Kate Owens had planned the perfect wedding, from the dress to the flowers and even the band. The only thing missing?
"I booked my band nine years in advance," Owens, 34, told ABC News. "I went up to them and I said, 'I don't have a groom, but if you guys are still around, will you plan my wedding?'"
Owens' booking her wedding band well in advance was just one part of the project manager for I.B.M.'s detailed wedding day planning that began 10 years before she even met her future husband.
"I think some people probably thought I was nuts," said Owens, of Clifton Park, N.Y. "I knew the style of wedding dress I wanted. I knew what style bridesmaids' dress I wanted. I knew the color scheme. I knew I wanted it to be outdoors."
Owens is not alone in knowing, or wanting to know, her every wedding detail well before she even knows if she'll ever say "I do."
According to a wedding expert from TheKnot.com, nearly 40 percent of visitors to the popular wedding site are not yet engaged. The website even has an entire section devoted to wedding dreamers planning ahead, and it's one of the site's most popular message boards.
Like those 40 percent of TheKnot.com's visitors, by the time Owens met her Mr. Right, Shawn Owens, she had already assembled a wedding binder full of ideas.
"Nobody knew about the binder. It was just another binder on my shelf," said Owens, who labeled her wedding plans "Life" so no one would become suspicious of her early planning.
Once the couple became engaged, Owens had to break it to her fiancé that their wedding was already, well, planned.
"I was a little surprised at first," said Shawn Owens, 34.
The Owens made it through the wedding planning process together and, when it came to their big day, much of their wedding resembled the binder full of ideas Owens had assembled.
Owens did give her groom say in at least one thing, however.
"He picked out the tux that he wore," she said. "He picked out the suit and everything that the guys wore. I just gave him a color scheme to work with."
That ability to give at least some leeway, wedding experts say, is the key to ensuring pre-planning doesn't result in a frustrated fiancé, or worse.
"It's okay to fantasize and it's okay to pre-plan and be that way," said Anja Winikka, site manager for TheKnot.com. "But at the end of the day you have to remember there's another person involved in this wedding, and it's your to-be husband."
- Family & Relationships