(Source: Gantes Co. Photography)
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Nearing the end of my wedding planning experience, if I could give newly engaged ladies one piece of advice it would be this: You don't have to do anything. The multi-billion dollar industry has perfected the art of convincing future brides of the many things they must do (or buy) in order to have a proper wedding.

We've all been brainwashed—by Pinterest, by wedding blogs, by a stream of lookalike Facebook weddings, by our own family and closest friends—that a ceremony and reception must abide by certain rules. Subconsciously we've all learned that we must meet certain standards in order to appease everyone and not be shamed for an inadequate celebration.

I'm here to tell you to F that noise. Question everything. The less you are influenced by what others expect of you, the happier you'll be and the more money you'll save. Don't get me wrong, I was not immune to societal pressures for my upcoming nuptials, our day is definitely a mixture of conformity and rebellion, but here's what I learned in the process and what I wish I fully embraced when I dove into planning.