Across the country, thousands of life-changing questions will be asked on Tuesday. Some will result in tears, anxiety and lots of drinking. Others will not end so happily. If you decide this Valentine’s Day that one is better than two, then you definitely need to get moving.
We looked at two very different wedding magazines to help you get down the aisle.
Brides magazine editors have packed more fantasy into its current 376-page issue than any Marvel comic book ever did.
On the other hand, Martha Stewart Weddings is much more practical.
Really want to indulge (read: go crazy) then Brides is for you. Don’t look for anything to really read — but there are lots of the usual listicles, like on “How to be your best self,” “Wedding worthy wines” and “The best venues.” The good news, you can skim through them while waiting for your nails to dry at the salon.
In between, there are great sheaths of bridal fashion featuring mostly blond models looking very virgin-like.
Reading Brides is like eating in one sitting that entire box of cheap Russell Stover candy you got from your future in-law. You’ll love each and every page while you’re reading it — “Honey, look at how they pulled off the perfect black tie affair in South Carolina!” — but then regret you dove in so deeply. How many hours did you set aside for interviewing freakin’ DJs?
And don’t forget to obsess over wedding planners, pre-nups, etc.
If that weren’t bad enough, there’s a story about Mrs. Stillman Berger, who secured wedding dates at her synagogue before the proposal — just to be sure she’d get the special date.
After you read this issue, the military-industrial complex will appear simple and straightforward by comparison. The bridal industry complex? Now that’s evil.
Martha Stewart Weddings is a little like Martha herself. Practical.
Thankfully the title’s more focused approach boils down the angst for frazzled fiancées. As Editor Amy Conway says in her introduction, “A lot of ideas end up on the cutting room floor,” and thank goodness. The spreads are much easier to read than in Brides as the page design doesn’t try to cram in too much.
While Brides is an assault on the senses, Martha Stewart Weddings feels manageable.
Still, it wouldn’t be a bridal mag if there weren’t something faintly ridiculous. We had to laugh at the photo spread to help couples figure out how to incorporate a cloud theme at the wedding.
There are spreads on cool looking cakes and even cooler ice for your finger. “School of Rock” features pages of engagement rings — which seems like an obvious play for ads since most folks buy the mag after they get the ring, no?
Martha Stewart Weddings weighs in at 306 pages and ends with a helpful note from a married couple with some welcome words of advice. He says: “No one tells you that marriage is a learning process. You learn to put the needs of your own partner ahead of your own.” Wise words if you want this to last.