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Ah, wedding planning. Growing up, I never fantasized about my wedding day. I always knew that I wanted to meet and marry an amazing guy, but I was never the girl who had her wedding all figured out before she left highschool. I just knew it would all “happen”.

Well, it’s “happening” now, and I’m realizing that there’s a lot to this wedding planning. To date, I haven’t found my venue, and it’s kinda freaking me out. Colors? Ha! My thoughts change everyday on that one! Going to the Carolina Bridal Fair really helped to get me started, but now, I feel a little lost and overwhelmed at times. What’s a bride to do?

First of all, I feel really blessed in that I have amazing bridesmaids. I’m using my 3 sisters, and 2 of my closest friends here in Charlotte. Already, they’ve assisted me on my dress hunt, agreed to wear WHATEVER I select for them, and have thrown me a lovely engagement party!

At times, there are days where I feel like I’ll never be able to pull this off, and I should just go on and elope. There are other days when I feel optimistic- it’ll all  come together, right?  Through all the ups and downs, I’m learning the same lesson I’ve been learning all year: take it one day at a time. And here are 3 things I’ve learned so far:

1. Do NOT give in to your inner Bridezilla

Have you ever watched the show “Bridezillas”? The comments and actions of some of these brides is just appalling… but you begin to understand how they may act that way once you’re a bride yourself! I’ve had a few tempting situations where I just wanted to haul off and snap at a few people (!!) but I had to remember that no matter what the situation, I can behave like a godly woman, and still get my point across. Yes, trying on 20 dresses is tiring, locking in a menu is tricky, and sometimes, your fiance just gets on your nerves!! (not mine, of course!). But that doesn’t give you the authority to treat people with disrespect. Although it is your day… you still want people to love and respect you afterwards.

2. Sometimes The Knot is More Stressful than it is Helpful

I looooooveeee lists. So what did I do the day after I became engaged? Signed up on theknot.com to start my wedding planning! They asked for my wedding date, then presented me with a list of nearly 220 items to complete by next summer. I was thrilled! I had a detailed and organized list to keep me ahead of the wedding planning game! I was ready to conquer all!…. Until it became October, and I still had about 10 items left over from September (all marked with angry exclamation points!!!) I was troubled! How was I going to keep up??? I’ve been engaged for nearly 4 weeks, and not only do I not have a venue, but no Save the Date cards, no engagement photos, and half a registry!!! I felt terrible… until I realized that we’re getting married in the summer, and we have PLENTY of time to do these things. There will be plenty of moments during this year to stress me out… choosing the right font on my Save the Dates should not be one of them. And with that, I quit checking The Knot everyday… but I still refer to it (because it is quite useful. They’ve thought of everything!!!)

3. Listen to Yourself

Although I’ve never had a “dream wedding”, I’m quickly realizing what I want: a small, intimate wedding with our closest friends and immediate family. Low lighting. A romantic dress. Grey tux for him. Warm, earthy colors. These ideas didn’t come automatically, but one by one, they appeared during my quiet times (both alone and with Ricky). I’d never dreamed of the day, but I knew what mattered most to us, and went from there. I do welcome the opinions and advice of my friends, however, I find that to be a bit overwhelming at times.  Take time to clear your head and dig deep. You’ll find what will make your wedding just perfect.