1. You don't always have to follow tradition. It's your day — do whatever you want.
"Just because something is tradition doesn't mean you have to do it. Don't like cake? Don't have one. Think the whole garter thing is weird? Don't bother. Think flowers are overrated or overpriced? No one will care if you don't have them. The only thing people remember about my reception is the open candy bar we had." —t49e12a934
2. Don't use the word "wedding" when searching online for anything — it automatically makes everything more expensive.
"Don't use the word 'wedding' when looking online for specific items or even booking a venue for the reception, as people bump their prices up as soon as the word is mentioned. If you have a color or theme in mind for decorations, use that instead. For example: Search for red party favors instead of wedding party favors." —pinkstarbuck
3. Only invite people you've talked to in the past two years.
"The best advice my mom gave me: Your wedding is not a family reunion. We originally had about 560 invitees, many of whom the opposite person had never met during the entirety of our relationship. We decided to knock out everyone who we hadn’t seen in the last two years and got to about 175 invitees. It’s a romantic idea to invite every friend, every family member, every current and past coworker, but your sanity and wallet will thank you once you figure this one out." —candicei
4. Hire a professional makeup artist — it'll be worth the money!
"A good makeup artist is well worth the money! Your wedding day is most likely going to be the most photographed day of your life, and an expert will know how to make you look great in person and on film. Doing makeup for photographs is very different from doing everyday makeup, so unless you have experience with it, it’s best to leave it to the professionals so you don’t end up looking washed out in your wedding photos." —Lexirose0520
5. Don't forget to take your vitamins — no one wants to be sick on their wedding day.
"Start taking vitamin C a month or two before the big day! I was graduating college and planning a wedding at the same time, and I ended up with a sinus infection the day of. Don’t forget to take care of yourself — you gotta get down the aisle!" —kirstenm4e09f2960
6. Make sure you eat something, and dab your armpits before walking down the aisle.
"Remember to eat! Whether your reception is a catered dinner or just finger foods, make sure you eat something substantial during the buildup to wedding time because you will be way too busy to eat much while your guests are vying for your attention. Also, dab your pits right before you walk down the aisle. You. Will. Sweat." —elisabethchapman2009
7. Hire a good photographer — they'll catch all the memories you might miss.
"My biggest advice is to focus a portion of your budget on the photographer, if you can. You’ll be surprised at the parts you forget or don’t see, and a good photographer will capture that. Also, for the places you want to cut corners, go to wedding resale shows. They’re everywhere; you can usually find them on Facebook." —emilyc476410d7f
8. Keep records of all your gifts to make sure your thank-you cards are on point.
"Make sure to keep very accurate records of any gifts you receive so your thank-you cards are as accurate as possible. Also, be prepared for relatives you barely know to get very upset if they don’t get their thank-you cards. People don't seem to believe stuff gets lost in the mail all the time." —caimber
9. Create a separate email address just for wedding stuff.
"Make yourself a wedding email. Use it when you go to bridal shows, or for anything wedding related. That way all the spam and sweepstakes and offers go to one place, and won’t bombard your regular email address with tons of crap. Best advice I’ve gotten so far!" —michellesk
10. Don't go into debt just for a wedding.
"A wedding is just a day. Don’t go into debt for a party; you will regret it and it will put you and your partner under a lot of stress. This is from watching a good friend spend $34,000 she didn’t have, and she regrets it." —saraf46cbcaf4c
11. Keep the food coming — your guests will thank you.
"Hungry people are not happy people. That's true for the guests but very true for bride and groom and wedding party. When I was in my aunt's wedding while we took a bunch of pictures, they had one or two waiters come out to us with food that they were serving to the guests during cocktail hour. I appreciated it so much! Also, consider late-night appetizers! Have you ever left a wedding after hours of dancing and drinking and gone to a drive-through because you were starving? I was at a wedding where they had about a dozen pizzas delivered at the end of the night and everyone was so grateful!" —trudiva
12. Let other people help you.
"One of the hardest things for me to do turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Let other people help you. Do not overwhelm yourself. Have different people assigned to different things. My wedding was a big exercise in letting go, and it was awesome. I had the most stress-free day of my life. I was able to really enjoy it because I wasn’t worried about all the little details." —jessicabp
13. Think about the things people will remember about your wedding, and focus on that.
"Think about other weddings you’ve gone to, and what you actually remember from them. Don’t get caught up in napkins, tablecloths, or even centerpieces, because in five years you probably won’t remember what you picked. If you’re working on a tight budget, decide early what is important, and that’s where you splurge. Is it the photos? The dance floor? That kind of thing." —lauriewilsonm
14. If you can, try to sell your wedding decor.
"See if your venue will be interested in buying your decor! The winery I got married at loved all my stuff and bought everything off me that night. It saved a major cleanup. Also, it made me happy knowing another bride could save some trouble and just rent my items from the venue." —jessicap45cef0a34
15. Have snacks over a sit-down dinner, hire a tall photographer, and let your wedding party pick what they want to wear.
"If I had to do it over again, I think I’d have snacks instead of a sit-down meal; there’s more time and space for terrible dancing that way. Make sure your photographer is taller than you, otherwise you're going to see your double chin. Let your wedding party pick their clothes — just pick the colors or basic style." —laurenelizabethmarieh
16. Spend the day before your wedding doing what you love, and make sure you get some sleep!
"You absolutely need to get some sleep the night before. Spend the whole day before doing something for you — whatever makes you happy. My husband and I did a ropes course and ate at our favorite restaurant. You're about to have the busiest life experience and it is a whirlwind." —b4a25bd117
17. Don't waste your money on fancy food — get the stuff you like to eat.
"Do a buffet and don't waste a lot of money on fancy food. Get food you like eating. My cousin got a small Italian restaurant to cater her wedding because she wanted pizza, chicken wings, and caesar salad. Everyone loved it because we love her, and no one really needs fancy food that tastes weird. Spend the money on the alcohol and the music." —aprilrhodes323
18. Give someone your phone the day of the wedding and have them act like your secretary.
"On the day of the wedding, give your phone to someone else to act as your secretary. People will call you on your wedding day with silly questions, and you won't have the time or the patience to deal with that." —eveb4447b30d2
19. There are a lot of things you can do online that will save you time and money.
"A great way to reduce stress is sending e-invitations instead of paper invitations and receiving RSVPs on the wedding website. This method keeps it organized and efficient." —sonyagolnazt
20. Hire a wedding coordinator so you can actually enjoy the party.
"Hire someone who isn't family and only works for you. We found someone on Thumbtack and it was 10000% worth it. They set everything up, and dealt with the vendors before and during the party. I was able to actually enjoy our wedding. Vendors were late, stuff happened, but I had no idea until after, and that was the greatest thing." —melissabullis
21. If your wedding vision is hijacked by relatives, elope!
"Elope, or alternatively, don’t make other people’s demands change your day. The wedding should be what you and your partner want it to be, not what your parents always envisioned or the latest trends on Pinterest." —carlys466cc18b4
Some responses have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.