Just got engaged?

Welcome, and congratulations! You are no doubt ecstatic, and thinking about how you are going to plan your wedding to kick off your “happily ever after”. You are in the right place, because Real-Deal Brides has it all: ideas for wedding planning, wedding inspiration, REAL stories to warn you, prepare you, and give you insights as to what you do and don’t want for your own big day, and plenty more. Purchasing The Real-Deal Bridal Bible should be the first thing on your to-do list, because it is packed with everything – the REAL things – you need to know so that you can plan the wedding that best reflects YOU while keeping your sanity, finances, and relationships intact. There is no sugar-coating in this book!

Second, let’s get down to the REAL-DEAL, because there are a few things you need to know upon getting engaged:

1. This could turn into a shit-show pretty quickly. We see the gorgeous photos of blushing brides and grooms. What we don’t see are the credit card debt, the fights over finances, or family battles over what others expect you to do versus how you’d like to plan your wedding. Give a lot of thought to the type of wedding you’d like to have and what’s important to you and your hubs before you begin any planning. As much as others might want to rush you, there is no race. Do things your way. The Real-Deal Bridal Bible will help you do just that.

2. Practice resistance. Because you’re gonna need it. Particularly, when dealing with the antics of others who seem to have fallen down and forgotten that this is not their wedding. Eckhart Tolle, author and spiritual teacher, says: “Inner resistance is some form of negativity, complaining, fear, aggression, or anger. This is important because whenever you complain about what somebody else does you’re already beginning to fall into that trap of unconsciousness.” In wedding language, I interpret this to mean to *resist* going full out ape-shit on your irresponsible bridesmaid or overbearing relative, and to remain *conscious* of the fact that some people will sprinkle crazy dust on their corn flakes on the morning of your wedding. Does that mean you have to react to the crazy? Of course not. You will ignore and resist, because you are Zen as shit.

3. Get on the same page as your fiancé. Brides: while some men like being a part of every aspect of wedding planning, some just aren’t interested in the details. Don’t be offended if your future hubs has no desire to spend four hours picking out china patterns. Sure, it’s nice if he shows an interest, but remember to separate yourself from the event. He loves you more than anything, but he probably doesn’t care if you two eat dinner on paper plates and slug wine from plastic cups for the rest of your life. Repeat after me: you are not your china.

4. Take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself of course means eating well, carving out time to unwind, and exercising, but it also means staying away from negative people, which gets trickier when you plan your wedding because they tend to creep up out of nowhere. I’m not really sure why this is, but my best guess is that everyone is trying to find their place in your day and this can make tensions run high. Focus on those who mean the most to you and avoid all other drama at any cost. It’s just not worth it.

5. Accept the fact that something will go wrong. For me, it down-poured the entire day. Other honorable mentions were 1) that my veil became tangled in my dress before I walked down the aisle, which prompted our limo driver to spring into action and fix it (thank heavens) but delayed me so long that the musicians had to re-start their song, and 2) that I slipped walking into the reception after we were first announced as husband and wife. (Confession? Sometimes we get drunk and watch that clip over, and over, and over again because it is freaking hilarious.) Guess what else? Barely anyone else noticed. (Except for the delay in my walk down the aisle. My mother-in-law still says she thought to herself: “Tough luck, son, I guess she bailed!”) When it comes to your wedding, once you let go of the fact that everything will be perfect, you actually begin to enjoy it even more than you thought possible. Besides, it’s in those less-than-perfect moments where all the magic happens, anyway.

6. Keep perspective. Remember that your wedding is a four-hour event that will be over before you know it. Yes, you are making decisions, spending money, and thinking about all the details. But if you don’t remember to relax, breathe, have fun, and savor the moments with the person you love, you’ll forget to enjoy yourself in the process. Always make time for things that don’t involve wedding planning, with your fiancé and also alone, in order to keep yourself and your relationships balanced.