A few months ago, I found myself swept up in the world of wedding planning. Naturally, my first stop was to the library, but there are so many wedding books in the world! There are the big planners meant for keeping all your checklists and contact info in order, or the archaic guides with patriarchal traditions, or the coffee table books with glossy photos of the most glamorous weddings you’ve ever seen. It was overwhelming and not helpful. I don’t want you to experience the same thing I did.
Below, I’ve rounded up some great wedding planning books that buck the usual traditions, as well as some romance novels about weddings — because they are abundant and so very fun. I couldn’t resist.
Unfortunately, almost all the modern wedding planning books I could find were written by and for Christian-adjacent white women. While the books listed do include stories and advice for a variety of weddings, there are not many dedicated specifically to weddings for different races or religions. I’m pleased to have found two dedicated to the beauty of queer weddings, so at least there’s that.
As for me, I flipped through a handful of wedding books and got overwhelmed by the minutiae. We ended up getting married on our five-year anniversary at one of our favorite restaurants with only our immediate family present, with two close friends officiating and photographing. It was perfect.
Wedding Planning Books
Wedding Hacks: 500+ Ways to Stick to Your Budget, Stay Stress-Free, and Plan the Best Wedding Ever! by Maddie Eisenhart
This is truly the best book on wedding planning I could get my paws on. It’s a list of more than 500 tips, but each one is given a mere paragraph or two of explanation. It breaks down budgets, traditions, and the aftermath, like how to change your name and not lose your rings while on your honeymoon.
Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding by Kirsten Ott Palladino
From the creator of the most comprehensive website for LGBTQ wedding planning, equallywed.com, this book covers it all. Kirsten Ott Palladino walks us through every aspect of the wedding day, from incorporating hot trends to dealing with homophobic family members. Equally Wed is special in its complete absence of heteronormative language. Because weddings are for everyone.
Offbeat Bride: Create a Wedding That’s Authentically YOU by Ariel Meadow Stallings
The Offbeat Bride is perfect for anyone not following the patriarchal, heteronormative traditions around weddings. Ariel Meadow Stallings shares the story of her own nontraditional wedding and offers advice from others who said no thank you to a garter toss.
One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead
Did you know the wedding industry is worth about $160 billion in the U.S.?
In One Perfect Day, Rebecca Mead digs in to the wedding industry and all its glitz and glory. With investigative journalism and social commentary, she interviews wedding planners, employees of department stores with wedding registries, and, of course, wedding dress designers to get the inside scoop on why weddings are so lavish.
The Best Party of Our Lives: Stories of Gay Weddings and True Love to Inspire Us All by Sarah Galvin
This beautiful book is a collection of essays telling the stories of various LGBT couples and their weddings. Broken up into sections by way of stages of a relationship — engagement, planning, ceremony, reception, happily ever after party — Sarah Galvin tells each couples’ story of love, challenges, and lessons learned.
Romance Novels about Weddings
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Okay, nearly every book in this series by Jasmine Guillory is about or adjacent to a wedding. But The Wedding Party is my favorite. Maddie and Theo are Alexa’s two best friends, and they hate each other. When they’re both tasked with bridal party duties, they end up spending an uncomfortable amount of time with each other…and then sneak off into closets to hook up. It’s a fun enemies-to-lovers romance!
Do You Take This Man by Denise Williams (September 2022, Berkley)
Divorce attorney RJ officiates an unplanned wedding in a park (what?) and a video of the ceremony goes viral, making her a sought-after officiant. She obliges, but there’s a downside: the wedding planner she has to work with, Lear, is a total dude-bro. They loathe each other, and yet, despite their best efforts to remain off-limits, they find themselves leaning into each other.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Wedding murder mystery? Yes, please.
Meddelin Chan accidentally killed her blind date. Her mom and several aunties try to help her get rid of the body, but of course, that’s a bigger task than they imagine. It was in a cake cooler and shipped off to the massive wedding Meddy and her family are working…oops. Then Meddy’s great college love shows up amid the chaos, making her to-do list extraordinarily long: hide body, don’t get arrested, charm ex-lover, and also pull off a fabulous wedding.
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
Carolina Santos is a top-tier wedding planner in D.C. and lands a major client. The downside? She has to work with the brother of the groom who left her at the altar. She and Max both need this client to further their careers, so they bite the bullet and shoot daggers with their eyes instead. But then there are sparks between them. And we all know how that goes.
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Angsty Delilah Green begrudgingly goes to her hometown to photograph her stepsister’s wedding. She’s only there for the paycheck. But then she sees Claire Sutherland — one of her stepsister’s besties — and has other plans. Claire’s a single mom and runs her family’s bookstore, leaving little time for romance. The two are brought together for a series of endless pre-wedding activities and find the other irresistible. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a delightful queer romance with two women discovering who they really are.