Judge Ian Visser screams, "Where's the &%$#@ caterer? He was supposed to be here ten minutes ago!" in this review.
"Your wedding day is yours and yours alone, a time of celebration and joy."—Martha Stewart
Does anyone really believe that? I'm married, and I can tell you (and feel free to poll your married friends on this one) that your wedding day will belong to a whole crap-load of other people. Family, in-laws, friends…they'll all want a piece of your wedding, whether picking their own seats at dinner or urging you to consider pink taffeta and bows for the bridesmaids.
Being recently married gives me something of a different perspective on Martha's Complete Weddings than I would have had just eighteen months ago. Now that I've been through the process, I feel a bit more confident about passing judgment on this four-disc DVD set.
And, dear Lord, what a set. Grab your buddies and get out of the house now, because here comes 804(!) minutes of Martha Stewart and her wedding plans. Make no mistake…this juggernaut of a set is guaranteed to possess the very souls of the bride-to-be (and her mother), filling them with enough ideas to keep you nodding and muttering "Yes, dear" for months leading up to the big day.
Martha's Complete Weddings is split into four main categories: flowers, wedding cakes, gowns and attire, and distinctive details. Each category is broken down further into smaller sections, including table settings, bridal party attire, stationary, centerpieces, and more. The shortest disc in the set is 148 minutes, which should give viewers an indication of the depth of information being presented.
And that information is combined into a package that is unrivaled in modern wedding products. I simply cannot express the staggering amount of content and detail presented by Martha's Complete Weddings. Everything you could ever want to know is covered here, from recycling gift wrapping to making whimsical flower balls to cleaning your ring after the nuptials. Martha shows brides-to-be how to prepare for the day, enjoy it, and preserve the memories for years to come. It would be hard to believe that a potential bride couldn't find something here to inspire, and it is all presented in an easy-to-understand and (mostly) practical way.
Martha has been something of a late-comer to the DVD market, but as with other recent releases I've reviewed, the technical aspects of the set are top-notch. Although sourced from her television series, the segments included on Martha's Complete Weddings are crisp, clear, and free of any defects. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound mix is also excellent, with all the information able to be heard without any difficulty.
The packaging for Martha's Complete Weddingsis excellent. The four individual DVDs are presented in an attractive and well-constructed fold-out case and slipped inside a cardboard slipcover. Each disc lists the contents on its face, and the interior of the package details each chapter in the series. The only disappointment is that the back of the case doesn't give casual browsers any idea of the breadth of information included in the set.
Each disc in this set has additional bonus features, such as tips and hints, crafts, and gift ideas. Many of these are very short features, averaging only a minute or two, but they have a lot of appeal and can be quite inspirational in a "why didn't I think of that" kind of way.
But for the love of John, will someone at Warner Bros. and Martha Stewart OmniMedia please get on the ball with the internet and printable materials included on their DVDs? I've reviewed several of these sets, and the information is simply not accessible to home users. I know I'm not the only one having issues with this, as Judge Rob Lineberger mentions the same problem in his review of Martha's Baking Favorites. If I have to go to the website to get the content, that hardly constitutes a DVD special feature.
Another letdown is the mainstream nature of the information presented. Martha Stewart doesn't exactly stray far from what could be called the "traditional" wedding design; lots of white, lots of flowers, and lots of show. Martha Stewart knows her audience (and their tastes) and stays well-within the lines when it comes to wedding suggestions. Those interested in an alternative-style wedding or looking for modern ideas will not find much here to spark their interest.
As disappointing as the internet and printable features are, I cannot fault this massive set for its content or presentation. Brides-to-be will find plenty to enjoy, and grooms-to-be will find a fine excuse to leave the house for 13.4 hours.
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