Lessons Learned: Advice from Jen Swearingen

Emma Frankart Henterly

Jen and Shane Swearingen’s wedding took place on July 22, 2017, at Club at Corazon.

If you could do anything about your wedding differently, what would you change and why?    

I would have had a videographer for our big day. The cost of those on top of everything else made it a difficult choice.

What are you happy you spent money on?        

Our venue was incredible, and I would choose Club at Corazon every single time! It was beautiful [as] an outdoor venue, and the staff was great!

What do you think you could have done without?          

[Our giant] centerpieces. They were expensive and probably not noticed as much when the room was filled.

What was your biggest surprise when planning your wedding?               

Differing opinions! As much as it was our wedding, we had so many people tell us how to do something or what to do and when, it became overwhelming to focus on what we really wanted. Choosing a vendor without a referral or knowing someone who had used them was also difficult.

What do you wish you'd known before you started planning?  

I wish we would have known how much time planning a wedding would take while still working a full-time job.

Did you experience any wedding-day snafus?

We had a “Wizard of Oz”-type storm roll through the morning if our wedding day. I was stressed out because we had to decide if we were going to keep the ceremony set up outside or change it to be indoors. The skies cleared a couple hours before our ceremony, so keeping the faith that things do work out was important.

Did you and your fiancé get into any silly arguments?   

Yes, we argued about pretty much every detail—but in the end it taught us to really hear the other person's viewpoint, and we created a beautiful wedding.

Do you have any general advice for couples currently planning their weddings?             

Be sure to keep what you both want at the forefront of your decisions. Creating a budget sheet—including estimates, deposits, payments and totals of everything—with a timeline will be a life-saver!

Do you have any general marriage advice, as a newlywed?

Take time to do things with each other. You chose a life partner, so it is important to keep going on dates and spending time together doing fun things, because life can be stressful and unpredictable but your partner is who can help you through anything.