There are two types of couple when it comes to wedding planning; those who are super excited and have a minute by minute itinerary in their head, and those who are so laid back they should really just elope…One thing they both have in common is that at some point, not too far down the planning road, they will find it stressful.  Whether its a sleepless night over your choice of wedding dress, or tears over who’s sitting to the left of who, something will get to you!

Here are the 5 most common points of wedding planning that couples’ find stressful; and some tips on how to avoid them…

1.The Guest List:  Number one on this list is defining a guest list.  It sounds so simple, and for some people it is, but no matter if you’re having a small wedding or a big one, this sh*t gets political!  If you and your partner are in agreement for every single guest on your list then congratulations, you can scroll on; however it’s more than likely that you will disagree on whether you want to invite your cousin’s new girlfriend for the whole day, or upset your cousin to appease a friend who you used to live with but don’t see anymore…It can go on for a while but believe me, defining your guest numbers is so important to get started on your planning. To make this step a little easier I recommend both of you writing out separate lists of who you would like there, all the names on both lists make the cut but, for any others, have an honest conversation about they’re worth spending over £100 on (which is the average venue cost per head for a full day wedding guest). I also wouldnt worry about offending people, at the end of the day it’s your wedding and you should spend it with people you actually want there!

2. The Wedding Outfits:  Big white dress for a bride and suit for a groom sounds so simple, right?! Well no. There are so many beautiful dresses out there (princess dresses, a-line dresses, simple dresses, fishtail dresses, and the list goes on…) and the worst part about it is that they are all designed to make you look and feel like a bride; which they succeed in doing! There wasn’t a dress I tried on that looked horrible (even the fishtail…), so I just had to be open-minded and go with the one that felt most comfortable. Again, with suits there are so many options; do you want tweed? check? wool? cotton? long sleeved shirt? short sleeved shirt? It goes on and on, and that’s before you get to colours…again, I would recommend something that’s comfortable and if you’re buying your suit, and asking your grooms party to do the same, then maybe think about choosing a versatile outfit that can be used again.

3. The Seating Plan:  Notoriously difficult, the seating plan has been personally responsible for so many couple’s tears, anguish and many, many empty bottles of alcohol.  If I had a penny for every time a couple told me how stressful their table planning was, I would probably own my own venue by now.  Realistically, unless you have particularly hostile family members / politics (in which case, maybe rethink your guest list), the table plan shouldn’t be difficult. The people you seat together will only have to sit where they are for a maximum of 2 hours, and most of that time is spent eating, so if there are any awkward silences it can be filled with a bread-roll or trip to the bar. My tip to avoid the stress of the seating plan? Don’t have one! This only works if you haven’t given your guests a choice of meal; i.e. they are having either meat or vegetarian. In which case, you and your venue can come up with a plan to let them know where someone with specific dietary requirements is sitting.

4. The Favours: I had a friend recently who got so worried about choosing the right wedding favours that she got upset just thinking about it…I’ll tell you what I told her; wedding favours are just a token, not a necessity. If you don’t have the budget for favours, just leave them out – you’re already feeding and watering your guests for the day. If the thought of not having wedding favours doesn’t sit right with you then choose something that’s inexpensive but caters to the masses…there’s a reason why sweets or chocolates are the most popular favours!

5.The Catering: Surprisingly, some couples find choosing the food for their wedding tricky. If you have chosen a venue that gives you no option but a three-course meal, your only decision will be to choose the options on the menu. These days, however, you’re more likely to want to have a choice in the catering, whether its three courses, a hog roast, afternoon tea or even pizza! Just remember, the catering you choose is more than likely to have a significant impact on the cost of your wedding – for example a three course meal is normally much more expensive than a hog roast. Unless you and your partner are both self-confessed ‘foodie’s’ I wouldn’t worry too much about what you choose; 90%* of wedding guests don’t remember what they ate anyway….!

Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, your wedding isn’t something you should stress or argue over. You should enjoy planning your day, whether you want to plan every single second or just go with the flow; just relax!

(P.S. If you insist on planning every second of your day, be prepared to go off itinerary….but that’s a post for a later date!)

*just a guestimate, not based on actual figures.