Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
Katelyn Dougherty and Ben Lautzenheiser’s wedding took place on Sept. 22, 2018, at City Club Columbus.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
We chose a private venue and failed to hire a valet service. By the end of the night, cars were packed in and we wished that we had hired a service to help with the crowding.
Also, we decided to make “S’mores kits” as our favors, and not one single guest took them. If we could redo anything we would have left them at each guests seat, rather than an individual favor table; this may have encouraged everyone to take them!
What are you happy you spent money on?
We’re so glad that we spent money on high-quality vendors in general! Our catering team, the DJ and the photographer made our wedding absolutely perfect. Spend money on a great team! You will not regret it.
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
We decided to pick a venue that was relatively inexpensive, however we ended up spending the same amount of money that we were quoted by other all-inclusive venues. Overall, we’re glad that we had a very personalized wedding, but it was surprising that the cost of the venue doesn’t mean much after factoring in the cost of bringing everything to it.
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
I spent a lot of time stressing about small details before meeting with our wedding vendors. I wish I had known that plans would be solidified during our meetings with the vendors and the work that I had done on my own was unnecessary.
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?
Our biggest dilemma was our shuttle service being over half an hour late. Our guests were forced to park and walk a long distance to the ceremony, and we anticipated the shuttle being ready to transport them. Overall, the shuttle service did arrive eventually. However, this was a big fiasco that I handled right before walking down the aisle.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
We did! After planning out our entire guest seating arrangement, my fiancé had a last-minute guest addition, which meant reordering a few tables. After the initial frustration, we sat down together and worked out a new game plan. We were able to seat our guests comfortably, and we came to an agreement that the seating plan was finalized and no one else could be invited.
Any dress-shopping advice?
Find a dress that you are very comfortable in, and be sure to test sitting down in it before your final alterations! Also be sure to test out all undergarments under the dress before the big day.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
Be willing to compromise; you’ll find that things that were important during the planning process are not a priority on the day of the wedding. Also, enjoy the chaos! It will be a memory sooner than you realize.
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
Remember that you are partners first. It’s easy to let small things get in the way and cause arguments. However, if you focus on solving problems as a team rather than placing blame, the “honeymoon phase” will never end.