Ask Aubrey any question you have about your LDS wedding!
Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How long of an engagement do you think is needed to really plan a wedding?
A: The length of your engagement depends on the arrangements for your wedding day. If you're the type of person that wants every detail to be elaborate and perfect for that special day, then planning a wedding in two months is not realistic. But, if you're the type of person that is just antsy to get married and doesn't care what your dress looks like, what you serve at the reception, who takes the pictures, where you hold the reception, and every other detail...then by all means keep it short and simple. So when trying to decide how long your engagement should be, make a list of everything that needs to get done and decide just how important each aspect is to you. Once that's done, then you will have a realistic idea of just how long your engagement should be and you will be able to plan accordingly.
Keep in mind though that no engagement should be too short or too long. If you're planning a wedding in a couple weeks time, you will be far too stressed that you won't be able to enjoy the process or even that day when it arrives. And being engaged for an entire year can be dangerous for a temple marriage. So be wise in your decisions, because you should absolutely enjoy the planning process as much as you enjoy the wedding day!
Q: My family is paying for the wedding, but my fiance's parents want to help. What is appropriate?
A: Your fiances parents should be contributing already by paying for things such as: the tuxes, the flowers, and the wedding breakfast or dinner. But if your future in-laws are insistent to do more, there are no rules against it. Speak with your parents first and make sure that they are okay with the extra help, and then accept whatever they offer graciously. Be careful not to assign extra things for the in-laws to cover because you will be taking advantage of their kindness. Allow them to suggest ways that they would like to help, and always show gratitude for the help they do offer.
Q: We are on a tight budget, but still want to have a nice reception. Any ideas for me?
A: My first suggestion is to make a list of everything that is needed for your wedding. From this list, decide what is more important to you and what is not. Brainstorm ways to cut expenses on those items that are not as important to you, so that you can spend a little more on the items that are. A few examples may be to:
Creating a reception on a tight budget can be stressful, but you'll be amazed at how nice your reception will still turn out if you really work at it. Be creative and don't feel that you have to stick to the standard reception. Make your reception unique and you will love the outcome!
Q: I want to be able to cook for my soon-to-be husband, but I'm freaked out. I don't know how to cook a thing. What do I do?
There are a few things that you can do. First of all, take advantage of this time before you're married to start practicing. If you live at home or close to home you could spend a couple nights a week watching and helping mom. You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn just by watching it be done a few times. Try cooking a little for roommates or friends, and ask for constructive criticism so that you know what to improve next time. Don't try to be Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker right away and think that you have to create your own masterpieces. Stick to a recipe and learn by following these simple guidelines. You probably will want to go buy a simple cookbook. Try The Everything 'Cooking For Two' Cookbook where the recipes are simple and easy for just you are your soon-to-be husband. You may even suggest that every woman bring their favorite recipes to your bridal showers, so that you can get a wide variety of good recipes. So start practicing and you'll be a pro before you know it!
As a side note, once you get married and start cooking regularly, you will realize how expensive it will get. So to cut back on expenses, plan out your meals a week in advance. Then only buy the items that you need for one weeks meals and possibly just a couple canned goods for food storage every week. This will really help on your weekly grocery shopping bill. Then one last thing to cut back on expenses, save and eat your leftovers! Cooking for two is hard because the amount of food is typically more then you need. So take advantage of that and have the same meal two nights in a row.
Q: My husband is the bishop in our ward and we were wondering if that meant we needed to invite the entire ward to our son's wedding. What do you think?
A: Inviting the entire ward depends on what the root of your concern is. If you're concerned that inviting the entire ward is going to increase the expenses considerably then I don't think it's necessary; just invite your close friends from the neighborhood. If you're not concerned about expenses, and the reception consists of a receiving line with a small refreshment, then it probably wouldn't hurt to invite the ward. Many people may stop by just to express their appreciation for the service that your husband has rendered and want to support your family because of it. As awful as it may sound, your son may benefit from it by receiving more gifts because of the gratitude that the ward will want to show your family. If you decide to invite the entire ward, it may be wise to just post an invitation on the ward bulletin with a small note below it, "everyone welcome to attend the reception," to cut back on invitation costs.
Whichever you decide will be fine. I do not believe there is one right or wrong answer to this question. Just decide what will be best for your family. Possibly ask for your son's input on this. It is his wedding and he may want a more private celebration then inviting an entire ward would offer.
Q: My fiance's mother keeps wanting to plan my wedding. How do I nicely tell her that I want to plan my wedding without disappointing her?
Welcome to the world of joining two families into one! If you are already feeling the stress of pleasing a future mother-in-law with her plans for your wedding, it's likely this stress will carry on to many other aspects regarding you and her son's life. My suggestion now is the time to make it clear to her that you are starting your own family, and that you do have the right to make decisions regarding your family. Granted, you need to not be overbearing and rude about this because you don't want to start out burning bridges in a family that is about to become apart of your own. She will be your mother-in-law for the rest of your life, and she deserves respect for raising the man you love. You need to kindly, but boldly, tell her that it's your wedding and you would like things done a certain way.
You may get a more positive response if you state it like, "I have really appreciated your involvement in this wedding. I am lucky to have a caring mother-in-law that wants to help. I am starting to feel pressured though to have everything done your way and I want to please you, but I'm not being true to myself. A wedding is something that every little girl dreams of and plans for her whole life, and now MY dream has become a reality. There are certain things that I want for my wedding so that I can have the best possible memories of this beautiful day. I want you to still offer your input on this wedding, but I hope that we have an understanding that if I say no to one of your ideas that it's not that I don't appreciate you, it's just that I see that detail of my wedding differently."
By approaching her in this manner, you are not attacking her, and you are validating her and still respecting her opinion, but you are also making it clear that you do have the final say in your wedding. I strongly suggest you start this now; it will set the stage for the rest of your life with her. You will have started out using this tactic that you will be able to utilize for the rest of your life. The two of you will have an understanding, and you will not be one of these women who hate their mother-in-laws for the rest of their life because you will have tackled the problem from the beginning. It's hard, but necessary that you do it. Good luck!
Photography courtesy of RLT Photography
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