Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Laura Chapman is a book "Bridezilla"...plus a special giveaway

We're pleased to introduce you to Laura Chapman. Like Melissa A, she is a fan of The Mindy Project. And like Sara, she lives in Nebraska. Two brownie points right there! She's here today to talk about how she got into the mood for writing her latest novel The Marrying Type and she has a "Wedding Planner Prize Package" for a lucky reader in the US or Canada! (It can be used for planning other types of events too.)

Laura  is also the author of Hard Hats and Doormats (reviewed here) and the "Autumn and Tuck" series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

You can find Laura at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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.

View the book trailer:


Becoming a (Fake) Wedding Planner

One of my favorite parts about writing a book about a wedding planner was getting to plan a wedding. While most of the weddings featured in my new novel, The Marrying Type, are light on detail, I still had a blast looking up everything from dress designs to place settings to help me get in the spirit of the process. There’s something deliciously fun about writing a book about wedding planning. Though I’ve never planned a wedding of my own, the Type A person within me adored the idea of making lists and doing research to imagine someone else’s fictitious perfect day.

Plus, it was nice to have an excuse to spend hours on wedding sites and Pinterest oohing and ahhing over lace and bling. As a single gal of adequate fortune, it was nice to have a free pass without people assuming I must be in desperate want of a husband.

For research purposes, I spent the most amount of my “research” time checking out wedding dresses. Like a proper bride-to-be, I recognized how much the dress can set the tone for a wedding. I spent several minutes (okay, hours) looking at dresses, imagining how I might describe them in the story. Along the way, I had some definite favorites (here and here). I also had a dress or two that gave me a double-take in a “seriously?” kind of way (like here).

I’ve gone to a couple of bridal boutiques as a friend of the bride, and each of those experiences was lovely and drama-free. Unfortunately, lovely and drama-free doesn’t necessarily make for great storytelling. To help myself get into the mindset of what could go wrong with wedding dress shopping (or the dresses in general), I turned to the good people of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. With my story set a few hours down the road in Charleston, South Carolina, I watched the show thinking, “These are my people.”

In addition to being amused (or suitably horrified), I had the added bonus of learning more about the terminology involved in wedding dresses. I could see what styles are fashionable, what certain cuts are called, and how those styles fit various brides.

Hours and hours of watching Lori, Monte, and the rest of the Bridals by Lori crew also gave me an extra bit of help I hadn’t expected. I gained inspiration on how to write the reality TV show elements of the book. While watching an episode, I would often find myself imagining how it was filmed and what went into making the finished product.

Whether or not my imagination was correct, it stirred my creative juices. (And here's a photo that delighted me when it appeared on Lori's Facebook page last month.)

Along that same grain, I turned to Netflix, WE, and TLC for more inspiration. I binge-watched episodes of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?, Platinum Weddings, and Four Weddings, always imagining what it must have been like behind the scenes of the behind-the-scenes shows. I owe a lot of gratitude to the people who made those shows for helping me research.

In preparation for writing this book, I also used The Everything Bachelorette Party Book and The Everything Wedding Book for insider tips on party planning best practices.

Here's what you could win!
I devoted more than a few minutes to creating a wedding board on Pinterest featuring some of the wedding designs, floral arrangements, dresses, and more that I used for inspiration throughout the writing process. You can view it here.

But even now that that book is being published, I’m hardly an expert on weddings. Still, I had a lot of fun in the process. I hope you will see that when you pick up your copy of The Marrying Type. It can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Marching Ink.

Thanks to Laura for visiting with us and sharing her Wedding Planner Prize Package with our readers. You can enter to win a copy of The Marrying Type from Goodreads. (Also US/Canada.)

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends March 1st at midnight EST.

24 comments:

Janine said...

We had our wedding at an old historic church. The aisle was really narrow, so my step-father couldn't walk (or in his case roll because he was in a wheelchair) me down the aisle. So, the lady who did the planning told us about this one couple where the groom waited at the front where they usually do, but when the doors opened for the bride to come in, he walked down the aisle to walk her back up. we decided to do that. Because of all of the ups and downs in our relationship, people thought he was walking out. The looks on their faces was priceless, but they got happy when they saw what was going on.

Laura Chapman said...

Thanks so much for featuring THE MARRYING TYPE and me on the blog today. You ladies are the best!

susieqlaw said...

My Bestfriend's Wedding

Nicole Skalij said...

Most memorable part of my wedding was that we had it on the beach in Cuba. The weather was perfect, and we even had the sunset pictures afterwards before our big feast! Would definitely never re-do it!

Linda Kish said...

My Best Friend's Wedding.

Melanie Backus said...

My Best Friend's Wedding

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Mandy Schnakenberg said...

I went to a cousin's wedding when my son, Charlie, was about 3 years old. He was so excited to dance, but had to wait through the special dances. When the dance floor was open to everyone, we were having a great time dancing together- and he asked if dancing meant we were married now! (The last dance was just for married couples)

traveler said...

We were guests at a wedding which was attended mostly by acquaintances of the bride and groom and then many of them ran off with the centerpieces. what a night. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Laura Chapman said...

I'm loving these stories. Keep 'em coming! :)

Lauren Clark said...

So glad to see Laura Chapman featured today!

jodi marinich said...

my favorite memory from my wedding was actual walking down the isle and seeing everyone

Lori Weller said...

My Best Friend's Wedding

Jennifer H said...

I'm looking for a British husband too! 🇬🇧😀

bn100 said...

Monica and Chandler's wedding

Melissa Seng said...

Ok, so it's about ANOTHER Melissa. Her wedding was on the first season of Four Brides on TLC...her and her husband won the show. Their prize was a spectacular honeymoon. They deserved it. Not only was their wedding amazing, they both had been through some stuff, so this was a welcomed reprieve.

Jonita said...

I had Laura Chapman stop by my blog this week too, so nice to have her! I'm glad to see that she is visiting you as well!!

Christy said...

I loved the wedding of Steve and Miranda on Sex & the City. It was truly perfect in my eyes.

And since I've sworn off marriage, I'll probably win this...

And I'm a Say Yes to the Dress addict! Also irony since I've sworn off marriage.

Kerry O'Dea said...

My cousin got married a few months ago, and the most memorable part was her speech before the meal was served. It showed just how much she loved her husband. It was really sweet.

Pauline Wiles said...

I'm so impressed with Laura's depth of research and resulting expertise with weddings!
The wedding moment that sticks in my mind was not one I attended, but a YouTube video which went viral. As I recall, the ceremony is poolside... someone trips, grabs at the bride who promptly falls into the pool. Truly awful for her but I hope her marriage survived!

Terri. said...

I love, Love, LOVE Father of the Bride!

Kathy A. LaMaster said...

This is going to sound so cheesy, but Jennifer and Jack's wedding on "Days of Our Lives."

Rhonda J G said...

My wedding when we lit the family unity candle. My daughter, me, and my new husband to become a family. Unfortunately divorced 2 years later. :(

rubynreba said...

Beautiful wedding that impressed me was all guests lined up on both sides of a pathway at night and fireworks went off as the bride and groom went through.

Stephanie said...

My favorite wedding moment right now is the video circulating on Facebook of a stepdad making vows to his new stepdaughter that he will also love and protect her.