With the union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle looming, wedding season has most definitely, officially begun. If you've already RSVP'd to a handful of ceremonies, receptions — and, of course, the bachelorette parties and wedding showers beforehand — you're going to need some gifts. Now, my first instinct for any gift-worthy occasion is pretty much always books. That might not have been your first choice for a bridal gift, but there are tons of arguments for why this actually makes an ideal gift for those family-friendly wedding showers and decidedly raunchier bachelorette party baskets.
Whether you think she'll love reading fiction about the lead-up to the ceremony or nonfiction about weddings, marriages, and all that comes with them, these 11 books below would make perfect gifts for any bride-to-be. From books that will make a super fun read for the honeymoon, to books that take a deep dive into the universal truths behind love and marriage, any one of these reads would be a perfect addition to all of those cash-filled cards and registered-for toaster ovens. Add an inscription to the bride or the couple for an extra special touch that will sit on their shelves for a lifetime to come.
'Save The Date: The Occasional Mortifications Of A Serial Wedding Guest' by Jen Doll
Weddings. They’re fun, festive, and joyful, and at a time when people marry later in life — and sometimes not at all — they offer endless opportunities to reexamine love and what we want for ourselves. Doll turns a keen eye to a varied assortment of wedding experiences, delivering a heartfelt exploration of contemporary relationships.
'Surprise Me' by Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella's latest release focuses in on Sylvie and Dan, a married couple who have been happily together for 10 years. But when a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. As they set out on a project to make their marriage more exciting, they learn some important truths about each other and what their union means.
'Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give' by Ada Calhoun
In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is. Both realistic and openhearted, Calhoun offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life.
'The Royal We' by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself falling in love with from Prince Nicholas, future king. Their relationship propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love — her career, her family, maybe even herself — will have been for nothing.
'Everything I Know About Love' by Dolly Alderton
In her memoir, Alderton vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Everything I know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty — exactly the book you need to say goodbye to the single life.
'Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows' by Balli Kaur Jaswal
After a miscommunication causes proper Sikh widows to show up to a short-story writing class instead of a basic English literacy class, one of the women finds a book of sexy stories written in English and shares it with her fellow students. Their teacher, Nikki, soon realizes that there is more to her students than she thought. Eager to liberate these modest women, Nikki teaches them how to express their untold stories — unleashing creativity of the most unexpected and exciting kind.
'How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage' by Jo Piazza
Jo Piazza's memoir of her first year of marriage might just change the way you look at matrimony. Piazza journeys to 20 countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means, and gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, and more.
'The Wedding Date' by Jasmine Guillory
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. But after a fun night, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa has to head home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward dating disaster — right?
'You & Me & Why We Are In Love' by Aurelia Alcaïs
Like all great ideals, Love — the kind written with a capital letter — seems pretty damn elusive most of the time. In this book, Alcaïs talks about the kind written in lower case, the more intimate kind of love that intertwines with our lives and creeps into the cracks of the everyday. With simple and elegant illustrations, You & Me & Why We Are in Love tells us about love in all its forms.
'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. Two days before she and Neal are set to visit his family, Georgie tells him that she can’t go. She doesn't expect Neal to pack up the kids and go without her. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. She feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... but is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
'Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage' by Dani Shapiro
Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time — shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart, and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning — a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.