Practical Matters

Securing a Marriage License:
Every state has different laws regarding marriage licenses. Be sure you find out what the requirements are for a marriage license in your state. Call your county 
clerk’s office.  The license is only valid for a certain length of time (usually 30 to 60 days) so you don’t want to get it too early or it may not be valid by the time
you get married.  You also don’t want to wait too long, because it may take awhile to process.
You both need to be present and have all the necessary tests and exams completed before you arrive at your city hall.
Be sure you bring the marriage license to the Temple.  It must be signed immediately before or after the ceremony.
Emergency Kit:

No matter where you choose to get ready, whether at home or away, you should have all of these items handy just in case you need them:


The obvious:

Temple clothes, recommends

Wedding gown  and veil
earrings  (and extra backings)
gloves (if you are wearing them)
pantyhose (and extras)
shoes (and a comfortable pair to change into later)
the 'throwaway' garter

Just in case:
antacid for upset stomach
antihistamine/cold medicine


Grooming:  makeup and chapstick

                bobby pins
hair dryer (for hair or drying dresses after stain removal)
hairspray/gel (good for runs in hose too)
hand lotion
hand towel (put them around the neck when doing makeup to avoid stains)
mirror (magnifying on one side for make up regular on other side to see back of hair)
nail polish & remover (& clear polish to stop runs in nylons)
nail file
toothbrush and toothpaste
water spray bottle

cooler with bottled water (don’t drink colored drinks, they could spill and spot your dresses.)                                                                                               

                spray on  dry cleaner spot remover
directions to reception (extra copies)                                                                                     
duct tape/sewing tape/large and small safety pins (for falling hems, broken bouquet handles,)
phone numbers of all service providers
sewing kit (with scissors), thread for all dresses of wedding party
spare change for phone
spare hat pins (in case florist forgets them for corsages)
super glue                                                                                                                  

                chalk (can cover almost any stain on your wedding gown)

Forgotten Costs: Gratuities - and thank you’s:  Who, when, and how much?
Be sure to adequately and appropriately thank all of those who spend their time, talents, and resources to make your big day special and a success. 
Anyone you have hired for the event (caterer, band) should be tipped (the standard 10 - 15%) and it is usually already in the wedding contract.  If 
you don’t see it, ask.  Photographers are usually not tipped. If you hired a wedding coordinator you don’t have to tip her, but if she did a really spectacular job,
a good way to express your gratitude is with a little extra cash. Thank you notes are in order for any ward members who helped out (with food,
lowers, set up, etc.) 
                                               Bridal party gifts
It is also customary to thank your bridal party with a special gift. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Perhaps you could frame a picture of you with each 
girl from your single days together or put some photos in a small purse-size photo album.  Maybe you could get crafty and make each of your bridesmaids
a candle, bar of soap, a piece of jewelry, or an engraved silver box to keep jewelry in. 

 For a fall, winter, or spring wedding you could give them travel size umbrellas.


The nature of the gift can match the amount of time, energy, and/or money that each person put into making your day special.  For those who have 
gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to support you on this special occasion, you owe it to them to thank them properly.   A gift certificate
for a spa treatment is always a welcome gift.
Gift(s) for your parents
 If your mom played a big part in planning your wedding, you should thank her with a big gift.  Try to find something lasting that she can have around 
the house as a reminder of your big day.  Maybe a really special frame to put your wedding photo in, or a Limoges box in the shape of a wedding cake. 
Maybe a pair of pearl earrings, or a scrapbook for your wedding photos (or better yet, a special scrapbook of you growing up – with all your favorite
photos, and end it with a spot saved for your wedding photo). Buy your dad some cufflinks, or a money clip – something that will last.
                    Gift baskets for out of town guests
If you have relatives coming from out of town, it would be a nice gesture to make up a little gift basket for each family containing a map of the area, 
brochures from local places to visit, some fruit and nuts, etc.
Thank you Notes:
For individual gifts
If you purchased thank you notes with your soon-to-be initials, don’t use them until after the wedding.  Any notes you write before the wedding 
should be signed with your maiden name.
People who sent gifts before the wedding should receive their thank you notes before the wedding (unless they were received the week of the 
wedding).  Thank you notes for gifts received at the wedding should be sent as soon after you return from your honeymoon as possible (no later
than three months please- although better late, than never).  Phone calls and e-mails don’t count – you still must send a thank you note. 
For group gifts
For group gifts, each person who contributed and signed the card should receive a personal thank you (unless it is from everyone in the 
organization, your office, etc. in which case you can write a note to the group to be posted on the bulletin board in your office or read to the
sisters in relief society.
Make up Hints:
Don’t overdo the makeup.  You want the colors to be a little darker than you usually wear so you don’t look washed out in the photos but 
not so dark that you look artificial.  You want to look like a natural beauty.
Experiment with foundations and find one that will even out your skin tone without looking like stage makeup.  You don’t want your makeup 
to rub off on the groom.  Remember, you’re going for a natural look.  You don’t want to be shiny, and you don’t want to look powdered. 
Be sure the color matches your skin tone so you don’t see a line where you stop the foundation.
A very thin, pale line of blue eyeliner on the bottom eyelid, just above the lower lashes, will make your eyes look clearer, whiter and more 
brilliant. Use a waterproof lash lengthener, then a waterproof  lash thickener.  Don’t completely surround your eyes with a heavy black eye
liner.  It is better to go darker on the upper lids and line the lower lids with a lighter color, or smudged look.  Experiment.
If you are a blonde, be sure you pencil your eyebrows so they don’t fade away. If you have heavy brows, this is your opportunity to go to 
an expert to have them tweezed (but don’t do it the day before your wedding – if you’ve never had them done before you could get red and
Use blush, but don’t put it on so heavily that you see it – you don’t want to look like a clown. Use an extra long lasting lipstick (I like Cover 
Girl’s 8-hour lipsticks-called “outlast”) and be sure to use the moisturizer stick so your lips don’t dry out.  You might want to try out a few
colors and see how long they last.  Number 800 is a really pretty pink, but it doesn’t last as long as the darker colors.  If you are going to have
a bride and groom’s table, have someone put a little makeup bag on it so you can retouch your lipstick and lip moisturizer (or make sure you
mom has some in her purse).
Go to a make-up counter in the mall and get some tips on a wedding worthy application. Have the make-up artist show you
how to recreate the look at home.  You can often get these makeovers at little or no cost, sometimes with the expectation that you will purchase
at least one product.  If this is not an option, go to and download step by step instructions for bridal make-up.
 Look on line for bridal portraits and see what their make up looks like (I’ll bet you won’t see any glitter or frosted bright blue eye shadow).  
Keep your make up classic – not trendy – so your wedding pictures will be timeless.
Start using a tooth-whitener toothpaste as soon as you get engaged so your teeth will be as bright as your smile.  
Don’t go to a tanning booth or use a self-tanner the day before your wedding!  Start tanning at least two weeks before – and don’t get too dark.  
A healthy tan is fine but your wedding photos will look much prettier if your skin tone is as close to your natural skin tone as possible.  If you are
trying to get a jump start on your tan for your honeymoon, tan your body, but cover your face or use a 45 spf block.
Do all of your experimenting weeks before the wedding.  If you’ve never worn your hair in a dramatic “up do,”  or in long curls, you may feel 
uncomfortable with the look and not like how you look in photos.  If you try to cut or color your hair the week of the wedding, there isn’t time to
repair any damage you may do.  Try the look you think you want, take a photo of yourself and see how you feel about it.  If you like it, save the
photo so you can re-create the look you want.
Do your trial run with your veil!   Wear it for awhile to be sure your earrings don’t get caught up in it.  Take a photo of the best look and make a 
note of how long it took you to create it so you can fine tune your “day of” timeline.  If you have a favorite hairdresser, ask her how much she would
charge to come and do your hair at your home the day of the wedding (maybe she would be willing to help the bridesmaids too).  If she says yes,
and she’s affordable, bring your veil and have her do a trial run at her salon so you both have an idea of what your hair will look like.
For ideas on bridal hair styles, go to:

Ways to reduce stress: 
The closer you get to the big day, the more stress you feel.  Have I forgotten anything?  Will everything go as I planned? You are excited, nervous,
and totally stressed out. 
 Sometimes we feel stressed because we have gotten so caught up in the details that we have lost sight of the eternal perspective.  
 Here are some tips to help calm you down:
1.      Pray for peace, guidance, and confirmation. Nothing brings more peace than  
      the knowledge that you are marrying the right person in the right place.
2.      Read your scriptures- not only will you feel more spiritually prepared to enter the temple, but you will allow the Spirit to enter your life with all of His 
attendant peace
and inspiration.
3.      Read a book about the temple to regain your focus on what this day is supposed to be about, i.e. the eternal covenants you will be making with God 
and your spouse. The Holy Temple, by Boyd K. Packer,
and/or House of Glory: Finding Personal Meaning in the Temple by S. Michael Wilcox
would be great places to start.
4.      Eliminate some of the details and keep focused on the big picture (Ultimately, this day isn’t about the chocolate covered almonds, but about the temple 
covenants you will be making!)  Don’t sweat the small stuff.
5.      Keep your expectations in check.  You don’t need to have the biggest and best wedding reception anyone’s ever been to. Again, keep the focus on what’s 
really important.
6.      Re-evaluate your planning schedule.  You don’t have to do everything yourself. Delegate.  Once you have turned something over to someone else to handle, 
let them do it. 
Don’t feel like you have to constantly be looking over their shoulder.
7.      Expect things to go wrong… and get over it!  Things will not be perfect regardless of how much time and planning you put into it. Accept that you cannot 
control everything
and that the mishaps will add humorous memories you can recall on future anniversaries.
8.      Keep a journal of your engagement and write your feelings in it every day.  Be sure to include a list of all the reasons why your fiancé  is the one for you.  
What are those
special qualities he has that make you love him and want to be with him forever.  (Not only is it very cathartic to write down your feelings, it will also be very
useful in the
future when you are fighting, to remind you why you married him)
9.      Day dream about what it will be like married to your fiancé.
10.  Call your sweetie and tell him you love him and can’t wait to be his wife.
Here are some other popular ways to reduce stress:
      1.   Go for a brisk walk or exercise for at least 20 minutes.
      2.   Get a professional manicure and/or pedicure – or do it yourself.
3.      Take a bubble bath.  Roll a towel up and lay it behind your head, lay your head back and just relax.
4.      Wash your hair.
5.      Lay down on the floor or on your bed and shut your eyes.  Picture in your mind a large blackboard and picture writing on it all the things you have to do.  
Now picture yourself erasing it until the blackboard is clean.  Focus on the clean blackboard for a minute or two.  Now picture the face of your loved one
smiling at you.  Smile back. That should relax you.  
Remember: your engagement should be a happy time!  Don’t let the wedding planning preoccupy you so much that it keeps you from enjoying the process… and 
your fiancée.   
The Honeymoon:
When booking your travel plans, especially airline reservations, be sure you book the flights in your maiden name.  Your travel documents must match your driver’s 
license.  That includes your passport.  You can’t change your driver’s license or passport until after you are married. 
 Many couples want to go on an elaborate honeymoon – somewhere they would never otherwise go – such as Tahiti, Europe, etc.  Wouldn’t it be fun, however, to 
pick a place where you could return year after year on your anniversary (or at least on the big celebrations: the five, ten, twenty, etc.)? 
·         A mountain cabin
·         Yosemite
·         Yellowstone National Park
·         Miami
·         New York
·         San Francisco
·         San Diego
·         Disneyland
·         Washington D.C.
·         A fall foliage road trip
If you live on the west coast, and you want to crank it up a bit, you could consider Hawaii or a Mexican cruise.
If you live on the east coast, you could consider a Caribbean cruise.
In any case, don’t go into debt to pay for your honeymoon.  There will be too many things you are going to need in the immediate 
future to start your life together to spend money on something you don’t really need to do right now.  Save that special exotic location
for your tenth wedding anniversary.  (see our chapter on The Honeymoon