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Real Simple
April 02, 2018 5:30 pm

Congratulations! You said yes, and it’s time to plan a wedding. But now what? Before you panic and Google “how to plan a wedding,” don’t worry—all the information you need is already out there, from monthly checklists (like our own online checklist tool) to advice on negotiating with vendors. These are the best books for brides to help navigate everything that happens between saying Yes and saying I do.

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), by Meg Keene

Amazon

There are many expenses that come with planning a wedding. The venue, the invitations, the flowers, the band — and those are just the obvious ones. Even when you’re trying to cut costs, it’s easy for your budget to get out of hand. Meg Keene’s no-nonsense wedding planner offers tips and strategies to help you set a budget. And most importantly, stick to it. Every bride needs a wedding Bible, and Keene’s is one of the best.

To buy: $14, amazon.com.

Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding, by Judith Martin and Jacobina Martin

Amazon

One of the biggest hurdles of modern wedding planning is the pressure. Even if you already have your perfect day in mind, you’re going to hear a lot of (likely unsolicited) advice from friends, family, and even strangers about all the things you “should” do. Miss Manners and her daughter offer a guide on how to strike the balance between bending to everyone’s wishes and throwing in the towel and eloping. Who knew Miss Manners had such a sense of humor?

To buy: $14, amazon.com.

Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride, by Jamie Lee

Amazon

Every bride reaches a point during wedding planning where she’s had enough. Enough decision making, enough spending, enough stressing. It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety of wedding planning, but Weddiculous will remind you look on the bright side. Jamie Lee’s hilarious book is filled with insights, advice, and personal stories on how brides can stay sane during the wedding planning process. And above all else, it offers perspective on what’s really important: celebrating your happily ever after.

To buy: $15, amazon.com.

The Wedding Planner Checklist

Amazon

On top of a wedding Bible that outlines your big-picture decisions, it can also be helpful, if you like using pen and paper rather than online tools, to have a smaller guide to use on the go. This one is the size of a planner and will help you organize your smaller, more day-to-day wedding planning tasks. It has handy charts, timelines, and checklists to keep track of details you might not have considered, like the name of the salesperson who helped you find your dream wedding heels, or how much you’re budgeting for your bridesmaids to get their makeup done the day-of.

To buy: $5, amazon.com.

Stone Fox Bride: Love, Lust, and Wedding Planning for the Wild at Heart by Molly Rosen Guy

Amazon

This one’s for the brides who don’t want to have a capital T traditional wedding, who want to wear sapphires in their settings and say their vows in a lilac dress. Molly Rosen Guy has written a love letter to nonconformist brides. If you’re looking for permission to plan a wedding that doesn’t look like the ones you see in bridal magazines, pick up Stone Fox Bride. It’s the unique bridal book that will help you follow your heart and plan the special day of your dreams, not someone else’s.

To buy: $25, amazon.com.

I AM BRIDE: How to Take the WE Out of Wedding (and Other Useful Advice), by Laura Willcox

Amazon

Sometimes a bride needs a reminder not to take wedding planning too seriously. Which is why one of the best books for brides is Laura Willcox’s I AM BRIDE. Her satirical, tongue-in-cheek take on making your wedding all about yourself will offer some much-needed laughs in your most stressful moments. Warning: Maybe don’t actually take the advice in her book seriously! This one’s just for fun.

To buy: $13, amazon.com.

This article originally appeared in RealSimple.com.

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