With less than a week until our big day, I’m finding myself cycling between excitement, nervousness and sometimes even joyful tears every day. The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind but also an amazing experience in gaining new skills and building a community.

Three weeks out from the wedding, Jesse (my fiancé) and I took a quick weekend away to refresh and spend some quality time together. We spent three days driving around the New Zealand’s South Island (which is arguably the most beautiful place on Earth). It was the perfect time to vent together, laugh together and refocus on what was most important to us. I strongly recommend taking some time away from all the last minute pre-wedding tasks to just be with your partner before the big day. As soon as we touched down back in Australia it was straight back to planning and organizing. Since we don’t have a wedding coordinator we spent that week making a lot of calls to vendors to confirm details to make sure everyone is on the same page. We’re so lucky to have had very professional vendors who are also communicating with each other to ensure the day runs smoothly. All the work we put in, shopping around and reading reviews of vendors has definitely paid off.

Two weeks out from the wedding Jesse and I had our bachelor and bachelorette weekends, respectively. It was so lovely to spend a whole weekend with all my favorite women, in the same place. Looking back at my wedding planning journey, one thing I’d do differently is make more time to get together with my bridesmaids because I gain so much from their presence and their friendship. My MOH planned the perfect weekend for me featuring amazing food, a painting class and a boat ride. Over that weekend, when we had an issue with the bridesmaid’s dresses, the girls immediately took carriage of the issue and had it sorted within 48 hours. It served as a perfect reminder of why I chose these women to be by my side on my big day. Their support through all the challenges of planning the wedding has been invaluable.

One week out from the wedding Jesse and I are finalizing a few DIY projects for our big day. We’ve been getting together with all the creatives in our bridal party to design and build backdrops, centerpieces and signage. We’ve also been practicing our first dance. Neither of us have done ballroom dancing before and we’re not particularly coordinated but it’s been fun learning some new skills together. I love learning and building with Jesse and planning our wedding has presented so many opportunities to do that.

Looking back on the last 18 months, I now understand that planning a wedding is actually a huge challenge. There are so many elements to consider and if brides and grooms don’t ask for help they could end up feeling completely overwhelmed and miserable. The great thing is, when it comes to wedding planning there are often lots of people around you who are more than willing to help if you just ask. Planning your wedding is a great opportunity to build a community of family and friends around you and your partner. Knowing that we’ll be beginning our married life with a close-knit network of family and friends, who will always be there to support us, gives me even more confidence that we’ll have a happy and life-long marriage. Now that everything is falling into place, part of me is sad that this exciting period of being engaged and planning a wedding is coming to an end. Having said that I’m also soooooo excited to start this new period of my life as a wife.