7 Steps To a Stress-Free Wedding Day

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No matter how much you prep for your wedding day, things don’t always go as planned. From surprise guests to wedding party drop-outs, brides should expect the unexpected.

For example, one bride we spoke with had several last minute issues that affected her big day. “Not only did it rain, but we had several guests show up who had stated they weren’t coming, which was annoying,” says Kerry R. from New Jersey. “We had also planned to borrow someone’s car, only to find out the battery had died because the lights were left on overnight,” she recalls. “And my maid of honor twisted her ankle the day before!”

While you may put a lot of effort into your wedding planning, sometimes unexpected issues creep up. Newlywed Jess F., who got married in New Jersey last September, was surprised by how some of her vendors didn’t come through as promised. In Jess’s case, her seamstress managed to disappear with her wedding dress during the alteration process. (Fortunately, the dress was returned in time for the wedding!) “Even if you do tons of research and try to find the best value and the best vendors, they could still end up disappointing you,” Jess warns. “This is quite disparaging because you’re basically putting blind faith in your vendors after you commit to them.”

As a longtime event planner, Mary Harris knows firsthand how difficult planning a wedding can be. To help prevent brides-to-be from being blindsided by potential problems before or on their wedding day, she offers these 7 tips:

1. Double Check Your Budget

There are a lot of last minute expenses when it comes to throwing a wedding, whether it’s a big or small affair. For example, if more guests plan to attend than expected, it means you’ll be spending more money on food, favors and possibly even flowers if you need to add another table. Also, “when building your budget, don’t forget to include tips, service charges and sales tax. These numbers can add thousands to your budget if you’re not prepared,” warns Harris.

For a list of wedding vendors you’ll need to tip and how much, check out The Knot’s Tipping Cheat Sheet.

2. Get Insurance

By getting wedding insurance, you can “avoid a potentially huge financial loss if for some reason your wedding is changed or postponed because of a hurricane or winter storm, or if you or your fiancé become ill,” says Harris. There are a number of websites you can get wedding insurance from, such as or

Next: The Day After and the Importance of Family

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