Organising a wedding is a mixture of fun, frustration and ruthless military planning. There are some things which, if forgotten, can easily be rectified. There are others which can cause endless problems.
Here is a list of small but vital ingredients for a successful wedding which might just escape your attention - and cause chaos if they do.
1. Always get a proof (a sample print) of your wedding invitations from the stationer or printer before giving the go-ahead to have them printed up. Check through the proof very carefully to ensure there are no printing errors and that times and venues are correct.
2. Make sure you have more items on your wedding present list than you have wedding guests. It can be awkward if you get the same present from two or more people. It also allows for gifts from people who cannot attend.
3. Always keep a constantly updated list of who's coming to your wedding in case of changes. Make sure these have several contact numbers for each person - like home AND work numbers - so that you can make quick, pain-free re-arrangements. If you have a computer, try keeping all the wedding details on file so it can be quickly updated and printed off.
4. A good map. We've all been to enough weddings to know that some churches are impossible to find. A good map with well thought out and clear instructions is an absolute must to ensure that everyone arrives on time.
5. Order Of Service sheets at church weddings. These can be easily overlooked and often become part of the last minute rush. This is a shame because it can act as a permanent memento of your day. Make sure you have one for every guest plus a few extra to hand.
6. Thank You cards. In the post wedding day rush, it may escape your mind to send these out. If you want them done in the same style as your invitations, they should be ordered at the same time.
7. Double check details with your photographer. Once you have gone through the business of booking a photographer, ensure that you send them your requirements in writing and get a confirmation slip from them. Again, make sure the details are right. Remember: Never make assumptions about the service provided. Ask, ask, ask.
8. If you are having a video made, check with your minister that the service can be filmed. Most are agreeable, but some object to having a video of such an important ceremony. Don't leave it until the day itself.
9. Ask to see the car you will be going to the ceremony in. Being told that it is a vintage Rolls Royce, however impressive that seems, is not enough. You should check to see how the car has been maintained, make sure there is enough room in the back for the bride and her dress and make sure it is in a colour you like.
10. Ensure that the church, register office or hotel don't mind handfuls of confetti being thrown around their entrances. Some might prefer you to use rice or sugar paper. A simple check will avoid any bad feeling.
11. Don't forget your luggage. If you are going straight off on honeymoon then don't forget to pack your luggage properly. This takes thought and effort at the best of times, but when you are also getting married things can be overlooked. Double check those three essentials: passport, money, tickets!
12. Make sure that your hotel or restaurant has a suitable cake stand (if needed) and cake knife available. If not bring your own. After all you wouldn't want to be photographed posing with a steak knife over the cake!
13. Before booking a reception at a hotel or restaurant, try the food for yourself. A nicely laid out menu does not guarantee good food and it's a good excuse for the bride and groom to go out for a few romantic meals before their big day.
14. Parking. Almost as important as the quality of the food at your reception venue is the availability of parking, especially if the reception is held a long distance from the ceremony. Don't forget to check the car parking facilities before you book and make sure that, at the time of your reception, the car park won't be full of cars attending another event.
15. And finally, don't forget to enjoy yourself. If little things go wrong, don't worry - this is your special day so there should be plenty of people around to put things right. Relax, have a good time and enjoy the start to your married life.