Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Stephanie and Nathaniel Marks’ wedding took place on Aug. 4, 2018, at Holy Cross Catholic Church.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
One thing I wish we would have done is taken a couple more minutes to take pictures at our photo booth. We only have one picture in our photo booth! We didn't think about it at the time—everything was too crazy.
What are you happy you spent money on?
I am so happy we spent the money we did on a photographer and videographer. We ended up asking Aimee [Thomas], our photographer, to stay until 11 p.m., and I was able to get tons and tons of pictures with all of our friends and family while on the dance floor! Our videographer, Nathan [Schivley, of Columbus Wedding Videos], did an amazing job on our video. We got the extended video, so it was 18 minutes long. We also asked him to record our ceremony. Our photos and videos are something we can look back on and cherish forever. It also gives us something to show our future kids!
What do you think you could have done without?
I feel like we did a great job deciding what was important and what wasn't before our wedding day; we did not have a popcorn bar or wedding favors, for example. I really do not think I would change anything!
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
It is a lot more time-consuming than I thought, but I wouldn't have changed anything about it! About a month before the wedding, every vendor starts reaching out to ask questions. I felt like I had a part-time job reading and responding to emails!
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
The day-of details—timeline of events, song list, photo list, etc.—are the least fun to plan, but are the most important!
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?
Pelotonia was going on that day, and [the traffic] made our party bus late picking up the girls to go to the church. Our photographer and videographer were trying to utilize that time for more pictures, which we did, but I was so nervous; I just felt like I was floating the whole time.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
Nate let me handle most of the planning, which helped us avoid fighting. He wanted me to have the wedding of my dreams, so he went along with all of my ideas for the small details!
Any dress-shopping advice?
I tried on my dress so many times for fittings, I actually started to second-guess my dress choice. However, once my hair and makeup were done and I put on my dress the day of our wedding, I instantly remembered why I picked it out in the first place: I loved it! Always trust your gut.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
Do what you want for your wedding day. If you want bacon instead of a wedding cake, go for it!
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
We left for our honeymoon 36 hours after our wedding. We went to an all-inclusive couples’ resort and spent seven days hanging out and relaxing. We felt like it was the best way to start our marriage. We came home ready to conquer the world together!