Monday, 3 February 2014

Book Review: Gypsy Wedding Dreams by Thelma Madine

Hey guys! So, I've fixed up another review for you all, and I'm really excited about this one because it's my first book that I've read this year that fits into one of my challenges! I read Gypsy Wedding Dreams for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, hosted by (go sign up if you're interested). Also, check out my Reading Challenge post. I borrowed this book from the library.

16100234 Cover and description from Goodreads

Thelma Madine, star of Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and fairy godmother of extravagant wedding dresses, reveals the drama, secrets and surprises involved in ten incredible traveller weddings. Through the tales of ten elaborate gypsy wedding dresses, Thelma Madine, trusted confidante and dressmaker extraordinaire, offers a window onto the world of traveller brides and their unbelievable celebrations. For Thelma's young brides, a wedding dress is more than just a pretty white gown. For some it is a symbol of their fairytale-like hopes and dreams for the future, for others a mark of a long-standing friendship with a non-traveller they have welcomed into their community, and, for one small group, it is a sad reminder of day they know will never come. With each chapter based around the secrets and incredible truths hidden behind each different dress, Thelma's second book is packed full of fascinating new stories. More drama, more dresses, more gypsies. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and achingly sad, and brimming with hilarious anecdotes and larger-than-life characters, Thelma's book will amaze, amuse and entertain. Beautifully designed and fully-illustrated throughout, it is crammed with glossy new photos, revealing never-before-seen dresses adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals and hundreds of LED lights - an ideal gift for fans of Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and Thelma's Gypsy Girls.

What's the deal?

This book is written by Thelma Madine, the dressmaker behind the fabulous creations on Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series (I don't know if this airs anywhere outside the UK, so if you know, please let me know in the comments). It basically chronicles some of her most memorable dresses, and also the most memorable girls who ordered the dresses. Some of the anecdotes are set before the C4 documentary, when Madine's shop was less well known, and some are set after.

How does it work?

The book is made up of 10 chapters and each is about a different wedding and bride (or, in some cases, about a different topic with several brides under it) that Madine worked on. All the chapters are detailed and entertaining recounts of vastly different experiences. At around 225 pages long (but some pages are photographs), it is a very easy read for when you want something not too challenging, something you don't have to think about, to read at night. There are also beautiful photographs of the dresses, accessories and brides scattered throughout the book, which has lovely page designs too. 

Completely Loved:

  • The photographs. The beautiful photos of various dresses and details really just break the text up and make the book a bit more fun to read.
  • The people. Most of the characters are really sweet and the stories are genuine, warm and funny. A lovely little read to wile away a few dull hours. 
Not so much:

  • There isn't actually anything I particularly disliked about this book, maybe because it's just one of those books you might read just to pass the time.

This wasn't a quotable book, so instead I'm just going to say that the chapters I enjoyed the most, for various reasons, were The Game Changer, The Family Rivalry and Me and My Big Mouth.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this was a simple book, satisfying enough to read when you're bored or just want to relax a little and not over-do the thinking. It was sweet and funny and simple too - you don't have to worry about following along with a plot or anything. I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5.

So I hope you enjoyed my review! Let me know in the comments if you've read, or want to read, Gypsy Wedding Dreams, or if you watch Big Fat Gypsy Weddings. 



  1. Hopping over from the Nonfiction Reading Challenge.

    This does sound like a fun book for a winter day.

    Joy's Book Blog

    1. It was! The kind of book you can read when you don't want to think about complicated plots and things. I've been enjoying Nonfiction a lot more recently