Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

I saw this book pop up on several friends Goodreads shelves and I had to check it out after reading their glowing reviews. While I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, I got married in February so the subject matter was pertinent enough to my own personal experience to grab my interest.

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As for the actual book, I liked it and I didn’t like it. Knisley brings up a lot of points about marriage that I hazard to guess many people don’t even think about, like what does getting married do to a bisexual person’s identity? Does that part of their experience/identity go away because they chose to marry? According to Knisley, that’s what many people think, even if it’s untrue. She also touches on the cookie cutter nature of weddings and the sexist undertones (women changing their names, pledging to submit and obey, etc.). Taking all of this into consideration, Knisley and her fiance strive to create a wedding that is welcoming to all, fulfills their liberal/feminist beliefs, and represents them as a couple.

This is the part that bothered me. Knisley goes on and on about how the wedding industry demands so much of the bride– lose weight, buy this stuff for your guests otherwise they’ll hate you, do this and do that– and she talks about how she ignored that and made the wedding her own. Yet, she is still falling into the wedding industry hullabaloo, only Knisley is diy-ing it all herself. Don’t buy a bridesmaid dress– Have your friend make one! Don’t waste your  money renting out a barn for your large party– have your  mom build one!

I don’t know if I’m explaining this well, but it seemed like Knisley just added to what a “good bride (and groom)” should do in terms of weddings, instead of taking away the stress. The average person does not have connections to the art, carpentry, catering, and restaurant businesses, nor do they have as flexible a schedule, which allowed Knisley and her husband to create the unique DIY wedding of their dreams.

 

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