Calling all bride-to-be bookworms! Put a pause on wedding planning for a hot sec and allow yourself some much needed R&R time this season, curled up with a fabulous book (outdoors, of course). And don't worry, you Type-A brides who won't allow yourself a minute's break—your wedding won't be too far off the brain with any of these novels. We rounded up the best wedding-related summer books that should be on every future bride's reading list this season (or, for those who just love a good breezy romantic read).
For crime-loving brides, we have no shortage of mystery thrillers, from wedding murders (talk about a day ruiner) to a blurry bachelorette weekend gone horribly wrong, truly epitomizing "bach shit cray." On a lighter note, there's I Am BRIDE: How to Take the WE Out of Wedding (and Other Useful Advice) from writer and comedian Laura Willcox, here to offer plenty of wedding wisdom from a witty, satirical perspective. Or, read up on a series of short stories laced with humor via You Think It, I'll Say It by bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld, one of which involves a honeymooning couple.
Whatever your novel genre of choice, take your pick from any of these nine books for a worthwhile leisure activity that will help you further get in the spirit for your wedding day (well, aside from the murder mysteries, probably).
The Almost Wife by Jade Beer
Written by a Brides U.K. editor, you know this one's going to be good. The Almost Wife follows the lives of three separate brides, prepping for their big days. The protagonists cross paths via a wedding boutique owner in the Cotswolds named Helen, but things don't exactly go according to plan, and only one bride ends up actually marrying. Because, as the cover claims, "sometimes love just isn't enough" (gasp!).
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $10.99
Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails. by Caroline Moss and Michelle Markowitz
We're all guilty of it: the overused "Hey ladies!" email starter. This fictional book hilariously mocks this common email conundrum, showcasing the texts, emails, and social media exchanges between eight girl friends over the course of a year as they interact and attempt to plan a New Year's Eve wedding. Formatted like an epistolary novel (with digital communication instead of letters), the unique format and relatable plot makes this a must-read.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $14
All We Ever Wanted. by Emily Giffin
The author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue (two others that should top your reading list) is back with her most recent romance novel. Nina Browning, a former small-town girl married to one of Nashville's elite, Tom Volpe, a hardworking single dad, and his daughter, Lyla, all become intertwined when one drunken party photo spreads across social media. Riddled with scandal, this book follows along as the characters begin to question their own lives and relationships.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $17
The Perfect Couple. by Elin Hilderbrand
What was meant to be a picture-perfect Nantucket wedding goes sour when a body is discovered hours before the ceremony, and all signs are pointing toward the bridal party as the killer(s). Since it's HIGHLY unlikely your own 'maids will turn criminals on your big day, this is one beach read you won't be able to put down as the investigation unfolds.
SHOP NOW: Target, $19
I Am BRIDE: How to Take the WE Out of Wedding (and Other Useful Advice) by Laura Willcox
Comedian Laura Willcox takes on the persona of an obnoxious wedding planner to hilariously outline all components of the nuptial planning process. Replete with satirical advice for future brides, this book is the humorous wedding planning break you deserve (or a useful tool to gauge and reavaluate your inner Bridezilla).
SHOP NOW: Target, $13
An American Marriage. by Tayari Jones
While trying to get the hang of newlywed life, protagonists Celestial and Roy undergo quite the bump in their marriage when Roy is wrongly arrested for a crime he did not commit, and subsequently sentenced to prison for twelve years. Named as one of Oprah's book club picks, this incredibly relevant fiction novel includes an honest look into how unexpected complications can impact relationships.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $13
In a Dark, Dark Wood. by Ruth Ware
From the same author of The Woman in Cabin 10, this novel centers around Nora Shaw, an amnesia-ridden unreliable narrator, who attends an old friend's bachelorette party. The festivities go awry when a man close to the bride and the narrator is murdered, and Nora must attempt to piece the fuzzy weekend back together to uncover the killer. Read if you dare, and preferably after your own bach party has commenced.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $8.80
You Think It, I'll Say It. by Curtis Sittenfeld
Written by a New York Times bestselling author, this collection of short stories includes a laugh-out-loud worthy snippet of a couple on their honeymoon.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $15
The Wedding Date. by Jasmine Guillory
Kicking off with the ultimate meet-cute, Drew gets trapped in an elevator with a stranger, Alexa, the night before his ex's wedding, to which he's dateless. Based on the title, you can probably guess what happens next, but this surprisingly fresh modern romance story is well worth the read.
SHOP NOW: Target, $12