by Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh
Hardcover, 287 pages
Reel Art Press
Find the book on:
Barnes & Noble
Weddings and Movie Stars is a beautiful coffee table book available from the experts in quality photography books, Reel Art Press.
In June of last year, I attended Book Expo America, a big book industry trade show held every year in New York City. I saw a sign for a company called Reel Art Press, a small indie UK publisher I had never heard of. I thought I'd stop by their booth and check out the Kennedy coffee table book they had been advertising. When I arrived at their booth, I was pleasantly surprised to see multiple high quality classic film related coffee table books including one called Weddings and Movie Stars. I was about to get married in a few weeks and it just seemed like kismet that I found out about this publisher and the book. As soon as I got back home, I ordered the book and had so much fun reading it and looking at the wonderful photographs. Since one of my wedding's themes was Classic Hollywood, it was nice to own this.
Weddings and Movie Stars is a huge book! It is 11.75 inches wide and 13.75 inches tall and clocks in at about 7 pounds in weight (I measured it and weighed it myself). The quality photographs are a mixture of black and white and full color and they are gorgeous making this book total eye candy. The images are mostly from real life movie star weddings but also include on screen weddings. You'll see images from the Hollywood elite of the 1920s through to the 1970s with a few modern images. It ends with a somewhat odd tribute to The Graduate (1967) which I think they could have done without.
The photographs in this book are stunning. Some take up a single page or fill up a two page spread. Other pages have a couple images on one page. Basically what I am trying to say is that these are big luscious pictures that you will want to look at over and over again. Each photograph comes with captions which provide detail information about the couple and the wedding. There are lots of great anecdotes and stories as well as trivia bits about the designer of the gown, the circumstances of the wedding, and the inevitable quips about the various divorces that followed.
This book is $79.95 which is quite pricey but Weddings and Movie Stars is a collector's piece and worth the investment. This would make a really nice gift for a new bride especially one like myself who appreciates the style of the 20th century. It would also make for a great addition to anyone's coffee table. When storing it, lay it flat on its back or spine side down if you are putting in a book case, make sure it's spine side down. I made the mistake of putting the book on a book shelf sideways with the spine up and the heavy pages pulled at the spine ripping it a bit. It's a heavy book so make sure you take care of it!
Some notable couples in the book include:
Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart (cover)
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III
Gene Tierney and Oleg Cassini
Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg
Dorothy Dandrige and Harold Nicholas
Sammy Davis Jr. and May Britt (some never before published pictures are included!)
Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra
Jimmy Stewart and Gloria Stewart
Ginger Rogers and Lew Ayres
Elizabeth Taylor and Various (tee hee)
and many more
There is some juicy gossip, most of it well-known and not anything very shocking. There is a very interesting pairing photographs with a picture from Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher's wedding (with Elizabeth Taylor in attendance) followed by Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher's wedding. Eek. Awkward! I did find one small error in the book. They listed Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as getting married in 1930 when the correct year was 1940. Oops! Also there are several non-movie star weddings including all the members of the Beatles but for the most part it sticks to actors and actresses.
Here are some pictures of the book. You may not find Weddings and Movie Stars at your local bookstore but you can find it online at various bookstores and for sale at Reel Art Press.
Note - If you want to find out if any of your favorite stars are in this book, just email me and I'll look it up and let you know.