The 10 Best Wedding Planning Books And Websites

bride groom wedding toast

Congratulations, you're engaged!

If you plan to have a wedding, even a small one, here comes the next part: planning the biggest party of your life.

But when do you mail the invitations? How should you style your hair? Do you have to give out favors? There are tons of choices when it comes to weddings and tons of books, blogs and websites to help brides with those choices. Wading through so much information could easily send you into wedding overload, so we did the work for you and selected our 10 favorite resources for all things wedding.

Weddingbee (

Weddingbee is like a special club just for brides. Updated about 25 times a day, the blog features posts written by more than 20 real brides from across the U.S. and Canada. The blogging "bees" chronicle every part of their wedding planning process, and topics run the gamut from what songs they are choosing for the ceremony and which shoes they want to wear to how they're making their own favors and where they're going for the honeymoon. Each post is honest, personal and totally relatable since these are real women of all ages and backgrounds sharing stories about their real weddings.

Snippet & Ink (

Inspiration boards (photo collages featuring color schemes, decorating ideas and other details) are a great way to form a vision of your wedding and Snippet & Ink shares stunning ones every week. You can get your creative juices flowing by scrolling through more than 500 boards inspired by different color combinations (pink and green, vermillion and blush), foods (lemon meringue pie, maple sugar) and themes (secret garden, southern hospitality, ragtime romance). There are also photos of charming real weddings, artistic do-it-yourself projects and gorgeous bridal fashions.

Style Me Pretty (

A former wedding invitations designer, Style Me Pretty founder/editor Abby Larson now spends her days focusing on the weddings themselves. Her site celebrates everything chic and spotlights thousands of super stylish real weddings from all over the world, such as a vintage Art Deco wedding in Connecticut, a romantic outdoor Colorado wedding and an elegant destination wedding on the Greek island of Hydra. The site has photo galleries of trendsetting gowns, cakes, favors and décor, too, and a tool that lets you build your own digital inspiration board. Wedding Dress Trend 2011: Would You Wear A Gown With Sleeves?

Brooklyn Bride (

You won't find anything pink or poofy on Brooklyn Bride. The blog eschews the princess bride fantasy in favor of wedding details that are hip, laidback and modern—just like the blog's namesake.

"Brooklyn Bride isn't just about Brooklyn," says Vané Broussard, an interior designer who founded the blog in 2007. "It's more of what Brooklyn represents. It's a wedding where you don't care if everything is perfect. It's about having fun and letting your wedding speak to your modern tastes." This is reflected in the posts, which highlight cutting-edge gowns, stylish tablescape ideas, contemporary invitations and up-and-coming vendors. You can also check out shop reviews, bridal show coverage, contests and money-saving deals.

WeddingWire (

Guest lists, seating charts, dinner menus, vendor contracts…There's a lot to manage for a wedding and the organizationally-challenged will appreciate the free online planning tools at WeddingWire. You can make a checklist of your to-dos, keep track of your spending and payment schedules, stay on top of RSVPs, store vendor information and build a personalized wedding website to share details with your guests. Other site features include photo galleries, song suggestions, message boards and a database of more than 200,000 vendors reviewed by real newlyweds.

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Lookbook: More Than 1,000 Cakes, Centerpieces, Bouquets, Dresses, Decorations, and Ideas for the Perfect Day (
By Carley Roney and Editors of The Knot

There's no shortage of ideas in this book. The newest title from wedding expert Carley Roney and the editors of the popular wedding website offers thorough information, insightful advice and creative suggestions for all aspects of the big day. There are tips on how to personalize your ceremony, definitions of stationary terms and more than 1,000 colorful photographs of many different styles of weddings, from outdoor to indoor, formal to casual, retro to modern and more. The book also highlights weddings by color, so you can find inspiration for your own color scheme.

The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day (
By Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine

When Heidi Klum and Seal began planning their 2005 nuptials, they called Mindy Weiss. The Beverly Hills-based event planner also organized weddings for Gwen Stefani, Eva Longoria, Adam Sandler and many other celebrities and has compiled her two decades of party planning experience in an all-in-one guide. Coming in at 485 pages, the hefty tome is packed with interesting information and covers every question, issue and task a bride could possible face (there's even a section of tips for pregnant brides). The book also includes fun trivia on wedding traditions, detailed timelines and helpful checklists.

"It's a forever book for every bride so she can handle every situation," Weiss says.

Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides (
By Ariel Meadow Stallings

While most wedding books have pretty similar tips on the wedding basics, Offbeat Bride is probably the only one that tells you how to deal with stoners at the reception. This humorously written book recounts how author Ariel Meadow Stallings planned her 2004 "freakfest" nuptials and is aimed at brides who want anything but the Big White Wedding. There are anecdotes and advice from dozens of unconventional brides, plus suggestions for putting a creative twist on your own celebrations. And if you want more off-the-beaten-aisle ideas, Meadow Stallings also runs a blog ( where she spotlights quirky real weddings from around the world. 3 Reasons Solo Weddings May Be A Growing Trend

Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette (
By Peggy Post

Who pays for the rehearsal dinner? Can you wear white if it's your second wedding? Is it OK to email thank-you notes to guests? Peggy Post, the author of more than a dozen etiquette books and the great-granddaughter-in-law of etiquette guru Emily Post, tackles these and other questions in the quintessential book on wedding manners. She covers all of the proper I dos and I don'ts you might be wondering about and also provides tips on things like setting the budget and choosing the right photographer.

The Engaged Groom: You're Getting Married. Read this Book. (
By Doug Gordon

Face it: Your husband-to-be probably couldn't care less about table linens or flower arrangements. But Doug Gordon's book explains how wedding planning can be fun for the guy, too.

"Play to his talents," writes Gordon. "If your groom is interested in food, put him in charge of the caterer. If he's a techie, ask him to create a wedding website." Full of wit and humor, the book also offers plenty of practical, straightforward advice on topics such as the marriage license, difficult guests and the all-important bachelor party. "You'll have plenty of chances to party with your friends in the future," writes Gordon. "And if you're worried that your marriage will mean a loss of your freedom, I suggest you talk to a therapist and not a stripper."

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