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's a seemingly endless supply of wedding planning books that will help point you in the right direction. We’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite books, from the nitty-gritty to-do lists to gorgeous inspiration, and everything in between.
The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer: Checklists, Worksheets, and Essential Tools to Plan the Perfect Wedding on a Small Budget by Jessica Bishop
Having a beautiful, meaningful, and personalized celebration doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Jessica Bishop's planning guide has it all, from budget-friendly insider tips to cost breakdowns from real weddings, to help you plan the wedding of your dreams in the most cost-efficient ways. Checklists, worksheets, calendars, and more will help you stay organized and navigate it all with ease, no matter your wedding budget.
SHOP NOW: Barnes & Noble, $11.43
Wedding Book by Over the Moon
Brought to you by the ultimate one-stop spot for all things fashion and wedding alike, this high-end planner doubles as a scrapbook for you and your partner to document your wedding planning process. Blank pages decorated with romantic, animal-infused watercolor prints leave plenty of space to jot down important notes related to your registry, menu, and bridal party, and you can even put your own love story in writing. Made from all-natural materials meant to last up to 300 years, this is one keepsake you’ll want to keep on your coffee table long after you’ve said “I do.”
SHOP NOW: Over the Moon, $125
Storied Weddings: Inspiration for a Timeless Celebration That Is Perfectly You by Aleah and Nick Valley
Featuring input from two BRIDES editors, this should make the top of your pre-wedding reading list. Storied Weddings meshes planning tools and wedding inspo for an all-inclusive guide to your big day. Bring your own wedding story to life with the help of tips from the pros, beautiful real wedding imagery of everything from invitations to venues, and a Q&A designed to pinpoint your specific wedding style.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $30
Wedding Planning for the Busy Feminist by Amanda Pendolino
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! With anecdotes along the lines of "nothing sexes up a ceremony like a hot usher," Amanda Pendolino's witty read caters to modern brides who want to steer away from certain dated wedding traditions. Plus, the book comes loaded with humorous tips and stories from real couples and vendors, in-depth info on everything from budgets to eloping to self care, and a 300+ list of designers, vendors, wedding apps, and more in the appendix.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $12.99
White Dress Destinations: The Definitive Guide to Planning the New Destination Wedding by Beth Chapman, Candice Coppola, and Carla Ten Eyck
Craving a destination wedding, but don't know where to start? Add this resource to your wedding pile, stat. Co-authored by a photographer, bridal stylist, and international destination wedding planner, this wedding planning book highlights six romantic wedding venues worldwide—from Paris to Barbados—with no shortage of beautiful wedding inspiration. Discover how each venue played a role in the wedding fashion, invitations, and even signature drinks, all while brainstorming ideas for your own destination wedding with the help of the book's tips and checklists.
SHOP NOW: Target, $23.65
Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding Album by Halima Sadat
It's no surprise Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding was one of the most celebrated ceremonies of the year. If you're as obsessed with the iconic nuptials as we are, take a cue from all the royal pomp and circumstance and channel the Meghan Markle Effect in your own wedding. Relive their fairytale-worthy day (and ongoing love story) with this keepsake royal wedding photo album, chock full of full-page images of the venue and Meghan's dresses, among many other details. You don't need a Windsor Castle venue to pull off an equally magical ceremony.
SHOP NOW: Target, $13.49
Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding by Kirsten Palladino
Yes, some of the specifics of a same-sex wedding are the same, but others are different, and planning a wedding with two brides or grooms comes with a set of thoughts, questions, and etiquette confusion that other wedding planning sources might not address. This guide, written by the founder of one of the top LGBTQ+ wedding websites, provides sound planning advice (including dealing with homophobic family members) while also walking the line between traditional elements and innovation, style, and a little bit of rebellion.
SHOP NOW: Target, $12.23
The Wedding Book: An Expert's Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day—Your Way 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.
SHOP NOW: Barnes & Noble, $21.21
Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride by Jamie Lee
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.
SHOP NOW: Target, $15.63
Stone Cold 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.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $28.46
Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers by Hamish Bowles
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.
SHOP NOW: Barnes & Noble, $52.90
The Realist Bride: Everything You Really Need To Know To Plan Your Wedding 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.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $19.99
Weddings in Color: 500 Creative Ideas for Designing a Modern Wedding 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.
SHOP NOW: Barnes & Noble, $29.25
The Groom's Guide: For Men on the Verge of Marriage by 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.
SHOP NOW: Target, $13.59