By ALEXANDRA MATZKO

So, you’re engaged.

If you’re like me or a lot of my friends and acquaintances, you’ll be throwing a Nashville wedding this summer! Seriously, I feel like 2016 is the year of weddings. Or now I’ve just become hyper-aware of everything wedding related.

Anyways, I digress.

I’ve never been the girl who has imagined her wedding and planned it down to the teeniest, tiniest detail. I’ve been lucky enough to be in a wonderful relationship for a long time, and I’ve always known things were going this direction, but the idea of planning such a huge party was overwhelming to me. Plus, I wasn’t engaged and working a lot, so it was always an out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of thing for me.

Sure, I sometimes fantasized about having a great time dancing at my reception with all of my friends and family, but I never considered specifics such as pricing, colors, flowers, cake. So when he popped the question last summer, I had to start my planning at square one. Here is my first account of this journey fumbling my way through Nashville’s wedding industry. If you feel like I do, I hope this helps!

First thing I learned, you’re going to need help: recruit someone reliable. I have the happy fortune of living close to my mom, and as soon as she learned of the upcoming nuptials, she created a binder complete with wedding-themed cover page. This is the type of person I recommend acquiring, even if you have to hire her.

© Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

© Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

Next, and the best way to dip your toe into this big pond, think about your “vision.” Normally this word makes me indulge in a secret cringe. Vision? Really? But I admit now that this step really helped.

Like I said, I was never that girl obsessed with weddings. Now, I was forced to consider my own. What did I really want? More important, what were my priorities on my wedding’s huge to-do list? I was advised to narrow down my top-three priorities and three things that I cared the least about.

I was surprised with the result.

With little effort and almost immediately, I’d carved out three concrete things I could work on: venue, photography, and DJ. What could I live without stressing over? Cake, décor, and invitations.

Need more vision inspiration? I highly recommend doing the following. Get a Pinterest. I know. It’s not a novel idea, but getting online with a nice glass of wine and a good friend can help put you in the wedding spirit. It’s a great resource not just for flower arrangements but venues, photography, and DIYs too!

Don’t want to hire a wedding planner of any sort? Buy The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer. It’s about 20 bucks, and it’s a one-stop-shop for all information, including a very detailed timeline starting at nine months out from your wedding date, about wedding planning in a great binder format. It’s even got a wedding color table with recommendations of what colors complement each other. Though my mom is the master and keeper of this binder, even I like it!

So, that’s your first task. Pick your top and bottom three priorities for your wedding.

Then, if you’re feeling up to it, browse Pinterest and hit up The Knot’s website or pick up their Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer to help get an overview of this minefield. See, it’s not so bad! You will feel relieved and happy after nailing down these simple six details.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my limited but new knowledge of wedding planning, it’s to take baby steps. There is so much pressure to make this day perfect or the best day of your life, but stressing over this idea will make you person crazy.

And that’s not how this time should be. It should be your time to celebrate your awesome self and relationship. And congratulations!

Next time? We explore Nashville’s most popular months for a wedding, all of its stunning venues, and how to choose.