I work for a children's nonprofit organization based in the Bay Area. We had the wedding of our dreams and managed to stay (pretty close to) on budget! Things I learned from my wedding ...
1) More expensive does not equal better. Especially with dresses.
2) It's all about what best reflects you and your future husband. Choose a venue where you and your guests will feel at home. We've always loved the outdoors and wanted a winery wedding, but didn't want to make our old relatives drive to Napa, so we found a winery in the area!
3) Relax and let everything go the day of! Delegate responsibility to a DOC or a friend that you can trust.