Buying tickets for multiple bachelorette weekends? Spotted yet another engagement photo shoot in the park? Like it or not, it’s wedding season, and after years of COVID postponements, this year the wedding gore and glory is bound to be grander than ever. Whether you are craving a hysterical laugh or a good cathartic cry, these eleven wedding-related titles will give you great company, some much-needed humor, and a hefty dose of romance throughout this year’s marriage market. So, buckle in for that destination wedding international flight and crack open one of these wedding winners. Trust us, you’re going to need it.
11 Wedding Season Reads to Love and to Cherish
Sarah is surprised when her stepdaughter Ruby announces she’s engaged to her pandemic boyfriend—and even more surprised when she hears the wedding date is just three months away. As Sarah’s whole family descends upon their house in Cape Cod for the wedding, they all have their own challenges to face, including recovering from terrible losses, running into old flames, and coming to terms with past mistakes. THE SUMMER PLACE delivers all the witty, feel-good brilliance of a classic Jennifer Weiner beach read.
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of That Summer comes another heartfelt and unputdownable novel of family, secrets, and the ties that bind.
When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house in Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market.
But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been.
When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.
From “the undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.
On the morning of Julia Baxter’s wedding, she worries that even her family’s heirloom veil won’t make her marriage a success and flees to the Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, her grandmother, still reeling from the death of her husband, moves into a retirement home where she reconnects with an old flame. But the veil has a longer history than theirs, one that stretches back to the Biltmore Estate in 1914, when Edith Vanderbilt and her daughter Cornelia faced their own life-changing decisions.
The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.
Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.
Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.
1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.
In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, The Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.
Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West’s final novel, THE WEDDING, is an intimate examination of the tight-knit community of Black elites on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s. The entirety of the Oval’s “blue-vein society” has gathered to witness the aristocratic Cole family marry off their most eligible daughter, Shelby. But Shelby, it seems, has chosen a white jazz musician from New York as her future husband, shocking the whole community. With her trademark breathtaking prose, West explores the changing face of a time and place through one landmark wedding.
In this New York Times bestselling TikTok sensation, Catalina Martín is in way over her head when her white lie to her family about having an American boyfriend gets around to everyone she knows. Now she must find a man who will fake being her date to her sister’s wedding in Spain before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the only person offering to help is Aaron Blackford, the infuriating and condescending man she works with. But as their trip commences, Catalina sees there might be more to Aaron than she thought.
A TikTok sensation, this rom-com about a young woman who agrees to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding has “everything you could want in a romance” (Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author).
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.
Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
Young doctor Yasmin Ghorami thinks she has nothing to worry about when it comes to her upcoming wedding to her charming fiancé, Joe Sangster. But when her parents meet Joe’s outspoken feminist mother, things go awry as long-held secrets come to the surface. As the families struggle to come to terms with one another and themselves, Yasmin begins to look closer at what she wants out of a “love marriage” in this sharp and poignant exploration of contemporary British life and love.
Set in London now, Love Marriage marks the magnificent return of Monica Ali, the Booker Prize shortlisted, “splendid, daring, brilliant, refreshing” novelist (The New Republic) “with an inborn generosity that cannot be learned” (The New York Times Book Review).
Yasmin Ghorami in twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.
As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin’s relationship and that of her parents, a “love marriage,” according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.
A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a captivating social comedy and a profoundly moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another.
Monica Ali’s Brick Lane was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic.
Charlotte has made her a career out of weddings, owning and managing a Birmingham bridal boutique. But she can’t seem to decide on her own wedding dress—or her feelings about her fiancé, Tim—with her own wedding right around the corner. After buying a gorgeous vintage wedding dress for her shop at an estate sale, Charlotte becomes obsessed with learning about the dresses previous owners: Emily (1912), Mary Grace (1939), and Hillary (1968). And while the exploration starts as a distraction, it becomes a revelation about Charlotte’s own heritage and the meaning of true love.
IT HAD TO BE YOU is funny, savvy, and steamy collection of braided romance narratives perfect for fans of Love Actually. Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run Brooklyn’s most beloved wedding planning business for years. But when Eliot suddenly dies and leaves his half of the business to his young girlfriend Savannah, Liv finds herself living her own worst nightmare. But as Liv and Savannah unite to keep the business afloat, their story intertwines with the diverse stories of their clientele couples, which all have their fair share of secrets and second changes as well.
“The book-equivalent of a perfect first date... Highly highly recommend.” —Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers
The author of the “emotional, hilarious, and thought-provoking” (People) novel The Bucket List returns with a witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Casey McQuiston.
For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine.
It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative. The result is a smart, modern love story that truly speaks to our times. Second chances, secret romance, and steamy soul mates are front and center in this sexy, tender, and utterly charming rom-com.
Manny Dogra, the successful CEO of Breakup—a company that manages people’s messy splits—is grieving the death of her parents. After a magazine cover edits a photo of Manny to make her look whiter, she begins to question how little she knows about her South Asian heritage and her parents’ desire for her to be an “All-American” girl. Enter her most recent (and most irritating) client: Sammy Patel. Sammy has a strange breakup request—one Manny agrees to help with only if he gives her a cultural crash course by taking her to his brother’s upcoming wedding.
This delightful debut rom-com follows the adventures of a woman trying to connect with her South Asian roots and introduces readers to a memorable cast of characters in a veritable feast of food, family traditions, and fun.
Manny Dogra is the beautiful young CEO of Breakup, a highly successful company that helps people manage their relationship breakups. As preoccupied as she is with her business, she’s also planning her wedding to handsome architect Adam Jamieson while dealing with the loss of her beloved parents.
For reasons Manny has never understood, her mother and father, who were both born in India, always wanted her to become an “All-American” girl. So that’s what she did. She knows next to nothing about her South Asian heritage, and that’s never been a problem—until her parents are no longer around, and an image of Manny that’s been Photoshopped to make her skin look more white appears on a major magazine cover. Suddenly, the woman who built an empire encouraging people to be true to themselves is having her own identity crisis.
But when an irritating client named Sammy Patel approaches Manny with an odd breakup request, the perfect solution presents itself: If they both agree to certain terms, he’ll give her a crash course in being “Indian” at his brother’s wedding.
What follows is days of dancing and dal, masala and mehndi as Manny meets the lovable, if endlessly interfering, aunties and uncles of the Patel family, and, along the way, discovers much more than she could ever have anticipated.
Brooke thinks her career as a celebrity wedding planner and her own happy ending are ruined when she discovers that her fiancé is an international con man. Hoping to rebuild her business, she moves to New York City and begins planning a wedding for sweet heiress Maya, whose wealthy brother, Seth, seems determined to micromanage the event. Secretly, Seth aims to unmask Maya’s fiancé as a fake. But after falling for Brooke, Seth has his work cut out for him to both win her over and unplan the wedding she’s working so hard to make a success.
In this charming romantic comedy, the love at the heart of sisterhood steals the show. The de la Rosa family has been planning weddings for Washington, DC, couples for decades. That’s why when their parents decide to retire, sisters Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl announce their intention to run the business—together. But as they dive into the chaos of bridezillas, volatile grooms, and high expectations, the girls must learn what it takes to keep the romance of the wedding industry alive in the face of inevitable disaster.
One of BuzzFeed’s “Books Coming Out This Summer That You Need to Seriously Read” * One of Bustle’s “New Romance Novels to Make Your Spring Reading Even Dreamier Than You Imagined”
A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process.
All’s fair in love and business.
The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.
But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.
Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.
After six seasons as a debutante, Lady Emily Turner is willing to settle for a match of convenience that will deliver her from her father’s debts. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry’s career as an actor and theater owner has scandalized society—and made his only clientele men who want to show their mistresses the town. While Julian hopes having Emily as a society wife will make his institution respectable, Emily finds that she has a burgeoning ambition for acting. Soon, their marriage of convenience begins to feel rather inconvenient in this witty novel perfect for Bridgerton fans.
The “sweet, sexy, and utterly fun” (Emily Henry, author of People We Meet on Vacation) Regency Vows series continues with a witty, charming, and joyful novel following a seasoned debutante and a rakish theater owner as they navigate a complicated marriage of convenience.
Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.
With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.
With “an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors” (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.
Photo credit: iStock / Albert Cabezas