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Most people say that your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life, but a few simple mistakes can leave you with some memories you'd rather forget. Many couples say that their wedding day passed in the blink of an eye, and after all the planning and preparation they didn't really pause to enjoy it. Chances are you'll only plan one wedding in your life, so you don't have the benefit of learning what to do by experience. Getting the basics like a venue, wedding dress and cars arranged is often the easy part, and it's the little details that can make or break your wedding day.

The following tips will help you to organize the perfect wedding.

1) Hire a wedding planner.

Couples often see a professional wedding planner as an unnecessary expense, but they can make a huge difference. An experienced wedding coordinator will be able to advise you about everything from the best venues to the best wedding menus, and they can take away the potential stress of planning a wedding. A wedding planner may also have access to discounts from photographers and other services you'll need, and this can cover part of their fee.

2) Hire a professional wedding photographer.

You may have a friend of family member who's an enthusiastic photographer, but the results they produce are unlikely to be anything close to those of a professional wedding photographer. An experienced photographer knows everything from how to make the bride look her best to how to organize group shots in difficult conditions. Asking an amateur to photograph your wedding can be very risky and disappointing. Think about the effort and expense that goes into planning a wedding, and make sure you'll have a stunning set of photographs to remember it by.

3) Allow plenty of time.

Allow reasonable time for every aspect of your wedding day, and don't put yourself under the stress of wondering whether things overrun or finish on time. The bride should allow enough time to get ready in a relaxed atmosphere, and not be rushing at the last minute. Every moment of the day should be something to enjoy. Allow enough time to travel between home and the venue, and make allowances for traffic. If you're having a large wedding with lots of guests, make sure you have time to spend with your parents and close family members during the day. A wedding planner or professional photographer will be able to advise you about timing of things like the taking of formal photographs.

4) Don't lose sight of the purpose of the day.

Remember why it is that you're getting married, and don't lose sight of that on the day. Don't be pressured into doing things you don't want to do, and make sure your wedding reflects your personality and the way you like to do things as a couple. If you don't like dressing up for formal occasions, plan a more relaxed wedding. If you're not keen on formal eating, arrange a barbecue or something that's more your style.

5) Be prepared for the unexpected.

In spite of all the effort that goes into wedding planning, there's a good chance something won't go as you intend it to. The weather may turn unexpectedly, some guests may get lost on the way or the catering may not work out as you want it to. Keep smiling, and don't let one little thing spoil your special day. Allow for contingencies, and be prepared to change things on the day if you need to.

Planning a wedding should be fun and enjoyable, and if you start to feel stress you may need to step back and ask yourself why.

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