Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Amy and Justin Waugh’s wedding took place on Oct. 3, 2018, at The Athletic Club of Columbus.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
Justin: I would make sure to converse more with guests that traveled far and guests I don't see often. The day is so hectic it is difficult to see and socialize with everyone.
Amy: We wanted to make sure there wasn't too much “down time” during the evening and that we ate, and we were super excited to get out on the dance floor with The Conspiracy Band—so we missed our opportunity to go around to each dinner table and talk with all of our guests. But we had a great time dancing the night away with them for the next three hours!
What are you happy you spent money on?
A: Oh boy—almost everything. But if I had to pick one, our photographer. The day goes by so fast and you can easily forget the little details, but we have over 1,000 pictures to remember every special moment! Nicole [Dixon, of Nicole Dixon Photographic] was incredible and worth every penny.
J: Live band, hands down. We had The Conspiracy Band perform, and they were phenomenal; best in Columbus.
What do you think you could have done without?
J: Dinner menus. We had a fixed dinner menu, so there were no options for guests anyway.
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
A: All of the little details that you don't think about: escort cards, card baskets, photo and gift tables, bar menus, welcome signs, etc. Once we nailed down the venue and our vendors, it almost felt like we didn't need to do anything until we really thought about everything that we wanted to make the day absolutely perfect, and all of the little things really added up. But they were well worth it!
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
A: I wish that we had really thought about how at the end of the day, it's really about us as a couple and what we want. I am naturally a people-pleaser, so we took a lot of other opinions into account when making decisions and had some tense moments with friends and family throughout the wedding-planning process that, honestly, could've been avoided had we just focused on us.
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?
A: Some of our beautiful escort cards were hard to read, so guests mixed up numbers 1 and 7. Right before we were introduced into dinner, I noticed a few guests sitting at the wrong tables, so our wedding planner had to go and escort them to their appropriate seats.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
J: We had disagreements between us and others regarding the guest list.
A: My family is very small, and his extended family is very large. We had to have some serious discussions about who we wanted to invite and ended up cutting “our list” of friends down significantly in order to account for some of his extended family. At the end of the day, though, your wedding day truly is about being surrounded by the people who love you most, so family comes first!
Any dress-shopping advice?
A: Have fun with it! Make a day of it. Or two. Or three. Try on anything and everything. When you see the one, you'll know, and it will be an absolutely magical moment!
What about menswear?
J: I opted for an affordable suit from Express. The quality is surprisingly good for the price, the fit is right, and if you time it correctly, Express frequently promotes their suiting at 40 percent or 50 percent off. Post-wedding, you get to keep a good suit for future use. Also, go with the stretch/performance fabric if possible. Makes dancing easier.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
A: Spend the money on the best vendors. It takes all—OK, most—of the stress out of the wedding-planning process knowing that you have the absolute best dream team on your side to make your wedding dreams come true.
J: Set out clear expectations with family, friends and other stakeholders/decision-makers ahead of time. Others will try to give input or influence key decisions that may not align with your wedding vision.
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
J: Keep it fun and don't sweat the small stuff.
A: Laugh it off and never stop being each other's best friend! Life is hard and stressful situations will always come up, but you can do anything if you approach it with a smile, together!