Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.

Becky and John Shaffer’s wedding took place on Oct. 14, 2017, at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center.

If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?    

I honestly don’t think I’d change it. Maybe slow the night down a little so I had more time to take it all in!

What are you happy you spent money on?        

The venue/food, photographer and DJ—the trifecta of a great night.

What do you think you could have done without?          

Probably the programs. I seemed to have a lot of those left over.

What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?               

The family drama—albeit relatively low—that came with opinions about some decisions we made.

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

I felt well-prepared honestly.  I was one of the last of my friends to get married, so I had a lot of experience and guidance from them.

Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?

Getting guests seated was a little messy; everyone was standing around, and there wasn’t a lot of guidance for them at first. I sent my maid of honor to get the coordinator at the venue to start corralling people to take their seats. 

Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?   

Yes, over registering! Haha, how ridiculous is that? We are both fairly laid-back, but we strongly disagreed on what to register for. Ultimately I gave in—and changed some things later online, haha. Everything else was so agreeable with us. It makes me laugh that this is where we butted heads.

Brides, any dress shopping advice?

Go with what makes you comfortable and makes you feel beautiful.  Advice is nice, but too much is a hindrance. Stick to taking one or two key people to make it less confusing.  And you will know when you find your dress. I wasn’t into the dress thing, so I dreaded it. But it was pretty clear when I found the right one, and ultimately it was a great experience.

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

Start early, stick to the decisions you make and remember, it’s your day. Do what makes you both happy and feels right to you. Have fun! And don’t forget the real reason why you’re planning this big ole celebration. 

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

Continue to date each other, and let your love grow on that next level once you’re married. It’s pretty cool to be able to call your best friend your husband or wife. Don’t ever take them for granted, and enjoy every second of being a team. The good the bad and the ugly will all make you stronger in the long haul.