Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Jaimee and Ryan Wheeler’s wedding took place on May 26, 2018, at Scioto Reserve Country Club.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
Ryan: I would not change anything.
Jaimee: I wish I could have spent more time with all of our guests. Most of our guests traveled from different cities and states, so we don’t get to see them often. People always told us that our wedding day would go by so fast, and they were so right!
What are you happy you spent money on?
J: There are quite a few things! I love that our venue had capabilities that allowed us to stay in the same location all day. We had a private suite to get ready, an outdoor ceremony and the reception all in one place. I’m so happy we spent money on having our venue coordinator present on the day of our wedding. It helped with the timing of the ceremony and keeping vendors in order.
I’m also happy we spent money on having the DJ stay an extra hour. The photo booth was also a really fun addition, and now we have great pictures from it!
We had our hair and makeup “crew” come to the venue, which made the hours leading up to the ceremony much more relaxed. I’m also happy that we spent money on a buckeye/cake pop/French macaron bar. There was hardly anything left by the end of the reception, and it added a personal touch.
What do you think you could have done without?
R: Nothing, I think everything was essential to creating the wedding we envisioned.
J: I wouldn’t have changed a thing! I felt that everything we had was well-utilized. I’m glad that we didn’t do favors.
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
R: I was surprised with how early you need to book a venue, DJ, photographer, etc.
J: I was surprised at the general cost of everything.
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
R: Do not procrastinate. You save a lot of stress by making reservations and booking people well in advance.
J: I feel like we came into the planning process well-prepared. It helped that we had a whole year to plan. I’m glad that we read reviews and were able to see our venue set up for a wedding before we committed to it.
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?
R: We were uncertain about the weather the entire day.
J: It started to lightly rain during the ceremony and by the time Ryan and I had our first kiss, it was pouring!
R: Our officiant helped us handle this by shortening his message. Therefore, most people were able to get inside before getting completely soaked.
J: We took the moment in and look back on it as a memorable, romantic moment.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
J: We tried to stay focused on the fact that at the end of the day, we were going to be husband and wife. We tried to have fun with all of the little details and not take it too seriously.
Jaimee, any dress-shopping advice?
If you buy a dress that needs alterations, make sure you’re aware of how much they will cost. Other than that, just have fun trying on different styles. You’ll know which dress is “The Dress” when you see it on. I highly recommend letting your bridesmaids choose their own style of their dress. I just asked that they all choose the same color, length and material. They looked beautiful!
Ryan, what about menswear?
Try to find a place that will allow you to manage and follow your groomsmen’s tuxedo progress online. I found it crucial to stay on top of them to make sure they made the deadlines to get their tuxes.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
J: Read reviews of the vendors you choose. They speak volumes!
Stay focused on your relationship and your future marriage. Set aside time for yourselves to spend quality time together without talking about wedding plans. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming at times, but make sure you have fun together.
R: Really enjoy the process, because it flies by. Even though it seems stressful while you are in it, these will make for great memories once you are married.
J: Make sure you are considerate of your family and your spouse’s family. From our experience, both of our families played a huge role in planning the wedding weekend, so it was important to us that we made decisions that we all agreed on.
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
J: Always say, “I love you!” Let your spouse know that you appreciate them.
R: Always remind your spouse how important they are to you and how proud you are of them.