Of course you want your wedding to be the best day in the history of time, so obviously any bride-to-be will feel the immense pressure to make it perfect—but that doesn’t mean it has to be super stressful. With the right hacks and wedding planning tips, your day will be smooth sailing. Promise.
Instead of spending your day worrying if the guests are happy, if your caterer got there on time, or if your heels are going to sink into the ground and make you trip on your walk down the aisle, you should be thinking about how happy your life will be, and that you’ll get to spend the entire night eating great food, dancing, and toasting with family and friends. And with our roundup of useful little tidbits, this dream can absolutely become a reality.
To make your life easier, we’ve gathered some of the most useful and practical wedding hacks that every bride should take into consideration.
1. Having an outdoor wedding? Use perfume that doubles as insect repellant (it exists!), such as Aromaflage. The bugs will stay away, and you’ll smell amazing throughout the event. Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume is also a mosquito repellent.
2. Instead of licking envelopes, use a glue stick—no paper cuts or gross aftertaste.
3. Use high heel attachments to keep you from sinking into grass during an outdoor wedding. There’s nothing worse than a wobbly walk down the aisle. While you’re at it, put a basket out for your guests.
4. For an outdoor summer wedding, use popsicle sticks to make programs that double as fans so guests can keep cool while you’re saying your vows.
5. Use glass cloches to keep bugs out of food.
6. Most wedding shoes are brand-new, so rub the bottom with sandpaper before wearing to de-slick the soles.
7. Have guests write their addresses on postcards. You’ll save money on postage and time writing addresses for “thank you” notes. Win-win!
8. Stash your lipstick under your napkin at your table—that way you can apply without having to go back to the bridal suite.
9. Stay away from dairy—a natural inflammatory—for three days leading up to wedding to de-bloat naturally.
10. Keep your veil in place with magnetic veil weights—especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding on a windy day.
11. Need to provide your own ceremony seating? Call local businesses with seating (like a funeral home) to see if they’d lend out their chairs before calling rental companies.
12. Consider using your venue’s sound system to play music from an iPod or your computer for the ceremony and cocktail hour—it’ll save tons of cash. Why not spend on the music during the reception instead, when people will actually be dancing, rather than listening or mingling?
13. When it comes to table arrangements, check out flea markets for vintage vases instead of spending extra cash on floral arrangement vases from the florist.
14. For a modern touch, opt for food trucks at your wedding to save money on catering.
15. Have your bridesmaids rent their dresses from an online retailer like Rent the Runway—especially because they’ll likely only wear the dress once.
16. Invest in a personalized stamp with you and your hubby-to-be’s names and address on it—a “thank you” note time-saver!
17. Have your photographer only photograph the ceremony to save cash, and rely on friends’ photos for the reception (extra points if you create a hashtag, which will function as a real-time wedding album).
18. To save some money, have two cakes: a two- or three-tier cake strictly for displaying and cutting, and a sheet cake hidden in the kitchen for your guests.
19. Write a tiny number on the back of all your RSVP cards—and number the guest list accordingly. This’ll save you so much time, especially if the name is illegible when you get the card back.
A version of this article was originally published in June 2014.