoid this book: Some of the content seems a little off track – the chapter on finance, for example, could focus less on personal finance (buying a house, setting up 401Ks, general financial independence, etc.) and more on surviving the now of having a set amount of money, but half a dozen weddings (and associated events) in a four-month span. There’s also a little too much slang and cutesy short forms (I have never in my life heard anyone call a romantic comedy a ‘rom com’ and I hope I never do again), but overall, the book is quite helpful for any woman in the typical Bridal Wave years.

Opening paragraph:

You’re in your mid-twenties. Your oldest friend gets engaged. Then your sorority sister. Then the girl who was gay (apparently only until graduation). Life as you know it is over. Every time you check your messages and hear, ‘I’ve got big news’ you know what it means: another friend has signed off the single life – the itch-to-hitch epidemic has struck again.

Fabulous quotes:

If you find yourself tongue-tied or tempted to rattle off the latest divorce stats; keep her talking so you don’t have to. People love to talk about themselves. This rule is good to remember for your next job interview or dinner party, but especially true of a woman planning a wedding. Once you’ve got a newly engaged woman started, all you have to do is say a word or two that gives her the green light to keep going (‘Oh?!’ and ‘Really?!’ both work). She’ll remember you as a caring, interested friend while you catch up on your tweezing. *

*It goes without saying that you are a sensitive, smart woman who loves her friends. We’re just trying to keep you from going nuts.

If you’re cash-strapped because you’ve got a major tour of duty (six weddings in four months), try to think ahead and see if you can find one dress that could work for almost all, by changing wraps, shoes, purses, and jewelry. It’s usually easiest to do this with a simple dress.

Also recommended: The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh; The Fabulous Girl’s Code Red: A Guide to Grace Under Pressure by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh.

Also by this author: The Bridal Wave is Torneo and Krause’s first book.

Author’s website:

Fun tidbit: Can’t get enough of bridal horror stories? Check out the authors’ blog, which features some (rather impressive) tales of bridesmaid hell.

Would I read more by this author? It would depend on the topic, but if it was anything remotely useful to me, yes.

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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