Author: Katy Birchall
Four Weddings and a Funeral meets The Wedding Party in Katy Birchall’s The Wedding Season: when a recently jilted bride is forced to attend seven weddings in one summer, her friends devise a series of challenges as distraction.
Freya Scott is getting married. Her wedding to Matthew, her long-term boyfriend, is the first of eight in her calendar this year, and as someone who prides herself on being meticulously organized, Freya is intent on making it the perfect day to remember.
But when Matthew calls things off hours before they walk down the aisle, Freya’s entire life plan goes up in smoke. Humiliated and heartbroken, the last thing she wants is to attend a summer of other peoples’ nuptials on her own.
Fortunately, her friends have an idea: together they devise a series of outrageous challenges for Freya to complete at each event, designed to distract her from Matthew and what might have been. From getting stuck in an old church bathroom and needing to be rescued by the vicar to making out with a barman at a French chateau, Freya realizes that despite herself, she might just be having fun.
By the time the final wedding arrives, she will discover that the road to a happy ending sometimes has unexpected detours, that “I do” is only the beginning––and that perhaps her own love story isn’t over just yet.
The Wedding Season follows 32-years-old Freya Scott, a successful brand manager for Suttsworth, the largest alcoholic beverage company in the UK. The story opens with her doing last minutes preparations at the venue for her wedding the next day to Matthew. Unfortunately, Matthew has some unfortunate news for Freya as he cannot go through with the wedding and decides to break up with her despite their twelve years together in a relationship. Not only does he call off the wedding, but he also wants to cut off all contact with Freya. Naturally, this leads Freya to wonder how this happened to her, how she is going to move forward in her own life, and how she is going to survive being a part of seven weddings that are taking place beginning soon. As each wedding is for one of her friends or family members, she does not want to let them down.
The story begins a little slow as Freya is trying to initially get through the shock of the break-up. She is still living in the place that she and Matthew shared, which leads her to reminisce about the past. She is also attempting to come up with a game plan since Matthew will be in attendance at some of the upcoming weddings. Luckily, Freya is not alone as she has her brother and father plus her friends, especially her best friends, engaged couple, Leo and Ruby. Together, Leo and Ruby devise challenges to help Freya make it through the Wedding Season. At each wedding, Freya will be required to complete one challenge that includes being the last one standing, obtaining a pair of cufflinks, getting a goodnight kiss, running down a corridor naked, making a speech, and one to be determined later. The main story moves forward as Freya attends the seven weddings that take her all around Europe from the UK to Ireland to France.
The weddings themselves were fun as each fit the couple and I loves Freya’s journey to learning more about her. Throughout the process, she does a lot of comparisons and analyses of her past relationship with Matthew. As an outsider, there are minor moments where you want her to hurry up and move on; however, I enjoyed the slow process as it made a lot of sense for someone to try and recover after being blindsided by someone they loved and planned a future with for twelve years. There is a love interest introduced later on in the story and this relationship was sweet as it built itself up slowly. Some readers may have found their relationship lacking, but I enjoyed their “happy for now”-type process compared to something more definitive. I liked the moments where Matthew showed up again in Freya’s life as it was interesting watching her grow in how she interacted with him. Overall, this story was very heartwarming with moments of humor. Freya was a character that I wanted to root for and I greatly enjoyed reading about her journey.
**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for a review copy of this entertaining and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**