It's no surprise that planning a wedding can make you break out the tissues from time to time, but one thing I didn't realize as a bride is that there are distinct emotional phases you may go through before getting married. Just like Kübler-Ross' "Five Stages of Grief" theory, you can experience these stages in any order and every person's experience is just as unique as their wedding. Thinking of wedding planning within this framework explains how it's possible to go from being giddy one moment to anxious or disinterested the next. Here, I share my experience, but I'd love to hear which stages, if any, you'd add to my list! Stage 1: Pure Joy Pop the champagne corks: This is really happening! Getting engaged to my husband Jason was a surreal experience, even though I had a feeling that bended-knee moment was coming. I was initiated into the incredibly wonderful (and wacky) world of weddings. I nostalgically look back on all of my wedding experiences now that my proofs are back, my beautiful wedding dress is dangling from a closet door, waiting to be preserved, and I'm transitioning into my role as a wife. But the truth is that the source of my happiness was deeper than all of that. The Most Epic Party of Our Lives would just be the first of many adventures together: buying a house, traveling the world and hopefully having a baby someday. Professing our commitment added another dimension to our relationship, no matter how cliché it sounds. The winning dress! I added the custom straps shown at right.