Books That Make Wedding Planning WAY Easier

Planning a wedding is exciting. But it's also very, very hard work. In order to navigate it, you're going to need to arm yourself with an array of tools to help you stay on track — and sane. Using checklists and apps is a start, but sometimes there's nothing better than a good old-fashioned book.

That's why we’ve rounded up some essential reads you'll want to add to your e-cart right now. They'll help you wrap your mind around everything from timelines to etiquette to the millions of little nuts and bolts that keep it all together. (Plus, there are pretty photos!)

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding

It's 2017, so it's about time for the definitive guide to LGBTQ+ weddings. Here, you'll find advice on every aspect of your day, plus a wedding-planning checklist — all without any  heteronormative generalizations.
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Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette

Weddings are complex events with many, many moving pieces. Pulling off a fabulous party without a hitch is not the whole story, however — there are awkward guest-list situations, issues with family, and more. This etiquette guide will help reduce your stress around all of these questions.
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A Practical Wedding

If you don't have an unlimited budget for your wedding (so, like, most of us), run, don't walk to get this book. Meg Keene, who also runs the website A Practical Wedding, will completely change the way you think about weddings — this is not an understatement. You may start to think of some of those traditional "musts" as not so traditional or obligatory anymore. Most importantly, it will help you focus on what really matters: how your wedding feels, not how it looks.
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A Practical Wedding Planner

We suggest buying this as a companion to Meg Keene's A Practical Wedding. The unique thing about A Practical Wedding Planner is how it actually really gets your wheels turning. Not only does it provide useful tips and advice, but it also has many interactive lists and graphs throughout, which allow you to focus on what you really want. For example, in the first chapter you'll go through and circle all the things that are important to you, and create a wedding mission statement. And who doesn't love a good pie chart?!
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Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives For Independent Brides

If you're not a poufy-white-dress, throw-the-bouquet, everything-matchy-matchy type of bride, read this book. In it, author Ariel Meadow Stallings chronicles how she got fed up with traditional weddings and decided to become the OG offbeat bride. There are also tons of helpful tips on budgeting, conflict mediation, and more.
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2Brides2Be: A Same-Sex Guide For The Modern Bride

Written by the creator of the popular same-sex-wedding website 2Brides2Be, Laura Leigh Abby, this book is "a wedding guide for the bride who exudes youth and style no matter what her age, who is inspired by innovation, and who wants to marry the woman of her dreams and do it her way. She is a visionary who is up to the task of blending tradition and rebellion, but she is looking for some practical wedding-planning advice." Abby shares her own experiences and advice on everything from picking vendors to wording the invites — and she's not afraid to break the traditional rules.
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Style Me Pretty Weddings

Two words: Pretty pictures. Abby Larson, the founder of popular site Style Me Pretty, offers gorgeous inspiration for all types of weddings: classic, modern, rustic... You can pore over tons of real weddings full of unique, thoughtful personal touches and get ideas for days.
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The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer

Ah, here it is, the OG of wedding-planning books from The Knot. It has everything: planning and budget worksheets, detailed timelines, money-saving tips, and plenty of gorgeous visual inspiration.
Photo: Courtesy of Erin Condren.
Erin Condren Custom Wedding Planners

This is not a book per se, but perhaps even more useful during wedding planning. Erin Condren makes customizable wedding-planning organizers with monthly checklists to keep you on track, plus a place to work out your budget, seating chart, menu, and more. You can make the cover a personal photo collage, add your names and wedding date, or choose from one of the classic designs.
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The Wedding Book

Perhaps the celebrity wedding planner in the country, Mindy Weiss offers this comprehensive guide to every single — and we mean, every single — aspect of planning your nuptials. For the hyper-organized (or those who aspire to be), she offers checklists galore and lists all the questions you need to ask each vendor. Plus, there's a budget worksheet that doesn't leave out one detail.
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Vintage Wedding Style

Yes, the DIY "moment" in weddings is over, but plenty of couples still incorporate homemade elements into their celebrations. This book is full of tutorials for everything from vintage-map votive candles to hand-sewn programs to fill your wedding with vintage charm.
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The Bridesmaid Guide: Modern Advice On Etiquette, Parties & Being Fabulous

Bridesmaids need love, too! If it's your first time bridesmaiding and you need a little hand-holding in the form of a book, this is a great guide to throwing all the pre-wedding parties, staying within your budget, and generally being fabulous.
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Weddings In Color

If you can't bear to see another twine-tied invitation — or, God forbid, a Mason jar — this book of modern style ideas is for you. Far from the usual rustic-romantic Pinterest fare, it serves up a feast for the eyes: Pick from eight vibrant color palettes, and pore over the chicest photos in your preferred hues.
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Tying The Knot: The Complete Wedding Organizer

Sometimes you need a good, old-fashioned workbook to keep everything organized when wedding-planning. In this 100-plus-page organizer, you can record details about your budget, parties, attire, invitations, flowers, music, honeymoon, and more. It even has plastic folders where you can stash your documents, receipts, samples, and more.
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The Essential Guide To Gay & Lesbian Weddings

This book was originally published in 1994 — when same-sex marriage was not yet legal and symbolic commitment ceremonies were the norm — but has gone through a few editions. Tess Ayers and Paul Brown cover trends, fashion tips, and offer advice on how to deal with difficult family members. They touch on topics most bridal magazines don't, like how two brides can match their wedding dresses and how to find LGBTQ-friendly businesses.
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Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide To Being A Bride

This isn't your typical wedding-planning book, but then again, Jamie Lee isn't your typical bride. The comedian and star of MTV's Girl Code explores the more surreal aspects of wedding planning and approaches everything with an irreverent sense of humor. If you, like Lee, are an unconventional bride-to-be stuck in a traditional world, you might very well relate — and use her practical, no-nonsense advice.
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The Loverly Wedding Planner

Loverly is an excellent resource for all things wedding-related, so it makes sense that its book would be just as useful. The site's editors have broken down the process into three major parts (the big picture, logistics, and the big day), with easily digestible tidbits and advice that will help keep everything in check. This book is full of unexpected advice you won’t find in a typical planning tome — paired with inspiring real-weddings images.
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The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner

The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner is a quick and easy guide to every part of your big day. We love the DIY, money-saving approach the book takes, and it also has fun compartments to house vendor business cards and make notes. Think of it as your very own customized workbook.
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Stuff Every Bride Should Know

This handy, pocket-sized book is one you can easily carry around with you on the go. Don't be fooled by its smallness; the pages are filled to the brim with easy-to-understand checklists, big-picture queries, and day-of logistics. It’s got everything you need — and nothing you don't.
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Never Throw Rice At A Pisces

Is mercury retrograde just in time for your big day? Never Throw Rice At a Pisces is the astrology lover’s guide to wedding planning. In it, astrologer Stacey Wolf offers insights about time of year, vows, and honeymoon planning, all geared toward your specific sign. We don't know if it's truly scientific, but we love this one anyway.
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Martha Stewart Weddings Ideas & Inspiration

Martha Stewart's eponymous wedding brand has been around since 1995 — which makes her the bona fide OG of weddings. Her latest book offers the same tasteful aesthetic and practical advice that you'll find in the pages of her magazine, along with 300 full-color photographs, loads of creative ideas, and tips for everything from choosing your color palette to orchestrating the perfect honeymoon sendoff.
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