“It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.”
― Roald Dahl
When you think of your wedding, you want to have a twinkle in your eye! However, nothing takes away that wondrous spark like wedding planning.
Why does this happen? Preparing for your LDS wedding should be one of the most exciting, joyful, and sacred times of your life. No matter the reason, whether it is overwhelming outside opinions, lack of funds, or a limited amount of time, we hope we can help you plan your LDS wedding with confidence! We’ve gathered the 10 most basic wedding planning tips & tricks for LDS couples to get you started.
Choosing Your Temple
The ability to be sealed to your spouse for time and all eternity is the crowning glory of LDS temple ordinances. Never let the stress of picking a temple overtake this precious truth and opportunity. When choosing a temple, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- If any temples have a special significance for you, your spouse, or your families
- How far will the majority of your family have to travel
- The date you’d like to be married
- The time of day you’d like to be married
- If you have a specific temple sealer in mind
All LDS temples have different schedules and available times for marriages. Your bishop should have all the information you need or you can check out our LDS Temple Contact Info page.
Choosing Your Wedding Date
There is a lot to keep in mind when choosing your wedding date! First and foremost, you’ll need to decide on a temple, as discussed above. You could have many options available or you may have to choose between a temple and your favored wedding date. Your wedding date can also dramatically impact your budget. Months with moderate weather, such as June and September, are some of the most popular months for weddings. Many wedding vendors and sites offer major discounts to couples getting married in the off-seasons; however, you’ll need to be prepared to make some sacrifices. For example, if fresh flowers are important to you, setting a December wedding date may not be the best idea.
You’ll also want to think beyond your wedding day itself. What days do you have off work? When will schooling start? When can most of your family attend? When and where would you like to honeymoon? Answering these questions can make a wedding date more clear.
For many LDS couples, and especially for LDS brides, the decision to marry also means it is time to receive the endowment ordinance. No marriage sealing can take place unless both the bride and the groom have been received all of the preparatory ordinances, including baptism, confirmation, ordaining to the priesthood for males, the initiatory, and the endowment. According to LDS.org, there are three ways you can prepare for your endowment and sealing:
- You may receive your endowment on the same day as your sealing.
- You may receive your endowment prior to the wedding day.
- If both couples have been endowed, they are not required to act as a proxy in an endowment session before their sealing. However, the couple may choose to attend a session if they’d like.
Note that in most cases, converts to the Church must be baptized for at least one year before receiving the temple ordinances for themselves.
Sometimes, the excitement of the wedding can overshadow the endowment ordinance. It is important to treat the endowment ordinance as its own joyous moment to be remembered. Take some time to plan on how the endowment can best be internalized and appreciated as a couple preparing for your wedding day.
Creating a Budget
Financial stress can be one of the biggest forces of destruction for your wedding day. It’s important that you come up with a budget that everyone involved financially can agree on. Consider having a family dinner between the bride, the groom, and their parents or family members. Discuss who will be contributing and for what. This can definitely be a sensitive subject! It’s important that the bride and groom sit down together before hand and come with some basics prepared, including what is most important to them, what resources the ward can provide, and what they need the most help with.
When creating your budget, here’s a great piece of advice: determine what is the most important to you. Hate the idea of a cultural hall reception? A bulk of your budget may go to a venue space and decorations rather than food. Want a full buffet? You may pick a catered meal over professional hair stylings and makeup for your entire bridal party.
Choose what is most important to you as a couple and make that the focus of your budget.
Staying True to Your Vision
Once you announce your engagement, a lot of people may start chiming in with opinions. From family to friends and even ecclesiastical leaders, you may be overwhelmed trying to make everyone happy. It’s important to stay true to your vision as a couple. There may be a few compromises and concessions to make, but at the end of the day, your wedding is about creating an eternal partnership with another person. It should reflect your joy and personality as a couple.
The best way to stay true to what you and your future spouse want is to communicate effectively and calmly. If you feel it is helpful, meet with your family and others helping with your wedding to discuss how everything is going. Make sure to thank them for their hard work and address any issues as quickly as possible.
Find Vendors & Resources
Wedding planning is a lot of work! Luckily, there are vast amounts of people who love making wedding dreams come true. From professionals to extremely crafty Relief Society presidents, one of your first planning steps should be to determine who you’ve got in your arsenal already. Figure out what you want to outsource and if there is anything else you want to tackle yourself.
If you’ve ever been online, you know there are many vendors and resources at your disposal. We not only hope to be your #1 resource but to provide you with information on some of the best LDS vendors in the business.
You may already have a sense that there are a lot of wedding planning details no one mentions. By taking care of some of these nitty-gritty details early on, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. Here are a few examples:
- Marriage License. You’ll need to register for your marriage license at least four weeks before your wedding. You can find all of the information you need by searching for your county or city’s government website.
- Name Change. Should you choose to change your last name, you’ll have to go through multiple steps. You’ll need to change your bank accounts, driver’s license, social security card and more.
- Bridal Exam. If you haven’t already, brides will want to visit their OBGYN before the wedding. Standard tests will be done and you can begin any contraceptive medication if you choose.
- Other Health Exams. Some areas require blood work to be done to register for a marriage license. It’s also a good idea for the bride and groom to get a checkup before the wedding.
- Wedding Guests. You’ll want to have a sealing guest list and a reception guest list. The number of people you’d like at your sealing may determine which temple you’ll be able to be sealed in and when.
Your Wedding Party
Don’t plan your wedding alone! Determine your wedding party as soon as possible and keep them involved throughout the process. It is a great way to alleviate stress for everyone and bond with new family members. Some common wedding party members include:
- Maid of Honor
- Best Man
Typically, the maid of honor and the best man are in charge of wedding showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and other planning details. You’ll also want to get your wedding party lined up so you can determine any wedding party outfits and gifts.
LDS Wedding Checklists
Want to keep the basics organized? Check out our free LDS wedding checklists. We have checklists for six months, three months, and one month before your wedding.
Planning For Your Marriage
In the midst of planning your wedding, don’t forget that it is only one day. A very important day, yes, but just a single day. You should also be planning for your marriage. You’re merging two lives together and beginning an eternal partnership. This includes the practical details like where you’ll live and how you want to handle finances, but it also includes deeply spiritual and personal matters. You need to discuss sexual intimacy. You want to talk about how to build good spiritual habits as a family. You want to practice vulnerability and total honesty. As you plan for your wedding, don’t forget to plan for your marriage.
Want a little extra help? Check out our favorite LDS wedding planning resource: Your LDS Wedding Planner: A Guide to a Stunning Wedding Day. This book provides practical, informed, and witty advice for each milestone from engagement to honeymoon. Complete with in-depth checklists and advice specifically for Latter-day Saints, it will infuse your entire wedding journey with more joy and less stress.