So, you’ve popped the question – or they have, or it was a mutual thing, or somebody got a bit tipsy and brought the subject up on accident after finding a ring in a coat pocket. Whatever the situation, you’ve probably got a wedding to plan in the aftermath, and that can be just a little bit stressful for everyone involved. Here are five tips to help you curb said stress and have a successful big day.

Give Yourself Time, Then Manage it Well

The key to any planning process is time management. How long until the wedding? What needs to be done for when? How much time do you, personally, have to make that happen? Life won’t just stop and stand still while you flick through bridal magazines and go to cake tastings. There’s work to consider, kids, family, sleep. The best thing you can do is bang out a timeline with your partner and take things one small step at a time, sharing responsibilities as you go.

Learn to Compromise

It takes two to tango, just as it takes two to plan and execute a wedding day, so don’t burden all the stress of planning on just yourself. Similarly, don’t let your partner. Talk about your independent visions for the day, then your shared one, and learn to compromise on certain things – like the menu or the flowers, Coca Cola or Pepsi, or if you’ll have the ceremony inside or out (beware English rain). Much of wedding planner stress comes from conflict, be it from indecision in yourself or with others involved. The least you can do is get you and your partner on the same page from day one. Perhaps consider premarital counselling?

Take Breaks

Where possible, stop planning your wedding. Seriously. Stick to the timeline you have set out and do no more or no less. It’s important to take breaks from the process, not only to digest your various options and decide on what you really want but for your sanity and peace of mind. Wedding planning is overwhelming, so every now and then get your mates round and zip the subject. Play some Mario Kart, catch up on Doctor Who, check the I’m a Celebrity winner odds and settle down for the final – word is Noel Edmonds is on his way with 3/1 odds, in case you were wondering. Whatever it is that takes your mind off the big day, indulge.

Remember that You’re Not Alone

You have a best man and a maid of honour (or several if you’re feeling modern) for a reason. You have parents, a partner and the support of those around you – so, where needed, enlist their help! It can be innocuous things like helping to envelope the invites or it can be big things like helping pick out a dress. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and five heads are better than two.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

For when you’re drowning in to-do lists, for when it’s all too much, for when the stress has finally beaten you; remember what it’s all for. Keep your eye on the prize, on the date of the big day and what it all means to you and your very own family.

The point of a wedding is to celebrate – it makes no sense to ruin the day (nor the months leading up to it) with anxiety and stress. Not if you can help it. So follow these steps, buckle in for a long and bumpy ride, and enjoy where possible. That’s what it’s all about!