Stuff Every Bride Should Know by Michelle Park Lazette – review & a recipe

To kick off my summer of catching up reading and reviewing books I’ve received for review or in a giveaway (though this might be a bit too ambitious, I did have a bit of a lucky streak in giveaways), I thought it appropriate to have my first review in June be one centered squarely on weddings.  June is one of the most popular months for weddings, after all.

Starting with “what to do now that you are engaged,” this handy little guide goes through different aspects of every stage from engagement through the honeymoon.  Offering some very good advice (a personal favorite is subtitled “Put away the credit card”), written in an approachable style with lists of questions to ask yourself as well as bullet points and bold type that will help you skim through to find or re-locate the pieces of advice that you need.

You can spend an entire year’s salary and still disappoint someone.  As you set sail for your honeymoon, the day should be a memory, and so should the costs. (p.26)

Some of the advice is common sense, and some covers things that might be overlooked with all of the bigger decisions that a modern wedding demands.  From the practical and mundane to the more romantic aspects,  and even the potentially stressful (i.e. How to Write Your Vows – Or Not), all are treated with equal importance.  Not much, I’m guessing, is not touched on – including how to reschedule or cancel a wedding.  My one quibble is with an early section of Six Questions to Ask Your Intended.  Unless your acquaintance with your intended is very short (and perhaps that should be a concern?), it would be better to have some of these questions answered before the proposal.

Do you want kids?  Six months after the wedding is not the time to discover that your spouse doesn’t want a single child. (p.14)

The final section of the book is “The Checklist.”  It is more than a checklist. It is also advice, summary and an index, with many bullet pointed items including a page reference that will make looking back for more detail extremely easy.

Go on a final, pre-marriage date with your partner. (p.143)

Overall, this is a handy reference guide full of advice from engagement to the wedding and beyond.  The size (3 1/2″ x 5 3/4″), as with all of these “should know” books from Quirk, is perfect for a pocket or purse, though you might prefer the option of an e-book on your smartphone.  If you are planning a wedding, or preparing to plan one someday, this would be a very helpful book to have (supplemented by your Pinterest boards, of course… see below for a recipe from a Pinterest board-inspired cookie reception).   It would also make a great gift (as do many of these books).

Anyone else feeling the urge to re-watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?  Oh, they say when you marry in June….

stuffeverybride_quirkFrom the back cover:

All the Stuff You Need to Plan the Perfect Day


  • How to Set a Budget
  • How to Select Your Attendants
  • How to Find the Dress
  • How to Make Your Guests Comfortable
  • How to Handle Showers and Parties

Plus tips on choosing your guests, picking your vendors, selecting the details, handling delicate situations and much, much more!

MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE is a writer and journalist in Cleveland, Ohio.  She is co-owner of Story of Your Life, a company that interviews for and designs front-page newspaper stories about engaged couples and their relationships.

Stuff Every Bride Should Know by Michelle Park Lazette | Quirk Books, December 2015 | hardback or e-book, 144 pgs

This review refers to a hardback copy I won from the publisher in a giveaway and includes only my honest opinion.  While reviews are encouraged, they are not required.  I resisted entering this particular giveaway on, but gave in because (a) it is from Quirk Books, (b) I’ve been to and been involved in more than a few weddings, but never read any kind of guide and (c) I might be a bride someday and this would be a great book to already have on hand.  As my grandmother and a sweet friend both keep telling me, it is possible after 50.  [Please note that I was farther away from 50 when they told me this, and have not made it there yet.  They meant well…]

Oh, wait, I promised a recipe!  Following is my recipe for Lavender Cookies.  This is a basic sugar cookie recipe that incorporates Lavender.  It has been extensively tested in my kitchen (I made 10 or so – I lost count – batches for my eldest niece’s wedding reception).   Be sure to buy lavender intended for cooking.  My favorite is Pepper Creek Farm’s French Blue Lavender (whole) that I purchased at TJ Maxx.   Previously, I bought small “bulk” packages from another store, until one package lent the cookies a soap-like quality, which is not exactly tasty…


Lavender Cookies

yield: approx. 30 cookies

  • 5/8 C of butter, softened
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 scant Tbsp dried lavender flowers

In one bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a second bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.  Stir the beaten egg into the creamed mixture.

Gently mix the lavender flowers and the dry ingredients from the first bowl into the creamed mixture.

Grease one or two cookie sheets with butter or a light oil.  Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto them, leaving at least an inch between.  Press gently on the top of each, but do not flatten them (this is to encourage the mound of dough to spread, but not to spread it).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden.  Cool on a rack.

As this is a basic recipe, it can easily be used with flavorings other than lavender.  Suggested flavorings (quantities to taste) are lemon, orange, almond or cinnamon.