This is a strong but simple premise for a book – boy proposes to girl, girl says yes and starts to plan the wedding, keeping a diary of events along the way. When life gets a little in the way of her fairytale wedding Kiki finds that her nerves are tested to the absolute limit.
Although the central character got there in the end she was quite selfish and ungrateful for the most part so I struggled at times to empathise with her. Her fiancé Thom could not have been nicer – extraordinarily thoughtful (surprise picnics, gorgeous little personal presents littered throughout the year...) but not once in the entire book did Kiki match these efforts. I found her too princess for my liking, not just in the planning of her wedding but throughout her daily life. For me her sneering of a friend’s wedding was a touch sad, her response to a (perfectly reasonable) request by the nervous bride that she should have her hair done as bridesmaid met with churlishness. I found her too self-centred to really get on board with, she never really proved why all these people worked so hard to make her happy.
This is not to say I did not enjoy this book, sometimes you want to be slightly frustrated with the central character, and in this case she does learn the lessons you want. I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of the book – a snappy diary format that kept me turning the pages. Perhaps the book could have made me laugh more on occasion – there is so much scope for madness and although I did chuckle (some of the dialogue was very well-written) - sometimes I wanted the bride-to-be to make me laugh – it was often the cameo characters that made me smile. There were definitely some heartfelt moments and I really enjoyed the final chapters of this novel.
The great celeb Jacqui was a lovely character – the big-hearted woman who appears to have it all and just wants someone to share it with and Kiki’s dad in particular (I got a huge lump in my throat at one moment). I adored the recipes popped in at the end and Sam Binnie’s advice for brides-to-be. I absolutely salute her issue with chair covers (“it’s a chair, everyone knows it’s a chair”) and will have no doubt people preparing for a wedding will recognise many instances in their own planning that will be mirrored in this read. So for those of you worrying whether to serve peach bellinis, champagne or ice or ale from jam jars might want to check out this book.