The process of planning your own wedding can be stressful, as any understatement would go!

For us, we had 4 months to plan, a mother/event planner extraordinaire, plenty of helpful hands, plenty of insanity and an incredibly wise counselor who got us to the end alive and still in love!

Anyone who has gone through this process or is going through it right now knows that it can bring up a whole host of emotions.

For me, the pressure of looking the most beautiful I've ever looked was a tad too much to handle. All of my insecurities came pouring out, landing on my ever patient fiance. 

I didn't want my wedding day to be consumed with how I looked, beautiful or not. That is not what the day is about. Yet I knew people had expectations. 

First there's the dress, the perfect dress. (Let's just say I didn't have that watery eyed 'Say Yes to the Dress' moment. I found my dress 2 weeks before the wedding, took it home and cut layers and layers of tulle out).

Then there's the hair, and the makeup, and the pictures that capture the look forever. I wanted to skip it all and wear a paper bag.

It was too much.

What if I didn't live up to it all.

What if my back fat spilled over the top of my dress?

What if my stomach bulged out and made me look pregnant (which everyone was looking for because why else would we have a 4 month engagement?!). 

I am going to share with you one of the most beautiful gifts I received the week of my wedding. I still read this and am reminded of what true beauty really is.

When I need to let go of the pressure and the standards I read this.

Tears streaming down my face, because let's face it I can't get through it without bawling, I am brought back to that peaceful knowing that I exude beauty from inside me, not from what I put on the outside. 

From my beautifully talented sister-in-law: 

Thank you Jess! What a gift you are.

Nothing was getting to me on this day! I was on cloud 9!

Nothing was getting to me on this day! I was on cloud 9!