Weddings

22 books and resources on weddings that are actually helpful

From planning a feminist wedding to practical registries, let this list be your guide

Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and anxiety-ridden. The sheer amount of resources and advice out there about the actual planning itself is equally overwhelming. Your wedding should encapsulate you and your partner’s personality and spirit. But everyone you know is going to have their idea of what that should be for you. Keep in mind that it’s your wedding and you make the rules! If you do need some guidance, here are 22 tips and resources to help formulate a plan and make your wedding day the event you envision:

1) Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride

A photo of the book Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Kinsley laid out on a table with a white tablcloth on it, surrounded by white crepe paper, tulle, white flowers, and part of a photo booth picture of a couple making faces
[Image Description: A photo of the book Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Kinsley laid out on a table with a white tablecloth on it, surrounded by white crepe paper, tulle, white flowers, and part of a photo booth picture of a couple making faces] Photo via lucyknisley.com.
As a strong feminist, there are many aspects of weddings that put me off from the “rules” about changing your name to the tradition of giving your daughter away. The graphic novel Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride is an excellent resource to read before sitting down to plan your day. Written as a personal narrative, author Lucy Knisley explores the world of weddings as she navigates through traditions, her feminist identity, and DIY or die. I loved this book because it was so unabashedly honest, funny, as well as beautifully written and illustrated.  

2) A Practical Wedding

A photo of the book cover for A Practical Wedding, sitting up on a wooden table
[Image Description: A photo of the book cover for A Practical Wedding, sitting up on a wooden table] Image via Barnes and Nobles.
I bought this book for my best friend when she got engaged because it’s (clearly) a practical guide and breaks all the planning down into manageable steps. A good no-nonsense resource. The book also has an accompanying website that is equally useful. Shout out to my managing editor, Katie for that tip! 

3. Local wedding groups

A woman with short, curly hair, wearing glasses and a white cotton shirt looks down at her phone. SHe sits at a table with a coffee cup to her left
[Image Description: A woman with short, curly hair, wearing glasses and a white cotton shirt looks down at her phone. She sits at a table with a coffee cup to her left] Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.
Many cities have local online consignment groups where people will post items from their wedding they need to sell. Do some digging. You can find great deals this way.

4. Location-based websites

The logo Wedding411 in blue and green font]
[Image Description: The logo Wedding411 in blue and green font] Photo via Wedding411ondemand.
If you can’t find a consignment group, there are often resources that offer location-based info like this Maryland-based site, Wedding 411.

5. WeddingWire

A group of bridesmaids surround a bride, posing for a photo. Superimposed over them is the text Hotel Blocks, Simplified and under that is a search function
[Image Description: A group of bridesmaids surrounds a bride, posing for a photo. Superimposed over them is the text Hotel Blocks, Simplified and under that is a search function] Photo via WeddingWire.
Need help booking hotels? WeddingWire has a free tool called Hotel Block that lets you search by date and location to find the best deals. 

6. Zola

The Zola logo featuring the text Zola in black font with two blue and grey hearts intersection over it
[Image Description: The Zola logo featuring the text Zola in black font with two blue and grey hearts intersection over it] Photo via Facebook.
If you need help with the basics like a checklist or wedding website, Zola has you covered. It even has a place to create cash funds instead of a registry, which is a nice alternative. 

7. myPantone

A block of colorful squares fading from pink to orange. Beneath it is the text Pantone
[Image Description: A block of colorful squares fading from pink to orange. Beneath it is the text Pantone] Photo via iTunes.
If color coordination is on your list of priorities, myPantone has an awesome app to help. Just open it up, take a picture of the item you want to match with, and my Pantone will identify the color.

8. The Venue Report

A logo featuring a tent with a flag on top. On the left is the letter V and on the right is the letter R
[Image Description: A logo featuring a tent with a flag on top. On the left is the letter V and on the right is the letter R] Photo via Facebook.
The Venue Report has all the details on all things venue-related. You can search by budget, venue setting, and amenities. Check out the blog for beautifully curated stories. 

9. A strict timeline

A picture of a man in pants, suspenders, and a white shirt, sitting on a rug on a craggy hill. A woman sits in his lap wearing a white dress with a lacy sheer top. They hold hands and are laughing together. Behind them is a wedding arch made from tree limbs with flowers, leaves and a crocheted art piece featuring tassels. Below the photo is the text The Best 12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline
[Image Description: A picture of a man in pants, suspenders, and a white shirt, sitting on a rug on a craggy hill. A woman sits in his lap wearing a white dress with a lacy sheer top. They hold hands and are laughing together. Behind them is a wedding arch made from tree limbs with flowers, leaves and a crocheted art piece featuring tassels. Below the photo is the text The Best 12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline] Photo via junebug Weddings.
Having a schedule to keep you on track is key. Hang this pretty timeline from Junebug Weddings above your desk. 

10. Google Drive

The Google Drive logo, a yellow, blue, and green triangle made from a mobius strip
[Image Description: The Google Drive logo, a yellow, blue, and green triangle made from a mobius strip] Photo via Google.
Organization is key – Google Drive is your best friend when it comes to planning your wedding day. You can create spreadsheets, RSVPs, create custom maps, and share photos.

11. A nontraditional registry

Two men in leather jackets pore over a London map
[Image Description: Two men in leather jackets pore over a London map] Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash.
If you prefer traveling over kitchen mixers, sign up for a honeymoon fund that lets guests fund different adventures! Going to New Zealand? Guests can donate to your gift to Hobbiton or just buy you a guidebook.

12. E-wedding invites

Photo from above of an invitation with several pieces of paper containing information, as well as black rocks, a mirror with black dried flowers, a rose, and a headband laying on it
[Image Description: Photo from above of an invitation with several pieces of paper containing information, as well as black rocks, a mirror with black dried flowers, a rose, and a headband laying on it] Photo by Morgan McDonald on Unsplash.
If you want to save a little green or go eco-friendly online wedding invites are a great idea. Sites like Paperless Post have beautiful options in a range of styles. If you do decide to go the paper route but don’t want to spend a ton, you can also upload your own design to sites like Vistaprint which have low prices and fairly fast shipping.

13. Uber Events

The Uber logo, which has white font on a black background
[Image Description: The Uber logo, which has white font on a black background] Photo via Facebook.
Is your wedding venue far from hotels? Save guests the worry of driving or getting a cab and sign up for Uber Events. You can buy passes, then share them with guests so they ride for free.  

14. Your local newspaper or magazine

Photo from above of a candle, a pair of glasses, a magazine open to a page with a woman standing at a terrace window thrown open, a black leather clutch, and a white fluffy scarf laid out on a white surface
[Image Description: Photo from above of a candle, a pair of glasses, a magazine open to a page with a woman standing at a terrace window thrown open, a black leather clutch, and a white fluffy scarf laid out on a white surface] Photo by STIL on Unsplash.
There’s a wealth of wedding newspaper sections and magazines. Don’t let the choices overwhelm you, just use it for light skimming and guidance.

15. The Budget Savvy Bride

The logo for The Budget Savvy Bride written in teal and pink letters in a white circle, surrounded by pink flowers
[Image Description: The logo for The Budget Savvy Bride written in teal and pink letters in a white circle, surrounded by pink flowers] Photo via Facebook.
The online resource the Budget Savvy Bride has a huge list of helpful wedding resources from flowers to crafting with a little info on everything. 

16. A wedding organizer (the paper kind, not the person)

A bullet journal, open to February with the month's goals written at the top right. The page is decorated with pink hibiscus flowers and has a pen and pink highlighter resting on top of it]
[Image Description: A bullet journal, open to February with the month’s goals written at the top right. The page is decorated with pink hibiscus flowers and has a pen and pink highlighter resting on top of it] Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash.
Investing in a wedding organizer book can be so helpful. It’s a good place to store notes, fabric samples, pictures, and business cards.

16. A wedding planner (this time I do mean the person)

Two women sit across from each other in a booth, looking down at a notebook
[Image Description: Two women sit across from each other in a booth, looking down at a notebook] Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.
Dropping money on a wedding planner may not seem necessary but even if it’s just for the day of the wedding, it can be godsend. Wedding planners can keep everything on schedule and help put out fires like when the flowers don’t arrive or your grandfather throws a fit because there aren’t any crabcakes at the buffet table.

17. Allseated

The AllSeated Logo written in white font on a black background, featuring a chair with a checkmark on the back
[Image Description: The AllSeated Logo written in white font on a black background, featuring a chair with a checkmark on the back] Photo via Facebook.
Seating charts got you pulling your hair out? Allseated has you covered. It’s an in-depth innovative website that offers tools like the ability to view your floorplan in 3D to see how everything will fit on and around the table. 

18. A money-management app

A person holding out US money in front of their face in both hands, fanned out
[Image Description: A person holding out US money in front of their face in both hands, fanned out] Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.
Keeping track of your finances in a money-management app can be a great tool for managing the budget (even after the wedding is over). Joy is a wonderful app that helps you track your finances and well being at the same time. It also offers free financial coaching – key when you’re saving for a wedding.

19. Take a moment

A woman with long wavy brown hair closes her eyes and smiles slightly, tilting her head up
[Image Description: A woman with long wavy brown hair closes her eyes and smiles slightly, tilting her head up] Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash.
Don’t forget to take a moment to breathe and provide yourself with some self-care. The day before the wedding, take the day off and spend the day hanging with your family and bridal party or go have a spa day. You’ve done the planning and the day is here!

20. Ask for the gift of time

Dried lavender, baby's breath flowers, and roses each placed in glass jars on a white tabelcloth, next to a piece of paper that has the number one on it
[Image Description: Dried lavender, baby’s breath flowers, and roses each placed in glass jars on a white tablecloth, next to a piece of paper that has the number one on it] Photo by Photos by Lanty on Unsplash.
If you’re setting up the venue yourself or need help planning, ask your friends and family to chip in with their time instead of a gift. Not only are you getting a helping hand but it also can ease the strain on their wallet. 

21. Seek out advice from people in the know

Image from above of two woman sitting across from each other at a cafe talking
[Image Description: Image from above of two women sitting across from each other at a well-lit cafe talking] Photo by Seemi Samuel on Unsplash.
Offer to buy a coffee for friends who are recently married or had a great wedding you loved. They can offer you advice on what they wish they had and what to avoid at all costs. 

22. Keep it all in perspective!

Image of guests at a party raising their glasses, seated at a long table
[Image Description: Image of guests at a party raising their glasses, seated at a long table] Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash.
Remember this is just one day in the rest of your life together, so go with the flow, try to enjoy the planning, and have fun!