Top ten wedding planning tips

Whether you've plumped for the big white wedding or opted to exchange your vows on a tropical beach, getting married is a nerve-wracking experience.

How to plan a wedding

Follow our guide on how to make your big day run smoothly and you'll find it's all champagne and smiles rather than rowing relatives!

1. Make a date

Don't turn into a bride from hell, but planning is absolutely key. Buy a wedding planning book to work out a timeline and stick to it. If you can afford it, a wedding planner can take the stress out of it all, or ask a really organised friend to help!

2. Delegation's what you need

You only have one pair of hands so get others to lend a helping lot. They'll be thrilled to be so involved and you'll even have fun. Play to people's strengths - get an arty friend to design invitations, a domestic goddess to bake your cake - and you'll save money too.

3. Dress rehearsal

If you're really worried about it all going to plan, then do a run-through the week before. Time how long it takes to get from home to the venue, how long to get changed and so on, and your nerves will be calmed come the big day.

4. Don't go changing

If you're a jeans and T-shirt sort of girl, then don't suddenly make the mistake of wearing a meringue. It's your chance to be a princess for a day but make sure you're a comfortable one!

5. Kiss and make-up

Your wedding day isn't the time to experiment with make-up, although a professional stylist will help you to highlight your best features and make you camera-friendly. Remember above all to wear waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipstick!

6. If your name's not down...

Be strict when it comes to the guest-list, even if you risk causing offence. Extra guests can bump the cost right up as well as ruin table plans. And if you've said no children, then no children it is - don't make exceptions as this will definitely make your parent guests sniffy.

7. Let me entertain you

Keep your guests from getting restless by providing drinks and canapes on arrival at the reception venue, a guestbook for them to sign, and small toys or crayons and paper for younger guests. Setting a video camera up for guests to record their own greetings, or a photo montage of the bride and groom across the years are also nice touches.

8. Happy families

Trying to please everyone is impossible, so if you have any delicate family situations then the best thing to do is to keep them as far apart from each other as possible. And tell them to behave or else!

9. Early to bed...

Have a fun night in with your bridesmaids ahead of the big day and get at least 8 hours of beauty sleep. In the morning, wake up ahead of schedule and have some quiet time before the madness begins, eat a good breakfast and try to relax.

10. Don't worry, be happy

Above all else, remember to have a good time! Don't rely on photos and videos for memories of your special day and make sure you exchange more than vows with your groom!