Getting Started:

Time Line  (there's no need to take up space here.  Go to One Web's site   or wedding wire and create your own interactive time line!)  However, you will note that traditional time lines assume you have 12 to 16 months to plan your wedding.  You might want to consider buying the CD that is available from It was created especially for LDS brides.  The Standard CD is $36 and the Deluxe is $51.   or check out for their FREE timelines according to the length of your engagement (2 mos., 4 mos. & 6 mos.)

Buying the Ring: (it was the Egyptians who started the tradition of wedding rings.  The circle was the Egyptian symbol for eternity and gold is the modern day symbol of purity and strength) 

Author’s note:

I have a friend whose heart was set on a large, eye-popping diamond ring.  However, when she heard the price of her dream ring, she realized that their money would be better spent on rent and other necessities.  In the end, her fiancée had a jeweler put a large cubic zirconia in a designer setting. She later commented that this was the best decision she could have made-- they had more money to start their life together and, as she proudly states, “Everyone just assumes it’s real!”  Now, over five years later, she no longer wants the diamond to replace it.


Do you already have a ring?  If not, let’s talk about that right up front.  In this day and age, with such excellent and often undetectable alternatives to diamonds (cubic zirconia and Moissonite), it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a ring.  Tell your beloved to save his money and put it towards the preparations for your first year of marriage.  There will be a lot of expenses settling in to your new life together and it would be nice to have a little money put aside.  Besides, if you place a cubic zirconia in a nice setting you can get a larger rock and no one will know the difference! If a diamond is important to you (it is a girl’s best friend, after all) ask your fiancé to replace your CZ with a diamond on your tenth wedding anniversary.


If you simply must have a diamond now, go ahead – but please don’t pay retail.  You can find diamond bargains everywhere.  Utah has hordes of discount diamond dealers (it seems like everyone you know has a friend in the diamond industry!)  There are also some very reputable jewelers on-line. A word of caution: always do your homework before purchasing a diamond at a “greatly discounted price.”  A recent MSNBC news report showed that wholesalers are not necessarily cheaper than retail chains.  While some people promise a diamond of superior cut and clarity for a remarkable bargain, many exaggerate the quality of the diamond they are selling. Janice Lieberman of the TODAY show found that “‘wholesale’ may not mean ‘good value.’”[1]


Before shopping for a diamond, do your homework.  Learn the four C’s  (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight) of buying diamonds at and/or


[1] Janice Lieberman, TODAY, April 18, 2007

Before you Begin:

Before you get carried away, have a discussion with your fiancé about your wedding wishes.  Do you imagine a casual get together or a formal affair, a large party or an intimate dinner with a few close family members and friends?  Be sure he is in agreement with the kind of wedding you want.  Together, discuss the overall vision of your nuptials and then consult your parents (since, traditionally, they will be the ones paying for it).


Formal, Semiformal, or Informal?

Most people think that a wedding is formal if a bridal party is in floor length dresses and the groomsmen are in tuxedos.  Wrong.  There’s a lot more to it.  The invitations must be engraved,  the guests are assigned seats (with place cards), the catered several course dinner is served, and the guests are also in formal attire. There is live music for both the ring ceremony and reception. How many weddings have you been to that fit this requirement?  Right.  If you bought this book, you are looking for “stress free,”  so let’s rule out formal right now.  By doing that we’ve already cut cost and stress by 75 percent. Now the choice is between semiformal and informal.



 A semiformal wedding looks very similar to a formal wedding.  The bridal party is still in long gowns and tuxedos.  The invitations look like formal invitations, but they are not engraved.  The dinner can be sit down or buffet.  The music should still be live.  Seating can be reserved or not.



An informal wedding is the most flexible. The bridesmaids can be in long or short dresses, and the groomsmen can wear a tux or a dark suit.  You can serve a dinner, buffet, just desserts, or even cookies and punch.  You don’t have to provide seating for your guests.  You don’t have to have live music (although you can if you want to).You can pretty much do what you want.


The informal  reception is the most popular LDS choice.  There are several good reasons for this. 

·         It is really hard to get a head count for a catered, sit down dinner.  We have a reputation for not responding…  We just show up (with all our kids in tow). 

·         We are not as apt to feel any pressure to “show off” or “one up” each other (as is so common with non-LDS weddings). 

·         We don’t exclude children from our celebrations.  We expect all our friends and ward members to come with their families to join in our celebration

·         We are more conservative in our spending habits.  We don’t want to go into debt to pay for a wedding. 

·         We are more aware of the true significance of marriage (ours are eternal) so our emphasis is on the marriage, rather than the reception.  The list goes on.


There’s no need to spend a lot of money on Bridal magazines and wedding planning books (you bought this one – that’s enough). The focus of most magazines is the dress, and you won’t find the dress you are looking for (modest) in a magazine. And be aware that the advice you get from the magazines is not always in YOUR best interest – they have to consider their advertisers. All you need is a three-ring binder (white of course) with dividers and pocket pages. Everything you need to know is on the internet for free. These are a few of our favorites:                                                                                                                    


You can use these sites to track your guest list, budget, timeline, and gift registries.

You can find photos of wedding cakes, centerpieces, get ideas for favors.  You can even find wedding gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses (but very few meet our modest requirements – see “The Wedding Gown…” for where to shop).  For an LDS perspective, go to sites like: ,                  ,         


You can set up your own wedding web site with all your wedding information (how you met, how he popped the question, brief biographies, etc. – so people can get to know you). It’s free and all of the above sites offer it. E-mail all your friends and family and have them check your site for updated info on your wedding plans. This is the ideal place to let people know where you are registered (since it is not proper etiquette to give that information in the wedding invitation.  You can however, include the website in the invitation and if they go to that site, they will see where you are registered.

 Now is the time to conceptualize and prioritize.

Breaking the News:

Always tell you parents FIRST!  Even if you only tell one or two people, this type of news has a way of finding itself back to your family. 

 Your parents are excited -or maybe not – if they don’t know the young man, they may be very hesitant and may be encouraging you to wait a while.  If that is the case, get them together as soon as possible and let them see for themselves the terrific guy you want to bring into your family.

After you’ve told your parents and best friends, how do you get the word out?  Don’t worry - Even if you didn’t tell another soul, the word would get out.  But you are excited and you want to shout it from the roof tops, so here are some suggestions: