Welcome to the crazy world of wedding planning! It’s beautiful, inspiring, full of love—and totally confusing. There’s an insanely long list of things to do before you walk down the aisle, and even more little in-between details that don’t make it onto those 12-month plans. Not sure where to begin? If you’re more pen-and-paper than Pinterest, you’re in luck: There are a seemingly endless supply of wedding planning books that will help point you in the right direction. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite books, from the nitty-gritty to-do lists to gorgeous inspiration, and everything in between.
A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner, by Meg Keene
Having a beautiful, meaningful, and personalized celebration doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Meg Keene’s planning guide and accompanying planning binder walk you through every step, from outlining your budget to getting your families involved. She outlines what to look for when shopping for a good deal on a venue, what you can (and can’t) DIY, and in-depth advice on hosting a restaurant wedding—or just eloping. Worksheets, diagrams, and flowcharts in the binder will help you stay organized and navigate it all with ease.
The Wedding Book, by Mindy Weiss
If anyone knows more about weddings than Mindy Weiss, we haven’t met them yet. This planner to the stars (you’ve seen her work on those Bachelor and Bachelorette wedding specials!) has seen and done it all, and is sharing her knowledge in this expert guide. From fashion and menus to drone videography and port-a-potties, it’s all in there—and you know she knows what she’s talking about.
Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride, by Jamie Lee
There will come a point during the planning process when you just need a laugh, and if that laugh comes with some actual advice, all the better! Lee, star of MTV’s Girl Code, knows that planning a wedding is a huge undertaking that can turn into a nightmare fast, so she’s using this book as a chance to give you a little perspective. Looking for a realistic book that will walk you through taking the perfect ring selfie and how to play fast and loose with tradition—all while maintaining composure and a little bit of grace? This is it.
2Brides 2Be, by Laura Leigh Abby
Yes, some of the specifics of a same-sex wedding are the same, but others are different, and planning a wedding with two brides comes with a set of thoughts, questions, and etiquette confusion that other wedding planning sources might not address. This guide, based on Abby’s own experience, provides sound planning advice while also walking the line between traditional elements and innovation, style, and a little bit of rebellion.
Stone Fox Bride: Love, Lust, and Wedding Planning for the Wild at Heart, by Molly Rosen Guy
You already know about Stone Fox Bride, the NYC bridal salon that’s tossing out tradition in the most fashionable way. But did you know the site’s blog features real weddings, invaluable advice, and all sorts of inspiration? You’ll find that same cool girl vibe, alongside candid advice, style ideas for every aspect of your big day, and a peek into the not-so-honeymoon first months of marriage on the pages of this super real tome.
Vogue Weddings, by Hamish Bowles
This is one you’ll want to keep on your coffee table long after you’ve said “I do.” With nearly 400 totally iconic and insanely inspiring photos by the likes of Richard Avedon and Cecil Beaton, this is the epitome of wedding porn. Will it help you with your guest list or floor plan? No. But it’s full of behind-the-scenes details, personal essays, and as much couture as a bride could ever ask for.
The Realist Bride, by Jessica Gomez
The only thing that should be sugarcoated about planning your wedding is the cake. From the things no one will tell you about being engaged to how to keep on top of your budget (including coordinating online resources like downloadable templates), this book will help make sure the only surprises you have during the planning process are the good kind.
Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings, by Matthew Robbins
Looking for a serious dose of pretty to get those creative juices flowing? Event planner Matthew Robbins knows a thing or two about turning everyday items into stunning inspiration, and is sharing it all. He pairs his unexpected sources for design ideas with tried-and-true planning tips he’s picked up during his years in the biz.
Weddings in Color, by Vané Broussard and Minhee Cho
Soft palettes are pretty, but some brides want their wedding colors to really pop. If that sounds like you, make sure you pick up this book. Divided into eight sections, each palette features tips for pairing colors together, ideas to make those hues work for you, and ways to include your chosen tones in everything from your makeup to the dessert table.
The Groom’s Guide, by The Black Tux
Yup, your favorite online tuxedo rental company has put together a planning guide to go along with their sharp suits! Get him involved in the planning process with some groom-centric advice, from how to actually choose the best man to, of course, deciding on the ideal wedding day style.