December 13, 2008

Wedding To-Do Lists

I love bridal magazines. I ooh and aah over the gorgeous dresses, drool over the cakes, and try to keep my eyes from popping out when I see the huge rocks on the engagement rings.

But there's one section I always skip right over – the wedding to-do list.

Engaged couples who are not LDS, tend to have very long engagements. My sister's wedding is the perfect example. She got engaged over Christmas and was married in June. Not the June that was six months later, but the one that was eighteen months later. This is typical for weddings outside of the LDS Church. According to the National Association of Wedding Ministers, the average American engagement is sixteen months long and that most brides plan their wedding for seven to twelve months. This is why most wedding to-do lists found in magazines or online range from twelve to eighteen months before the wedding.

In the LDS Church, we tend to do weddings on a shorter time-frame. The average LDS engagement is about three months long. When my husband and I got officially engaged, it was the beginning of July. After going back and forth on wedding dates, we settled on mid-August. Yep, that's only six weeks. Definitely on the short end of engagement time scales.

Caterers, florists, and reception centers in Utah are used to receiving wedding orders on short notice. But outside of Utah, these shorter time-lines can really stress-out both the bride and business owners.

For example, if you have a specific location you truly want your reception to be held, then you may need to be flexible with your wedding date. This could extend your engagement, which is fine if that works for both you and your fiancé.

On the other hand if you have a certain time period you need to work within, such as before the next semester of college starts, then you will need to be willing to compromise and put forth some extra foot-work for everything to come together. In this case, you may call a florist and their response could be that they are booked solid that day. Just keep working your way down the list of florists, or explore other options, for example purchasing silk flowers and making your own bouquets.

You may be wondering how to organize your wedding if the to-do list in your bridal magazine doesn't work for you. I found some excellent LDS wedding to-do lists on They even have separate lists for different engagement lengths – two months, four months, and six months.

And just remember, no matter what the length of your engagement may be, your wedding will be absolutely beautiful and perfect for you and your sweetheart.



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