By Erin Frank
Planning a DIY wedding without much know-how? Here are 5 helpful books to inspire and equip you for the big event.
1) Martha Stewart’s Keepsake Wedding Planner — Every bride needs a great basic planner, and this is one of the best. Martha’s 3-ring format let’s you insert all those random 8 1/2 x 11″ price and information sheets you get from vendors, plus easily add in your own pages of notes. It has all the timelines, checklists, and diagrams you need, but still manages to be light enough to tote around town. With spaces to collect business cards, fabric swatches, paper samples and ribbons, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
2) How to Have the Wedding You Want (Not The One Everybody Else Wants You To Have) — With Martha’s planner you’re on your way to a picture perfect wedding, but as a DIY Bride I’m guessing you’re looking for some non-traditional aspects as well. This book has you covered on both angles, despite having been published more than a decade ago. From the storybook wedding to the non-traditional, you’ll get savvy advice from real brides and grooms and learn from their experiences. Not only does it run the gamut of wedding types to appeal to any bride, but it also speaks to the emotional aspects of getting married. Do you have a pushy mother-in-law? Unenthusiastic bridesmaids? Is your vendor hard to work with? Author Danielle Claro has helpful answers to these questions and more to help you navigate the thorny world of weddings planning.
3) Jane Packer’s Guide to Flower Arranging — What makes this book perfect for a DIY bride is not only its great step-by-step photos, but the fact that the book doesn’t zero in only on weddings. Yes, Jane covers flower arranging for celebrations and bridal-specific arrangements, but she also shows you the foundations you need for a wide variety of shapes, styles, and types of arrangements. It really opens the door for you to express your own aesthetic and inspires you to think outside the box. With so many shapes, from traditional bouquets to wreaths to garlands, and a variety of arrangements—flowers in baskets, on pedestals, or with stag antlers!—you’ll have the know-how to turn your DIY flowers into real showstoppers.
4) Wedding Cakes You Can Make — Design is fine, but sometimes we need to start with the basics. Author and cake expert Dede Wilson takes you through the timetable, techniques and logistics of actually making your own wedding cake. Recipes go beyond basic to tasty cakes like Raspberries and Cream Cake, Nutella Cake and Chocolate Covered Caramel Cake. She’ll teach you all you need to know, even up to transportation on the wedding day, and have you make a 6″ sample cake along the way so you know what to expect from your finished product.
5) Wedding Planning for Dummies — When in doubt, be prepared. If you’re just starting to plan, pick up Wedding Planning for Dummies as a go-to reference guide. It’s an easy skim the first time through, but where it becomes invaluable is when those unexpected questions and issues arise. Its chapter format and handy index make it easy to pinpoint answers to the most obscure wedding questions you didn’t even know you had. Is part of your DIY motivation a modest (or minuscule) wedding budget? Opt for Budget Weddings for Dummies instead, and find out how to save yourself some money!