Most couples would agree that planning a wedding is infinitely more stressful than they thought it would be. Not getting married you understand – actually getting married is the easy bit. It’s all the other bits that surround getting married that cause the stress. Problems you don’t even realise are an actual thing until you venture into the crazy world that is wedding planning.

I’ve photographed a LOT of weddings now. And because I probably spend more time with the couple on the run up to the wedding on and the wedding day than any other supplier I’ve got some top tips to share with you about how to reduce the stress throughout your wedding planning and on your wedding day itself.

1. Stake your claim on your wedding in the early days. 

The moment you announce your wedding EVERY bugger will have an opinion. So before you go public have a little chat between yourself about what kind of wedding  you see yourselves having. What’s really important to you and what not so much? Do you have your heart set on a humanist ceremony but know that your new mother in law  expects you to get married in the local church? Now is the time you need to sit down as a couple to make your big decisions – before everyone else sticks their oar in. And once that decision is made – STICK TOGETHER! Nothing is more likely to cause an argument that one of you changing your mind on something as a result of outside pressure.

2. Choose your suppliers carefully. 

I’ve wrote a whole blog post about how to find good suppliers and also how to choose your wedding photographer. But it’s definitely worth mentioning again here. Think of your wedding suppliers as your squad. They can make your wedding planning journey go smoothly or they can cause you serious stress! Pick your suppliers carefully – think about what’s important to you, ask for recommendations and check out reviews. Dealing with reputable, established wedding businesses will make your life a lot easier!

3. Be realistic with your timings

This is a biggie! Running late or trying to squeeze too much into your wedding day is one of the main causes of stress that I’ve seen – and not just for you but for your wedding suppliers too! If you’ve only got an hour for your drinks reception, group shots and couples portraits you’re going to feel very rushed indeed! Speak to your wedding suppliers (aka your squad) to make sure your timeline works. Don’t forget to factor in things like travelling between venues, making sure there’s enough time for everyone to get in their outfits, spontaneous receiving lines or speeches running over.

4. Have a wedding SOS Kit. 

An SOS kit can be a lifesaver on the day.  Who is the most responsible person in your wedding party? Mum? Chief Bridesmaid? They should be in charge of the SOS kit. Here’s what it should contain – scissors, painkillers, plasters, toothbrush, a sewing kit (oh yes!), plasters, hair pins, safety pins, water, cereal bar. But also – telephone numbers of all the suppliers, best man, venue and transport. No good scrambling around for those when you really need them. It’s a great idea to make sure both yourself and your partner have an SOS kit with you on the wedding morning.

5. Accept that the unexpected is likely  to happen. 

Wedding days are crazy beasts. They very rarely go to plan. Try and control things too much and it will all go to pot! Instead accept that there’s a big possibility that not everything will go perfectly to plan. BUT THAT’S OK! What I’ve learnt from over 150 weddings is that there are very few things that can really ruin a wedding day. In fact, most of the little things that go wrong will barely be noticed by anyone apart from you. Napkins not exactly the right shade of teal? Yep. No-one else cares. So when it gets to the wedding day itself, neither should you! The only thing that can really ruin your day at this point is you getting unnecessarily stressed about minor details. You’re marrying the person you love, surrounded by your favourite people. Just give yourself permission to absolutely love it!