Once you’ve got that sparkly ring on your finger and you’ve had a few moments to cope with the high levels of excitement, it’s time to start planning your wedding. On one hand, it’s really just a big party, where you get to proclaim your love in front of family and friends, eat some delicious food, and dance the night away. Sounds easy enough, right? On the other hand, the details can bog you down. How many people are you inviting and who? How many of them are actually going to attend? If you’re looking at a venue with an outdoor aspect, what happens when it rains? Who’s in charge of setting up everything? How early do you need to order your dress? How long do alterations take? How long is a ceremony supposed to last? How do I get everyone from point A to point B? The list goes on and on, and in an effort not to overwhelm you here, let’s just state the basics… you need HELP.
While some people have factored a wedding planner into their budget, planners can be pricey. You also might feel comfortable tackling most of this on your own, but a little guidance never hurts. Wedding planners and wedding professionals have developed tons of planning materials to help guide you through the process, so even if they can’t physically be there, their wealth of knowledge and past experiences are behind their checklists, spreadsheets, to-do lists, and guides. With the help of their planning tools you can be confident that nothing goes missed and actually enjoy your big day… which is the point afterall.
Wedding planning books are also one of our favorite engagement presents. They’ll get the bride on the right foot from the start so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the process mid engagement. Here are 10 of our favorite wedding planner books, in no particular order for brides, grooms, and anyone else helping to plan a wedding.
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1. The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer – Binder Edition
The website of The Knot has been around for some time and is a leading resource for brides when it comes to planning. The Knot knows how to help keep brides organized and is a wonderful resource for finding the right vendors and endless inspiration. There’s something for everyone on their site, regardless of when and where you’ve chosen to be married. This beautiful binder organizer includes detailed timelines and worksheets for scheduling and budgeting, planning and money-saving tips, eight tabbed dividers packed with visual inspiration for all of the wedding day elements, a perforated color swatch page for mixing and matching your own wedding palette (one of the coolest features). It also includes extensive information on choosing your vendors with checklists of key questions to ask. You’ll find pockets for collecting inspiration, storing important contracts, and keeping vendor business cards.
The Knot also has this highly rated book of wedding checklists so if you’re a list lover like myself, you will love digging into this book. If Pinterest is overwhelming to you, this look book has a streamlined and much more manageable approach to wedding inspiration that can help you narrow down your vision for your big day.
2. A Practical Wedding Planner
With so much wedding inspiration available, the process is extremely overwhelming to many brides. Not only don’t they know where to start, but once they start making decisions, they feel as though they might not be the right ones. It can be daunting, especially when most decisions involve spending a considerable amount of money. The first book by this author gets you into the headspace of planning a wedding with a guide on how to approach wedding planning and then feeling right about your decisions. This companion book, A Practical Wedding Planner is more about taking action. The author has a very similar approach to one I use with my own clients. I tell them to decide what the three most important parts of their wedding are (music, food, ceremony, the dress, flowers, etc.) and then ask them to start there and build around those aspects. It helps everything fall into place and seems less overwhelming than trying to make every single aspect “the best”.
The planning book itself includes tips on how to set a budget and stick to it, how to choose a venue, hire good vendors (including those you might have forgotten you need), tips on wedding décor, creating and writing a ceremony, and more. It also has checklists (again, the best) and key spreadsheets so you can cross things off your list without feeling completely depleted by the end.
3. Loverly Wedding Planner: The Modern Couple’s Guide to Simplified Wedding Planning
Not only is this book jam packed with beautiful photos that make it so fun to flip through, but it takes a bit different of an approach to wedding planning. Rather than just focusing on the bride, it covers every aspect of a wedding from family, to friends, to the bridal party. It helps avoid the stress that sometimes can pop up from those areas. It’s more of a realist view to planning that doesn’t suggest that everything will go perfectly as planned, but rather gives you the tools to plan for those unforeseen circumstances to the very best of your ability. Doing that from the beginning certainly limits any problems on the big day to a minimum. It also has the basics such as guides for etiquette, a slew of checklists, and everything else you need to plan the wedding of your dreams.
4. Bloom Daily Undated Wedding Planner
This planner is great for a bride who’s already got a good idea of the wedding planning basics and just needs a good (and pretty) spot to organize everything. The hard cover wedding planner has a gold foil cover, gold reinforced metal corners, and gold wire binding. The tabbed sections include “Our Visions,” “The Basics,” “Guest Planning,” “Vendor Planning,” “Monthly Planning,” “The Big Day,” and “Wedding Memories”. There are also three storage pockets for various contracts and forms that you gather along the way. If you’re shopping for a bride as an engagement gift, this is such a pretty gift. Pair the book with these Mr. and Mrs. toasting flutes for a gold foil inspired gift.
Price: $34.95 (13 percent off MSRP)
5. All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day
This book is a practical tool to have on hand. It helps with the logistical organization of all of those things that need to be buttoned up before the big day. While there aren’t pages of pretty pictures, the charts, timelines, lists, and guides inside are what sets this planner apart. While it has premade tabs for the common things, it’s a three ring binder, making it easy to amend and add any other necessary documents.
6. Kate Spade New York Bridal Planner
Kate Spade caters to brides-to-be in so many ways and this planner is just one of them. It’s obviously adorable – with a light blue cover and gold foil text. It has all of the basic checklists and guides (although with a bit less direction than some of the above options). It serves as an attractive place to keep tabs on what still needs to be done and what has already been accomplished. If you’re on the hunt for other Kate Spade wedding related items (perhaps for a bridal shower or engagement party) shop some alternative Kate Spade gift ideas here.
Price: $43.12 (10 percent off MSRP)
7. The Wedding Planner & Organizer
With hundreds of five star reviews, tons of brides are remarking on the helpfulness of this book. It’s a best seller for good reason. This is the type of binder you’ll want to bring to every meeting and discussion, with so much useful information. It’s all tied up nicely into a sturdy binder with tabs for every category of wedding planning including: The Big Picture and Contacts, Budget, Location, Location, Location!, Menu and Flower, Rentals, The Dress! (And What Everyone Else Is Wearing, The Guests and the Invitations, Music, Photography, and Videography, and Making It Official: Rings, Licenses, Vows, Officiants. With this book by your side, you can be confident that nothing will slip through the cracks.
8. The Bride’s & Groom’s Instruction Manuals
This is a user-friendly guide that keeps planning light and funny rather than being filled with merely spreadsheets and checklists – but it has those too. If you need a more fun approach to planning that reads like a book rather than a how-to, this might be the option for you. There is a version for the guys and the gals, so if you want to help the groom along in the process, he might find a few laughs and some great advice in this book too. These are great gifts for an engagement party to keep the happy couple… happy.
Price: $12.58 and up
9. Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette
If you’ve witnessed some of your friends plan weddings then you know that traditions are changing. Adhering to your mother or grandmother’s advice on how to plan a wedding or be a bride might be a bit outdated. You might be marrying someone from a very different social or cultural background. Perhaps someone non traditional is paying for the wedding. Or, maybe you’re just surrounded with a lot of people with a lot of opinions. This book touches on all of those sensitive subjects in a modern way. There’s advice on How to handle awkward family situations, how to address envelopes and word invitations, how to choose an officiant, how to blend family traditions, the timeline of events throughout the engagement and during the wedding, and who to include on your guest list (this one is my favorite and always causes the biggest stir).
10. Anti-Bride Wedding Planner: Hip Tools and Tips for Getting Hitched
A hip wedding planner for the modern bride that’s relatable and relevant, this book has all the advice and checklists you need without going down the bridezilla hole. It’s filled with suggestions for outside-of-the box planning and tips that can help save you a lot of headaches, time, and money. If you’re fun, creative, and independent but still need some help organizing your wedding planning, this is the book to start with. If you’re looking for a good laugh and something that pokes a little fun at the modern day wedding planning process grab this book, written by MTV comedian Jamie Lee.
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