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When it comes to something as intensive as wedding planning, it’s always smarter to be too organized than not enough—which is why even if you’re already keeping tabs on the different stages through an app or website, picking up a wedding planner book (or two) certainly can’t hurt.
Unlike their digital counterparts, these books provide actual, physical space for you to write down your lists, highlight experts’ advice, and leaf through pages upon pages of gorgeous wedding inspo. Even better, when the big day (or weekend) is over, you’ll have a memento to go back to whenever you want to reminisce on the planning process, or perhaps pass on to a friend or sibling who’s next walking down the aisle and could use some organizational help.
Checklists are also a super helpful tool. Waverly Coleman, the Founder and Creative Director of Waverly Coleman Events, recommends that couples getting married consult checklists in several planning books to make sure they don't miss a single task. “I basically would look at certain checklists and take all the useful information and just create my own list,” she advises. “If it’s your first time getting married, it’s really helpful to know the process."
Meet the Expert
Whether you’re looking for a completely customizable option or you're more in the mood for one filled to the brim with inspirational photos, there are plenty of great planning books to choose from.
Read on for the best wedding planning books.
Paper Peach Shop Grey Wedding Planner Book
There’s a reason this planner is an Etsy bestseller. Featuring a customizable gold foil cover, easy-to-follow checklists for budgets, deadlines, and more, and pages devoted to events like bachelorette parties and bridal showers, this gorgeous planner is a must-have for anyone planning to say I Do. Buyers also praise its high-quality material and small size, with some of the over 500 reviews raving over how the book fits easily into a bag for on-the-go use.
The Paper Memory Our Wedding Planner Book
This highly-popular planner stands out due to its design; there are 20 color options for the cover, in addition to an elegant, customizable gold foil finish. Inside, you’ll find pages devoted to contact lists, dress inspiration, photography planning, and more, all organized by tabs so you won’t lose track of any detail. There’s a money-back guarantee, just in case you’re not happy with your purchase, but with a planner this good, it’s unlikely you’ll need to use it.
The Gift Studio Company Wedding Planner Book
This isn’t your average wedding planner. In addition to having the standard essentials like checklists and budget organizers, the book’s 140+ pages also feature wedding mood boards, sections to jot down details of your planned looks, and even quizzes meant to help you figure out who to cut from your guest list if you’re running over. You can personalize the cover, too, to make it even more of a special keepsake for after the events are over.
B Gregory Design Rose Gold Wedding Planner
If you’re an organizing queen, this planner is the one for you. The helpful book is broken down clearly into eight tabbed sections (Budget, Vendors, Honeymoon, To-Do List, etc.), so you won’t have to worry about trying to remember where you wrote down a previous note. And with a lovely watercolor cover finished with rose gold foil that can be completely customizable, the planner is both functional and pretty. What more could a bride-to-be want?
Creanly Gifts Greenery Wedding Planner
This gorgeous planner has earned major praise for its customizable front and back covers, eight tabbed, practical sections, and 170 pages of checklists, timelines, charts, and so much else. As your planning process gets underway, you’ll love using this book to ensure that you stay on top of all the info.
The Wedding Book: An Expert's Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day—Your Way
Two words: Mindy Weiss. The wedding planner extraordinaire (and A-list celebrity favorite) is the author of this great planner, which features budgeting tools, timelines, fashion rundowns, and more expert advice than a bride could ever need.
Whether you’re looking for help negotiating contracts with vendors or figuring out what lingerie to wear underneath your dress, Weiss’ book has you covered. It’s an Amazon bestseller for a reason—buyers rave about how thorough the contents are, with every single aspect of wedding planning discussed.
Two Crew Design Maid of Honor Notebook
When you’re dealing with all the chaos that comes with being a bride, it’s easy to forget that the members of your wedding party also could probably use hand-keeping things organized. Thankfully, this super-cute planner is meant specifically to be given to your maid-of-honor, as it features everything from bridal shower checklists to toast ideas to a rundown of lead-up and day-of duties. Trust us: your MOH will thank you for this one.
Purple Trail LGBTQ Wedding Planner
Wedding planning can be tricky for everyone, but for LGBTQ+ couples, there often are additional obstacles to manage. Enter: this gender-neutral book, which offers inclusive, in-depth guidance on navigating the ins and outs of getting married. From keeping tabs on the gift registry to deciding which traditions you are (or aren’t) including in the ceremony, there’s no part of the prep process that isn’t covered in this lovely planner. There’s even a customizable calendar, so you can start taking notes on the actual month you get engaged.
The Complete Wedding Planner for Brides To Be
Sure, your planner doesn’t have to match the theme of your wedding, but why not go for one that does? If you’re into the idea of doing a rustic vibe for your special day, this planner will be a perfect fit. The cover is designed with beautiful wood and lace, and inside, there are sections for planning seating charts, menus, guest lists, and so on. This is a book that’ll help you leading up to the wedding and act as a keepsake item for years afterward.
The Essential Wedding Planner
This budget planner is a steal, but don’t think that means it skimps on the content. The book lives up to its name, with checklists and timelines for every aspect of the planning process, plus worksheets you and your fiancé can fill out together. There are even pages dedicated to tasks like comparing venues, prepping photo shot lists, and renting equipment, so you won’t leave any stone unturned.
All the Essentials Wedding Planner
The title doesn’t lie–this planner truly does contain everything you’ll need to keep your wedding prep going smoothly, and then some. Author and wedding planner Alison Hotchkiss includes 176 pages of color-tabbed charts, timelines, templates, and more, covering topics like organizing gift registries and setting up your wedding website. It’s all contained in a three-ring binder, too, so you’ll be able to keep track of everything you jot down in the book super easily.
The Little Book of Wedding Planner Checklists
Every planner has checklists, but this one goes all out. There are lists dedicated to detailed budget planning, ceremony prep, invitation coordination, and much more, all organized in easy-to-navigate, streamlined sections. In addition, there’s plenty of advice, comparison charts, and photos for inspiration mixed in. No detail is too small for this handy planner, and yet it all fits into a pint-size book that’s the ideal size to take on the go, to appointments and fittings.
The Backyard Wedding Planner
A backyard wedding can be beautiful, but the planning process can be just as complicated as with other weddings, if not even more so due to the many different variables that need to be accounted for. This pretty planner, though, has all the tools you’ll need to ensure that you can have the backyard wedding of your dreams. There’s even a property walkthrough worksheet, checklists for weather planning, and tons of tips for renting equipment like chairs and dishes.
Storied Weddings: Inspiration for a Timeless Celebration That Is Perfectly You
Written by longtime wedding planners Nick and Aleah Valley, this book offers all the typical advice and checklists, yes, but also tons of gorgeous, swoon-worthy imagery bound to get you inspired. There are photos of cocktail recipes, floral designs, invitations, and so much more, alongside stories from past couples and a thorough Q&A that addresses every question you haven’t even realized you had. It’s the perfect gift for your newly engaged friends—or yourself, if your wedding is around the corner.
The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer
For those hoping to keep their wedding under a tight budget, look no further than this planner. Author Jessica Bishop, the founder of The Budget Savvy Bride, breaks down every potential cost in easy-to-understand language and gives loads of advice on making the most out of your day, no matter the price point. There are helpful worksheets, example budgets, DIY guidance, and even style alternatives so you can see all the different options for planning your wedding at a low cost.
The Must Have Destination Wedding Planner
While destination weddings can be fantastic experiences, they can also require a lot of work to go off without a hitch. This book contains many hugely helpful tips for planning a far-away wedding, taking on important topics like how to fill up days’ worth of events for guests and whether or not to fly in the photographer. With a planner as detailed as this, you can focus less on stressing and more on enjoying your upcoming getaway.
The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories From the Proposal to "I Do”
Written by the late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, this book is less about the logistics and more about the memories. It’s a journal filled with thoughtful, romantic writing prompts related to your engagement and wedding (i.e. “When I realized he was the one,” “What my parents said to me before the ceremony”), so that years from now, you can look back and know exactly what you were feeling and thinking every step of the way.
Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration
If your wedding planning so far has been all about mood boards and photo inspo, this is a book you need to check out. Coming from Style Me Pretty editor-in-chief Abby Larson, this planner is focused on the fashion and beauty side of wedding prep, and it includes style blueprints, DIY project ideas, and over 250 stunning photos from events sure to leave you inspired. Consider this book your resource for all things style when it comes to your big day.
What to look for in a wedding planner book
It depends on whether you're looking for pure inspiration or book that keeps you totally organized—or a combo of both! In addition to books with checklists, Waverly recommends keeping an eye out for ones that contain color palettes and pattern samples, so that you can start visualizing your big day with creative tools. If available, detailed venue lists broken down by city or state can also be a useful accessory in a planning book.
Why should I use a wedding planner book versus an app or website?
Although there are merits to all the options, Coleman notes that one of the benefits of a physical book is that you can “highlight the pages,” so you can keep track of all the most-important details or recommendations you want to refer back to later on.
How do I create a wedding checklist?
Planning a wedding can be a huge undertaking, so take your time, ask for help, and try to not get too overwhelmed! That's easier said than done, of course. A wedding planning checklist will be your best friend as you embark on the planning process.
Once you're engaged, start with where you are and work forward with monthly incremental goals moving forward. The best way to approach your list is to break everything down into manageable chunks and priorities that you can tackle.
Why Trust Brides
Brides writer Rachel Simon has extensively covered weddings and other lifestyle topics for dozens of magazines, newspapers, and websites. She’s also engaged and currently planning her wedding, so she knows firsthand how invaluable resources like these books can be.