The short article last fall in Salon on Mead’s book was enough to get me interested in this book. Like being unable to stop staring at a car accident, Mead’s book is grotesquely fascinating. Laying out the modern mania to have the biggest, most extravagant and wedding possible, Americans are spending billions a year on these bloated bashes. Interviewing numerous wedding industry insiders, Mead lays out the insidious ways the wedding retailers lure in brides and grooms. The simple message- your marriage will fail unless your wedding is picture perfect. And perfection costs and costs and costs. From the wedding gowns stitched at $.40 an hour and sold for thousands, to made-up “traditions” and Disney Fairytale Princess Weddings (gag), Mead covers all the possibilities where a newly engaged couple can hemorrhage money. For anyone planning a wedding soon, read this little number before heading for the Bridal Barn. It will put a bit of iron in your spine for when you are told you HAVE to have a tiara or you fail as a woman. Yeeech.