Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Big Fat Mormon Wedding

Ben and I have received several questions recently about Mormon weddings.  There are a million crazy rumors going around out there about what and how we do it.  For those of you who are curious about the Mormon faith and how we do our weddings, then I am going to give you the 411 on our big day.  The rest of you, just sit back and enjoy the ride... because Ben and I, we honestly do nothing the easy/ "normal" way.  Drama seems to find us wherever we go!

If you have been a long time reader of the "Nutshell" you may remember our whirlwind romance.  For those of you who don't, Ben and I knew we were going to get married on our first date.  He proposed 2 weeks later, and 3 weeks after that we were married.  It was fast.  Lot's of people didn't think we would last... I mean, seriously, who does that?!  Well, we did.  We knew it was meant to be, and here we are 7 1/2 years later even more in love than before.
Like 10 minutes after he popped the question!
Okay, so we had 3 weeks to put together a wedding. We didn't have a lot of money, so Ben and I decided that we were going to go cheap, yet classy. We set our date for December 18th, just a week before Christmas. You would think our parents wanted to strangle us for giving them so little time, but they were actually thrilled. See, to Ben and I, the wedding, it was just the beginning of our life together, it wasn't that big of deal, we just wanted to be married. So the day after we got engaged, my mom and I headed up to Provo to get a dress. This was the first sign that Ben and I were supposed to be together because the dress I wanted was the first I tried on and it fit me so perfect that it didn't even have to be altered!

Ben and I went and got our engagement pictures taken.  We only did like 2 poses and we were like, okay that's enough, just throw the card together and send us a bunch.  There was no picking out the best envelopes or anything like that.
Engagement Picture
My family was pretty small compared to Ben's.  He was related to basically the whole town.  So while planning the reception, we just told all his relatives to bring their artificially Christmas trees over to the church building where we were planning on having the open house/reception.  Then we decorated them with white lights and silver balls.  Our wedding flower was the poinsettia.  They were on all the tables.

My mother-in-law made us a faux-cake out of rice crispy treats:

Then we served a nice white sheet cake from the local grocery store.

I had my nails done.  My hair high-lighted.  Picked up my dress and we reserved Ben's tux.  Wedding license was taken care of, and rings were bought.  We bought Ben's ring and my wedding band -- I think we paid like $200 for both of them.  My engagement ring was my great-grandmothers and I was like the 4th bride to wear it.  I still wear it today.

We went in to our bishop for an interview to make sure that we were "worthy" to be married in the temple.  This is where the Mormon stuff comes in.  Members of the church who have lived worthy lives (and that includes those who have repented for past sins), can be married in the LDS Temples.  We chose to get married in the St. George Temple so that my sister could be there (who was getting ready to have her second baby) and our grandparents didn't have to travel far.

Temple marriage ceremonies are usually pretty small.  Only our closest friends and family members attend.  We had about 50 people there.  They take place in a small room and are officiated by men who hold the authority to do so.  The bride and groom kneel across and alter and it is there that they make their vows or covenants to each other and to God.
This isn't the exact room, but very similar. 
Now, what makes a temple marriage different from a regular one? Well, in most cases, couples are married "until death do they part." In our faith, we believe that a man and a woman can be sealed together for "time and all eternity." I don't want my life with Ben to end at death. I want to be with him forever. That's why getting married in the temple is so special to us.

Now, there are lots of couples who choose to have traditional marriages for whatever reason in our faith.  They then can wait a year, and then come to the temple and be "sealed" to their spouse if they desire.

To Ben and I, making a big deal out of the wedding and reception, just wasn't us.  We just wanted to be together and continue on our lives.

We thought we had everything set up... it was all going perfect... then we woke up on our wedding day.

My mom was stressing out because my sister had gone into labor early and had her baby the night before.  She wanted to be with her, but I was getting married.... how do you choose?

Then as I was doing my hair, and I burnt a huge chuck of my bangs off.... I mean HUGE... like the whole front side.  I started crying and then had to do my makeup again.  Then when we were heading out to the temple, my dad decided to take a "short cut" and got lost.  We were late.  You should have seen poor Ben's face when we finally pulled up!!

The ceremony was beautiful.  As I knelt across the alter from Ben, it was just me and him.  There was no one else in that room, it seemed.  It was great.

I rushed to get my wedding dress on (I chose not to wear it for the ceremony, I just wore a simple white dress) and then when Ben and I came out the back doors of the temple, no one was paying any attention.  They were off taking group pictures and didn't notice us.  Totally ruined our big exit!
See no one, looking.  This was snapped by one of my friends. That photographer on the left was waiting for the next couple.

It's Mormon tradition that the family and friends come outside and wait for the bride and groom to emerge.  And then every cheers when they do... yeah, it was totally delayed for us.

We didn't hire a professional photographer because we couldn't afford it.  So our pictures were less than stellar.  But that's okay -- photoshop can do amazing things these days.

We took lots of pictures.

After that, we were all going to meet for the wedding brunch.  Which was a potluck at the local church building.  Like I said, we were going cheap....

Then we all headed back up to our small home town for the reception.  My mom had my niece who kept throwing up in the car... she also had my makeup and wedding dress.... So I was a bit late to my own reception.  But the church looked like a winter wonderland, and it was just perfect for what Ben and I wanted to celebrate our special day. After a few hours of standing in line, greeting friends and family, pretending to cut our rice crispy cake, and take lots of pictures, we escaped in our little Nova to the hotel room we had reserved.... only to find out my grandparents were staying in the room next to ours.


They even left us a little note on our car window in the morning.... more awkward.

Got to love family though.  They sure make life memorable!

Just a quick head's up: when choosing a honeymoon destination, pick a place that is at least a 3 hour drive from your home town... or else, you may get a few drive by visitors hoping to get a peek at the newly weds... not that it happened to us, or anything like that.... :P

It was the perfect beginning for us to start the journey of the rest our lives together. The wedding, it's just the first step to a great number of bigger steps. My life didn't really start until that day. It may not have been anyone's idea of a fairy-tale wedding, but it was our "Once Upon a Time..." and now we have forever to live our "Happily, Ever After."



wedding planning education said...

Nice Photos and Blogs I Like It

wedding planning education

Terra said...

Fun post and good info about our "mormon" weddings! Thx Cat!

Annie said...

Oh my gosh, I loved that post!!! You guys were CRAZY! I love it! And I love that your grandparents were in the hotel room next to you, SO FUNNY!!!

Rachel Maxwell said...

I want you to put up a side-by-side then and now pictures of you and Ben, you guys have changed so much!
Love you all!

Wapy Watt said...

The only thing which can ruin your outdoor wedding ceremony is weather. But I am happy that finally my wedding day was awesomely celebrated. I chose San Francisco wedding venues and loved their arrangements.