When it comes to planning a successful wedding day, who knows better than recent Columbus brides? We checked in with some of our previous issue's featured brides to hear what they wish they had done differently, the choices they're most happy they made and more.

Brianna Rust

Married: Oct. 20, 2012, atSalem Golf Club

Reception highlight: Jeffrey surprised Brianna with a romantic speech.

Choosing a Venue

See in-person as many places as you can before deciding [on a venue]. When I narrowed down my choices, I went to each venue the day of a wedding so I could see how it was pulled together. This gave me a better idea of how the room was laid out and helped me visualize my own ideas.


I did a lot of DIY projects that were easy and also added a personal touch and fit our personality. We used photocopies of old wedding photos of our parents and grandparents for table numbers. All our family members and guests loved having that memento, and most guests took them home at the end of the night. Instead of using flower arrangements, we used vases of apples and candles for some of our centerpieces-our colors were black, white and apple green-which helped cut our cost.

Selecting Your Music

When searching for a band or DJ, ask them if they will emcee the event and can share a basic itinerary for weddings they've done in the past.

Erin Lombardo

Married: Sept. 1, 2012, atStation 67

Reception highlights: DJ Adam Scoppa played all vinyl during their reception, and fireworks at Huntington Park closed out the evening.

Selecting Seating

Make a seating chart. It's best to give your guests some direction, otherwise you will have guests trying to sit by certain people and running all over the place trying to find the best seat. Tables get full, and some guests are stuck sitting by people they have never met.

Cutting Costs

Go cheap on your linens. Keep it classy and elegant with your centerpieces. Nobody will pay that much attention to the linens, and it's a good area to cut costs so you can spend money on more important things … like your dress. Don't spend a lot on your cake, either. By that stage in the game, most guests are not even going to want to eat cake. You can still get a beautiful cake without the huge cost. We got our cake at Giant Eagle Market District, and they did a phenomenal job. The bottom two tiers of the cake were Styrofoam covered in frosting, and the top was [cake] that my husband and I cut into. Then, guests enjoyed sheet cake in three flavors.

Cortney Schneider

Married: Aug. 30, 2012; Reception Sept. 8, 2012, atGraystone Wine Cellar

Reception highlight: Guests at the reception got to watch a video of the destination ceremony.

Staying Calm

Do not sweat the small stuff. Your guests will not see the rip in the tablecloth or the stain on the groom's tie. No need for a million-dollar dress that you will wear a couple hours.

Taking Time

If you rent a photo booth, make sure you and your new husband actually take a moment to use it. We didn't get a chance, and that's the biggest regret I have from the night. Remember it's all about you and your husband celebrating your marriage to each other with your family and friends. It's not just about you, it's not about your mother-in-law and it's not about the most expensive food. It's about you and your husband making a commitment to love each other for the rest of your lives.

Colleen Tassone

Married: May 4, 2013, atFranklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Reception highlights: Guests indulged in a cigar bar that included handmade matchboxes. Irish dancers surprised the guests with a performance at the reception, and bagpipers provided the couple with a ceremony send-off.

Doing Your Homework

Shop around for a venue. Try to schedule appointments to tour the space. Even if you don't go with the venue, you will learn something along the way that will help you narrow down your choices.

Entertaining Guests

You just want to make everyone comfortable. Consider making the head table a Tuscan-style table and let your party's dates sit there.

Pilar Rivera

Married: March 9, 2013, atGrange Insurance Audubon Center

Reception highlight: The decor at their naturally pretty reception-made in part by the bride and groom-included rice paper lanterns, wildflowers and strings of lights.

Going Overboard

I would recommend couples just starting the planning process keep things simple. It's an event that lasts for only a few hours and, instead of fretting over every tiny detail, it is most important to remember to take a break, a deep breath and simply have fun with it all. Things will inevitably turn out not as planned, and it's important to embrace those mix-ups, love what went right and have an absolutely beautiful day.

Sarah Schuette

Married: Oct. 27, 2012, atBryn Du Mansion

Reception highlights: The couple's friends built a fireplace scene behind their dinner table. An Elvis impersonator sang for the groom's dance with his mother.

Starting Early

Pick out your venue early-over a year, at least-because you may not get the date you want. I didn't.

Creating Your Guest List

Consider the number of people you invite. Aside from cost, which is a major factor, it can be very difficult to enjoy yourself if you are constantly trying to say "hi" to everyone.

Asking the Right Questions

Take into consideration what is and isn't included in your venue. When I got married, the only thing included was the venue-no chairs, tables, caterer, decorations. [Costs] added up very quickly.

Keeping Your Party in the Loop

A written, typed-out schedule from dawn until dusk of the wedding day is an absolute must. Make enough copies for everyone involved and make sure there isn't any confusion.

Asking for Details

Get a written agreement with your photographer on when to expect your album. Include in the agreement the date of photo delivery.

Giving Details

Make sure the videographer is aware of what you want on your wedding video, because they may not include [the shots you're hoping for] if you don't specify. I regret that the violinist we hired was not recorded. She played during the processional, so I didn't even get a chance to hear her play.