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.

Kristian Navickas and Anuj Thirwani’s wedding took place on May 28, 2016, at the Vue Columbus (with a traditional Indian ceremony at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown).

What are you happy you spent money on?

Kristian and Anuj: Photographer and videographer—being able to relive our wedding weekend is wonderful. There was so much that we missed, being in the heart of it all. With the photos and videos, we can take things in at our own pace.

What do you think you could have done without?

K&A: Flowers— they're expensive, and our guests didn't even notice them. Then they die.

What was your biggest surprise when planning/what do you wish you'd known before you started?

K: I wish I would have known more options for décor. We ended up going with a decorator who we knew was high-quality and would create a wonderful atmosphere for our guests, but we didn’t know that there are many other vendors who could do the same thing for a much lower price. Be a thorough investigator into all your options!

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

K&A: It rained RIGHT around the time of the barat [the Indian tradition of the groom’s processional on horseback]. We did so much work to make this happen:  We got a parade permit, hired the police officers to shut down the street, hired the horse and had him brought to the hotel. Then it rained and looked like we were going to have to scrap the whole thing. Luckily, the rain stopped just long enough for the barat to take place and for our guests to have an amazing time. After it was over, it started pouring again!

Any advice for attire?

K&A: If you plan on dancing hard, make sure you wear an outfit that is made for that level of activity. That means comfortable fabrics and fit, flat shoes, maybe even pockets.

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

K&A: Make sure you get right with yourself and set boundaries before you even start discussing the wedding plans. Ask yourselves what you truly want out of your experience. Make sure you are feeling grounded. People are going to share their opinions about your plans, your relationship and your appearance. Any unease you have about the aforementioned topics may blow up in the setting of planning your wedding weekend. Don’t let it.

Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?

K: I don't personally believe marriage is a fairy tale or a match made in heaven; it is a choice. You choose to continue your marriage every day, and you choose to be a partner and lover. Each of us has the power to be a good spouse, a bad spouse or somewhere in between. You have to choose what kind of partner you'll be.