Book Review – I Do

Jessica Simspon I Do: Planning your dream wedding
Hardcover, 2003

I feel a very very strong urge to preface this review with the following comment/statement.
I have, near me, the most incredible used bookstore, where prices start at a just five cents for a book and the ones they can’t take for whatever reason end up in a free bin outside, where people can take what they can carry.  Last time I was there, I made two trips and my mother has been devouring the stack of fiction I got for her.  (This is where the Fancy Nancy book came from that I reviewed last week.)  And this one was in it.

I’m one of those gals that subscribes to Modern Bride from time to time just because.  So when I saw this, I grabbed it, fully expecting it to be silly and to return it the next time I went.

From the back cover:

On a rainy Texas day, Jessica Simpson married her longtime love, singer Nick Lachey in a wedding that was, in every way, a dream brought to life.  With exquisite photography and Jessica’s own personal stories and insight, I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding invites you to share in her incredible experience.

For the bride-to-be who is planning her own wedding, I Do is filled with expert advice from the same professionals who helped Jessica prepare for her lavish nuptials every step of the way.  No matter your budget,  you can learn the tips and tricks that make any wedding an unforgettable event, from some experts as: <list>.


First of all, the book is designed to look like Jessica is either the author or her name is in the title, and according to that paragraph, her name isn’t in the title and according to the title page, her mother conceptualized it and then got somebody to write it.  And I read the title page, which implies that like one person wrote it, but there are a dozen people listed on the back cover who contributed in a somewhat important way, so me not putting an author up there in the header isn’t an accidental omission since there is technically no author listed on the cover and I chose not to. I could have listed her photographer as the photographer for the book, like they sort of did on the title page, but really… if you bought a book that had used a photo from somebody that he didn’t make for that book, they wouldn’t do that, so the fact that this book did…

Next, the back cover suggests that this is a combination “ooh, look at Jessica” and how-to wedding planning book.  Except then I looked through it.  And it’s really a five thousand photo ode to Jessica – Nick himself is barely in the photos and not at all on the cover.  The articles written by experts that they brag about?  Fluff.  “It was so awesome to work with Jessica.  She was incredible and everything she wanted she got.  So if you can’t afford what she did, try this…”

Really, it’s a book without a proper purpose.  From reading the back cover, I expected a gallery of her wedding and tips and tricks to do your own (that were decent and usable).  What I got was a bunch of photos that don’t even look that great (there’s an exceptionally creepy black and white one of her and her father where you can’t even see their faces because they’re in total shadow and has been manipulated to be blurry… dafuq?!) and none of the traditional ones.  In fact, about a quarter of the photos in this book are of the celebrity experts that helped by getting paid for doing something.  (For instance, a full page shot of Vera Wang since she made the dress.)

Yes, the tips are supposed to be helpful, but they’re sort of common sense/internet tips and you don’t need this book for those.  “Consider venue choices when picking your date.  An event at a local university affected Nick and Jessica’s plans early on and they couldn’t use that site…”  Um.  Duh?  Of course, I’m from the camp that would pick a wedding date that had significance, so I guess I wouldn’t care if I couldn’t rent something at a certain site.  But still.  We didn’t need a book to know that.

Based mostly on the fact that the layout person did a beautiful job, I’ll give this book two very wilted roses out of five.  It’s really a book about Jessica first and Jessica’s wedding second.  If you’re into her, you might want the book, but it is useless as a how-to.

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