We sat side by side on the couch trying to make decisions on venues, guest lists, food... I could feel the squeeze of an invisible band around my chest, shortening my breaths and making me feel dizzy.
This wasn’t my first wedding and the stress of the last one had turned my immune system against me and sent me to the emergency room.
"It’s okay, Kelly," my fiance reassured me. "Everything will be fine."
At that time, he had no idea our May wedding date would fall right in the middle of a pandemic.
My first wedding day, almost 20 years earlier, had been perfect.
A vintage car delivered me, all dressed up in a $3,000 princess gown with a huge train, to a gorgeous historic church.
Watch: Things people never say at weddings. Post continues below.
I walked down the red carpet, flashing smiles at the crowded rows of people who had travelled from all over to celebrate with us: aunties and uncles, old friends from school, even a few surprise guests!
Our large wedding party stood quietly at the front, all dressed immaculately in matching outfits, as a pianist and singer performed and we said our vows, lit a candle, signed the registry.
Hours of professional photos followed the ceremony, and then finally we could relax at our reception: a beautifully laid out afternoon tea.
There wasn’t a single detail that could’ve been better. The days before and after, though, showed the impact of organising a "perfect" wedding.
In the months leading up to my first wedding, I became more and more stressed. Money was already tight and then my fiance unexpectedly lost his job.