When you're in the bride zone, things can get scarily mental. So much organisation, so many people to deal with, so much money leaving your bank account at an unholy speed. I got married in 2012 and I really can empathise, but here's 10 things I wish I'd known before my wedding day...
1. Fighting with your fiancé is stupid. He's daring to challenge your choice of napkin? Kill him! Except don't. He really loves you and actually isn't trying to sabotage your big day. And yes, he gets that it's yours.
2. Pushing to get exactly what you want isn't unreasonable. Look, you're paying all your providers a bucket load of cash - they should deliver exactly what you ask for. My caterer continually didn't send me the exact afternoon tapas menu and on the day, it wasn't what I specified. I still hate him.
3. Asking other peoples' opinions is pointless. You don't really care what they think nor do you have to. They know it, you know it. If you go ahead and ask for advice that you don't follow, you're just making things unnecessarily awkward.
4. You'll regret being bullied into anything. Fact: some people are opportunists and see your wedding as their big day/ their kids' big day. If you don't want your mother's second cousins daughters to be your flower girls, point blank refuse. If his family would be happier with a church wedding but you're an atheist, bad luck for them. You're the one who has to live with your decisions/ wedding album.
5. A good spray tan is key to minimising wedding day stress. I went against my better judgement and went to a salon I didn't know. Cue a whole day of scrubbing my orange hands and face, in between thinking about my orange hands and face. I should have been all dreamy and on cloud nine, instead I was googling bad fake tan cures.
6. People can be idiots but it's not personal. For whatever reason, friends, family and guests' bloody plus ones will give you grief. Someone will insist on being late. Another will ask if she can wear white (true story). Remember, they don't hate you, they desperately wish they were you. Your sister is threatening to show up three hours late in an ivory gown? A huge complement.
7. Eating is key on your wedding day. Everyone wants to buy you a drink. Plus you've spent the past six months dieting and planning this incredible party. You're going to get your champagne on! But remember to have something to eat - anything to eat - at some point. I don't think I ate properly until the evening on the day after my wedding and parts of my big day are distinctly fuzzy.
8. Take five minutes in the loo before your pictures. It's all so exciting and you just don't want to be away for a second, but you won't regret putting on a touch more lipstick and powdering your nose.
9. If anything goes wrong, your bridesmaids will sort it out. My idiot caterer turned up to my wedding with one corkscrew. ONE. Instead of getting wine open at lightening speed, he stood outside smoking and basically being rubbish. Thankfully my bridesmaids were on hand to hiss at him and display remarkable corking and pouring skills. They are your best friends and a turbo version of their usual selves on your wedding day. If anything goes wrong, they're on it.
10. The best part of the day is the ceremony. Pre-wedding, I was a bit "ceremony shermony" about the actually getting married bit, but here's the brilliant bit about this part of the day. It doesn't ask for a huge amount of planning, nor does it take all your money. Yet you show up and it's completely beautiful and makes you feel like the best thing in the world: a bride. I promise, this will be your favourite part of the day.
NEED TIME OUT FROM PLANNING? Take a flick through these dreamy gowns...
What's the magic number when it comes to bridesmaids?