Wedding Wednesday

Review: Wedding Cake for Breakfast

A collection of essays about that thing that happens after the big day.

By Laura Cassidy May 2, 2012

The problem with weddings is that they’re over too soon.

Both in the sense that the afternoon or evening celebration itself seems to speed by, and in the sense that after a year or so of doing nothing but eat, sleep, and plan, plan, plan, you wake up after the last dance feeling a little bit what now?

I’ve seen it happen to all kinds of brides and grooms, and it certainly happened to many of the writers/newlyweds in Wedding Cake for Breakfast. The just-released collection of essays about the first year of marriage includes stories from army wives (one who was living in Tacoma when it dawned on her that being married to one army Ranger was essentially the same thing as being married to the entire army), a green-card wife (spoiler alert: she married her gay best friend), and a honeymooner—stranded in Italy without her luggage.

The stories are fraught with fear—"I worried Keith would change," "brides scare me," "makes you wonder why anybody ever got married or stayed that way,"—and horror stories—there’s the gal who got married two days before 9/11, and the pregnant one whose "husband spent our wedding night slung around the commode like a collar." And the stories are also silly, upbeat, and yeah, sure, of course, wrapped up and bow-tied with neat, clean, tidy, happy endings.

But I dare you not to stay up later than you thought you would to read them. Marriage is a process often overshadowed by the event of a wedding. We talk endlessly about peonies and color palettes, but hardly at all about the complexities of sharing a life together. You might find it’s kind of nice to have the opportunity to mull it over awhile, or for 272 pages.

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