I have been in the wedding business now for over 20 years and can tell you with absolute certainty what things are MOST important in creating a wonderful memorable wedding! And there are ways to guarantee your special day to be awesome!
1) Plan way ahead so you get what you want when you want it.
Plus this helps alleviate the frustrating last minute cramming stuff.
2) Hire a Wedding Planner. (And make sure it's a good one!)
Most people baulk because of the cost, but truly what you save in heartache, frustration and dealing with details it's worth it! And you can also hire a Wedding Planner at a reduced rate for "Day Of Planning" ... this may fit the budget better. Another good thing about Wedding Planners, especially a good one, is that they know the business and will think of all the things you would have had to read about to think of ... again they are worth the investment!
3) Make sure to hire and pay for a great photographer & videographer!
I am 100% against having a "family member who likes to take pictures" do it! Don't! Trust me on this! Now, if you want to have them be an additional shooter, great! But not the main one. The only exception would be if they are truly an awesome photographer. But even then, let them be family and enjoy the wedding like the rest of the family.
4) Relax and have fun, It's your special day, enjoy it!
Chill. For real! Refuse to let anyone or anything mess up the good vibes. Just don't.
5) Don't let family ruin anything ... do what you want HOW you want!
This goes along with #4, but I am telling you (listen close) This is YOUR wedding, not his parents or your parent's wedding, it's YOURS! Do whatever the hell you want, HOW you want to do it. So many couples fight over this stuff. It's easy, no fight necessary ... do what you want, it's your wedding, period! End of story. No discussion needed. I will add, I don't care who is writing the check. They can either give the money freely with no strings or conditions or they can keep their money and regret not blessing you.
6) Don't leave for Honeymoon the very next morning.
I have heard many people regret the 5:00 am flight on the next day! I am also someone who regrets this decision along with my wife, Jana. We wished we had given ourselves a day to just recoup before flying off to Hawaii. Live and learn.
7) Hire the right *Officiant!
Obviously I am going to be passionate about this one. I mean let's be honest here, the Officiant is the most important person in the room (outside the Bride and Groom) without them you can't get married. You can get married without a cake, a dress, flowers, music, etc. but you can't get married without an Officiant. But seriously I have heard horror stories of when people have had their "cousin" or "friend" who acquired his/her license online for $19.99. This is one of the biggest days and moments of your life HIRE a professional. And not only a "professional" but someone who is legit and fits your personality. Like a real Pastor or a real Judge!
*Always INTERVIEW him/her before you hire them! Unless you have already seen them in action and know they are good or if they come highly recommended by someone you trust, then go for it.
Bottom line: If you want the best, hire the best!