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Just before New Year’s 2011, my boyfriend of four years proposed to me by painting “Will you marry me?” on a piece of pottery. One of our first dates was a pottery painting outing, so this was an absolutely perfect way to pop the question. It was one of those moments that can only be created for you by someone who knows you really well. So, with a ring on my finger, I began the intimidating and exciting wedding planning process of buying bridal magazines, shopping for a wedding dress, touring venues, and something I recommend to all of you soon-to-be-marrieds out there: stumbling.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but stumbling has definitely helped me put the pieces into place.

When we first started planning our wedding, we had no clue where to begin. Did we want to have a wedding that was big, small, classic, unusual, indoor, outdoor? There are so many wedding books, sites and blogs to browse through, and it was all very overwhelming. So I did what I like to do when I’m looking for great stuff, but I’m not sure exactly what to look for: I clicked the “Stumble!” button. As a result of some “Weddings” interest-stumbling, I’ve seen some unique, creative, and practical ideas, including:

• Having bridesmaids with mismatched dresses, with the whole bridal party wearing custom wedding “medals.”

• Including a “relationship timeline” with the invitation to tell the couple’s story.

• Having a bountiful dessert bar in lieu of a cake.

• Using empty picture frames and thrift store finds to create a do-it-yourself, cozy atmosphere.

• A reminder that budgeting a wedding is super important.

• Last but not least: a source of constant “wedding porn.”

My boyfriend of four years proposed to me by writing me this message during a ceramics date.

When I find things that inspire me, I can share them with my fiancé, mom, and friends right from my StumbleUpon web bar, and they can do the same. I thumb-up the stuff I like to save in my favorites, and when I’m not stumbling but come across wedding-related content online that I like, I use the StumbleUpon add-on to thumb it up and save it to my favorites. This way, when we start hiring vendors, I’ll be able to direct them to my StumbleUpon profile to stumble through my faves in the “Weddings” interest to give them a feel for things I like. And as I continue to rate the sites I find while stumbling, the wedding sites I see are even more tailored to my preferences, and I continue to find amazing and inspirational stuff.

Now while I won’t say that StumbleUpon knows me better than my fiance (although sometimes I really wonder…), it’s been a lifesaver in planning out the details of our wedding. So, to all you brides and grooms-to-be out there: congratulations! And I highly recommend stumbling to get inspired and to take the stress out of wedding planning.

/Erica Meade profile picture