Real newlyweds give wedding planning tips based on their experience.
The Donohues’ wedding took place on Oct. 20, 2018, at St. John the Baptist Church.
If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?
Heath: I would have reserved a limo to pick us up from the reception to take us to our hotel.
Maria: I actually wouldn’t change anything. I’m not saying the day was without hiccups; you can plan an event, but you can’t control every little thing that life throws at you. We just kept laughing and enjoyed every moment of the day.
What are you happy you spent money on?
H: I’m happy we spent money on the wedding cake. I wanted a special cake that I designed and am glad we found a bakery who worked with us to make it.
M: Our photographer, Hillary Ferguson, was an irreplaceable part of our wedding. From the moment my mother and I first met her, we felt like she was part of our family. We had such fun with her and Collin. Having the amazing pictures she captured throughout the day is something we will cherish forever.
What do you think you could have done without?
M: All of the details of our wedding were important in some aspect to us, so I wouldn’t have changed anything.
H: We knew how we wanted to celebrate our marriage and every part of the wedding and reception were special to us.
What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?
H: The number of times the plans changed.
M: Every time we thought we had everything figured out, another decision that needed to be made arose.
What do you wish you’d known before you started planning?
M: The majority of our wedding guests were traveling from out of town. We weren’t sure exactly how many people would be able to attend until we received the RSVPs, so we were planning several different scenarios for the reception. We realized we needed to remember we were planning this wedding for us. Things became much easier when we made decisions based on how we wanted to celebrate our wedding day together.
Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?
H: We forgot to reserve a limo and had to order an Uber when we left the reception.
M: Our driver thought we were in costume for an early Halloween party! A minivan was not as glamorous as a limo, but we still had a great time blasting classic rock and singing along with our Uber driver.
Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?
M: We didn’t really argue throughout the process. We have been together a long time and have learned how to be patient and communicate with each other. I was definitely the one who experienced more stress, but Heath would always remind me that every day was just bringing us one more day closer to the day we get to exchange our vows.
Any dress-shopping advice?
M: The dress you want is out there, but give yourself time to find it.
What about menswear?
H: Make sure you and your groomsmen get proper measurements, especially if you’re planning to wear a kilt.
Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?
H: Just have fun with it.
M: Don’t try to be perfect. You are celebrating an amazing event in your journey together. Enjoy it! Each day you get to spend together is a gift. It’s easy to get hung up on all of the details, or get anxious when you aren’t sure which vendor to pick, or worry about what the weather will be like on your special day. Try to remember that you get to share your vows with the person you love!
Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?
H: Always listen to each other and be patient with each other.
M: Appreciate each other and find ways to show your partner how much you appreciate them. Remember, you each chose to be together through whatever life brings you. Thank your partner for continuing to choose to stand next to you, support you and love you unconditionally.