A lot of people are planning weddings in Iowa this year. Use this thread to share any advice you've got for the happy couples. I'll go first.
Unless you're having a very small wedding (fewer than 30 guests), just invite everyone you want to. Small weddings are lovely, but you only get that atmosphere if you keep it really small. Once you've got 50 or 60 guests, you might as well just have a big wedding. They're fun and festive. If budget is an issue, there are lots of other ways to cut costs that won't hurt people's feelings. Seriously, if you're in doubt about someone, invite that person.
For keeping expenses down:
Consider a morning wedding with a luncheon reception.
Consider getting married on a Friday or Sunday.
Consider asking friends to help prepare food for the reception.
Consider mix CDs instead of a live band.
Spend less on whatever it is you don't care about (e.g. booze, flowers, big photo package).
If you're having a big wedding, make sure the acoustics or sound system in the room will allow people to hear the ceremony.
Consider decorated cupcakes rather than a large cake (much faster to serve to large groups).
Don't let other people tell you what kind of music is appropriate for a wedding reception. Play music you and your future spouse like, whether that's jazz or ethnic or sappy or upbeat love songs.
Don't feel that you have to compromise your values regarding food to please your wedding guests. In other words, if you are vegetarians or you really love a certain kind of ethnic cuisine, serve that and let your friends and family deal with it.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Something is bound to go wrong with the logistics, flowers, music, etc. 90 percent of your guests won't notice any little hiccups, but 100 percent of your guests will notice if you flip out over something trivial on your wedding day.
I leave you with one of my favorite songs for happy couples: