Wedding Planning: Say "I Do!" to the Library (Including Resources for Kids)

Weddings are wonderful, special occasions that leave lasting and beautiful memories… but they can also be downright stressful to plan! Between choosing a location, a reception venue, décor, favors, music, food, photographers/videographers, outfits, invites, financial planning, and gift registries, there are a lot of details involved. When you add family and friend dynamics—Whom to invite? Whom to include in the wedding party? How will they handle it (especially young kids)? Who should sit next to whom on the seating chart to avoid drama?—it adds yet another layer of complication. As a newlywed myself (September 10, 2016), these things are still fresh in my mind! However, there are many good resources available to help overcome these hurdles. Here, I will share with you the tools I used as well as review some of the many resources the library has to offer.
Wedding Group

General Planning Guides

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding by Teddy Lenderman
Books, books, books! We have lots in our 392.5 and 392.54 sections. Some examples are:
eBooks—We have a large selection of ebooks available through hoopla and eLibraryNJ (OverDrive)! Examples to whet your appetite:
  • Mother of the Bride: The Dream, the Reality, the Search for a Perfect Dress by Ilene Beckerman
  • The Bride’s Thank-you Guide by Pamela A. Lach
  • Groomology by Michael Essany
DVDs—for example, Martha’s Complete Weddings (DVDNF 392.5 MAR) or I Do: Do-It-Yourself Wedding Planning (DVDNF 395.2 IDO)

PinterestPinterest is a picture-based webpage bookmarking site where people share craft ideas, recipes, animal pictures, life hacks, and much, much more. If you create a free account, you can save ideas to personal boards (think file folders) so that you can easily find them again. If you see a board that you like, you can follow it, and then anything posted to that board will show up on your feed. You can search for ideas (ex. “wedding hair styles”) to see pins or whole boards relating to your search, or you can browse their indexed categories, one of which is “weddings.” I found so many ideas here for every aspect of my wedding!


Celebrations Guide—a free mini magazine that comes out once a month with vendor ads, tips, and giveaways. Also available online.
Nephew and stepdaughter

The Younger Side of the Wedding Party (Ring Bearer, Jr. Bridesmaid, etc): Stories to help explain the process and address fears and stresses

My husband’s 2-year-old nephew was our potential ring bearer but, for an assortment of reasons, we decided against it. If he had been in the wedding party, though, many of these books would have come in handy to explain to him what was going on! (This is a picture of him and my teen stepdaughter, a bridesmaid.)

Books. Search the library catalog for the subject heading “Weddings -- Juvenile fiction.” or the keywords “wedding” or “bridesmaid” and use the limiters on the side to show you just children’s books (click “Juvenile” under Item Category 2 and “Books” under Format).

Flower Girl by Barbara Bottner
For Young Children/Preschool, examples:
  1. Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding by Lenore Look (Chinese) (E LOO)
  2. Sona and the Wedding Game by Kashmira Sheth (Hindi) (E SHE)
  3. Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding by Pamela Mayer (Jewish) (E MAY)
For School-age Children, examples:
  • Flower Girls
    Family Ties by Gary Paulsen
  1. Amelia Bedelia Ties the Knot by Herman Parish—a chapter book filled with Amelia’s usual literal-mindedness. (J PAR)
  2. Junie B. Jones Is (Almost) a Flower Girl by Barbara Park (J PAR)
  3. Heidi Heckelbeck Is a Flower Girl by Wanda Coven (J COV)
  4. Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space by Anna Branford—Violet’s mom is getting remarried (J BRA)
Older Girls & Older Boys
  1. A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids by Shelley Tougas (J TOU)
  2. The Wedding Planner’s Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (J PAR)
  3. Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Diana G. Gallagher (J GAL)
  4. Family Ties by Gary Paulsen (J PAU)
  5. The Best Man by Richard Peck (J PEC)

Decorations

I artfully decorated and arranged a stack of books as the centerpiece for each table. The books came from one of the library’s book sales for a great price!

Books—search our catalog for “wedding decorations” or “wedding crafts.” Look in the 395.22 and the 745.594 sections. Examples:
  1. Michaels® Book of Wedding Crafts (745.594 MIC)
  2. Rustic Chic Wedding: 55 Projects for Creating Your Own Wedding Style (745.594 HIL)
Pinterest (see link under ”General Planning Guides”)
Couple

Outfits

MagazinesBrides magazine—fun to look through for ideas and tips. Older issues are available for check-out upon request. We also have hard-bound versions of some of the issues in our 395.22 BRI section.

Books—try our 392.54 section. One example: It’s All About the Dress by Randy Fenoli, a star of Say Yes to the Dress (392.54 FEN)

Pinterest (see link under ”General Planning Guides”)

Music & Dancing

FreegalFreegal is a downloadable and streaming music service featuring 8 million songs in a wide variety of genres, ranging from classical to today’s hot hits. Allows for three free song downloads per week (DRM-free) with your library card. Start building your wedding playlist early! Available through the library’s databases.

Music CDs—the library has wedding-specific CDs as well as many classical CDs from which to select music.

How to Dance DVDs—Try Do You Want to Dance? With Teresa Mason, which includes basic steps to, among other things, wedding dances. (793.3 DO)

Pinterest (see link under ”General Planning Guides”)

Vows

We ended up going the traditional route, but, because we initially were thinking of writing our own, I looked at some of these for ideas.

Books
Web pages, such as Offbeat Bride. Find these by doing a Google search for vow writing.
Wedding Invitations, Announcements, Placecards, and More: A Bride's Guide to Simple Calligraphy by Bette Matthews

Guests, Registries, and Websites

Books—find our wedding etiquette books or see the general planning guides referenced above.

The KnotThe Knot is an excellent website that is an all-in-one resource! It allows you to create a free wedding website, provides checklists, and offers an excellent online tool for organizing your guest list for seating charts, meal choices, and contact info. There are two apps—Wedding Planner by The Knot and Wedding GuestBook by The Knot—that allow you to keep the info handy for whenever people RSVP (which could be anywhere at any time!).

Invites

Books—such as Wedding Invitations, Announcements, Placecards, and More: A Bride's Guide to Simple Calligraphy by Bette Matthews (745.61 MAT)

Shower Ideas

More books!—try Simple Stunning Wedding Showers by Karen Bussen (793.2 BUS) or search the library catalog for “wedding showers” for more.

Pinterest (see link under ”General Planning Guides”)

Whom to Notify of a Name Change

This wonderful webpage from dmv.org, Checklist: Where to Change Your Name, has a fairly comprehensive list.

Best wishes for your special day!
Best wishes for your special day!


—Jennifer Crabtree (née Post), Lawrence Branch, Youth Services

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