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THE love of your life is just a breathless mo-ment away … that’s all you need to focus on on your special day.

But before the big day there’s still plenty to be done. Here’s our list of tips for dealing with the stresses.

  •  Everyone is an expert, and they will give lots of well-meaning advice. Accept it with a smile, take what you will, and do your homework. That will ensure the perfect day.
  • Start at least 18 months ahead of your pre-ferred date and visit three or four wedding expos. With everything from the invitations to honeymoon ideas under one roof, you have the experience and diversity of a wide range of wedding professionals at your fin-gertips.
  • · Start with a realistic budget and be pre-pared to compromise rather than stress about future finances.
  • Don’t rule out a mid-week wedding. Prices from everything from the venue, catering, marquee hire, hair and beauty, wedding cars, flowers and guest accommodation are all at a premium on the weekend, and there can be real savings mid-week (more to spend on a fabulous honeymoon).
  • With most people owning a digital cameras, not to mention mobile phone cameras, a bride and groom can find themselves feel-ing like movie stars surrounded by paparaz-zi, when they really should have eyes only for their photographer. Smile for everyone, but keep your eyes on your main photographer.
  • Always make time to meet well ahead of the day with your photographer for a chat to make sure you are compatible. If you are camera-shy, ask for a pre-wedding shoot, or engagement shoot to put everyone at ease.
  • If your life is already busy, take the stress out of the process by engaging a wedding planner who you can rely on to make it all happen just as you dreamed it would.
  • If a wedding planner is out of your budget, call on a friend, could be one of your brides-maids, who is well organised, unflappable and reliable, to deal with any of the little, or big, things that can take your focus of hav-ing a great day.
  • Have a realistic timeframe for getting your make-up and hair done, getting the dress just right, and having a few pre-ceremony photos done. Time will fly, so keep it real and arrive at the ceremony just late enough to keep up tradition!
  • Pack a pair of flattish shoes for the photos if you’ll be walking on lawn or you have to walk any distance.
  • Get enough sleep the night before, keep it fun with your bridesmaids as you get ready, have a good supply of nibbles and easy fin-ger food and water to keep your energy up avoid any foods that could stain.
  • Plan to take a weekend or two free of any wedding chores to be the person you were before you started planning.
  • Love being together on the day. Chat together as a couple, and chat with your guests as a couple. And remember, it’s not all about the photos – live the experience.