It must be the romantic evenings by the fire during the cold winter months that inspire all those June weddings. So while the weather outside is busy being frightful, snuggle up with a notebook, a pen, your partner-to-be and a few beautiful new wedding books and plan your dream wedding with ease.
A romantic affair
From the editors of Victoria, one of the most romantic magazines around, comes Victoria: Romantic Weddings. This oversized edition is overflowing with ideas and advice on how to put on a romantic wedding. Through the lavish Victoria photography and author Mary Forsell's detailed interviews with wedding professionals and couples-to-be, every aspect of a romantic wedding is explored: how to find the right gown, the right flowers, the right hairstyle, the right location, etc. Five couples share the details of their real-life weddings, ranging from an upscale affair in New York City to a simple gathering at a chapel in the woods to an overseas adventure in a French chateau. To make planning your romantic wedding a little easier, the editors at Victoria have put together a companion planner guide in Victoria: A Romantic Wedding Planner. This spiral-bound organizer features seven sections to help the bride keep track of everything involved in her wedding, from the engagement party to the honeymoon. Illustrated with delicate drawings and beautiful wedding photography, this planner will surely become a keepsake memento.
Planning made easy
For the computer-literate bride-to-be, the Easy Wedding Planner by Elizabeth and Alex Lluch features a free CD-ROM that allows you to keep track of all the details of the big day, including the invited guests, gifts received and the all-important To Do list. The handy-sized book itself is a fount of straight-to-the-point information from two of the foremost experts in wedding planning. The Lluchs offer advice and suggestions in a concise, easy-to-read format that includes estimates on how much each element should cost, and tips on how to save money by doing it yourself. A companion planner, Easy Wedding Planner Organizer and Keepsake is also available and is probably one of the most complete planners on the market. Filled with lovely photographs and unique ideas, the detailed worksheets, tabbed sections, handy pocket pages and plenty of blank pages will help make personalizing your wedding easy and stress-free.
Some friendly advice
Having survived her own wedding extravaganza, author Lara Webb Carrigan shares advice in her new book, The Best Friend's Guide to Planning a Wedding. Webb interviewed hundreds of newlyweds, brides-to-be, caterers and wedding coordinators to collect all the useful tips and information that no one thinks to share until after the big day is over. Filled with practical suggestions and hilarious anecdotes, this handbook is warm, funny and wise. If you can't have your best friend there to help you, this book is the next best thing.
It's all in the details
When it comes down to the details of the actual wedding, several new books share advice on every specialized aspect from photography to vows to the reception.
One of the most precious and lasting keepsakes of the wedding is the photograph album, and in their new book, The Art of Wedding Photography, Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen share proven techniques for capturing the joy and celebrations of the special event. Although this book is primarily for professional wedding photographers, the 120 black-and-white and 80 color photographs give brides helpful insight into what to expect from the photographer, and how to ask for specific types of photos for those special memories.
As editor-in-chief of theknot.com, the number one wedding site on the Internet, Carley Roney has established herself as an expert in the art of wedding planning. In her book, The Knot Guide To Wedding Vows and Traditions, she offers information and advice on how to find the perfect vows, readings and toasts for your wedding, as well as the history behind a variety of wedding ceremonies and rituals. Drawing from hundreds of fascinating customs and traditions from around the world, Roney has created a complete guide to finding just the right words to make your wedding unique.
Time to party
After the wedding is over, it's time to celebrate. The wedding reception itself has become almost as important as the ceremony, and the planning can be just as stressful. The Perfect Wedding Reception: Stylish Ideas for Every Season. Filled with over 275 full-color photographs and over 100 pages of resources and addresses, this guide showcases four incredible receptions, one for each season, and presents a wide variety of imaginative ideas for absolutely everything it takes to put on a memorable celebration.
An escape plan
And last, but certainly not least, when you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole wedding planning process, there's always one alternative left eloping! And yes, there's a planning guide on how to plan the perfect elopement. Let's Elope! The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options by Lynn Beahan and Scott Shaw is a fun, informative little book filled with wonderful ideas for frazzled couples considering alternative wedding statements. Included are delightful stories and experiences of over 50 "eloped" couples, as well as plenty of helpful hints to stay sane before and after the wedding. There's even a quiz to determine whether or not you are a good candidate to elope.
Curl up in front of the fire with a few of these creative and informative wedding planners while future wedding bells chime gently in the winter breeze. Come summer, as you're walking down the aisle, you'll be glad you did.
Sharon Galligar Chance is a happily married book reviewer in Wichita Falls, Texas.