Weddings are a joyous, fun, and happy time.

Right?

Well, they should be, but most of the time, they are more likely to be chaotic, worrying, and stressful instead!

They key to having a great wedding is to manage the stress, and reduce it where possible.

Here are five things I learnt while planning my own wedding...

1. Start Planning The Wedding Early...

It probably seems like a long time before you'll get married, but trust me, the time will fly by!

Don't leave all your wedding preparation to the last second. Start as early as you can. That way, if anything takes longer than expected, or needs changing, you'll still have plenty of time before the wedding.

Even if the wedding is more than a year away, it's still good to get started ASAP.

2. Have Contingency Plans...

You're probably hoping everything will go right for your wedding, but I'll warn you now, atleast one thing will go wrong! As well as your main plan, you need to make sure you have contingency plans, just in case things go wrong.

For example, you can plan for it not to rain, but you should have a backup plan, just in case it does. That way, if things don't go exactly as you planned, you won't get too stressed out, because you'll know exactly what to do.

3. Getting help from family and friends...

One thing you can do to help reduce stress, is to get help wherever you can from family and friends. Don't be worried about asking for help... most people will be happy to help, and will consider it an honor.

This can also help a lot to keep the wedding costs down. Maybe you have friends that can help with the catering, or can do the photography... Don't be afraid to ask them, the worst they can do is say no!

4. Don't get worried if things go wrong...

Or perhaps that should be WHEN things go wrong. No matter how well you plan things, something WILL go wrong with your wedding. Don't let it trouble you. What's important is the ceremony of the bride-and-groom coming together to spend the rest of their life together. Everything else, is just icing on the cake.

Make sure you focus on what's important!

5. Consider having silk flowers...

When most brides are asked if they would like real or silk flowers in their bouquet- most automatically answer real.

Why?

Because they think that silk flowers look tacky.

In the past, this may have been true, but these days silk flowers are practically indistinguishable from real flowers.

And they have added benefits as well, such as:

- They are cheaper.
- They can be kept after the wedding.
- They wont wilt when it's hot.
- They won't be damaged when dropped etc.

It's also much easier to make bouquets with silk flowers. So easy in fact, that you can make your own if you want. This will save you a lot of money, and you won't have to worry about the florist getting your bouquets wrong, or being late with the flowers.

Even if you don't want to make your own, silk flowers will help reduce your stress, because you can have them made months before the wedding. This means you won't have to stress out about getting your bouquet at the last minute.

I hope you find these 5 tips useful, and they help to reduce your stress. I hope you have a fun, and enjoyable wedding. Good luck!