Those who say moving home and changing jobs are the two most stressful things you can do obviously haven’t planned a wedding, especially a big one. Planning your big day is like a military operation. You need to get people in place, feed them, entertain them, arrange transport, venues and the main event, the wedding itself. It can be exhausting just thinking about it!

Fortunately, wedding planning can be easily broken down into bite-sized chunks that you can tackle one at a time. With that in mind, here are our top ten tips for wedding planning, in chronological order.

1. Plan Your Wedding

Once he’s been on bended knee and you’re wearing the bling, it’s time to plan. Don’t overload him just yet, but arrange an evening when the two of you sit down and discuss the when, where and how much of your wedding. Chances are you will have discussed it already, but you need to make firm plans.

Get a pad of paper and thrash out a budget, date and list of priorities. There is never enough money to get everything you want, so a priority list is essential.

2. Choose a Theme

Choosing a wedding theme is vital, as it influences all other decisions you make. The theme is pivotal in helping decide what kind of wedding you want, what style of ceremony and reception, where to have the reception, what kind of dress to order and the thousand other details involved.

Most girls have an idea of what kind of big day they want, but tastes change. Deciding nice and early will help everyone involved.

3. Pick a Date

Pick a date for your wedding as soon as you can and select a ceremony and venue soon after. There will inevitably be a clash between booking the venue of your dreams and catering to guests, so it’s here that you should decide which is most important.

Midweek weddings are often cheaper than weekends. They are also easier to get bookings for, especially in summer. However, it means guests taking days off work, which isn’t always convenient. If your perfect venue isn’t available when you want it, you may have to consider a midweek wedding.

4. Book It

Once you have a date, send out “reserve this day” cards to your guest list and book the venue for the ceremony and the reception. You will also need to book the church/registrar/place/licence for the event. It’s also useful to also book your photographer, car and other providers so you’re not left looking for emergency replacements if your first choice gets booked up.

5. Arrange the Venue

If you’re planning a reception, you’re going to want to plan and book the venue as far ahead as you can. Visit as many locations as you can manage before making a decision, but once it’s time to make one, make that decision quickly and book.

Some venues can provide caterers, entertainment, flowers, cakes and so on. Others cannot, so it’s here that you should also book your suppliers for the day. Once you have the date, the guest list and the venue, you can book your suppliers.

6. Book the Photographer

Now you know the where and when, you can book your photographer. Good wedding photographers are booked months in advance, so it pays to get in there early if you know the one you want. If you’re planning a summer wedding, this is more important than ever because it’s a busy time of year for them.

Don’t just go for the cheapest wedding photographer you can afford, get a good wedding photographer. It’s a record of your day, so you need every image to be a good one!

7. Arrange Transport and Accommodation

Your wedding car should be next on your list. However you’re planning to arrive at the ceremony and reception, ensure you have booked that conveyance in advance.

Transport and accommodation are even more important if you’re planning a foreign wedding. Guests and venues will need longer than usual to get flights, book hotels, get visas and arrange all the minutiae of travelling in packs.

8.Dress to Impress

Depending on your style, budget and preferred dress type, you may have to begin making visits to bridal shops. Now you have the structure of your wedding sorted, it’s time to indulge. It can take anything up to eight months to have a dress made to measure, so you need to plan early.

It also means finding a weight and sticking to it for that time too!

While the boys are easier to accommodate, it’s useful for the groom and best man to get fitted for their suits too. While tailored suits take much less time to make than a dress, it’s good to have one more thing to tick off the list.

9. The Details

Now all the big things are sorted it’s time for all those little details that make a wedding so special. It’s time to consider buttonholes, stationery, entertainment, invitation packs, an itinerary for the day, special instructions and anything else you can think of that you need to make your wedding a special one.

10. Enjoy the Day

Once the planning is out of the way, it’s time to relax and enjoy the build-up to the big day and the wedding itself. Planning this way should lower stress levels immensely and allow you the time and energy to enjoy the time leading up to the wedding.

Now all the hard work you have put in comes to fruition. Your wedding should go like clockwork, with everyone in place and knowing what’s expected. Now all there is to do is say “I Do” and dance the night away!