1. Plan Early
If you're getting married in a year, don't wait until three months out to try and find a photographer or a dj. I have a friend who took this laid-back approach to wedding planning, and in the end, it was much more stressful for her. I'm not implying that the first person you should call right after your fiance gets up from bended knee is a florist, but the sooner you find your vendors and sign contracts, the less you have to worry about come crunch time. There are several wedding planning trackers online that offer guidelines about what you should have accomplished from 12 months out, up to the day of the wedding.
2. Make a List
Most couples know to create a budget for the wedding, but many don't create lists of specific things they have to have for the day. It can be helpful if you and your fiance comprise a list of what is important to you about the wedding day, followed by a list of what you're willing to compromise on. Carry the list with you (mentally or physically) when you're meeting with vendors, that way there is something set in stone and you won't have to stress out about whether or not you should splurge on designer table linens.
I can tell you from first-hand experience, creating a wedding binder decreased my stress levels immensely, and I would recommend that even the most laid-back bride create one. I modeled my wedding binder off of a Martha Stewart planner that I pinned to my Pinterest page (http://pinterest.com/isaidyesnowwhat/). I already had a lot of the materials that went into making the binder at home, and the materials that I had to buy were inexpensive. The calendar helps keep track of all of your appointments and when vendor balances are due, the clear zipper pouch is great for all of the business cards that you'll collect, and it's perfect for keeping all of your vendor contracts and contacts in one place. Besides all of the organizational advantages, the wedding binder also strangely gave me more confidence when I was going to meet with vendors.
4. Delegate Tasks
Don't get overwhelmed by all of the little details and tasks that go into a wedding. Being a perfectionist myself, I know how hard it can be to relinquish control and trust someone else to get the small details exactly how you want them. However, you have hired vendors for a reason. Assuming you did your homework and hired a credible vendor, you don't need to stress about the centerpieces being just right or the appetizers being hot. When it comes to the other tasks, delegate responsibilities to your bridal party or family when you can. Most of them will be more than thrilled to help you out in any way possible. Have a get together with all of your bridesmaids to finish the DIY projects or to prepare the wedding favors, that way you enjoy planning more and stress less.
5. Take a Break from Planning
It's the times when I have been in the "planning zone" for hours and days that I tend to stress out more and enjoy the planning process a whole lot less. It's important that you give yourself a break from all of the planning to enjoy what you like doing. When you start getting stressed out, hang out with your fiance and don't talk about the wedding at all, just enjoy each other's company. When I get stressed with planning, I go for a run. It's a great way to get in shape for the wedding, without having to actually think about the wedding!
6. Accept that Everything Won't be Perfect
As determined as I am to make sure everything runs smoothly on the wedding day, many people have told me that there will be at least one thing that doesn't go how I plan it. Once the wedding day arrives, it's important to just relax and enjoy the day, because if you chose wisely, you'll only get married once! If something doesn't go according to plan, remember what the day is about. Have fun and enjoy celebrating the night with your new husband surrounded by your loved ones.