How I Survived the Happiest Day of My Life
Email this review


Hana Schank thought she was an independent woman. Then boyfriend Steven popped the question, and she morphed into a Bride.

Her moderately engaging debut describes the drama of planning a wedding. Hana spends days making cute cream-and-burgundy save-the-date cards; Steven, who’s color-blind, doesn’t fully appreciate them. Both Hana and Steven are Jewish, but they still have to figure out if they want a Jewish ceremony. After much angst over the dress, she opts for a Carolyn Bissett Kennedy sheath, rather than a Princess Di meringue. The couple wants to keep the wedding small, but their parents have guest lists miles long. So Hana and Steven, who live in New York, decide to hold the wedding at a remote inn in Vermont. They can invite all those fourth cousins, but surely the distance will deter all but their closest friends from actually attending. Some of the most amusing scenes here show bride, groom and both mamas struggling to nail down the details in Vermont. The florist, who claims she can procure only roses, has no flowers in her store, nor has she ever taken pictures of her work. Schank tries to add some heft to all the funny stories by mixing in a little cultural criticism. She recognizes that previous generations got by just fine with simpler celebrations, and she comments on the ratio of fairy-tale weddings to sky-high divorce rates. But she avoids the elephant in the room: How much did the Vermont B&B, the sheath and the save-the-date cards cost? Having obsessively wrung her hands over the extravagance of modern weddings, she could’ve shared the nitty-gritty of her own budget.

Not at all profound, but middle-class brides ought to enjoy this nuptial memoir.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-7736-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2006