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The Wedding Beat: A Novel Paperback – April 3, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sipher, a writer for the New York Times’ “Vows” wedding column, mines his own experiences for this novel about Gavin Greene, a wedding columnist who wants to settle down. On New Year’s Eve he meets Melinda, a charming and well-traveled writer, but doesn’t work up the nerve to get her number. In between spending weekends at other people’s weddings and weekdays trying to protect his job from the paper’s cutbacks, Gavin tries to track her down. Then Melinda unexpectedly reenters his life—as a bride whose wedding he’s assigned to cover. Gavin must decide whether pursuing her is worth jeopardizing his career. Sipher’s fictional stand-in is winsome and his style is reminiscent of Kyle Smith’s popular debut, Love Monkey (2004). The novel’s plot is standard romantic-comedy fare, but it’s clear Sipher’s background has made him expert at capturing the small but significant details of a love story. --Aleksandra Walker

Review

"For any woman who devours the wedding section every Sunday, wondering when her own Mr. Right will come along, The Wedding Beat is a romantic, hilarious and inspiring story of the angst behind the announcements."
--Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin, New York Times best-selling authors of The Nanny Diaries


"Filled with sharp observations, hilarious truths, and poignant moments. Reading The Wedding Beat is like sitting next to the wittiest guest at a wedding - a rare find!"
--Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous


"Devan Sipher uses his journalist's sharp eye for detail to take a delightful and fresh look at the romantic comedy genre. Go for a wild, hilarious ride-along with Sipher as he works The Wedding Beat."
--Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls


"Romantic and charming, Devan Sipher's debut novel The Wedding Beat is a fresh and fun take on finding (and committing to) love."
--Laura Dave, author of The First Husband


"The Wedding Beat is smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and unabashedly romantic.  Get thee to a beach and read."
--Sarah Dunn, author of The Big Love
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451235797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,234,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in LA.

I always thought that would make a good title for my autobiography. Not that I plan on writing one.

I grew up mostly in Southfield, Michigan, which sounds misleadingly bucolic for a suburb of Detroit with more than 27 million square feet of office space.

I graduated from the University of Michigan, where I also attended medical school, and I received a master of fine arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

For the past seven years I've been a writer of the Vows column at The New York Times, and my first novel, THE WEDDING BEAT, was loosely based on my experience at the Times as a single guy writing about weddings.

My second novel, THE SCENIC ROUTE, comes out in June 2014.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I got this book from a First Reads giveaway from Goodreads.com. Thank-you! This book is scheduled for release in April.

The author, Devan Sipher, writes the Vows section for a New York newspaper. It's obvious that he's experienced with wedding details and has spent time interviewing folks in the throws of wedding preparation! The story is fast faced and every easy to read.

It's refreshing to read a story from the perspective of a male navigating the dating world. For anyone who's fumbled their way through online dating, being set-up and working up the nerve to approach someone in a coffee shop, you'll feel empathy for Gavin.

I love the banter between the characters - the conversations are funny and light. It's easy to see this play out like a romantic comedy film.

What really struck me is Gavin's personal journey to find true love as he's facing his own mortality. (He sees his grandparents together and doesn't want to be alone when he's old.) He sees others his own age getting married and feels his "biological clock ticking." His relationship with Melinda is a secondary part of the story.
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Format: Paperback
Don't you sometimes wonder about the reviewer who gives a 1 star to a book about which everyone else is raving? I always read those one stars. Sometimes I listen to them; sometimes I don't. It depends on the review---whether what the reviewer dislikes is the kind of thing I am likely to dislike as well. So, I'm providing my two cents worth here for others whose reactions to this book might be similar to my own.

Anyhow, I didn't finish this book. Tried several times. Even got about halfway through (by skipping over a lot, I'll admit). I found the protagonist to be a nebbish and a kvetch--that is weak, whiney, and annoying. A lot of the book consists of his irritating internal thoughts which struck me like nails on a chalkboard. I didn't think most of the funny parts that funny and I didn't find the romantic parts that romantic. I just wanted the man to DO something instead of whine. So, I would recommend reading or listening to a sample before purchasing this book. As I remember it, the opening is one of the better parts of the book so I don't know if it will really tell you much, but perhaps it may give you some sense of whether you like this character--or would like to shoot him.
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Format: Paperback
You would expect a book like this from a female author. I was intrigued that a guy would write what appeared to be chick lit. It actually worked! Goodness knows it was great to get a glimpse inside the mind of a guy.

It turns out that men, too, what love and a relationship. Gavin has a longing that only the right girl with cease. This is especially true after facing the death of a family member and dealing with the irrational relationship of his parents. To make matters worse, he is a reporter that covers high class weddings. Wow. That is like working in a chocolate store and going on a diet.

The dialogue is spot on. The plot is laughable, but it is also relatable. This is the first chick lit book by a guy that I have ever read, but I hope Devan Sipher keeps up the great work!
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Format: Paperback
After being in a reading funk for a few weeks I needed a certain book to help me get out of it. When I received The Wedding Beat on my doorstep, I read what it was about and was instantly excited to read it. It was the right book that I needed at that moment and it had me tearing up while reading about Gavin Green's journey to finding the one he believes is his true love. I loved that this story was about a male character that just wanted to fall in love with the woman of his dreams. Finding "the one" is not easy for men either and this story really showcases that as the main character Gavin goes through so many emotions while reminiscing about past loves and the one that got away. He also to deal with his somewhat dysfunctional family that will have you laughing whenever they appear on the page.

What makes it all more heartbreaking is that Gavin writes the wedding column at a major NYC newspaper. He interviews couples that are about to be married for his column and attends each of their weddings. He can't help but want what surrounds him as he doing job and wonders if he himself will ever find the right woman that will take that journey with him. There are times when he feels that he may be alone for the rest of his life and just when he has hope that he may have found someone, he's back to square one again. It doesn't help that he's pressured by his parents to find someone or anyone to settle down with and it makes people question why he writes the wedding column if it's something that he's never experienced in his life. He's very good at what he does, but there's one upcoming wedding that is just too much for him to take and places him in the uncomfortable position of doing something that he never thought he would do.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Gavin Greene is a newspaper columnist who writes about weddings- something that he's never experienced himself. Unlucky in love, he wonders if he is destined to spend his life alone, a fly on the wall at others' happy affairs, or if somewhere out there is the future Mrs. Greene... And then he meets her. The One that he can't take his mind off of- but love giveth, and love taketh away. Just like that, the girl with the sunny smile is gone. He tries to get her off of his mind and move on... Until the article he has to write is for her wedding.

I adored this book. I found myself laughing with Gavin and aching with him, hoping for him that he would his happy ending. I especially liked that it's told from a male perspective, something I'm not too used to from this genre. If The Ugly Truth and a Sophie Kinsella book had a love child, The Wedding Beat would be it. I recommend it, and sincerely hope that Devan Sipher writes more in the future.
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