Wedding Season by Katie Fforde

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Wedding Season by Katie Fforde

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A pacy and well-researched story of a wedding planner who doesn't believe in love comes highly recommended as a leisurely and fun read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 480 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Arrow
ISBN: 978-0099502128

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Being a wedding planner isn't easy, particularly when the chief bridesmaid decides that she's rather go off to Paris with her new boyfriend than attend her best friend's wedding. It's an even more difficult job when you don't believe in love and you're determined to keep every man at arm's length because you're not going to risk having your heart broken again. Sarah Stratford is efficient, imaginative and professional - and she is definitely not going to get involved with Hugo. Their relationship is simply that of wedding planner and photographer, even if he is very attractive.

She's lucky to have two very good friends though. Elsa makes wedding dresses to die for but prefers to stay in the background and Bron has many talents (perhaps too many to be entirely believable) as she works wonders on the hair of the wedding party, does make up and even makes the most wonderful wedding cakes. All's not happy at home though. Boyfriend Roger hardly qualifies as New Man and you long for something nasty to happen to him.

The three girls face their toughest test when Sarah has just two months to plan and prepare for two weddings on the same day. One of them is Sarah's sister who has unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved on a very limited budget and doesn't understand that her pregnancy is not going to be a secret if she wears a slim-fitting dress. At the other end of the scale – and miles away - is the superstar wedding where money is no object.

I should have hated this book. I'm the woman who was rather hoping that her only daughter would surprise her one day by announcing that she and boyfriend had married whilst on holiday. I regularly groan at the amount spent on weddings, muttering 'it's the marriage that matters, not the wedding' as yet another celebrity wedding fills the television news. But I didn't – I read the book over about thirty six hours when I really should have been doing something else and at one stage I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what happened.

You know what you're getting with Katie Fforde. You'll get a darned good story with some characters that you'll really warm to. Every woman is going to identify with at least one of those girls and you just want things to work our right for them. The research behind this book is impressive. One of my friends is a dressmaker who specialised in wedding dresses until she came to the conclusion that brides who didn't know what they wanted, pushy mothers, bales of expensive silk and intricate beadwork were not worth the vast sums that such dresses attracted. The hairdressing, the makeup, the cake – it's all there along with the atmosphere of rush, barely-concealed panic and lack of sleep that goes with the big wedding.

I found myself wondering about the research which Katie did for the details of Lily's hen night. I laughed until tears ran down my face at the sheer tackiness of it all. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. You always finish a Katie Fforde book with a warm feeling of having thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

When I read Going Dutch I thought that Katie was at her peak but Wedding Season is better. It's more complex and has a better pace. It's no criticism to say that this book isn't great literature – it's simply the sort of book which you sit down and enjoy for the simple pleasure of a good story well told and if that's the sort of book which you enjoy this book comes highly recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy ahead of publication on 5 June 2008 to The Bookbag.

For another story about weddings which proved very enjoyable you might enjoy Made in Heaven by Adèle Geras. If celebrities are your thing then we can recommend Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs.

Booklists.jpg Wedding Season by Katie Fforde is in the Bookbag's Chick Lit Picks.
Buy Wedding Season by Katie Fforde at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wedding Season by Katie Fforde at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Wedding Season by Katie Fforde at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wedding Season by Katie Fforde at Amazon.com.


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Magda said:

I am the same about weddings (well, mine anyway - I actually very much like attending others but never had this desire to be the bride in the aisle, under the marquee etc).

But my husband still mutters things about us never having been married properly at all.... (we were, actually, in a pretty registry office in Brighton, and I even had a longish dress which cost £70, I remember buying it when I decided that maybe my normal clothes would be pushing it, and a HAT and WHITE SHOES (from C&A), but we didn't have anybody but the witneses there).


Sue replied:

I refused to wear a hat (and didn't for my daughter's wedding which was all formal and proper) and my wedding 'dress' was a rather dull suit which went to formal work interviews for the next ten years. We had ten people there - close family and friends only.


Magda said:

I used to like hats. I didn't have these hats=posh and boring people under marquees associations - in Poland nobody wore hats when I was young, or maybe some people did, but they were bohemian and/or galmorous rather than country-wedding types.

Also, I tend to look very good in them :-)

But yes, the idea that some people would spend all this money on a PARTY, if they could go for a round the world holiday staying in 4 star hotels for the same just boggled my mind. Still does, kind of; at least when thinking of 20-somethings.

But then, if somebody bought me a wedding, why not? It will be our 10th anniversary this year, so probably the last chance for a delayed social event.

We got married on the 4th of July, anyway :-)))


Sue replied:

I guess that when you've always (well, twice) bought your own weddings then you look on the expenditure rather differently!

Go on, Magda - have a party!


Sylvia Day said:

I enjoyed Katie's first two books but since then I haven't. I find myself wanting to throw them on the floor and swear I'll never buy another one - but of course I do when I'm about to go on holiday! Yes the covers are very attractive and the reviews on the back suck me in to thinking this one might be better. I find the writing style so simplistic with hardly any characterisation I just dont care enough to bother finishing it.

Susie