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While apps and digital checklists are useful, many engaged couples may find that good ol' pen and paper is the most efficient and organized way to plan their big day. The same goes for inspiration and planning tips—so much info is available online (especially on Brides.com!), but sometimes it's nice to have a physical book to thumb through with your spouse or mom during the planning process.
That's where wedding planning books come in. Many contain interactive checklists, so you can keep track of all your wedding to-dos, budgets, and guestlists. Others are chock full of helpful advice from experts in the industry like Mindy Weiss, Jung Lee, and Vera Wang. And many more are filled with gorgeous inspirational photos to give you plenty of ideas for your ceremony and reception, or provide space for mementos of your engagement, making them keepsakes for long after you say "I do."
That’s why we put together this comprehensive list of the best wedding planning books to help planning your big day. Any of these ideas would also make a great gift as well for a friend or family member who is about to start the planning process.
Here, the best wedding planning books.
Paper Peach Shop Grey Wedding Planner Book
With a gorgeous gold foil personalization on the cover, this pretty planner makes for a perfect—and useful!—engagement gift. Beyond the customized cover is every type of party-planning checklist and schedule you can think of, including monthly to-dos, payment schedules, and space for important contacts.
This comprehensive book will give couples everything, and we mean everything, they need to create an amazing event. Written by Seattle-based planners Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley and Co. Events, the book dives deep into the planning process, offering lots of helpful how-tos paired with gorgeous wedding imagery. Equal parts practical manual and treasure trove of inspiration, it will quickly turn into your planning bible.
"A Great Party"
Bryan Rafanelli has created gorgeous events all over the world, and now he's sharing his wisdom with couples—and anyone else who wants to throw a truly unforgettable party. This book showcases some of his most jaw-dropping creations—from state dinners at the White House to garden weddings—and provides tons of useful tips. Even if the event you're planning is a considerably more modest affair than the typical Rafanelli event, you'll come away with invaluable knowledge and inspiration to help the planning process.
"The Wedding Book"
If there was anyone to take advice from when it comes to wedding planning, it would be Mindy Weiss, an icon in the industry who has planned events for celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Sofia Vergara, and Channing Tatum. This tome is chock full of all of her secrets on how to negotiate with vendors, stretch budgets, and even navigate sticky family situations. Included are lists, timelines, and budgeting tools that you’ll be referring to throughout the entire wedding planning process.
"All the Essentials Wedding Planner"
This interactive planning book will thrill your inner organizer. It's chock-full of super helpful lists, timelines, charts, downloadable templates and more—all contained in a cute, 3-ring binder divided by color tabs. From Sausalito-based planner Alison Hotchkiss, this book is more than just a must-have planning tool. It's also a treasure trove of up-to-date advice covering all aspects of wedding planning, from creating a registry to booking photographers.
"Fête: The Wedding Experience"
Event designer Jung Lee is practically synonymous with high-profile parties and out-of-this-world weddings. Here, she shares all of her party-planning secrets and will lead you through the process, from engagement to “I do.” You’ll also find 150 inspirational photos that’ll give you some seriously stunning ideas.
"Bridechilla Wedding Planning Survival Guide"
Whoever said that one had to stress over wedding dresses or seating charts in order to get married? Ditch all that pomp and circumstance with this fun book. Inside, you'll find helpful guides to things like vendor contracts and quotes, in addition to on how to not sweat the small stuff and instead focus on what really matters,
Pearl and Mason Grey Wedding Planner Book
In addition to your mom and maid of honor, you’ll definitely want to bring along this little book when wedding dress shopping. In addition to planning checklists, budget trackers, and calendars, you’ll also find space to keep photos of wedding dress inspiration, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of popular wedding dress fabrics, necklines, and more.
The Personalized Wedding Co. Wedding Planner Book
If you’re, say, not the best at making decisions, this is the wedding planning book for you. Of course it comes with schedules, timelines, and checklists, but inside there are also mood boards and quizzes that’ll help you make tough decisions like who exactly should make the guest list.
Kate Spade New York Bridal Journal
This gorgeous hardcover book contains 200 lined pages on which you can jot down everything and anything throughout your wedding planning journey. From who gave what at the bridal shower to important phone numbers of florists and DJs, it's the perfect place for all your odds and ends.
Two Crew Design Maid of Honor Notebook
You won’t be the only one who’ll be busy juggling events this year! Your maid of honor also has to keep track of to-do lists and budgets of her own while she plans the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Gift her this planner to help make the process a breeze.
A wedding between an LGBTQ+ -identifying couple may be just another wedding, but there are some unique planning challenges that the couple may face. This book is an excellent resource for such challenges and questions—like how to deal with less-than-supportive family members—as well as for all the wedding to-do lists and tips every newly engaged couple needs.
"Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette"
Weddings (and all the family drama that often come with them) can bring up a whole slew of etiquette questions. Leave it to the etiquette expert, Emily Post! Here, you’ll find the answer to all your etiquette Qs, from how to word your wedding invitations to who should make the guest list.
Fluytco Wedding Planner and Journal Organizer
Keep your wedding details (all three million of them) in one neat place with this organizer. It boasts seating charts, guest lists, timelines, and even honeymoon-planning resources. Best of all, it even includes materials for a sweet bridesmaid proposal, as well as two wedding-day cards and envelopes.
"Stone Fox Bride"
Consider this the wedding planning bible for nontraditional brides. Written by the founder of the cool-girl bridal brand Stone Fox Bride, this totem offers advice on throwing an event that’s more Bianca Jagger than Cinderella, and features personal essays that’ll encourage you to stay true to yourself through the wilds of wedding planning.
"Vera Wang on Weddings"
Vera Wang is arguably one of the most sought-after bridal gown designers in the entire world, so who wouldn’t want her expert advice ahead of their big day? In this coffee table-worthy book, Wang divulges her ideas and thoughts on wedding details like the invitations, flowers, and of course, the wedding dress, offering advice on necklines, hemlines, and everything in between.
"The Wedding Dress"
This gorgeously illustrated book has all the wedding dress inspiration you need—and then some! It goes through almost 200 years of bridal fashion and history’s most infamous wedding dresses that still influence bridal designers today. You’re bound to get some ideas from all the stylish brides inside. Are you more of a Kate Middleton bride or a Kate Moss bride? You'll find the answer here.
Over the Moon Wedding Book
While all those checklists and contacts are important to track, you’ll want a place for all the keepsakes and memories you’ll collect during this time, too. With pages full of beautiful watercolor illustrations, this keepsake book is the perfect place to jot down memories, paste in photos, and collect mementos from your courtship, engagement, and nuptials. This is a one wedding planning book you’ll keep long after the “I dos.”