Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.

Stephanie and Luke Johnson’s wedding took place on April 1, 2017, at Strongwater Food & Spirits.

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

Luke: Picked a date later in the year; the pictures outside were a little chilly.

Stephanie: I would probably invite more people! We were trying to keep our guest list down, but it did turn out to be true that 25 percent of the people we invited weren't able to make it for one reason or another. It was really tough trying to whittle down our guest list.

What are you happy you spent money on?        

S: We are so happy that we hired a wedding coordinator/planner. Luke and I thought we could do a lot of the wedding planning on our own, but we would have never been able to put everything together as beautifully as Tracy and Crystal (our planners) did. They were invaluable!

L: Tracy and Crystal made everything easier and run smoother.  It would have been a very different wedding without them.

What do you think you could have done without?          

S: We ordered a ton of favors (wildflower seeds) and personalized cocktail napkins. We still have a ton of both left over.

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

L: How far in advance places and people get booked.

S: The timelines on all of the wedding planning apps are just guidelines. You don't have to follow them exactly. I got a little too wrapped up in all of the checklists.

Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?   

L: Not that I recall.

S: We debated with each other over which venue to pick. The venue we really loved was booked up for the dates we wanted, but we realized that the venue was more important to us than the date, so we chose the one we loved and are so glad we did!

L: Just remember, in the event of an argument, your fiancé is always right.

Any dress shopping advice?

S: I found a dress that I really liked online. I went to one bridal store and tried on a total of five dresses, including the dress I saw online. That dress was “the one” from the beginning. Go with your gut! Don't go to too many places, because all of the options can be overwhelming.

What about menswear?

L: Send a picture of your tux to your groomsmen, that way if the rental place mixes things up they will know it.

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

L: Don't worry about the small stuff; remember, it's supposed to be a day of celebration for the two of you.  Don't try and make everyone else happy at your wedding, do things the way you want to do them.

S: Enjoy being engaged and savor every moment. You spend so much time planning the wedding, sometimes you forget to just be.

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

L: Listen to your friends and family that have been married for years; more often than, not they know what they're talking about.

S: Always talk things out. Don't waste time being angry.