Newlyweds advise engaged couples

Couples featured in South Sound Wedding & Event magazine 2015 give solid advice about planning your wedding, what to pay attention to -- and not pay attention to, and about what's most important on their wedding day.

These newlyweds are from the South Sound and West Sound -- local couples -- who have held weddings in the Pacific Northwest.

"I would have to say, always expect the unexpected. And even when something happens that seems to be the worst thing, realize you can make something even better out of a bad situation. And when you are planning your wedding, always remember that this day is about you. Don’t worry about what you think everyone else wants or what they will think. All that matters is that it is everything you want and you are happy." - Andrea Goforth

"It is absolutely OK to see each other before the ceremony. For us, it made the most sense to see each other before and have a private moment, because we didn’t want our guests to wait too long after the ceremony. It actually felt more special because it was a moment and feeling that only we will share for the rest of our lives." - Courtney Fleming

"We planned our entire wedding and reception without the use of a wedding planner. My advice would be to pick the theme or “feel” of your wedding before you do anything else, including picking a vendor. Absolutely everything else that you do in your wedding planning depends on this single thought. If you don’t start with a theme, your wedding will look like a jumble of different ideas, or you will spend a lot of money on items that you won’t use after you have changed your mind and settled on a theme." - Linda McGraw

"If possible, speak with several friends or family members who have planned their own wedding in the past, and seek their advice. Be sure to ask them if there was anything they did that they wished they hadn’t done, as well as anything they didn’t do that they wished they had done. Then measure all advice in the face of how simple or complex you wish you own wedding to be." - Rodney Johnson

"Find vendors that are good at what they do, and let them do their job. Invite people who are truly special to you. We tried to accommodate our families’ requests for invitations. That led to having people attending that we had never met before or had only seen a handful of times throughout our lives. It’s your wedding, your day!" - Sarah Hahto

"The woman should insist the man give his input. Maybe your partner has a dream or something that is special to them that should be included in the wedding. Communicate all of the plans with your partner. I asked James what he might have envisioned or if he had any dreams of his wedding day. I also asked how he wanted to prioritize the wedding budget." - Jessie Grose

"Make sure you are planning things in a way that fits your personalities and not just the latest style. Also, it’s always important to go with the flow if things don’t happen according to your plans." - Erin Kochaniewicz Govednik

"Having a day-of coordinator alleviated so much potential stress. I believe it was truly what made our day run so smoothly. Also, remember to take it all in. Let all the little things go, and remember why you are having a wedding in the first place. Relinquish control on the day of your wedding, and remember to really soak in every moment because it goes by fast!" - Melissa Colón

•    Wedding planners (they don’t have to be professional, paid ones) are angelic life and sanity savers!
•    Planning for your perfect wedding can easily overwhelm your everyday life, making the experience a less-than-ideal one for more than just the couple. Designate specific days (both for the couple and family) to talk about and plan wedding stuff, and stick to it!
•    Stay grounded. Remember the greater purpose of the event (your marriage!) so that you don’t get lost in the jungle of details and planning.- Maile and Toka

"My advice is to start planning early. Be organized. The best advice I can give is to have fun and enjoy the process; don’t let it stress you. It happened so fast, and then it was done." - Ramandeep Singh Mann

"More than anything else, we were most excited about getting married and starting our lives together. We didn’t look at Pinterest or any wedding magazines at all because we didn’t want to get caught up in tunnel vision trying to replicate little things that made other people’s weddings special (or things in staged photos, because — let’s be real — not everything on Pinterest is from real weddings). We had a few things that we knew we wanted to incorporate into our wedding, and we were open to everything else. And because of that flexibility, our wedding day was more than we ever could have imagined. It’s really important to trust the professionals you hire for your wedding and to let them do their thing, and a wedding planner or coordinator is a lifesaver. Seriously. The less thinking and stressing you have to do about where things are and where you need to be on your wedding day, the better!" - Betsy Hutchinson

Enjoy the process, try not to get too wrapped up in all the stress of planning, and try to remember why you are doing it and what you mean to each other. This will be one of the most magical and memorable days of your entire life. So take it all in, because it is over in the blink of an eye and all you will have are the memories, so make sure they are good ones. — Erika

My advice is to plan your budget around what is important to you. Don’t get hung up on creating a budget that follows a generic wedding budget template to a tee. While these tools and estimations can be helpful, they are not the only way to create a realistic budget. When planning our wedding budget, we made a list of what was most important to us and structured our budget so that the most important areas/elements got a generous (but appropriate) portion of the budget first. — Megan

My best advice would be to do everything in your power to finish up all of the wedding things at least two days beforehand, and if it doesn’t get done, oh well.  I did this, and I was able to just relax and enjoy my time with my out-of-town bridesmaids and friends and not have to stress about last-minute details. — Laura

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on March 18, 2016.

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