Wonder of Weddings

Our Ultimate Library booklist this week delves into the world of weddings – from witty musings on the institution of marriage in the 21st century by NY Times writer Ada Calhoun to a collection of honeymoon  stories gleaned from great writers plus insights into wedding dresses and flower arrangements, these five reads are all you need to prepare for or perhaps remember with fondness your special day…

1. The Wedding Dress by Oleg Cassini

From Jacqueline Kennedy to Grace Kelly, Oleg Cassini’s designs are synonymous with the world’s most glamorous women. The same electrifying elegance resonates with his magnificently crafted bridal gowns. This volume begins with an overview of the sumptuous wedding gown, chronicling its history from royal weddings to
today’s celebrities and presents a variety of silhouettes from elegant Empire-style floor-length gowns to sophisticated suits. This is not only an essential resource for the bride-to-be but for everyone interested in fashion.

The Wedding Dress by Oleg Cassini

2. Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun

Based on her wildly popular The New York Times essay, Ada Calhoun provides a funny and clever take on the institution of marriage. Weaving intimate moments from her own married life with frank insight from experts, clergy, and friends, she upends
expectations of total marital bliss to present a realistic – but ultimately optimistic – portrait of what marriage is really like. There will be fights, there will be existential angst; sometimes you’ll look at the person you love and feel nothing but rage. Despite it all, Calhoun contends, staying married is easy: just don’t get divorced.

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun

3. The Flower School: The Principles and Pleasures of Good Flowers by Joseph Massie

Whether you are choosing your bouquet or creating your own centre pieces, there is inspiration and beauty to be found in this exquisite book. Tumbling cascades of peonies and exquisitely arranged vases of unfurled garden roses are an everyday pleasure for Massie. Whilst creating breath-taking marvels from armfuls of blooms is what he does daily, his true passion is sharing his knowledge to encourage and inspire absolutely anyone to work with flowers well.

The Flower School: The Principles and Pleasures of Good Flowers

4. Honeymoons: Through Writers’ Eyes edited by Roger Hudson and Rose Baring

At times tender, at others acerbic or humorous, this collection of honeymoon travels looks at the trials and tribulations of that first taste of married life. Using extracts from fiction and from real-life diaries and letters, the book takes readers on a rollercoaster of an emotional journey to examine what we expect when we embark on a life together. It’s a fascinating study of the complexities of human relationships, and of the courage of those who hitch their wagons together for the journey from the altar.

Honeymoons: Through Writers’ Eyes edited by Roger Hudson and Rose Baring

5. Wedding Stories by Diana Secker Tesdell

The stories collected here encompass comic wedding mishaps, engagements broken and mended, honeymoon adventures, and scenes both heart-warming and heart-breaking. There are glamorous weddings in Paris and New York, and more eccentric ones in the Wild West and on a remote island beach. There are nervous brides, forgetful grooms, meddling guests, interrupted nuptials, second thoughts, and second chances. Above all, there are all kinds of people – young and old, rich and poor, divorced and widowed, with or without children – joining together in the age-old quest for matrimonial happiness.

Wedding Stories by Diana Secker Tesdell


  1. My God Daughter would love to have her wedding in Bali and I would like to make her wish come true.

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