Choose reliable groomsmen and bridesmaids

You'll need to lean on these special guests to help the day run smoothly. Be sure to choose people who won't be late, know what they're doing, and are genuinely happy to take on the job. You don't have to turn into a bridezilla!

Practice, practice, practice

For the less confident or shy bride, walking down the aisle can be totally nerve-racking. Practice walking in your wedding shoes, saying your vows nice and clearly -- you could try recording them to see how they sound -- and smiling. It's a happy occasion, after all!

Have back up readers

Despite our best preparations, we never know if a guest is going to be sick. So be prepared for any of your key participants to be replaced at the last minute -- this should especially be applied to those involved in the nuptial Mass.

Prepare to weather the storm

Rain is a huge stress factor for most brides, and it's out of our control. Make sure you have a stash of big umbrellas at the ready, as well as some towels and wet wipes. The wipes will be indispensable for cleaning up any mucky shoes. Remember, rain is often considered a blessing!

Tissues, Band-Aids, and thread at the ready

It's always useful to ask a particular guest to bring a stash of tissues and Band-Aids for guests in need -- remember how painful new pumps can be? And have them bring a small sewing kit -- there are always buttons and snaps that decide to not cooperate at the last minute!

Kiddy control

Kids are unpredictable and some brides or guests can be a little anxious as to what their young guests might get up to. Relax. Kids often bring a sense of fun to a ceremony and they remind us of what marriage and family is all about. You could always have a few babysitters on hand to take over to give parents a break.

Don't overspend

It might be a once in a lifetime occasion, but you don't want to start married life in huge debt. Spend wisely so that on your day you're not thinking of how much it's costing you.

Delegate when needed

Weddings take a lot of work. Friends are more than willing to help you achieve your dream wedding, so don't be afraid to give them tasks to do, even on the day itself.

Stay "snap happy"

Sometimes photographers can take over the celebrations in order to get all the group photos -- even being a little bossy. You might want to narrow down your desired shots and ask friends and family to share their own, more informal, pics with you.

Keep unruly guests in check

Some brides might be anxious about different family members who don't get on so well. Use your table plans wisely and be ready to have a mediator -- a calm and reasonable family member -- to jump in if necessary to calm things down.

Lower expectations

While you might want your wedding to live up to your dreams, you should also be prepared if things don't run completely smoothly. Will it really be the end of the world? The most important thing is the wedding ceremony. Once that is over, it should be celebration all the way.

And say a little prayer ...

The patron saint of brides is St. Elizabeth of Portugal, who was married at 12 to an unfaithful husband, the King of Portugal. Despite his weaknesses, she became a loving wife who prayed continually for her husband. So ask for her intercession for a happy and loving marriage.