A tips for wedding planning can be a magical day for you and your loved ones, but it’s also likely to be stressful. Between navigating family dynamics (especially when involving children) to managing the costs, there are many things that can go wrong. Thankfully, there are lots of wedding planning tips that can help you have a smoother ride. These nuggets of wisdom come from people who have been there and done that, as well as leading industry experts who dole out such advice on a daily basis.

1. Define your vision.

Before making any big decisions, sit down with your partner and figure out what kind of wedding you want: a sprawling backyard affair, a chic brunch buffet, or an intimate dinner at your favorite restaurant. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to find vendors who meet your needs.

2. Set your budget and guest list early on.

You will need to know how many people you plan on inviting before you can begin booking vendors, and your venue selection will depend on the number of guests you’ll be hosting. You may want to consider other factors as well, like whether the date is popular for other weddings and events you’re attending, or if it might be difficult for some of your friends and family to travel long distances.

3. Create a theme or style to guide your decision-making process.