Focus on what is most important to you. Make a list of your top 3: (photographer, flowers, venue, food, etc) and focus the majority of your budget toward these things. That way you are able to get exactly what you want. There are a lot of budget resources out there (on Pinterest for example) and they say things like “Take 25% of your whole budget and put it toward flowers” for example. Sometimes that is unnecessary. My best advice is don’t go by these budgets; every bride and her budget is different!
Remember to tip. Often times it is easily forgotten to tip! Some of those people include caterer, photographer, wedding planner, delivery staff, etc. A complete list of who and how much to tip can be found in this article from Wedding Wire.
Who pays for what? This can be one of the hardest and most confusing parts of planning. After you get engaged, sit down with both sets of parents (if they are helping with cost) and of course your groom. Talk about who wants to pay for what. Come ready with your top 3 most important things and an estimate of how much they’ll cost. There are also articles of tradition for who should pay for what which may be good to read but it also depends on the situation and who is willing. Talk about it with them before making an assumptions.
Another important thing to remember is: If you find the right photographer, they can make a $800 wedding look like an $8,000 wedding. The wrong photographer can do the opposite. It’s always good to do some research!