11 Books Great For Wedding Gift-Giving

It's time. Your mailbox and your inbox will soon be overflowing with Save the Dates and invitations for engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette weekends — oh, and then the weddings themselves. That's why it's time to consider these wedding gift books — because if your fridge looks anything like mine, you're having a hard time finding the handle underneath the cardstock and polished engagement photos. And, if your bank account looks anything like mine, you might be wondering:"How am I going to afford all these wedding expenses? I'M NOT EVEN THE ONE GETTING MARRIED!"

You want to be a good friend or family member by celebrating and supporting all of the lovely couples in your life, but the truth of the matter is, gift giving from June to September can empty your wallet, and fast. And if you're a procrastinator, by the time you get to the gift registry a week before the wedding, all that's left is a sad set of dish towels or an overpriced candelabra, and who wants to be that guest? Luckily, there is an alternative to gifting KitchenAids and the already-been-done matching his-and-her champagne glasses.

You can always give a book — and that's not a cop out! They can be tailored not only to the recipient, but also to the occasion. When it comes to shopping for gift books for a soon to be married couple, many people go to advice books on marriage, but try to avoid getting a gift that tells a bride and groom how to conduct their relationship from the get-go. Newlyweds already get enough advice from friends and family; they don't need their anxiety heightened by titles like When Bad Things Happen to Good Marriages and His Needs, Her Needs. Between the engagement party, the bridal shower, and the wedding, there is a time to be funny and cheeky, a time to be helpful and practical, and a time to sentimental and romantic — and thankfully, books have all of those bases covered.

I can't tell you how to make it through the wedding season with your sanity intact, but I can share these 11 books that make great gifts for every associated wedding get together:

Engagement Party

The Perfect Drink For Every Occasion by Duane Swierczynski

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A newly engaged couple has a lot to figure out, from the wedding logistics to living logistics and everything in between, so make life a little easier by giving them a book that has all the (alcoholic) answers. From birthday cocktails to Valentine's Day libations to drinks that will impress a grandma, Duane Swierczynski's handbook has the new couple covered... and very liquored up.

Pair of Penguin Drop Caps

Assorted Penguin Drop Caps, $20, Amazon

An engagement party is the first time a couple gets to celebrate their impending union, so gifts are traditionally sweet, sentimental, and often monogrammed. Skip the Etsy print and instead get a pair of classic literature novels with the couple's initials. The titles range from Moby Dick to The Joy Luck Club, and although not all of the books are romantic, they will be beautiful additions the couple's library or coffee table display.

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration by Meg Keene

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Though engagement party gifts are traditionally for the couple, this book is more geared towards the bride. Between the dream wedding she's created on Pintrest and the input of two different mothers and a dozen other friends, it's easy for a new bride's excitement over her engagement to quickly turn into anxiety. Meg Keene's A Practical Wedding will put any soon-to-be-Mrs. at ease with advice on expectations, budgeting, planning, DIY-ing, communication — basically, there isn't much this book doesn't cover.

Tell Me the Truth About Love by W. H. Auden

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What better way to bask in the love and joy of a new engagement than to share the works of one of the greatest poets of all time? W. H. Auden's short collection of 10 timeless poems explore the joys, sorrows, excitements, and anxieties that come with falling in love.

Bridal Shower

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Every girl dreams of finding her Mr. Darcy, which is why Jane Austen's classic love story is the perfect gift for any blushing bride. Not to mention the Clothbound Classic from Penguin is beautifully designed and will look fantastic on the bookshelf or end table of the couple's home.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

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A wedding is supposed to be the happiest day in someone's life, but what about every day after that? Marriage takes hard work and dedication, but that doesn't mean it's all bad. Gretchen Rubin's journey to finding and maintaining happiness in everyday life will certainly come in handy for a future wife who is worried about what happens after the honeymoon.

Dirty Everyday Slang by Daniel Chaffey

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If you know where the happy couple will be going for their honeymoon, these funny, naughty books are great novelty gifts. From Germany to Spain to Japan, brides with dirty minds will know how to say everything from explicit sex terms to basic swears. Talk about spicing things up in the honeymoon suite.

The Perfumed Garden by Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi

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It may be more than 600 years old, but this alternative to the Kama Sutra offers so much more than sexual techniques. From cures to sexual ailments to interpretations of dirty dreams, this handy sexual guidebook can be both a gag gift and a practical purchase for anyone concerned with consummating a marriage.


The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet

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Marriage is the beginning of a lifelong journey together, or so every Hallmark card has every said. Help the new Mr. & Mrs. start their adventures off on the right foot by giving them a guide to world. From tropical beaches to ruins in the jungle to snow capped mountain — and literally everything in between — this guide book includes maps, photos, cultural insights, and anything else the newlyweds will need to inspire a lifetime of travel together.

Cook's Books Set by Juniper Books

Green Cook's Books Set, $250, Domino

Every set of newlyweds needs a solid cookbook to start their kitchen off right, so the geniuses at Juniper Books Custom Collections has created the perfect gift with their Cook's Books Set . The set of five essential cookbooks — The Essential New York Times Cookbook, James Beard's American Cookery, Joy of Cooking, Hot to Cook everything, and cook's Illustrated Cookbook — can have custom jacket designs with names and colors to match any kitchen.

The Truth about Love: A Collection of Writing on Love Through the Ages edited by Stephen Siddall and Mary Ward

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No matter what the couple's reading preference is, their genre is covered in this collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama about the central theme of love. The bride and groom can explore the ever changing landscape of love through time and culture with the works from some of the world's greatest writers such as William Shakespeare and Sarah Keene in this ultimate collection.

Images: Sonya Unrein, BRIDES, Caty Tedman/Twitter