For a decade we lived in Boca Raton, Florida — a city with a synagogue on every corner where you were much more likely to be invited to a bris or bar/bat mitzvah than any other religious ceremony. Boca had a single ward that varied between fairly thriving (when IBM had a campus there) to barely surviving (when they moved out) and spots in between. But few in the area seemed well-versed in Mormon culture or doctrine.
One day I hosted a meeting for the room mothers for oldest daughter’s kindergarten class. When the women walked into the living room, one saw a picture of a temple on the wall.
“What is that?”
“That’s the Salt Lake Temple. It’s where Sam and I got married.”
That’s when the fussing started. They were all amazed and impressed at the grandeur of it all. It took me a minute to realize that it was the imagined cost of renting such a “castle” that had them all fawning over me. Darn.
“Oh, actually, it didn’t cost anything to rent. It was free.”
Sam’s response, “Yea. It only costs 10% of our income…for life.”
Now, 18 years later, my daughter is engaged to be married. She is amazing. Her fiancé is a wonderful guy. They have chosen the Salt Lake Temple as the venue. And they have kindly given us until April to plan the blessed event. We couldn’t be happier.
Except that we are utter neophytes in the LDS wedding planning arena.
I’m a big fan of Emily Post, but a great deal of her wedding etiquette guidelines doesn’t fit with a temple wedding. So, immediately I began asking friends with experience as parents-of-the-bride for an LDS wedding for advice. They’ve been very helpful so far, but I have a big learning curve ahead of me.
The best advice as from my dear friend, Jan Stanfill: “Give the couple a budget and let them decide how to prioritize things.”
I think that’s a fabulous idea, with perhaps a few caveats. The only problem is that I have no idea what a reasonable budget would be. And I can’t very well start asking people how much they spent on their kids’ weddings. At least not in real life. But maybe I can get away with it on the internet where responses can be anonymous. So, here’s what I’m asking: What’s a reasonable budget for a typical, LDS temple wedding?
OK. Before you go on telling me that the cost varies widely, or that it costs whatever you want to spend, or that it’s different all over the country/world. Let me just say that I know. Really, I do. But being given any starting point at all will help. So if you are willing to offer a ballpark estimate, some guidelines, resources, or any other wedding advice, I’d be very grateful.
Please comment below and tell me everything you know about how to have a wonderful LDS wedding.