Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.

Ariana and Eric Harris’ wedding took place on March 10, 2018, at the Columbus Museum of Art.

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

Ariana: The flow of the reception and having an MC for the evening to allow certain moments not to linger.

Eric: Helped my wife more. I know … if I helped more she would have been less stressed.

What are you happy you spent money on?        

A: My linens—they really made a statement on the tables and I didn't have to worry about as much decoration, except for the flowers.

E: Amazing venue, flowers and cocktail hour.

What do you think you could have done without?          

A: The cocktail hour bar, sofa and table expense—no one remembers it, and there are so many people in one area that no one is truly comfortable!

E: Such a large cake.

[Editor’s note: Photos of the table linens and the cake are in the photo gallery above.]

What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?               

A: The RSVPs!! People do not respond timely or, sometimes, correctly—or some RSVP and don't even show.

E: The overall production involved for a 15-minute ceremony.

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

A: Where to get beautiful, comfortable shoes and nice wedding jewelry. I had such a hard time finding these for my bridesmaids and myself.

Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?

A: Yes, I forgot the gift to present for my stepson, my jewelry and my perfume! I just let it go; the day is about so much more than the little things, and presenting the gift to my stepson at a later time allowed for a more intimate setting between us.

Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?   

E: No, not all. Having a planner helped tremendously.

A: We got into arguments about the guest list, because he didn't want to spend the time making a list for his family and friends that would be in attendance. He told me to go through the list with his mom and let her decide, which I did—and it resulted in him not being able to invite other friends and family that were important. We also argued about music selections for the bridal party to come out on, but I let him decide, because I decided upon everything else and this was one less thing to stress about!

Any dress-shopping advice?

A: Take your time!

What about menswear?

E: Make sure you try on your own tux, with your wife, before and after adjustment.

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

A: Stay in the moment while planning and enjoy it as much as you can. While the planning is stressful, it all comes together at the end and truly makes for a beautiful day. Remember, the planning makes it all worthwhile!

E: Relax. Breathe. A lot of advice will come your way.

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

A: Have no expectations, always be patient even in an argument, communicate what you need from your partner and kiss your partner daily!

E: Focus on being a better version of you every day.