Our wedding day (Photo source: Erin Kathleen Photography)

He got down on one knee and I nearly blacked out. A combination of overwhelming joy and utter shock dumped on me like a big bucket of water. I said yes.

The following day, I stood in the front yard of my brother’s house holding hands with my new fiancé and my parents. We prayed that our hearts and minds stay protected during the eleven-month engagement. Why?

Because planning a wedding is crazy, y’all.

If you haven’t been involved in the process, you’re probably thinking what I thought the day after I got engaged. “Nope, not me. I will not let this Texas-sized wedding pressure get to me. I know what weddings are really about. I’m so chill, this wedding planning is going to be so chill.”

Then, two weeks later, Pinterest happened. Wedding bloggers happened. Facebook stalking happened.

I was a complete and total goner.

My eyes were glazed over with table settings and bridesmaid dresses. Things I have honestly never cared about once in my life became increasingly important as I clicked through the endless wedding Instagram accounts.

Suddenly, my immunity to caring too much about the details weakened. And when that immunity weakened, something happened to my heart. Nothing was enough. I wasn’t satisfied with any decision I made because I was subconsciously picturing what it would look like on someone’s Pinterest board.

“What you feed your mind determines your appetite.” – Tom Ziglar

This is hard for me to admit, because like I said, I truly do consider myself a relaxed, go-with-the-flow type of person. But there were a few moments when wedding planning resulted in anxiety and sleepless nights. It shouldn’t be that way. I didn’t want this.

Tom Ziglar said, “What you feed your mind determines your appetite.” That’s exactly what happened.

I was feasting on images of other people’s weddings. I was binging on what the Internet told me was a “perfect bride.” And what did this produce? An unquenchable, uncomfortable thirst to look like everyone else.

After this realization, I started unfollowing the wedding bloggers. I refused to get on Pinterest. And I started asking God one thing, and one thing only, “God, please be present on our wedding day. That’s all that really matters.”

I said that prayer every day for the remaining six months. And you know what? Two weeks ago, I said “I do” and I have never experienced a more peaceful, meaningful, passionate day in my entire life.

My engagement taught me that I was prideful in my “chillness,” thinking I could easily resist the temptations of this world. I was quickly humbled, and for that I am thankful. I learned a lot from that season of my life.

Since all recent brides love giving advice, here’s mine:

Dear future brides,

Limit the amount of bloggers you follow, pins you pin, photos you “like” and magazines you acquire. You will not be able to get back the hours you spent wasting away staring at strangers’ weddings. While you think you are simply collecting ideas for your big day, you are training your mind to obsess over things that ultimately do not matter.

It’s not wrong to want your day to be special, but remember that all the days following your wedding are infinitely more significant.

Please remember the most important thing is that you are confident you are marrying the man you will never leave, through thick and thin. If you are sure you are making the right decision, then all those little bells and whistles will fall into place.

It’s not wrong to want your day to be special, but remember that all the days following your wedding are infinitely more significant. Instead of using your engagement as a time to prepare for one big day, use it as a time to primarily prepare for marriage.

Read books about marriage, pray, ask hard questions, continue going on dates with your fiancé and laugh together.

I promise that if you do these things, your wedding will be far better than any wedding you stalked on Pinterest.