You’ve dreamed about this day for a long time. The ring is on your finger, and the wedding plans have just begun. In some cultures, the bride’s family plans the wedding, and all she has to do is show up. As far as you’re concerned, though, your family (especially your Mom… God bless her…) needs to stay as far away from your wedding planning as possible.That means that the executive decisions are down to you and your significant other… and probably more down to you. If the wedding planning panic has just started to set in, don’t sweat it. Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and here are a few tips for making it go smoothly.

Nab the Big Stuff

The most stressful part of your wedding can be finding the venues. Many brides find that the best venues are already booked when they start to look, so you’ll want to pick your locations asap, and hold onto any location with a loose grasp. Don’t just check out the sites that come up first on Google–call country clubs, restaurants, and other venues to see if they offer a space for “events.” (Remember to not tell anyone it’s a wedding until after you get an estimate. They charge extra if they know you’re wearing white.) Once you’ve got a location for the ceremony and the reception, you can breathe easily.

Go With the Easy Options

Tradition might be super important to you, and if so, then the headache that comes along with it might be worthwhile. For the most part, however, you should make the planning process as simple as possible. Tradition is seldom stress-free, but modern twists often are. Instead of a complicated RSVP service, just have people RSVP by email. That way, you can include pertinent information in an automatic reply. For an Atlanta wedding, for example, you can recommend airport transportation Atlanta, hotels, and other tips for out of town guests. Consider other simpler options as well, like picnics, unreserved seating, and a down-to-earth restaurant caterer instead of a wedding catering company.

Let Go of Your Inner Five Year Old

Little kid you was the cutest. She had amazing dreams about her wedding, and as you wedding plan, you might feel a weird pressure to not let that kid down. Back then, you imagined that you could do anything you wanted for your wedding, since finding a location was no problem, and money was no object. Remember that your wedding is just a day to celebrate a new marriage, and to be with family and friends. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it won’t be. You’ll find that, once you let go of the pressure to have your dream day, your wedding plans become even more fun. You’re a real person in the real world, and you’re about to start a real marriage, so when it comes to your special day, just remember to be authentic and try something five-year-old you would have never imagined.