Mormon Temple Wedding
What to Expect at a Mormon Temple Wedding
Who can attend the temple ceremony?
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have a current temple recommend may be invited as guests to a sealing ceremony in the temple. A temple recommend is a small card that demonstrates they have interviewed with the appropriate priesthood leaders and been found worthy to enter the House of the Lord. Wedding couples are asked to keep those guests to a relatively small number, primarily immediate family and a few close friends; this allows the service to remain reverent and sacred.
What can those who do not have a temple recommend do while the ceremony takes place?
Temples provide waiting rooms and some have visitors' centers on site, which provide information about Jesus Christ, the Mormon Church, and the importance and sanctity of Mormon temple ceremonies. Also, the grounds of every temple are beautifully maintained and offer individuals a peaceful atmosphere for quiet contemplation.
How long does a temple sealing take?
Most do not take longer than thirty minutes. There will, however, be some variation, depending on factors including the number of people attending and the advice that the officiator gives. Also, in a spirit of reverence and preparation, it is expected that a wedding couple arrive at least 75 minutes prior to their ceremony time. The couple's guests should arrive at least 30 minutes early.
What should guests wear?
Those attending the temple sealing should wear clothes that would be appropriate for church, such as a modest dress or skirt and blouse for women, and a suit (not a tuxedo) or white shirt and slacks for men.
Can the bride wear her wedding dress in the temple?
Brides may wear their wedding dress in the temple (barring any veil or hat), but it must have long sleeves and a high neckline, and all sheer material must be lined. Also, the dress should have no train or at least have a way for the train to be bustled up. Some temples provide jackets that can be worn under or over a dress to make them appropriate for the ceremony. The availability of such a jacket may be checked when setting up a sealing appointment.
When are rings exchanged at a Mormon wedding?
An opportunity for exchanging rings is given immediately after the ceremony concludes in the sealing room; no other place or time on temple grounds is considered appropriate for this practice. Some couples do it then, whereas others prefer to hold a simple ring ceremony during the course of their offsite reception, giving non-Mormon relatives and friends the chance to share a little more in the marriage formalities.
How about photography?
No recording or filming is allowed within a Mormon temple. Couples may have a brief, simple photography session outside the temple following their marriage, and of course many pictures are taken at the reception.
How do couples set the time and date to be married in a temple?
Couples should call the temple where they plan to be married.
When should a couple make an appointment to get their temple recommends?
Couples should allow enough time in order to not feel rushed. Most take care of getting their recommends at least two weeks before the ceremony. It should be noted that Mormons have to have been members of the Church for at least one year before they can obtain a temple recommend. Also, when entering the temple for their own marriage or other ceremony (as opposed to doing work for the dead), they not only need a regular recommend for temple admittance, but also a Recommend for Living Ordinances. Plus, they should not forget their valid state marriage license.
Article authored by the More Good Foundation.