You may remember Britt, one of our 2011 brides. Recently, she posted on my facebook wall, telling me about a book that one of her beautiful bridesmaids, Kim, created and edited called Wedding Cake for Breakfast. She thought I would like it, and boy was she spot on. I wanted to be able to share it with all of you since it really is a book that I believe our brides will be interested, but also book that may provide insight that can get them ready to enjoy and have reasonable expectations about the first year of wedded bliss. I found myself crying, laughing, remembering, relating, and having revelations, all in one sweet book. It made me so happy to be married, so happy to have had a “first year” that I loved, and so happy to be past the “first year.” I would recommend every single one of my brides to read it, without a single doubt.
I was able to ask Kim a few questions about the process of this book, which I’m sure you will enjoy.
I read in the acknowledgments that your grandparents were the original inspiration for the book. Can you tell me a little more about that?
Yes! My grandparents (all four of them) have been married for a million years and they’re still so in love with each other. The impetus for putting the book together was my friends who were in their first years of marriage, but my grandparents’ marriages were what inspired me to attempt answers to questions like ‘what makes a good marriage?’ And ‘what makes a marriage last?’
How were you able to curate all the stories?
Well, we actually asked (sometimes begged) all of the contributors to participate in the anthology. We wanted a mix of long-marrieds and newly-marrieds so that we would have an array of perspectives and issues. One writer (I won’t say who) turned us down because her first year was so awful she didn’t want to relive it! Mostly though, we went after talented women with rich stories to tell. Most of the women we approached were eager to share what they’d learned with other newlyweds, to dispel myths and to dig some old memories out of the “attics” in their minds.
Once you had the stories chosen, how did you decide to structure the book. There are four distinct sections and the stories in them are somewhat related but the lines are not entirely distinct since you had so many different writers.
I can’t take credit for the book structure. That was done by our wonderful editor, Andie Avila. However, I can say that our goal with the structure was to make the book feel like one big journey by grouping the stories under headings like “We Will Figure it Out” for the beginning and then “We Will Carve Out a Future,” for the end. You don’t have to read the stories in order, but I at least hope we succeeded in making it feel like you want to read them in succession like chapters of different women’s lives.
What was it like working with Wendy? What were the different roles? (I noticed that Wendy has a cavalier, just like Dan and I! Give her/him a pet for me!)
Working with Wendy was great! We’re both at different points in our lives, so I think working together brought balance to the book. In our daily lives, we’re literary agents so it was fun to “sit on the other side of the table” and put together a book ourselves as “authors.” And yes, Wendy has such a cute dog! We are both dog lovers like you and Dan!
As wedding photographers, we only really get to see the lead up and then the actual wedding day. I feel like this book is a real glimpse into true and honest married life. What were your three big take home thoughts about marriage, having been so involved in the process of making this anthology?
- Be a team. Whenever we would get a new essay delivered to us, I’d start reading it and think, ‘okay, so this is the point they turn on each other and get a in a giant fight,’ but that never happened. I think the “this-will-make-us-stronger-together” attitude and realization that this is our life now was the best lesson and greatest takeaway.
- I learned from Cathy Alter’s essay that you should always pack an extra few pairs of underwear in your carry on when you go on vacation, because you never know when you’re going to be on a one year anniversary to Italy and the airline will lose your luggage and leave your underwear-less.
- There is no “right way” to be married. There are a few wrong ways, but there’s a trial-and-error period and what works for some might not work for others, and that doesn’t make your marriage better or worse than someone else’s.
Did you notice a common thread among the stories, like a common idea that brides can hold unto?
I think all brides hold on to some level of expectation that’s never going to be met. In life, nothing is every exactly how you imagined it, but, who knows? It might actually be even better….
Thank you so much Kim! I loved reading this book! It inspired me to write my own essay, “Where you go, I will follow” which you can read right here. I do not profess to be a writer, but it is a honest take on a crazy crazy year. Ladies, you can pick up a copy of Wedding Cake for Breakfast on Amazon.