It's time to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of wedding planning.

Okay, except for the fact that the third part of this isn't really ugly. It's more...well, let's just call it the "what I wish I'd known when I was planning my wedding" section. But that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Anyway. I work with a woman who has officially entered the home stretch of planning her wedding. As in, the wedding is only two weeks away and she has everything pretty much taken care of (wish I'd been in that boat!).

Recently, we got to talking about weddings (which happen to be one of my favorite things to talk about) and, specifically, the best and worst parts of planning.

It was easy, she said, to come up with the highlights and the difficult bits, and she counted them off rapid-fire. The good? Knowing that it was her day and that, if she really wanted to, she could show up in a horse-drawn carriage and no one would be able to say no. I mean, as long as it fit her budget.

The bad? Wishing that her fiancé wasn't quite so mellow about things. She loved that he was completely supportive of her decisions and her taste and the tiny little details, but she knew it was time to have a conversation with her soon-to-be-husband and let him know that what she wanted most in the backstretch was to have him right there making the calls for their wedding with her.

And the what-I-wish-I'd-known-beforehand? This one, to me, is so important. Because it's exactly what I and almost every other bride I've talked to have run into...and not very many of us guessed that we would. She wished that someone had told her that, no matter what her budget was, they were going to spend more. In fact, the rule of thumb that I've now (just a little too late!) heard is that you'll spend at least ten percent more on your wedding than you think you will.

But now for the experts - you. You're planning a wedding. What's been the best part? The hardest part? And what is the one thing you would tell other brides before they launch off into this crazy world?

Photo: Jose Villa