Choose your music well. Understand that not all of your wedding guests will share you and your fiancé’s taste in music. To help everyone enjoy the event, select a variety of different musical styles.

Choose your flowers wisely. Go with flowers that reflect your style. Keep your stature in mind when selecting bouquets: If you’re tall, a cascading bouquet could work well for you, and if you’re petite, a small bouquet may work best.

Plan to capture your wedding on photos and video. Before choosing a photographer, decide on the style of photos you and your fiancé would like (formal or more informal and candid, color or black and white, etc.). Research the best options for getting photos and a video made. Get specific, detailed contracts with your photographer and video technician, and make sure you understand their policies. Communicate your boundaries clearly so they understand what strategies are and aren’t appropriate for getting good photos and video without disrupting the ceremony.

Register for gifts and plan to give them, as well. Register for wedding gifts with at least two stores, but no more than four. Select a wide variety of items in different price ranges to give your guests many options. Be sure to remember the people who have helped you plan your wedding – as well as both sets of parents – by giving each of them gifts. Don’t ask guests to give you cash or make a donation in lieu of a gift, and don’t ask them not to bring gifts. Make sure you send a handwritten thank you note within two months to each person who gives you a gift.

Schedule wedding showers and parties. Know that if you have a large family and many friends, it may work best to have two wedding showers (one with family and one with friends). Consider creative ideas for wedding parties, such as a brunch, a day at a spa for the women, or a day hiking in the wilderness or enjoying paintball for the men. Don’t schedule a bachelor or bachelorette party for the night before the wedding to avoid being too tired for your big day, and when you do have them, avoid activities you’ll regret later.

Choose your invitations wisely. Save money by having your invitations printed by the thermography method instead of engraving, and using basic black ink instead of color. If you realistically have the time and ability to do so, make your own invitations. When you’re addressing the envelopes, however, don’t use a computer – handwrite them or use calligraphy. If you’re planning a destination wedding that involves travel, send a “Save the Date” card before mailing invitations to give your guests plenty of notice.

Plan your reception well. Understand that the time of day or night you choose for your reception will determine what guests expect to eat, which will significantly affect your budget. When considering a reception location, take a thorough tour to make sure that the location features all the resources you’ll need (space, equipment, bathrooms, parking, table linens, etc.). Find out what other events are scheduled for that day and how much time will be allotted between bookings; plan enough time to set up and take down everything, and for your guests to enjoy their meal. Remember that you’ll need to submit a final head count a few weeks before your wedding, and that count will determine the amount you’ll need to pay whether or not all your guests show up. Set an RSVP date accordingly. Ask your caterer plenty of questions so you understand their policies completely.

Reduce your stress. Let go of futile attempts to please everyone or have a perfect wedding. Expect that something will go wrong, and know that’s okay. Be flexible and have a sense of humor. Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise so you’re not run down as your wedding approaches. Be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a day; slow down your pace as much as possible.