Prioritize what is most important when creating your budget
Make a list of all of the things you want at your wedding (that dress!, an amazing open bar with your favorite cocktails and local beer, flowers, photo booth, etc.) then put them in order of importance. This should inform where you spend your money. Subtract the money you’ll spend on your top three priorities from your overall budget (only pick three!), then figure out what you're going to spend in the other categories and shop with those firm price points in mind.
Read ALL contracts carefully and get everything in writing
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but lots of folks don’t. If you have any questions or need clarity about who is responsible for what, speak up and get all answers regarding money or responsibilities IN WRITING.
Provide a detailed timeline and plan
...and hand it over to your wedding party and immediate family earlier than you think you should (I will help you with this, and make sure all your vendors are well informed). The more DIY your wedding is, the more important this becomes. Err on the side of over-communication.
Don’t be scared to delegate
If someone offers to help, and they are trustworthy, LET THEM HELP.
Once you open the dance floor, don’t stop
Don’t have everyone on the dance floor, stop for cake cutting, then open it again, just to close it for the bouquet toss. Have the first dances be the last “event” for the night. Then just let everyone party on the dance floor.
Speaking of cake cutting and first dances, you don’t HAVE to do any of these things
Don’t feel bound by tradition if it’s not what you and your fiancé want to do.