Remember that old nursery rhyme, "First comes love, then comes marriage..."?
Somewhere between pre-school and college, it seems people got so caught up in the latter before they had even mastered the former.
As little girls, we were entertained by playing dress-up and dreaming big.
This included imaginary rings, walking down makeshift aisles and filling guest lists with Beanie Babies.
Eventually, the idea of marriage got lost behind the hazy illusion of fantasy weddings.
With everyday influences like Pinterest, glossy magazines and dreamy Instagram feeds, it’s so easy to get caught up in planning the wedding of your dreams.
People often forget the most important thing about getting married is the person standing next to you.
Working for a wedding company, I fill my days scouring websites for inspiration and gazing through designer dress collections.
I watch proposal videos like it’s my job (well, because it is) and write about trending styles and décor to encourage brides and their grooms to plan weddings that fit who they are as couples.
When I tell people what I do, I am usually bombarded with questions about my own future: Do you know what kind of wedding you want? Where will you get married? What will your dress look like? How many people will you invite? What will be your first dance song?
And, I can honestly say I don’t have a single answer to any of those questions.
It’s not because I am too overwhelmed from all of the inspiration out there (which is oh-so easy to do).
It’s because I can’t imagine how that special day full of love and laughter will unfold without knowing the person I will one day marry.
Maybe I’ve met him already, or maybe he’s still out there searching for his version of a perfect woman and wife that will someday lead him to me.
Whomever and wherever he is, it’s not my right to start planning a day that sets the tone for the rest of our lives together without knowing him first.
Everyone has his or her own idea of what a good marriage is.
Maybe you’re looking for a partner in crime to travel the world with, or maybe you’re looking for that special person to settle down and start a family with.
Whatever the case, your wedding should be a combination of two different lifestyles becoming one.
Without being in a relationship, how am I supposed to know what I want from my future husband, let alone the color scheme of my future wedding?
I believe it’s true your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life.
When I choose to get married and walk down the aisle, all over-planned details and thoughtful personal touches won’t matter because I will be too caught up in trying not to trip as I run toward the person I plan to spend my life with.
Right now, there is a fuzzy version of a mystery guy in a tux standing at the end of that aisle, and I see no reason to get ahead of myself by researching dresses, flowers and honeymoon destinations.
Happiness isn’t measured by extravagant exits and unforgettable favors; it’s about sharing moments with people you truly care about.
My father has mentioned more than once he would be totally okay with me and my (devastatingly handsome and well-established) groom-to-be eloping to Vegas if it makes us happy and saves him a copious amount of money.
I don’t necessarily disagree with him. I want my wedding to be a celebration of love, not a competition of money spent, DIY projects completed and a clever Instagram hashtag.
So, before you start taking detailed notes while watching "Say Yes to the Dress," remember back to the days of dressing up in your mother’s high heels and walking toward your teddy bear fiancé.
It didn’t matter where you were or that your hair wasn’t perfect. You were marrying your best friend. And that’s really all that matters.