A wedding day has so many moving parts, from all of the vendors to the wedding party, and it can be a challenge to make sure all those parts run smoothly and work together. You may find yourself talking to the photographer, the caterer, and the florist all at once, while struggling to keep track of every detail of your big day.

Hiring an event manager can ease the burden of managing all the details and help keep your wedding day stress low. But if your budget doesn’t have room for a coordinator or you would rather do the organizational work yourself, here are a few tips to help you out!

Treat every role like a vendor

You may have friends and family helping out, whether handing out programs or monitoring the guest book, and you have to keep them organized just as much as your vendors. That’s why it’s a great idea to treat their job just like you would any other vendor. Clearly communicate what you need them to do and be sure to check in with them and make sure they’re all in place before the wedding begins.

Add downtime to your schedule

Your wedding day can pass by in a blur, and it’s important to take time to simply take a breath and truly enjoy the moment. That’s why you should schedule downtime into your day-of timeline. While keeping a tight, organized schedule is important, you need room to relax and appreciate the magnitude of the day. Create some time after the ceremony just to be with your new spouse or choose a song or two during the reception that will be a signal for the two of you to find each other and spend a few minutes together. You’ll be grateful for these moments throughout your wedding day.

Put together an emergency kit

The week of your wedding, sit down and write a list of anything you think you may need. It also helps to walk around your house, especially going through the bathroom cabinets and drawers, and note anything that would come in handy, like a curling iron, bobby pins, and extra makeup. But be sure to go beyond the toiletries and think of things like bottled water or an iron that might be useful in a pinch. You can even include extra decorating supplies just in case something breaks.

Tell a few white lies

Chances are you have at least one person in your family or a friend who is always late. That’s why it’s a good idea to give everyone a slightly earlier time than necessary. For example, tell everyone to be at the rehearsal at 4:45 instead of 5:00. This creates a buffer for anyone who may be running late and helps ensure that you aren’t stressing at 5:15 about everyone who still hasn’t arrived.

Make sure everyone is fed

You may be surprised by how little time there is to eat during your wedding day. Be sure to make a plan to provide food while the wedding party is getting ready to keep everyone happy, including you. And make sure to provide food for all of your vendors. While they probably won’t want to eat with the rest of your guests, they will want to eat, and they’ll be extra appreciative if you take time to send food their way and give them a chance to enjoy it.

Put away your phone

Your wedding day is about you and your partner. You don’t need the distraction of a phone, especially if vendors may be calling with questions. Assign a friend or family member to answer any calls or emails while you focus on staying present.

Accept that something will go wrong

No wedding runs perfectly smoothly, and that’s okay. Just accept that something won’t go according to plan, and you’ll feel a lot better. In most cases, it will be nothing more than a minor mishap, like a forgotten piece of décor. In the grand scheme of things, these little issues won’t matter. After all, at the end of the day, you’ll still be married!

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