Google search "wedding planning books" and you're presented with millions of results. (Seriously, try it.) To narrow down your options to something more manageable, we're spotlighting three new wedding books that will take some of the stress out of preparing for your "I Dos." Whether you're a bride on a budget, a classic girl looking for some modern reception style tips, or entering a same-sex marriage, these guides are bound to help couples have the most memorable wedding ever.
Photo: Courtesy of Broke Ass Bride
The Backstory: From Dana LaRue, founder of the wedding website The Broke-Ass Bride, comes a clever, sassy, and entirely useful planning guide for budget-conscious couples. Her theory is one we're sure plenty of engaged girls will love: Yes, it is possible to throw a fabulous wedding without breaking the bank.
What You'll Find Inside: The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide is filled with wallet-friendly advice, sample budgets, and DIY projects. With hundreds of tips on how to stretch your funds from engagement party to the big day, LaRue inspires personalization and individuality that won't deplete your savings.
Our Favorite Tip: Practice negotiating with your partner before you try to talk dollars and cents with a vendor. Developing a handle on haggling is key to a successful negotiation.
Photo: Courtesy of Harper Collins
The Backstory: Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6E is essentially the traditional bride's handbook. Written by Anna and Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughters of Emily Post, this comprehensive guide updates the original author's text, which was published in 1922. From detailed social media faux-pas (don't over advertise your upcoming wedding on Facebook!) to advice on how to handle divorced parents, this new edition offers classic advice in a modern way.
What You'll Find Inside: It covers the usual wedding planning topics — style, budget, guest list, and reception details — with a few contemporary additions including destination and same-sex weddings. There's a helpful tipping chart, plus a detailed wedding planning checklist that includes everything from scheduling time off work for the big day to when it's appropriate to send bridal shower thank-you notes.
Our Favorite Tip: Organize decisions by levels: primary, second-level, and third-level. Primary decisions are the biggies like the guest list, budget, and location. Figuring these out early makes second and third-level decisions, like selecting your dress, invites, and reception music, a lot easier.
Photo: Courtesy of Chronicle Books
The Backstory: Jason Mitchell's Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms focuses on same-sex marriages, yet every engaged couple could learn from it. Mitchell used his own planning experiences to write a fun, witty, and super-helpful book.
What You'll Find Inside: With sections on everything from budget and photography to food and drinks, Mitchell shares useful scoop for straight and same-sex couples. He includes common traditions and how to adjust them to work for you as a couple. He even features a fun (and totally sweet) vow-writing worksheet — think MadLibs for weddings — that is sure to bring on the waterworks at the ceremony.
Our Favorite Tip: Provide your DJ or bandleader with a play and "do not play" list. Music can make or break the a party, and if those popular, cringe-worthy wedding songs drive you crazy, request that they are skipped. (Of course, great entertainers can expertly read a crowd and will cater to your guests.)