I feel like a teenager again, marking relationship milestones by the month.

It has been exactly one month since Kane proposed! Counting down and marking the time as it goes by has brought me on a bit of a rollercoaster.

Last week, at lunch with my friend Roxy, she looked at me and said, “You have to find a way to balance excitement and planning, because you can’t continue to be stressed like this for a year and a half.” It was tough to hear, but she is absolutely right.

Getting engaged is something that I wasn’t really dreaming about, per se, but getting engaged to Kane is obviously something that I am over-the-moon about. My problem is that I am a realist, bordering on a pessimist, and wedding planning — particularly the stress of keeping things within a reasonable budget — is already weighing on me in a way that I’d never expected. Fortunately, I have a partner who is always there to lend a hand, which these days, means talking me off the ledge and helping me find some chill in my life.

I think our first mistake was trying to do too much right off the bat. It’s so easy to get caught-up and get too excited, and so suddenly we were knee-deep in guest lists, and I was looking at a thousand venues and dresses and flowers, and so many other things that are necessary to think about, even though not all of it has to get done right now. The smartest thing we’ve done thus far, I think, is to create a rough list of the things we need to get done, while choosing the thing that’s the most important — the venue — to tackle first. Luckily, we’re not too picky about a date, although we’ve agreed that a year and a half is a good amount of time to plan a wedding. Tackling one thing at a time, at least in these early months, is really helping to make us feel like we’re in control of the situation, and that things aren’t getting too crazy and stressful — yet.

Aside from choosing and booking a venue, my other priority is to just enjoy being engaged. While I will likely never use the word fiancé to refer to Kane, he’ll only be my fiancé for a short period of time, so we may as well make all of the dumb, fiancé-related jokes we can, while we can. These six and a half years seem to have flown by, so I can only imagine how quickly the next year and a half will go by as well.

Brides and brides-to-be, if you’re reading this, please send any wedding planning advice my way. My nerves and my face (before it’s covered in stress-related wrinkles) would really appreciate it!

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