Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.

Each issue of our magazine features an advice column of sorts; it’s a Q&A with the newlyweds whose photos appear in the issue. They share tips and advice based on what they learn while planning their own events. Because we can’t possibly share all the great counsel they share in the pages of the magazine, we started this weekly series to pass their wisdom on to you.

Zack and Emily Stivers’s wedding took place on Nov. 28, 2015, at St. Brigid of Kildare.

What are you happy you spent money on?

Definitely the videography and photography. The night goes so fast and is a blur at times. Together We Click did a great job of capturing the little things you forget about, and it's nice to be able to re-watch it after the dust settles.

What do you think you could have done without?

Can't really think of anything we could have gone without. We made a list of essentials we wanted and that's what we stuck with.

What do you wish you'd known before you started planning?

Everyone talks about the costs of weddings, [but] you don't really understand it until you are shopping around for what you need. So for us it was just the shock at how expensive some of the options out there can get.

Did you experience any wedding-day snafus, and how did you handle them?

Zack and his brother look alike. Zack and the groomsmen were downstairs in the church and the women were upstairs. While Emily was walking out to take photos, she saw Zack's brother on the stairs and thought it was him. For a moment she thought the first look was ruined, but it ended up just being a brother look-a-like problem.

Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?

Start early and don't stress out about the small things. In the end, it's a party with friends and family to celebrate your special day. The little things get forgotten.