Sort big-day disasters before they even happen with our essential wedding planning tips for a stress-free day…

Don’t scrimp on insurance

Why wouldn’t you insure the most important and expensive day of your life? Whether your dress gets damaged, a supplier goes out of business, or you have to postpone your big day due to illness, mishaps do happen and you can’t put a price on having a worry-free day. Don’t delay – take out your policy as soon as possible and check that everything you need is included (marquee cover is often extra).

Weatherproof your day

A wet wedding day can feel like anything but good luck. But there’s no reason why bad weather should rain on your parade – wedding wellies and umbrellas make for quirky photo opportunities! The most important thing to ensure is that your photographer has a back-up plan for bad weather that guarantees lovely bright photos to treasure, come rain or shine.

Beware wardrobe malfunctions

No organised bride should be without an SOS kit to save her from potential style shockers. A mini sewing kit and safety pins are both essential, plus double-sided tape to hold up misbehaving hems, spraying the soles of your shoes with hairspray to stop them slipping and clear nail varnish to halt stocking ladders.

Plan B music

You may have booked a great DJ or band, but cars break down and ‘musical differences’ do happen! “For your own peace of mind, load your iPod with the first dance and favourite tunes your guests will also like,” says top wedding DJ Matt Maurice. “To play back you’ll need two active speakers and stands, a small mixer and all the leads to put them together. Then cover all tastes by picking tracks from across the decades – the sixties right through to today’s number ones.”

Arrange alternative wheels

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Whether you’ve plumped for an elegant Rolls Royce or a cute VW campervan, make sure you have another car and willing driver on hand should anything go wrong. “When we got married, my Dad arranged to borrow a really beautiful vintage car – but in typical, old-car fashion it refused to start on the morning of our wedding!” says real bride Sophie Carter. “I ended up being taken to our venue in my brother’s Ford Fiesta. Nobody noticed because they were all waiting inside, but I wish I had a photo!”

Pencil in fittings

Fittings are so important that you must be prepared before you go to one. “Bridesmaids should wear the shoes and underwear they’ll wear to the wedding.” says Francesca Moore. “Also, have the groom’s party hire from the same firm so that shoe and suit colours remain consistent.”

wedding planning - bridal back up ideasMake a bridesmaid’s checklist

If organising your girls is proving to be more difficult than coaxing Katie Price into a polo neck, fear not, because this is one area where it’s okay to be a little bridezilla! “Share tasks among the bridesmaids and email them all the details to avoid any confusion.” says Lisa Baker, Wedding Planner at Just Bespoke.

Fight feet fail

Unless you’re Victoria Beckham, those gorgeous designer heels will start to feel like torture devices after a long day on your feet. “Wearing your bridal shoes a little bit every day in the month before the wedding will break them in slowly.” says former model turned Bridal Coach, Michele Paradise. “If you get caught short, have some gel pads on hand to pop in the shoe and relieve the pressure on the balls of your feet with some gel strips for the back so they don’t rub.”

Love a beauty back-up

Every bride wants to look her best on her big day, but sometimes the beauty fairy works against you! For times of trouble, celebrity make-up artist, Helen Kalli recommends putting together a survival kit. “Concealer, translucent powder and deodorant will all be needed, as will cotton buds to pat away tears, perfume and lip gloss,” she says. “Breakouts can also be hidden by evening out skin tone with foundation and then covering with a matte concealer.” And if a sleepless night leaves you with some serious eye baggage? “I always tell brides to have an eye mask to hand in the fridge – they work magic on even the puffiest peepers!”

Be snap happy

Your wedding photos will be treasured for years to come, so while you may have booked a fab photographer, this is not a time to take any chances! Real bride, Stephanie Wallis, asked friends to act as paps for the day. “It gave us lots of lovely pictures that captured great moments we might have missed.” Why not leave disposable cameras on the tables and ask guests to get snapping?