Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Wolf is a contemporary fiction novel about a young professional named Amy who worked for a small New York publication; she’s an editor or something to that effect for the publication and is pretty good at her job. She works in an office with another editor named Barry whom she doesn’t really like and their shared assistant, Kate. Amy has a boyfriend named Stephen and many friends, but her two best friends are Mandy and Anita. When the novel begins Amy is talking about how crazy Mandy had become since she began planning her wedding to Jon (whom Amy doesn’t like… at all) – she believes Mandy could do and deserved a better spouse. Amy did not show any interest in marriage, getting married or weddings; she didn’t get excited and never expressed an interest in doing any of these things. She usually thought about how she may not get married at all so she doesn’t have to turn into a crazed maniac over the most banal things. 

Amy was overseas when her sister, Nicole, was planning her wedding; during the entire time Amy was overseas, she didn’t call her sister to check on her and see how wedding plans were going, how Nicole felt about it or any details about the proposal. Amy simply showed up in time to attend the wedding as a bridesmaid (she may have been the maid of honor, but I don’t remember) and attend the reception. After Mandy’s wedding, she goes back to her normal self, so Amy agrees to meet her and Jon for lunch one day. During lunch Jon and Mandy ask Amy about when she thinks she’ll get married and if they think Stephen will ask her to marry him and what she would say if he did and has she thought about this before, and more. Amy answers their numerous questions by saying that she doesn’t want to ruin the great relationship she and Stephen already have and that she’s not sure if she’ll ever get married. In her journal, Amy continues on her rant by stating that she believes weddings have become too commercialized costing brides and grooms everywhere thousands of dollars, and that there is too much societal pressure on women to get married and start families (and not enough pressure put on men about the same things). Anyway, marriage seemed like a distant thought for Amy. 

Not long after that lunch with the newlyweds, Amy and Stephen decide to go out to see a movie together and while in line to buy snacks at the theater Stephen gets down on one knee and proposes to Amy; Amy, sort of surprisingly, accepts. Amy is so excited about her recent engagement and can’t wait to share the news with her family and friends. However, she insists on telling them the news in person, so she decides to do it when she heads over to her parents’ house over the weekend for lunch (or dinner) as she usually does. Amy arrives at her parent’s house to find that her sister, Nicole, and brother-in-law, Chet, are there too. Amy expects exuberant yelps of joy from her family members, but mostly gets guarded excitement and some shock since most people in her family “didn’t think” she was the “marrying kind”. When Amy hears them describe her in that way, she is shocked that they would say that about her and wants to know what it is about her that makes her the un-marrying type (this is a moment when Amy needs to take my father’s advice and listen to herself when she speaks then maybe she would understand better why some friends and family have said this about her). Next, Amy goes on a hunt to deliver her news to somebody – anybody – who would excitedly congratulate her and revel in her happiness with her. 

Her Aunt Lucy is excited and extremely happy for her, Mandy is too and so is Anita, but she also mentions that she didn’t think Amy was the marrying kind and also explains that she supports Amy since she knows Amy will be happy with Stephen, but wouldn’t get married herself because she doesn’t understand how humans can commit themselves to marriage and monogamy. Despite the mixed reactions Amy’s received at the news of her engagement, she decides to write up her wedding to-do list which is pretty long at the start. She decides to talk to Mandy to get some advice and possible referrals for services she’ll need for her wedding and Mandy recommends Amy read “Beautiful Bride” which is shortened to, and mostly referred to as BB. After reading the first few chapters of BB, Amy’s wedding to-do list expanded to about 3-4 pages of tasks and reminders. Unfortunately, Stephen is so busy working (and working long hours) on some super computer technology for this small business he works for since him keeping his job is dependent on his success on this project. The most he offers to do is find and hire the band for the ceremony and reception – the downside for Amy is that he makes this offer after hearing a band playing in the subway and saying that he’d love for them to play at the wedding and reception. 

Although Amy declared and adamantly vowed she would NOT turn into a bride-to-be like Mandy, she ended up going crazy anyway trying to juggle all of the details of the wedding without much help and working full-time during a major project. Amy is disappointed to find out her total budget for the wedding is $10,000 knowing it would be very difficult to almost impossible to have a nice wedding in New York on a budget that small. They set a date for mid to late June and begin working to check off the items on the to-do list. Amy has a hard time finding an affordable beautiful wedding dress she can fit in, she’s having a hard time finding an affordable venue for the reception, an affordable photographer, videographer, caterer and affordable shoes. A truly rough time for Amy. Amy’s crazy continues to spiral out of control when she begins to speculate or wonder if Stephen working late means that he’s cheating on her with his beautiful, new, blonde coworker – Louise – suddenly calls off her engagement after working there with Stephen for a few months. Everything comes to a head when Amy and Stephen meet with the florist to finalize the flower arrangements, bouquet and boutonniere, the same flowers they had been discussing with the florist for months, are only found on the west coast of the United States and would take something like 5-6 weeks to order and have shipped to the store. They wouldn’t arrive in time for her wedding. 

By this point, Amy was livid when she found this out and simply snapped; she began yelling at the florist before Stephen quickly intervened, apologizing to the florist and requesting a moment to consult with this fiancé. He tells Amy she’s going berserk for no reason and that she needs to calm down so they can order some flowers. They end up in a HUGE argument: he told her that her craziness was NOT a turn-on and Amy told him to go to hell; they parted ways and Amy was devastated after she got over being mad. During the time that she and Stephen didn’t contact or see each other, Amy was miserable and realized just how much she loves Stephen and enjoys having him around. Amy and Stephen work through their argument and get back on track to planning and preparing for their wedding. 

Overall, the book was hilarious for a book about the risks and tragedies in planning a wedding and the plight of Amy who had the small wedding budget blues. I’m not sure I’d pick it up to read it again and I’m not sure I would strongly recommend the book to anyone unless they were running into one trouble after another planning their wedding. I don’t really have a favorite character in this book and disagree wholeheartedly with Anita’s assessment of marriage and monogamy as well as her belief that God is a woman. I’m sorry, the Bible is very clear that God is a man and that He intended for people to marry one person in a monogamous relationship for as long as they’re both alive. I guess I’m just old fashioned like that. If I had to choose a favorite character it would probably be Amy’s mom or Stephen; I like how quickly and easily Amy’s mom is able to take control of any situation and I like Stephen’s levelheadedness. Anyway, I grabbed a copy at a used bookstore which is why I’m not mad that the book was just ok – it only cost me about $5. I do recommend trying to find a copy of this book at a used bookstore or your local library first before running out to buy a new copy. If you’re unable to find a copy at a used bookstore (or don’t have one near you) and you’re not able to find a copy at your local library, then you can find a paperback copy at Barnes and Noble for $16.00.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! You can find additional book reviews here of all genres of books from children’s books to textbooks (mostly about business). Don’t forget to come back next week (hopefully – fingers crossed!) for the next book review of an historical fiction novel.