Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Caitlyn and AJ Otey’s wedding took place on Dec. 2, 2017, at St. Timothy Catholic Church.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
I wish I would have hired a second photographer. Derk’s Works captured beyond amazing memories—every last detail was detail perfect. I just wish I had more!
What are you happy you spent money on?
Dance lessons. My husband would be shocked to hear me say this because we started them three weeks before the big day at his request—a bit stressful at the time—but it was so fun having a surprise, choreographed tango to “Por Una Cabeza.” Our guests still talk about it!
What do you think you could have done without?
We had a lot of small, personal touches at our wedding—mini tissue boxes, cookie favor bags, napkins shaped like Christmas trees with a chocolate gold star topping—you get the picture! All of the small details took a lot of time [to plan]. I could have done without some of them, but I’m honestly glad I didn’t. I think it’s what made our wedding personable and memorable!
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
How expensive gold Chiavari chairs were and how hard they were to find! Someone should start a business in Columbus. Ladies, book them early!
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
You are going to have some serious disappointments. What you want will be too expensive, friends will let you down, you may get into some arguments with those you love. It’s how you handle it all that is important! Take a step back and realize that they are just things and that you are going to be marrying the most amazing partner before you know it. You are blessed and loved by so many around you.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
We had some disagreements around the timeline. We compromised by incorporating the groom’s pictures at Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) first thing in the morning. This is where a second photographer would have been great!
Any dress shopping advice?
At the end of the day, pick what makes you feel beautiful and compliments your shape. Your mom/ mother-in-law or best friend may not love it, but the only thing that is important is how you feel walking down that aisle the first your groom sees you! Luckily, my mom and best friend helped me pick mine out, and we were all on the same page.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
Enjoy it! It can be so stressful trying to manage your day-to-day and a wedding. Celebrate the small victories, and drink champagne whenever you can!
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
What they say is true—marriage is work! Compromise, trust, honesty and a whole lot of fun make for a good marriage. It’s not always easy, but at the end of the day, I know I have a lifelong partner there supporting me (and the best husband around).