Things I was glad I spent money on and things I wish I hadn't or at least had worried less about...
1. Photographer: Hands down my favorite thing I spent money on was the photographer. Weddings are busy and stressful and after the fact, it's hard to remember all of the little moments, but the photos can last forever. My photographers sent me edited photos that help me to remember how great a day it was and to forget about all of the little things that went wrong.
2. Food: Another item that I was glad I spent money on was the food. However, this item does not need to be big budget to be great. I opted for fancier fare and a sit-down dinner, but I have been to some pretty amazing weddings that had a Mexican restaurant cater a buffet with tacos. I went to another wedding where dinner was a BBQ buffet, also a huge hit and everyone loved it. People are drinking and hungry at weddings so food is a must, plus everyone likes a good meal. One of the saddest things I saw at a wedding was where a bride and groom tried to cut costs by just serving heavy hors d'oeuvres. The wedding was super fun but everyone left early because people were starving and they left to grab dinner at nearby restaurants.
3. Flowers: This is one place I wish I had spent less and worried less. Of course, this can depend greatly on the venue and personal preference, but simple arrangements are beautiful. I am also a fan of tablescapes that just use small vases with a single flower scattered around the table. Also, tea lights are a beautiful inexpensive way to decorate a table. They add ambiance and are so beautiful in their simplicity but cost very little for a lot. You can purchase them on either Amazon with simple clear votive or at your local Ikea.
4. The Dress: Again this one it totally dependent on the bride, but at the end of the day you are only wearing this dress once and even if you have dreams of passing it down, it is most likely going to get damaged, either from jewelry snags, spills, or someone stepping on your hem. I understand that every bride wants to be beautiful on her big day, so go ahead and spend some money, but going over the top might not add to your wedding day enjoyment as much as you think. Spend the money on hair and makeup and a pre-wedding massage to help you relax.
5. The Details: With Pinterest and DIY it's hard not to overcommit ourselves or place too much expectation on our wedding decor abilities. Go ahead and do all of those super cute wedding details that you see on Pinterest, just remember this wedding is supposed to be about you and your husband and it's more important that you are having a fun wedding day, and enjoyable time planning it. Don't overcommit yourself, and go head ask your bridesmaids for help. That is what they are there for.
foryourparty.com is a great resource for getting custom napkins, matchbooks etc. printed.