Forever & Always

As a recent mother of the bride, here’s my top 10 “must do’s” for a fabulous wedding and beginning of a life-long and eternal commitment.

1. Marry the right person, in the right place, and at the right time. 


My father always told me to marry my best friend. And oh how thankful I am that I did! Such great advice for any generation!!!

Choose someone you can learn to love and then stay committed to making it work. Gordon B. Hinckley said it best, “choose your love, love your choice.”


2.  Choose to celebrate!!

In the early wedding planning stages, I wondered if it was worth the time and money that a large celebration required. Then the thought came to my mind “of course you should have a special celebration. Your daughter is marrying for time and all eternity and becoming her own family unit. What is more important and worth celebrating than eternity?” And so….we celebrated!!


3. Don’t go into debt for the wedding.

Thanks to a “wedding” savings account we started when our daughter was young we were able to provide the wedding of her dreams. If you don’t have the savings, search for ways to celebrate on a smaller budget. It can be done.

A word to parents – if you are helping to pay for the wedding, give the money as a gift to the bride and groom and then let THEM decide how to spend it. It’s a gift, not a way for you to manipulate and control how it is spent.


A word to the couple – if you receive a financial gift, be respectful and thankful for the it! Be considerate to the giver’s requests, and allow them to take part in the planning. DON’T ask for more than they are willing or capable to give.


4. Have a GOOD photographer that is not a close relative or friend, they should enjoy the day too.

You never know what might come up before or during the wedding. My sister passed away just a couple weeks before my daughters wedding. My head was in a daze and I am so VERY thankful that we had a photographer that captured so many wonderful moments that I had forgotten.

Welcome sign

5. Parents – remember this is your child’s wedding – NOT YOURS!

It’s a fine line between helping plan your loved one’s wedding and planning the wedding you always wanted! Whatever your circumstances and involvement, tailor the wedding to the bride & groom’s personalities, not your own.

Having an artist as your BFF has it’s advantages. JillWhitArt painted perfect invitations!

6. Communicate with the groom and his family – it’s his wedding too!

Our daughter’s celebration was definitely a combined effort between both families. How wonderful it was to work WITH the groom’s family. Planning a funeral and a wedding at the same time was overwhelming and exhausting. I will never fully be able to thank my daughter’s new family for their kindness and help.


7. Fuel up with good food. 

Food is definitely a personal and cultural preference. It doesn’t really matter what, where, or when you eat. The important thing is to make sure your guests know what to expect and you have balanced nutrition for the long day.

Our daughter and son in-law chose to have a formal wedding dinner that was simply AWESOME! Rather than provide children with fine dining that they would likely not eat, the bride and groom chose to have a supervised pizza party for the kids who received a personal invitation. It was a win-win for everyone!

8. Pick your “must have’s” early in the planning.


No matter what income level, there will always be one more thing that the bride, groom or parents would love to have. Prioritize what is most important and what you feel you “must have” to enjoy the day, and let the less important things go if needed.


9. Choose a venue that fits your guest list.


Yes, that means you need to have en estimated number of guests that you expect PRIOR to choosing the venue. I think everyone has been to THAT wedding party where it was too crowded and it smelled more like a middle school gymnasium than a wedding celebration! On the flip side, don’t have a huge open ballroom that engulfs everyone.

venue tent


10. Dress to kill!

You and your posterity will look at photos from your big day for years. So, look and feel your best. For me, that meant finding a dress that was comfortable and flattering, and shoes I could walk in that were still elegant.

family photo

For the bride this means saying “YES” to her perfect dress!


For the groom, well it depends on the groom!! Whatever his style and personality, he needs to feel like a million bucks!

At the end of the day all that really matters is the promises and covenants that the bride and groom make with each other and God. The dinner, flowers, decorations, dancing and reception are all an expression of celebration with those we love. After all – marriage  really is about choosing to love!!

“And they were married and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.” (4 Nephi 1:11)







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