When I read the synopsis for Jeffrey Zaslow’s The Magic Room, I thought, “Great! A book about weddings. I certainly know a thing or two about weddings!”
Then I paused, and thought, “Ugh.. I work in the wedding industry. Why on earth would I want to read about weddings? Reading is my escape from work!”
Once I put aside my uncertainties and started reading, however, I sighed with relief when I realized that it was not going to be an episode of Bridezillas in book form. I don’t think my stomach could handle that. I deal with the stresses of ridiculously tight schedules, anxious brides, drunken guests (and wedding parties!), shaky family dynamics and off-the-chart expectations on an almost weekly basis, so I don’t need to be educated on the typical workings of a wedding day. I’m good there, thanks!
Instead, the story centers around Becker’s Bridal, a family-owned dress shop located in Fowler, Michigan. The business has been in the family for seven generations, and boasts an inventory of over 2,500 wedding dresses. The Magic Room is a softly-lit, mirror-covered room within the shop with a raised pedestal right in the center. Clients are taken to the room after trying on a gown to give it a good once over and decide it if is, indeed, The One.
Jeffrey guides us through the stories of several clients of Becker’s, focusing on the relationship between parents and their daughters when selecting a gown for their wedding. The stories focus on the journeys, triumphs, hardships, laughter, and tears that each woman faced before finding the love that would hopefully last forever.
With the current state of the wedding industry and the pressure brides are under to throw magazine-caliber weddings with an emphasis on absolute perfection, I enjoyed that Jeffrey returns the focus on what a wedding is, and should only, be about: The relationships. The life changes. The commitment. The stories are inspiring and restore what is wholesome and sacred in such a glitterized (yeah, I made that word up) industry.
I appreciated the photos that accompanied the stories so that I could put a face to the people whose lives I was reading about. I also got a kick out of the anecdotes of the workings of the shop itself, such as using code words for good or difficult clients (“sweetheart” was a term used to indicate that a Bridezilla was present) to alert the salespeople to how to handle a situation. It was a delightful story and a very fast read. Highly recommended!
I was sent a Kindle copy of this book for review as part of the BlogHer book club. Opinions expressed are, as always, all mine! Join in on the discussion at BlogHer.com