18 September 2014

wedding q&a

a couple years ago i had an engaged roommate who came home most days and complained about wedding planning. it was a time in my life when i was aching, carrying around a throbbing hope for what she had, and her whininess really bothered me. i vowed that when i was in her place, i would relish it and never complain.

now, i get it. wedding planning is super stressful! especially i think when you are like me - full of preferences and opinions and a fiery desire to find a way to have the best of everything possible. there's a lot of choices and a lot of comparison and a lot of troubles and a lot of tradeoffs. it's just real for me to say that it has been hard for me! BUT i've remembered my vow to myself stemming from my whiney roommate and my earnest longing, and i have been so careful to not complain. because there is such a deep, rich brand of gratitude and joy running through all my veins and synapses, even when they seem clogged with decisions and preferences. i am so so happy - sometimes just downright deliriously so - that my fondest hopes and desires are coming to fruition in so many beautiful ways.



i've had several questions about my upcoming wedding, and i'd love to respond - to answer queries and to have a further record of this wild and awesome wedding-planning experience.

are your parents expecting you to pay for a portion of the wedding? do your parents provide you and your now married elder sisters with the same dollar amount for the wedding budget?

my parents are very excited about their baby daughter getting married, and have been so generous in helping us to pay for our celebrations. the boy's parents are throwing an open house in texas a week after our wedding, and have also contributed to our wedding fund. the two of us are pulling some from our own savings as well. after thought, prayer and loving conversation, we all feel really good about contributing financially in different ways. the boy and i are extremely grateful for our parents and their desire to help us celebrate. although of course we have thoughtfully considered together what has been given to our siblings for their weddings, neither set of parents is particularly concerned with the concept of exact dollar-for-dollar fairness (not to say we are getting more or less), and our siblings are just thrilled for us. almost every day the boy and i just sit back and marvel together at how blessed we feel for our families and their support at this exciting time.

while we are having several celebrations and are so glad that we get to invite so many people that we love and appreciate, i wouldn't necessarily call our wedding overly extravagant. it's going to be really pretty and super fun, and (i'm not sure how to say this emphatically enough so this sentiment doesn't come across wrong) we are sooooo thrilled and grateful and humbled by and excited about all the elements that will be part of our celebrations -- but we have made quite a few tradeoffs and certainly have had to budget very carefully throughout the wedding process. a friend's gift to us was taking our engagement pictures, my cousin is doing the flowers (at cost, bless her), one of my bridesmaids is making the cake, we are having our reception at my parents' house (free!), my brother is our dj, our friend is giving us a killer deal on the boy's suit, our videographer has made only about two other wedding videos thus far in her career, and i'm making a lot of the decor myself. this may come as a shock (ha!) but i've been scheming up my perfect wedding in my brain for a couple decades, and as the prices have been rolling in, it has been quite wrenching to give up on some things i've dreamed of. but i honest to goodness appreciate that experience, and i really believe it will make my wedding sweeter than if i didn't have to make any sacrifices. it has been really good for the boy and i to prioritize what we want connected to our wedding, and we just feel really thankful for all the bonuses beyond the real important stuff (the temple, our families, and an opportunity to thank all those who have impacted our lives and helped us get to where we are). 

i noticed that you are having your reception at your parents house...so my question is...is that an lds tradition? or a west coast thing?

my parents just happen to have a really awesome space for this type of event. two of my brothers have had wedding receptions there, and it's just a really fantastic house, which was built partially for the purpose of gathering loved ones for celebrations. i was actually pretty hesitant to have our reception there for a few reasons, but i am so excited about it now. it will be so neat to remember our wedding every time we are at my parents' from here on out. i've heard of other couples - lds and not, east and west coast - having their wedding receptions at their parents' or relatives' or friends' homes that can accommodate a crowd, so i'm not sure if it's a particular religious or geographic tradition.

but i've had some other questions about lds wedding traditions/customs and i'm happy to explain.

i have never felt closer to heaven that when i've attended a wedding ceremony in an lds temple. seriously, it is the most beautiful experience i've ever had in mortality - to witness two people commit their total devotion and faith to each other and to god, surrounded by a small number of those they love best in the world. it's just celestial. we believe that when a couple is married in god's temple, they are sealed not just until death do they part, but for time and all eternity, and that they are making real promises to each other and to god. the blessings that are pronounced upon a couple by an authorized sealer in a temple are incredible and beautiful and amazing.

most temple sealing rooms can accommodate less than fifty or so guests, so wedding ceremonies in temples are very intimate. the event is usually fairly short. an individual who has been called and set apart as a sealer shares some thoughts, then asks the couple to come to an altar where they kneel to face each other. the sealer then recites a specific ordinance, which only take a couple of minutes. the bride and groom usually then kiss across the altar, stand to exchange rings, and have an opportunity to greet and hug each sealing attendee as they leave the room. it's all just so simple and sweet, yet powerful and so intensely beautiful (sorry i keep using that word, it just is). because of the sacred nature of the words said and ordinance performed, only those who are in good standing with the church can enter the temple for a temple sealing. other beloved friends and family are welcome to greet the bride and groom outside the temple, and it is customary to spend an hour or so taking pictures and celebrating all together around the temple grounds.

most lds couples have some kind of wedding reception in connection with their temple sealing. it is most common to have a reception the evening after the sealing, but i've had friends that had a reception the night before, or just a luncheon the day of, or some other kind of celebration. the boy and i have decided to have an intimate dinner the evening of our sealing, and then a large reception the next day. this decision was borne out of a desire to have our wedding day itself be quite calm and sweet and special, but still have the opportunity to party with lots of people we really like. we won't have any wedding party, wedding cake, or other "traditional" wedding things on the day of our sealing - we just want it to be tender, simple, peaceful and focused on the temple. all that good, colorful, bustling, lively fun will come the next day!

not sure why you only gave yourself a few months to plan a huge wedding....

well, i want to get married in utah, and i don't want to get married when it's cold. so we basically chose the day furthest out for planning yet closest in for weather. i'm very excited to have an autumn (my favourite season, especially in utah!) wedding. our date was also chosen with both the boy's and my professional lives and our families schedules in mind. we are really in love with each other, and after all the roller coaster of the last couple years of our relationship, we both feel highly compelled to make covenants with each other and with god as soon as possible. also, we are both very committed to not living or sleeping together before we are married, so...we are excited to begin that chapter of life soon :)

random question, have you found your vendor for macarons yet?

so funny - i saw this comment right as i got an email from amy of seine macarons, who i was so excited to find to make us some lovely treats for our reception. i'm glad to hear she comes highly recommended, because we'd already committed to hiring her! the macarons is one of the details i am most excited about at our wedding reception. i'm also excited that we are going to have some fun kids' activities, an instant picture of all our guests, both indoor and outdoor loveliness, and a dance party!


just three weeks left! some nights these days i just can't sleep. i'd say over the past three weeks it's about a 3:1 ratio for sleepless because of stress and sleepless because of excitement. i'm projecting that during the next three weeks the ratio will be flipped :)

every few days i send the boy a text that looks like this:
we're getting married! alksdjlkanvlnalskjrlkaselvnaslnaljsnvlkajslrjaslknvlakshoiasuraslkcjalsdjflkajsfahhhhhhHHh!
i'm really happy and excited about it!


31 comments :

  1. And it won't stop there! After the fact, your texts will say, "I can't believe we're married!!!!!!!!!" I would stop and say that to my husband for the first couple years. So excited for you! Everything will be lovely!

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  2. I honestly have never seen or heard of a couple more in love than you two. You seem to have the most pure love and I can simply not wait to see how beautiful and spiritual your wedding day is.

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  3. Your pictures are lovely! I have been reading for a while and have never commented, but I have to say that I am so happy for you and the boy! Your marriage will be blessed for all the struggle you have gone through to get to this point. Blessings to the both of you in your marriage.

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  4. Thanks for explaining some of the LDS beliefs and marriage customs. It's very obvious you've based each decision on your love for God and each other. I can't wait for you to experience the day and later share bits and pieces of the day with us! Blessings :)

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  5. Charity you answered these questions in such a mature, open, honest way. You two are a beautiful couple, I'm so happy for you!

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  6. In England where you served a mission members must have a civil marriage and then are able to a temple sealing immediately after. And many other countries, People get it is sacred and restricted to members of a certain standing. People do not want to go in and witness a sealing. They want to see their children marry. Marriage is different than a sealing. The same feelings you feel inside the temple is the same feelings nonLDS people get at weddings where the public is allowed. Joseph Smith obviously didn't marry in the temple first. Most grandparents didn't marry in the temple first. You are a global church being totally inconsistent. You are also a church focused on converts. I can not believe this one year ban after a civil service in the US is still in effect. I can't believe couples don't do the civil ceremony and wait a year. LDS seal dead people. If goodness forbid a death were to happen before the year is up a sealing could take place after their death. If it were truly about the couple than one set of parents and sibs and grandparents and random friends would not be there in absence of those same people on the other side of the family. You can't be present but I am worthy so I am going to be there is like an elopement with one side invited. It is entitlement mentality. Picture taking is thrilling for LDS but not for nonLDS. I completely understand why you can't marry after, you can't promise until death after you promised for time and all eternity. A ring ceremony isn't the same, and your leaders are clear it is not meant to replace and be a wedding. No doubt many would say their families were fine waiting outside. I bet they would have rather have seen the wedding and walked you to the temple door remaining outside for the sealing. I do not hate anyone. I do not hate the church policy worldwide, I question how it is practiced in the US and countries that don't require a public civil service. LDS missionaries show up on my door to tell me my religion isn't the right one and what is wrong with my religion. Well meaning I'm sure. Most could be tweaked. An example would be lowering the missionary age. Not all wishes for change should be considered a criticism or apostasy. Look at the number or sisters serving, certainly that was a good policy change. A post is just as invasive as a missionary. Less so as they are in person. Use the delete function if it upsets you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi kms,
      As you mentioned, people here in the UK etc have to marry in a civil service before we are sealed in the church.

      I've never felt that the church doesn't consider it a proper marriage, in fact over here getting married in a chapel etc is almost as important & exciting as being sealed.

      Maybe I haven't understood your comments properly & if I have I apologise for that.

      I don't understand why you seem to have it in for both Charity & Shawni, why not just be happy for them?

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    2. * sealed in the temple, not the church:)

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  7. Nicely handled Charity. I am so excited for you and the boy. I will pray that you will have gorgeous fall weather here in Utah! So far, looks very promising. Best wishes!

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  8. Remember what I wrote the other day about it feels like I know you? I'm ridiciulously excited!

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  9. Beautiful answers to everyone's questions! You weren't obligated to answer any of them but did so with grace and tact. :) Your wedding will be beautiful and I'm exited to read about the parts you chose to share here on your blog! Best of luck with everyhitng! :)

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  10. Loved the Q&A.. I have a few more if you have time. 1) Do you wear your wedding dress the day of the sealing and the next day?

    2) When do you first see your spouse the day of your wedding, when you enter the sealing room?

    3) You have a big family and so many friends. Is it difficult to decide who is in the sealing room?

    4) i've noticed that with so many LDS weddings the bridesmaids wear skirts (many of which are super cute, and something i considered for my catholic wedding). Would you consider that a LDS thing or just something that's caught on. Are you having bridesmaids and if so are they wearing skirts :)

    Love your blog, found you from your sister's blog.

    Claire

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  11. Thanks for this Q&A! I have a question for you: with so many gorgeous little nieces and handsome nephews, do you incorporate them in some way as flower girls or "page boys" as they say in the UK? With so many great culinary adventures chronicled on your blog, I'm so curious to see what food you'll be serving; it will be amazing, no doubt! I think I speak for most of your readers when I squeal and say we ALL can't wait right along with you :)

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  12. I don't have it in for either of them.

    I am perfectly happy for them. Just a blunt person. If either were standing in front of me telling the me things in their blog post I would respond the same way. In the post yesterday I was more responding to the commenter than anything posted by her.

    In the US a chapel service or civil service is discouraged. If you marry outside a temple wedding/sealing you may not seal in the temple for a year. I am all for how the LDS church does it in countries where they have to allow a civil/public service to be considered married. The church allows the sealing right away there. But not here. I am catholic. I fully understand the importance of learning the whys before being critical of another's religion. Many are critical of Catholicism and it is usually cause they don't ask questions get specific about why. When they do it is cleared up or at least they know they are being critical with correct understanding. Being catholic we criticize how something is done without it being considered apostasy. In this case it effects nonmember family members. This is not an issue for nonmember families abroad cause the rule is different. Of course if ALL of Ian and Charity's family are members in good standing it's fine. But it wasn't the case for her brother I noticed.

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  13. Kms, I apologise for my comment. I really didn't mean to upset you or anything.

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  14. I love the the grace and wisdom you and your sisters answer questions with. you don't any of us an explanation and are very generous in letting us follow along on your adventures. I love the winsome way you handle differences and difficult commentors. All the best to you and the boy! Your wedding day will be beautiful and fun!

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  15. hey kms! i agree that the policy around waiting to be sealed is incongruent, and i am sad for instances where that affects people negatively.

    please do not make assumptions about me, the boy or our family members that may be read as fact by other readers. it's a little sad for me that some of our loved ones cannot be at our sealing, but because i understand why and have lots of opportunity to celebrate with them outside the temple, i'm at peace about that and i'm inclined to believe that so are they. i acknowledge and sympathize with those that this policy may hurt in other families/friendships.

    as a side note, i can reassure you that mormon missionaries are not there to tell you you what is wrong with your religion. they are there (unless they have the goal of their mission real mixed up!) with a humble desire to add to your faith and share what brings them answers, peace, and joy.

    i'll answer any other questions posted about the wedding in a part 2 soon! thank you to everyone who has expressed such kind excitement, congratulations and well wishes <3<3<3

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  16. Excellent job answering questions about our lds customs!!

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  17. Charity,
    I think it's lovely that you're having a meal after the sealing & treating the day as a special one, which of coarse it is. Together forever:)

    I also think it's brill that you're having another reception at your Mum & Dad's house, I bet it will be lovely.

    Even tho I said in my comment that the church here doesn't consider a civil wedding not a proper wedding, the sealing is still something to be treasured.

    I love how your described the sealing & I'll be thinking of you both on your special day, in fact I've even written it on a couple of calendars:)

    May Heavenly Father watch over you both as you prepare for this very special day. X

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  18. KMS - the reason that in the UK we have a civil ceremony first and then a Temple ceremony is because the Temple ceremony is not seen as legally binding. British law states that in order for two people to marry, there has to be the opportunity for someone to 'object'. (if anyone knows of any reason why these two should not be joined in matrimony, speak now, or forever hold your peace'). The ceremony has to be open to anyone. Obviously in the Temple, that cannot happen.

    Our faith lives by the laws of the land, and so that is why you will see discrepencies all over the world - because each country has their own law regarding marriages.

    I hope this helps. I am British and married in our chapel and in the Temple and both were beautiful experiences for us.

    Charity - congratulations! This time is so exciting!

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  19. Hi Louise,
    Also, a lot of LDS members, such as myself, have family members who aren't in the church. It means they can still be part of the wedding, which I think is lovely.

    Even tho I look forward to the day when I find someone special & am sealed in the London temple, I also look forward to my brother walking me down the aisle etc:)

    I just hope I don't have wait for this for much longer!

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  20. You Eyre women are class acts. Way to rise above the fray and answer in positive ways. So happy for you.

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  21. i can't believe the questions some people ask, but i have to admit that it sure was fun to read this Q&A to see how you're preparing for your special days of celebration. how fabulous! wishing you all the best in the coming weeks, and knowing that regardless of how much sleep you get, you'll be soaking in every moment of your life-changing weekend.

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  22. thank you for posting! you are truly so kind to you commentators in your responses, but also very clear and firm in your beliefs. that is something to respect! the people in your "real life" are very lucky to know you!

    as a non-lds person (who has literally i have never met a mormon in real life ever) i find the whole culture so fascinating. i appreciate you and your family so much for posting about your family and faith traditions and culture. i really respect the values and beliefs of the lds culture, and for some reason i just love reading everything i can about it. i really enjoyed how you explained some of the wedding customs and what you have planned.

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  23. Thank you very much for your kind response.

    Congrats.

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  24. Congratulations, Charity! I am just a regular blog reader who came over here via your sister Shawni's blog. Just want to say your joyful spirit warms my heart! So great to read about your dreams coming true:-)

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  25. Charity--I'm sure your wedding will be lovely, and it's fabulous how much of the wedding you are doing yourself, or having friends and family contribute, in any measure they wish to. And, I completely understand your desire to not get married in Utah in the cold. We had a long-ish engagement (well for members, I suppose), because we didn't want to get married in the winter and the "bald" part of spring!

    kms, you state you are a blunt person, but then specifically thank Charity for posting a kind reply. If you value kind responses, perhaps try to be more kinder in your phrasing and word choice? I'm not advocating for the "rainbows and butterflies" type of comments, but there are better ways to express yourself, and ask questions, without resorting to the excuse, "I'm blunt. I'd say this to their face." At times, you ask interesting questions or share a nice insight, but they get lost, or overlooked, because of the discourteous manner in which you write.

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  26. I have loved reading your adventures in wedding planning! Probably because we just went through almost the same timetable with our daughter who got married a month ago. We also had to do long distance planning with her in Utah and me in Georgia. I so badly wanted it to be everything she wanted and she kept saying "mom, what do you want" Then she posted this on her blog which just brought tears to my eyes. "You've been waiting, anticipating, this moment for a long time. It seems like you've dreamed about it for years. And you have. But there is someone else who has been waiting, anticipating, even dreading this moment. It's your wedding day, but it's not all about you. It's about them. It's about forming a new family, connecting your family to another.
    I've heard so much advice during the last few months about how to go about planning a reception. Most of it goes like this:
    "It's your day. Do whatever you want."
    Sure. I could do that. I could also cause a lot of misery to the people around me. Or I could just let the most important people in my life plan it. It is still causing them a lot of stress. But in reality, my mom has been dreaming about, and again, dreading, this day for a very long time. I'm not sure how long, but I could imagine it starts before the child is even born. The anticipation for the life ahead. Good parents always hope that they give their children the best, but one day their children have to go seek it for themselves, and all of the sudden parents loose the control they once had.
    So, the next time you think "I want to do that because it will make me happy, remember two things: There is long term versus short term happiness and long term happiness comes in creating connections with the people you love. I am definitely still working on this in my own life, but sacrificing, even small things, for those I love has brought about immense happiness. The opposite is true as well. When we are selfish, we often hurt those around us. Just a reminder."

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  27. Charity, I am so thrilled for the two of you! I've been reading for about a year and and half, and feel like I have been involved in your story just a little bit. So proud of you and Ian for your choices and your example! Bless you both!

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