If you’ve recently gotten engaged, then you’re probably at least starting to think about what you want to do for the wedding. Even if you’re planning on keeping things small, wedding planning can be overwhelming, stressful, and expensive. It’s always best to stay as organized and in-the-know as possible, which is where these wedding planner books come in. Get advice and stay on top of every little detail with the options below.
How To Plan A Successful Wedding
Getting ready for your big day might be stressful, but it should also be fun. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a wedding so that you end up with an event where everyone, including you, has the best night ever.
- Settle on a budget. Before you do anything, you need to speak with your fiancé and set a budget. It’s easy to get carried away while planning, and you don’t want to end up spending more than you can afford on one day, even if it is a special one. Keep money in mind throughout the entire process.
- Give yourself time. Unless you have a reason you need to get married right away, try to give yourself time to plan your wedding. Rushing makes everything more stressful and might mean the vendors you want won’t be available. Most people are engaged for about a year before they get married just to get everything in order.
- Have a vision in mind. Get some wedding inspiration before you start planning so that you have a clear idea of what you want out of your wedding. You should know whether you want it during the day or at night, what time of year you’re going to go for, what you want the vibe to be, a rough estimate on how many people you want to invite, an idea of a theme, etc.
- Write everything down. Planning means you’ll be in contact with multiple vendors, signing contracts, and setting dates. Write everything down and keep important information all in one spot. That’s precisely what wedding planners are useful for!
- Use checklists for help. No idea what you’re doing? No worries. Find a planner that has checklists and timelines that will give you an idea of when decisions need to be made to take the guesswork out of everything.
- Don’t take things too seriously. Remember, this is supposed to be an exciting time in your life—not a miserable one. You want your wedding to be fantastic, but you also don’t want to get stuck on the idea of it being perfect. Things will go wrong, compromises will need to be made, and there may be setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a wonderful time.
Best Overall: The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer
If you want a planner that does it all, opt for The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer. It’s quite a large binder, so it’s not going to fit neatly in your handbag, but it’s a worthwhile compromise. This organizer is chock full of much-needed advice on everything from little wedding details to the big stuff so that you can make every decision more wisely. There’s everything from photography tips to an explainer on different styles of wedding dresses.
This book also acts as an organizer, with plenty of room for all of your lists, from who you want to invite to the contact numbers of every vendor you’ll work with. It’s super organized, with tabs that make everything easy to find, large pockets to keep important documents, and worksheets for whatever you might need help with. And at an affordable price point as well, it’s tough to find something better than this one.
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer [binder edition]: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The Know Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer has all of the info, checklists, and organization you need.
Best Premium Option: Erin Condren In Love Grows Wedding Planner
This colorful Erin Condren Wedding Planner won’t just help you organize your details; it’s also fun to fill out. With checklists, charts, scheduling spreads, trackers, and monthly tabs, there’s a space for every piece of info you’ll have. A bookmark allows you to keep track of exactly where you are in the process of things.
It also comes with stickers to decorate as you please, a scrapbook section to keep track of your memories, and a folder to keep all of your documents together. As a nice touch, the cover is customizable and can include your names.
Best Inexpensive Option: Oh, Sh*t Just Got Real!
Not into the idea of spending a lot on a planner? Oh, Sh*t Just Got Real costs less than $10 and is a solid option for organization. A lot of the book includes blank pages for writing down whatever you need, as well as special pages like a table seating planner, wedding expense trackers, a bride’s checklist, guest lists, vendor contact sheets, and guided prompt pages.
This one doesn’t have quite as much room as some of the other planners on this list, so if you want something super detail-oriented, this may not be it. But if you’re going to keep it simple, this is perfect. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t have advice like some of the other planners, but, again, it’s a great, straightforward planning option at a low price.
Oh, Sh*t Just Got Real!: Funny Wedding Planner And Organizer: With Complete Worksheets, Checklists, Timelines And Budget Planning Workbook
Stay organized without spending a lot on a planner with this cute option.
Best For Staying In Your Budget: The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner and Organizer
Speaking of a budget, you have to stay in the one you set, remember? The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner and Organizer by Jessica Bishop makes that easy. This book is full of practical tips that keep a budget in mind, and don’t cost a fortune. It also has helpful worksheets, as well as sample budgets that allow you to track the expenses of absolutely everything.
There are pages that let you plan everything, advice on speaking with vendors and the venue, tips on things like how to choose a great dress, and plenty of worksheets that will help you get through it all with your bank account intact.
The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer: Checklists, Worksheets, and Essential Tools to Plan the Perfect Wedding on a Small Budget
Use this planner to keep track of all of your expenses and stay within your budget.
Best For Anyone Who Loves Lists: The Wedding Planner Checklist
A lot of wedding planners take up enough space that they can’t exactly be called portable, but the nice thing about The Wedding Planner Checklist is that it’s a perfect fit for your handbag. It’s also pretty straightforward, as it’s full of lists and charts that help you stay organized easily.
There are budgeting charts to stay within your price range, note-taking pages with guides, and tons of fill-in lists to keep track of all the info. The back cover pocket can hold small extra items, like receipts and business cards, but this is still lightweight enough to carry to all of your appointments.
The Wedding Planner Checklist: A Portable Guide to Organizing Your Dream Wedding
Use these charts and checklists to organize everything in a small, lightweight planner.
Best For Affordable Advice: A Practical Wedding Planner
This isn’t as much of an organizer as some other books on this list, but it is a book that will help you get through it all. A Practical Wedding Planner by Meg Keene is full of advice and tips you’ll actually be able to afford, so if you’re budget-conscious, you’ll love this one.
There’s advice on how to find and choose great vendors, how to figure out all the little details that you often don’t see online, how to have a great time, and how to save some money along the way. And aside from advice, there are also checklists and spreadsheets to keep you organized and to help you set a budget.
A Practical Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Wedding You Want with the Budget You've Got (without Losing Your Mind in the Process), Book Cover May Vary
This book offers lots of advice and tips you can afford, as well as checklists and spreadsheets for organizing.
Best For Inspiration: Loverly Wedding Planner
Loverly Wedding Planner by Kellee Khalil is chock full of gorgeous photos of weddings, dresses, decor, bridal parties, and everything in between. Sure, a quick scroll through Pinterest is an easy way to get inspiration, but the curated set of beautiful hi-res photographs in the book are tough to beat.
And it’s not just full of photos that will make you want to start planning your wedding like a maniac. These are accompanied by essential pieces of advice on everything you want to do while putting together a more modern wedding. There are tips on unplugged weddings, real-life budget breakdowns from real couples, and insider tips from those who have been there before. It’s a great read if you’re not sure where to start.
The Loverly Wedding Planner: The Modern Couple's Guide to Simplified Wedding Planning
This wedding planning book is full of gorgeous photos and insider advice.
Best For Making Memories: The Bride-To-Be Book
This adorable Bride-To-Be Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is basically an organizer mixed with a scrapbook, and it’s something you’ll want to hold onto long after the wedding is over. There are plenty of spaces for planning your wedding, like lists on who you want to invite, pages dedicated to your inspiration photos, and envelopes to keep receipts, business cards, or any other papers you’ll want to hold onto.
But aside from the important details of the big day, there are also plenty of spaces for essential information about the actual engagement. There are prompts for things like writing down your proposal story or how you met, as well as space for photos of everything that led up to your wedding day.
The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories From the Proposal to "I Do"
Part organizer and part scrapbook, this will help you get everything together while also making memories.
Best For Appointment Tracking: Kate Spade New York Bridal Appointment Calendar
Planning a wedding comes with lots of appointments, especially right in the beginning and especially closer to the actual day you’re going to get married. You can keep track of all of those in this cute Kate Spade New York Bridal Appointment Calendar. Now, could you use your regular planner in place of this one? You could, but does it say “Engaged” on the cover? Probably not.
Jokes aside, this is nice to have on hand if you don’t usually use a planner and need a way to organize your appointments. It’s great to bring to meetings and appointments as well since there’s plenty of room to jot down notes you want to keep in mind. There’s also a section where you can list the contact information of any vendor or person you’re working with. It’s nice to have all of that info in one place.
Best For The Guys: The Groom’s Instruction Manual
Most wedding planning books are created with women in mind, so everything in them is centered on the bride. But women aren’t the only ones who are interested in planning—men sometimes want to be just as much a part of it. The Groom’s Instruction Manual by Shandon Fowler was made for the soon-to-be grooms to prepare for the big day.
In this little book, you’ll find all of the information you didn’t even know you needed, as well as answers to every question that will pop up for you along the way. There are etiquette tips, advice on planning the perfect honeymoon, and for those who want to buy this before they even get engaged, a handy guide to diamonds.
The Groom's Instruction Manual: How to Survive and Possibly Even Enjoy the Most Bewildering Ceremony Known to Man (Owner's and Instruction Manual)
The Groom's Instruction Manual is full of advice for any man about to get married.
Best Gender Neutral: LGBTQ You and Me Gender Neutral Wedding Planner
Again, most wedding planning books are focused on the bride—with the assumption that a woman is marrying a man. That is not always the case, so if you’re looking for something more LGBTQ and gender-neutral friendly, it can be hard to find. This LGBTQ You and Me Gender Neutral Wedding Planner is super inclusive, with no mention of gender throughout so that you feel like you can actually use it to get some planning and organizing done.
The book is full of advice broken down into the timeline you should probably be following, along with some images for inspiration. There are seating charts you can fill out, mood board spaces to do whatever you want with, and prompts for every little detail out there. This book is beyond helpful and gorgeous to look at.
Best For Answering All Your Questions: Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette
You might think that the days for any etiquette lessons have long since past, but this couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to weddings. This kind of event will bring up tons of questions you’ve never even thought of before, and most of the time, it can be hard to find a straight answer. Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette by Anna Post is a classic that guides you through even the toughest situations.
There’s information in here on everything that tends to come up with weddings, from how to deal with awkward family stuff to how to address envelopes, how to use technology on your big day, and how to blend family traditions.
Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette
Weddings come with tons of confusing questions, and this book will probably answer all of them.
Best For Advice and Planning: The Wedding Planner & Organizer
Another favorite, the comprehensive book The Wedding Planner & Organizer by Mindy Weiss, is full of advice as well as plenty of room for planning and organizing. Weiss is a celebrity wedding planner who knows her stuff, so this book is packed with insider tips from someone who has been there many times before.
Aside from tips, it’s also full of prompts and spaces to plan every single detail you can think of, from the guest list to the budget to flowers and transportation. There are checklists, spreadsheets, worksheets, and schedules to fill out to keep everything as organized as possible.
The Wedding Planner & Organizer
This fan-favorite by a celebrity wedding planner is packed with helpful advice and plenty of room for organizing.
Best Scrapbook: Over The Moon: The Wedding Book
This Over The Moon wedding scrapbook isn’t exactly cheap, but it is gorgeous—and it’s a scrapbook you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life. This one isn’t exactly going to help you plan, but it’s a nice way to keep track of everything that goes into planning a wedding. This is the stuff you’ll want to remember when the wedding day is over.
Each page has tons of space for you to add photographs and sentimental memorabilia alongside adorable and colorful illustrations. You can do whatever you want with the space, so it’s a nice way to get creative with your love story.