As a wedding and lifestyle photographer, I am surrounded by people swooning over each other and being madly in love. I can’t help but to think back to the time I was making my own wedding preparations. 

In 2014, two months before wedding my partner of four years, I called off the whole damn thing. Wedding invitations were all sent out, I’d just had my bridal shower, the limos had been booked, hotel rooms were blocked off, the catering hall was rented, the honeymoon was planned...everything

The thing is, I knew everything was over before it was actually over. I realized I was “going through the motions” and wanted the wedding itself more than the marriage. He was a good person, but not the person for me. He was sweet, kind and caring, but I needed something different. 

One day I came home from working a 12 hour shift at a retail store and looked at him. The first thing that came to my mind was, “This is going to be the rest of my life.” And I thought, I can’t do this. I took a shower, went to bed, and went to work the next day. I sat in my car before walking into work and composing a text:  I can’t do this anymore. I’m calling off the wedding. 

After a ton of phone calls, texts, and a LOT of talking, I arrived home at the end of the day and we laughed, and we cried. A lot. It was bittersweet. He’d known it too. We weren’t meant to be together. 

The stress of planning a wedding had also taken a toll on us. He called his parents the next day and told them. I showed up to my best friend’s house with my wedding planning book filled with all of my vendors’ contact information. She opened the door and I started bawling. We called all of the vendors and it was over. I went to Staples and made postcards notifying the invited guests. I mailed them out the same day. 

It was heartbreaking and devastating. I spent four years of my life with that wonderful man, and I don’t regret it one bit. He taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and to not take life too seriously. 

My former fiancee moved out that weekend and I was left in the apartment we had lived  in together. I broke my lease and quit my job. I still took my honeymoon to a couples’ resort -- with one of my best friends, and came back a new woman!

I started a new job, enrolled in a Doctorate program and, at 30, I was starting over. I was finally happy. I met my current boyfriend at the local brewery that same year. Now, three years later, we have a beautiful daughter and I am enjoying life in a way I never have before. 

One day I will be someone’s wife. When that time comes, I’ll be ready. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy what’s in front of me and not worry about it.

If there’s one thing I learned from this whole experience, it’s that you cannot rush love. Make sure you are getting married for the right reasons and you’re not going through it because you feel you have to, or because you’re a certain age, or because everyone else is doing it. Choose to marry someone because you love them - all of them...the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you know you’re with the right person, you’ll know. There will be no second guessing. Looking back, I don’t regret any of it. These experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today.