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11 March 2015

Review & Interview: 'The Marrying Type' by Laura Chapman (2015)

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it). 

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress. 

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

On the 24th of February 2015, Laura Chapman's novel 'The Marriage Type' was released by Marching Ink. A few months ago I was contacted by the author herself about possibly reviewing her novel for this blog and I have to say I instantly fell in love with the stunning book cover (I really love it, it's gorgeous!) and the description of the story. I'm a big fan of novels about weddings, bridesmaids, wedding planners (as you can read in the Top 10 Tuesday post I posted yesterday)... Basically anything involving a wedding and a pretty dress, so I definitely looked forward to picking this up and had my fingers crossed for a great and entertaining read!

Elliot Lynch loves her job working for the family wedding planning business Engagements, which her mother set up before her death when Elliot was just a teenager. Elliot wants nothing more than to continue with her mother's legacy, but she discovers the business is having some serious financial problems and something needs to be done as soon as possible. When Elliot is approached by her cousin to take part in a new reality TV show, 'The Marrying Type', which is all about wedding planners all over the USA, Elliot isn't sure at first. But when she realises the money she'll earn with it will help the family business, she has no choice but to say yes. When she unexpectedly has to organise her ex-fiance's sister's big and expensive wedding, things start to get tricky for Elliot, especially when the producers decide this will definitely make for some good television...

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, 'The Marrying Type' is a thoroughly enjoyable read that definitely lived up to my expectations. With a gorgeous cover like this, I had my fingers crossed for an entertaining chick lit read and Laura Chapman certainly delivered. The book has a great cast of characters, including heroine Elliot (who is quite serious and passionate about her job, and I straight away warmed to her and could relate to her), her ex-fiance Eric, college friend Smyth, and the various brides and bridesmaids involved in the weddings. I'm always up for a good story about a wedding/wedding planner, and there was not a dull moment in this novel; it had me captivated from page 1 and I didn't want to put it down.

The author's writing style was something I personally really enjoyed; it flowed well, was easy to get into and a good division between dialogue and description, and kept my interest at all times. The book is told from Elliot's perspective, but also included pieces of script for the TV show, which was a nice touch (just like the wedding-related quotes at the start of each chapter). I'm really glad I got the chance to be introduced to Laura Chapman's work and I already can't wait for her next novel! 'The Marrying Type' is a lovely, light-hearted, romantic read that is perfect for people who love to read about weddings or chick lit fans in general; I loved it from start to finish!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author interview with Laura Chapman!

I'm delighted to have author Laura Chapman visiting the blog today to tell us more about her recently released novel 'The Marrying Type', her own favourite books and her future plans as an author!

Can you tell us something about your novel, ‘The Marrying Type’?
In ‘The Marrying Type,’ twenty-something Elliot Lynch sets out to save her family’s business by participating in a reality TV show and pursuing some big-dollar customers, though neither of these comes easily or comfortably to her. She’s also dealing with some unresolved family and romantic issues that are only heightened when some professional challenges arise: namely the arrival of a new rival wedding planner trying to steal their business and when her biggest client turns out to be a blast from the past. This was a lot of fun to write, because it includes a few of my favorite things: weddings, wedding-related reality TV, and the reappearance of the one who got away.
Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based on your own experiences?
My junior year of college, I became addicted to a TV show on the now-off-the-air Style Network (rest in peace) called ‘Whose Wedding is it Anyway?’ While binge-watching episodes of this show, I toyed with the idea of writing my own book about a wedding planner. A few years later, after reading ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen, I found myself remembering my desire to write a book about weddings and brainstorming ways I could combine both together. ‘The Marrying Type’ came out of that. With all of this inspiration, I did not need to draw on much of my own life experience to tell this story. That said, there is one scene in the middle of the book that is very similar to a real-life experience I had. I can’t tell you which one without spoiling the story, but I’ll let you guess. :) 
Can you tell us a bit more about the main character, Elliot?
Elliot is someone you would want to be best friends with, or at least have on your side. There’s not much she wouldn’t do to help out a friend, family member, or client. She’s generous, helpful, sweet, and loyal. Despite being pretty confident with her professional abilities, Elliot could do with a personal self-esteem boost. With her free time, which she doesn’t have much of, she enjoys going to baseball games, drinking wine, and dreaming about the places she would like to go.
There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which character did you most enjoy writing?
It’s a toss-up between Heloise, the hellish bridesmaid, and Smyth, Elliot’s college buddy-turned wedding assistant. Heloise was fun to write, because she can be so catty and awful. There’s a scene involving bridesmaids dresses where you really get to see her claws come out. On the other hand, Smyth was a pure joy to write, because he is also all about fun, but in such a charming way. If I had to pick one character from this book to travel the world with, Smyth would be the one. The only problem would be how many laugh lines I’d get along the way.
Did you do any particular research for parts of the book?
I did quite a bit of research on Charleston, South Carolina, the University of Virginia, and weddings in general. I spent a lot of time looking up visuals to help me set the scene. A lot of that was also helpful to use terminologies. I probably spent way too much time looking at wedding and bridesmaids gowns, but I had a blast with that part of the research.
Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
I do have a couple of projects in the works. Without giving away too much too soon, I am editing my third novel and writing a holiday novella. I also have a fourth novel near completion and am outlining my fifth. With any luck, and a lot of perseverance, these stories will be released in the next couple of years.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Never give up. Whether it’s writing the first draft of your first novel or the tenth draft of your tenth novel. Writing is a lot of fun, but it also takes work and dedication. That said, it’s okay to give yourself a break. Don’t beat yourself up if you can only spend a few minutes a day working on your story rather than blocking out big chunks of time. Every bit helps and will add up over time.
What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
I recently reread Mindy Kaling’s ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).’ This book makes me laugh out loud every time I return to it. I’m a big fan of Mindy Kaling and find myself inspired to constantly improve myself as a writer whenever I read or watch her work. If you haven’t seen her show, ‘The Mindy Project,’ I highly recommend it too.
Which book could you not live without?
This is a tough one, because I have several books I regularly re-read. If I had to pick one, I’d probably say my Jane Austen collection (hey, it’s all in one book, so it should count!), because it contains several of my all-time favorite reads, including ‘Persuasion,’ ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ and ‘Emma.’
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘The Marrying Type’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Love, dream, and forgiveness. 
Thanks so much, Laura! :)


  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review and for having me on the blog. This interview was a lot of fun!

    1. Thank YOU for providing me with a review copy, Laura! Loved the book! :)