Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.

Shelby and Nicklaus Jurden’s wedding took place on March 3, 2018, at the Athletic Club of Columbus.

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

Shelby: Verify everything in writing.

Nicklaus: Extend the reception by 30 minutes. There were quite a few people I was unable to really speak with.

What are you happy you spent money on?        

S: I was happy we spent a lot of money on our venue and photographer. There is a lot you miss on your wedding day, and having the photographer makes you feel like you saw everything.

N: Definitely the photographer and venue. Our venue was gorgeous and was well worth every penny we spent on it.

What do you think you could have done without?          

N: We went all-out on the desserts and probably could have limited it to just a few options instead of the 12-plus options we had.

S: We had soooo much food.

What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?               

S: All of the random expenses and small details. Make your budget for miscellaneous things [larger] than you would think.

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

S: How much a wedding was! We paid for our wedding out of pocket, and all the small stuff really adds up. Stick to your budget, and plan as much as possible.

N: I wish I would have known how hard it is to design invitations. Seriously, it took us about six attempts before we were able to find one we actually liked—which equates to about three weeks of design time.

Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?

N: One of my groomsmen fell in the mud, but with some water and a lot of helping hands we got him cleaned up and no one noticed.

Any dress-shopping advice?

S: Go with people you trust and with an open mind—I did not want a tight dress and ended up with one.

What about menswear?

N: Custom-made suits are definitely the way to go. Sure, you can rent a tux and it will fit OK, but for a couple hundred more you can get a suit that fits you perfectly and can be worn after as well.

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

S: Stick to your budget and plan! Also, Amazon two-day shipping will be your best friend the month before your wedding.

N: Don’t forget to incorporate tips when you are initially planning your budget; they increase your total cost pretty significantly. I separated the tips into envelopes the day of and put my best man in charge of distributing them on our behalf.

That leads me to my next tip, which is to use your groomsmen to take care of little things so you can enjoy the day. The groomsmen typically spend half the day drinking and relaxing while the women are getting their hair and makeup done. My groomsmen helped me coordinate with our different vendors—florist, baker, photographer, etc.—throughout the day.

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

N: Travel as often as possible.