10/10/2014 08:05 BST | Updated 10/12/2014 05:59 GMT

10 Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Wedding

Planning a wedding is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Not only do you have to contend with keeping everyone happy, but you also have to make so many choices.

Wow! He has asked you to marry him, and you are engaged! You are so excited. You have been waiting for this day forever, and now it has arrived! But, now what?!

Planning a wedding is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Not only do you have to contend with keeping everyone happy, but you also have to make so many choices. How many guests should you have? Where is the perfect venue to get married at during the summer months? Should you go for a pastel colour palette or something a bit different? Before you hyperventilate at all the decisions you have to make, the first thing you should do is CALM DOWN. To ensure you have your dream big day (and have fun along the way), read my 10 step guide to planning the perfect wedding...

1. Before you set a date, go look at different venues to find out what you like/dislike. You may have a certain castle/stately home in mind only to discover it is not at all what you thought it would be. Once you have found your dream date, enquire when they have availability. There is no point in setting a date only to discover that the venue has another booking that day!

2. It may be very tempting to immediately go dress shopping, but have you thought about the all important, dare I say it, BUDGET. Sit down with your fiancé at the computer and work out carefully on a spreadsheet how much you are willing to spend on everything. This will include amongst other things;

Your dress

Your groom's outfit



Bridesmaids' outfits


Venue Hire


Page boy outfits

Your accessories

Favours/table accessories

Wedding planner

3. Think about your wedding guest sooner rather than later. You may dream of having 200 guests, but

a) Can you afford it

b) Does your venue have enough room.

Ask your family to give their suggestions when it comes to the guest list i.e. who they would ideally like to invite. Then ask your fiancé's family to do the same. Hopefully they will be realistic with their numbers. You can then sit down with your fiancé once this has been done and work out if you have room for all their guests as well as all your friends.

4. Spend time thinking about the style/look of your wedding before you embark on choosing stationery and your dress. There is no point in for example opting for a very princess dress if you have chosen an incredibly contemporary venue. Look at Pinterest, wedding magazines and blogs for inspiration and then work out a colour palette that will work for your big day.

5. If you have friends or family who can help you with certain details, ask for help. If for example your mother's friend makes incredible wedding cakes in her spare time, why not ask her to make yours? By asking talented family and friends to help out, not only will you make them happy by involving them, but it might save you splashing out on items you can't afford.

6. Whatever you do, book your photographer and videographer well in advance. There is no point in planning the wedding day of your dreams without having anyone to capture it. Also, whatever you do, don't scrimp on your wedding photographer. You will want wedding photographs that you can treasure for years to come rather than shots that look like you could have taken them yourself.

7. If you are having your hair and make up professionally done, ensure you have a trial before your big day. You will then feel secure and confident that your make up artist and hairdresser know exactly how you want to look on your wedding day.

8. If you have opted for a band or a DJ, try and go along and watch them perform at another event/wedding before your big day. There is point in taking somebody's recommendation without seeing whether you like them.

9. When you go wedding dress shopping, don't make the mistake of taking too many people with you as you will only get confused. My advice is to take your mum and best friend to help you make the right decision.

10. Try and remember that taking time out from all the wedding planning i.e. going to a spa with your best friend, is allowed. If you are more relaxed and less stressed, it will make planning your wedding so much easier!