Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Danielle and Craig Van Aelst were wed on April 28, 2017, at Kelton House Museum and Garden.
What are you happy you spent money on?
1. The flowers! We went pretty simple and used mostly baby's breath (only my bouquet was a little more elaborate). It looked amazing though! Less was more in this case.
2. Our centerpieces were an assortment of stash books that I'd found at Hobby Lobby and At Home. The effect looked so cool and the guests were more than welcome to take any that they liked home with them, so they kind of doubled as guest gifts.
What do you wish you'd known before you started planning?
Your wedding gown doesn't have to be $1,000 or more to look fabulous. Mine was $400 and I accessorized it with a great belt. It looked like it was worth so much more.
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus, and how did you handle them?
Our ceremony was outdoors in a garden area and rain was definitely coming. Our DJ was great though; he kept an eye on the radar and reported to us before the ceremony what everything looked like (mainly to keep me calm). Luckily, the rain held off just long enough for us to have the ceremony outside and move inside for the reception.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
Have a budget! My husband and I went in with no idea what anything would cost and did little research on the matter. We mainly went by recommendations or through friends we had. We ended up spending a little more than we had imagined.
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
It's weird to imagine yourself as married, instead of independent and on your own. But marriage makes you a team. You are not alone in anything. Make sure to be open and honest and above all, respectful. Don't keep things to yourself—your significant other is there to support you, just as you are there to support them. Remember, you're a team and a marriage can't work if you don't work as such!