Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Erin and Jim Mitchell’s wedding took place on April 21, 2018, at the Club at Corazon.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
Jim: I wouldn't change anything about our wedding day.
Erin: It was perfect! While planning our wedding, Jim and I made sure that we did exactly what we wanted. We wanted our big day to be just a big giant dance party, and it most certainly was!
What are you happy you spent money on?
E: We spent money on a high quality photographer and DJ. We are so glad that we did!
Our pictures are incredible and we will cherish them forever. Our photographer took the time to get to know us. She even did our engagement pictures, which was a huge plus because she knew exactly what to say and do to catch us both at the right moment.
We also are so happy that we spent the time and money finding a great DJ, because we have found that the DJ controls the whole night and can make or break the wedding. Our DJ made the entire night a blast! We had so many people come up to us after our big day and tell us how much fun they had dancing the night away.
What do you think you could have done without?
J: There is nothing that I think we could've done without.
E: Our wedding was very simple. We have been to a lot of weddings, so we kind of knew the things that we didn't need based on what we had seen from other weddings. For example, we knew that wedding favors typically just get left behind, so we did not have wedding favors. Instead, we had a doughnut bar for the guests as they were leaving, and there was not one doughnut left behind!
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
E: The biggest surprise while planning the wedding was how simple it can be. To be honest, before getting engaged I was terrified to plan a wedding. … I think a lot of time brides get so stressed because it seems like such a daunting task, but as long as you are organized and plan ahead it can be a breeze. We had our entire wedding planned in about two months and got to spend the rest of our engagement looking forward to the big day!
It also helped that my husband was so helpful during the process. He didn't complain about anything. He had a few things that he really wanted included in our big day. We made them happen, and he made sure that I was getting the things that were important to me as well!
J: My biggest surprise while planning the wedding was how expensive everything was.
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
Both: How quickly it flies by!
E: I might have pushed the date back a little longer to be able to enjoy the process a little more.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
E: The entire planning process was very smooth. There were certain things he wanted and certain things I wanted; we found a way to incorporate what we both wanted into our day. I loved that he was involved. A lot of time you hear that the bride plans the whole thing, but that wasn't the case with us. He was just as involved as I was, and I really enjoyed that!
Brides, any dress-shopping advice?
E: My biggest piece of advice is to try on dresses that you hate on the hanger. The dress that I ended up with was the last thing I ever thought I would wear! If you had asked me before I went shopping I would've told you that I did not want a strapless, poofy dress. Guess what I ended up with? A strapless, poofy dress—and it was perfect! Try things on that are out of your comfort zone. [Editor’s note: You can read more about Erin’s dress-shopping experience in our story about finding the perfect fit for your gown.]
What about menswear?
J: I would tell all of the grooms to make sure they stay on top of the guys to get their suits early enough. Also, to not let the groomsmen drink too much before the ceremony, it makes for some interesting pictures.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
E: My biggest piece of advice is to enjoy the planning process together! It was so exciting to do the planning ourselves, because we got our ideal wedding.
My other piece of advice is to take time before the reception with your new [spouse]. Get away from all of the people, even the photographer, videographer, etc., and go look at the beautiful setting you have created. This was your vision, so take some time to enjoy it before it is filled with people. We loved being able to see the venue all lit up and getting to use our photo booth before we were swarmed with people. I wouldn't trade those 10 minutes for anything!
J: Take your time, it flies by!
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
E: Enjoy as much time together as possible. My husband works nights, so we don't get a lot of time off together. The time we do have, we spend doing things we enjoy together. Also, don't let the magic fade away. Even though you are married, you should still date your spouse!
J: Always say yes to your wife!