Mar 212012
 

DIY Wedding Music

Do-it-yourself wedding music for LDS wedding receptions and open houses

Photo Courtesy of JarvieDigital.com

With all the expenses and costs of a wedding and reception, you may be considering DIY options like you never thought you would. Are you ready for a do-it-yourself job on your reception music, otherwise known as an “iPod wedding”?

Like any DIY wedding option, handling your own reception music has a big list of pros and cons. The biggest benefit is of course the hefty savings once you cut out hiring a DJ or wedding band to provide your reception music. Others like it because you get complete control over the song selection. Being your own wedding DJ is…read more

Dec 272011
 
How an LDS bride and groom can include non-members in an LDS wedding ceremony

Photo Courtesy of Ravenberg Photography

Including Non-Members in Your LDS Reception

Fellow Latter-day Saints generally understand the etiquette surrounding an LDS temple wedding, but what if your reception involves non-members as well as members?

Since any non-members or less-active Latter-day Saints on your guest list won’t be able to attend your temple sealing, including them in the reception becomes that much more important. Some things you can do when non-members or less-actives are present are:

• Explain the significance of the temple sealing to them personally beforehand
• Include an insert about temple sealings in the reception program or along with the wedding invitation
• Tell guests what to expect at the reception, including the absence of…read more

Mar 282011
 
LDS Wedding Receptions and LDS Open Houses, photo JarvieDigital.com, WeddingLDS.info

Photo Courtesy of JarvieDigital.com

Ideas for Your Unique LDS Wedding Reception

Virtually every LDS wedding involves some type of reception or open house. Regardless of the colors, theme, or tone of the wedding, an LDS reception is an opportunity for friends and family to wish the happy couple well and celebrate the beginning of their journey together as husband and wife.

Even though Mormon wedding receptions are generally held right after the ceremony, some LDS couples…read more

Mar 252011
 

Ring Ceremony for Your LDS Reception

How to have a LDS ring Ceremony

Photo Courtesy of JarvieDigital.com


Since exchanging rings isn’t part of the LDS temple sealing, Latter-day Saint couples have two options. Either they can exchange rings at the conclusion of the sealing after they have stepped away from the altar, or they can exchange them at a separate ring ceremony during the wedding reception. Keep reading to learn why a ring ceremony may be right for you, get current guidelines from general authorities, and get ideas for a sample program for an LDS Ring Ceremony.

Having a ring ceremony after a temple wedding is…read more

Mar 072011
 

LDS RECEPTION DETAILS

LDS wedding reception details

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Gene Photography

From the traditional to the unconventional, today’s Latter-day Saint wedding receptions are being held at all kinds of places.

Backyards, cultural halls, or local ballrooms and event centers will probably always remain staples for LDS wedding receptions. But untraditional venues like museums, art galleries, dinner cruises, country clubs, hotels, and restaurants are now becoming popular reception destinations, as well.

When choosing a location, weigh the cost, atmosphere, and what services are included if you book it for your wedding reception. If it’s an outdoor location, make sure there are backup plans in case of extreme weather.

Locations that specialize in doing wedding receptions (such as local banquet halls, ballrooms, or event centers) usually include…read more

Feb 252011
 
What is a Latter-Day Saint?

Photo Courtesy of JarvieDigital.com

WHAT IS LDS? ♥ AN OVERVIEW:
Planning a wedding is stressful and overwhelming for anyone, but for family members of LDS brides and/or LDS grooms who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS for short and sometimes called Mormons) this can be especially true. “Why is it so important that you get married in the temple?” “How come I can’t come?” “Why is the temple secret?” “Why can’t you have a ‘regular’ marriage ceremony first (or after)?” “What does ‘For Time and All Eternity’ mean?” are just a few of the questions that can come to mind. This page is dedicated to YOU, our non-member family members and friends who are involved with a member of the church (perhaps a son, daughter, sister, brother, friend) who is getting married in the temple. And while WeddingLDS.info is…read more

Mar 302010
 

LDS TEMPLE WEDDING

LDS Bride, LDS Groom, LDS San Diego Temple

Photo courtesy of April Smith Photography for WeddingLDS.com

Planning a wedding is stressful and overwhelming for anyone, but LDS Brides and Grooms who are getting married in the temple find themselves in a particularly difficult situation. Of course you don’t need to worry about the expense of the wedding venue (getting married in an LDS Temple is free!) but the fact that the wedding will take place in an LDS temple will affect every part of your planning, from the gown and tux to the pictures to the get-away-transportation.

There are really two components to LDS temple wedding planning: spiritual and practical. Since the temple sealing involves much more than just a legal contract, it’s important to be prepared spiritually to enter the temple. The temple sealing is described as the crowning ordinance of the temple in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so it’s best not to wander into it unprepared. Brides and Grooms who do so will find that they look back on their temple wedding day with mixed emotions, confusion, or even regret. Appropriate spiritual preparation for a temple sealing includes:

  • Studying church-approved materials (Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple by Boyd K. Packer is excellent)
  • Taking temple prep class from your branch, ward, stake, or institute
  • Talking to the Bishop or parent(s) about the temple

In any event, it will be necessary to first make an appointment with your Bishop(s) to obtain a temple recommend. Without a temple recommend that is signed by both the Bishop and the Stake President, you won’t be allowed inside the temple. The best idea is to make an appointment to see the Bishop as soon as possible after the engagement. He can give prospective temple brides and grooms good advice and resources to prepare for the spiritual aspects of temple preparation. He can also help them to resolve any moral issues or problems that may prevent them from obtaining a temple recommend. After having a temple recommend interview with the Bishop, the process must be repeated with the Stake President. Both men can be busy and getting an appointment may take longer than expected, so it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.

A temple recommend signifies that a member is worthy to enter the temple and receive the ordinances of endowment and sealing. The initiatory and endowment is always performed before the sealing. Some brides and grooms prefer to receive their endowments immediately before their sealing, while others like to do an endowment session a few days prior to the sealing. Some may have already received their endowments earlier before going on a mission. There is no “right” way to do it but you should know your initiatory will take about 30-45 minutes total time, an endowment session takes about 2 hours total time and the temple sealing lasts for about 20 minutes. So if you do everything on the same day plan on about 3-4 hours inside the temple. Then add to that the time it takes to get ready for your sealing and wedding reception, the time it takes to get ready (such as hair, makeup, dressing, packing, etc.), driving time, and the wedding reception itself, one could become quite overwhelmed and tired. You may want to ask your parents, bishop(s), or other LDS friends who have already had their sealing their advice on the matter.

Since temple recommends are necessary to enter the temple, every guest at the sealing must also have a temple recommend. It’s important to make sure that all guests understand this well in advance, especially nonmember or inactive parents and family members who won’t be able to attend the sealing. When not all family members or close friends can attend the actual temple wedding ceremony, there are understandably going to be hurt feelings. But this potentially divisive issue can be softened by including non-recommend holders in reception and/or ring ceremony planning and by maintaining open and honest communication at all times.

When couples marry in an LDS temple it simplifies choosing and reserving a wedding venue. The temple is completely free of charge, relieving a large financial burden of planning even a modest wedding. Also, it is generally easier to reserve the temple for a sealing than it is to reserve many other popular wedding hot spots. Once couples zero in on the specific temple in which they’d like to get married, they simply need to call and ask to reserve the temple for the desired date and time.

Even though LDS sealing ceremonies are short, don’t assume that the temple will be open and available for any specific day until you call to confirm. Larger temples in areas with a high concentration of Latter-day Saints may be in high demand, and smaller temples generally only have one or two sealing rooms. Each temple has its own schedule and may be closed for up to a week at a time for cleaning and maintenance. Smaller temples are also usually closed on Mondays, and all temples are closed on major holidays and Sundays. The best policy is to begin wedding planning by selecting a date, then calling the temple to reserve a sealing room before announcing the date or making any other plans. The sealing is, after all, the most important part of the wedding day. Everything else is just icing on the cake. (We couldn’t resist the pun!)

Another important reason to call the temple is to talk to the Temple President about protocol. He will be able to give you more information about where to park, the best places to take pictures, guidelines for guests and wedding party on temple grounds, and other regulations regarding decorating cars with “just married” signs and so on. Each temple president has different preferences, so call to see what yours says.

After choosing the temple and confirming its availability, an LDS bride is ready to start planning all the other aspects of the wedding day. In most cultures, the wedding gown is generally considered the most important. Unless you live in Utah or areas of Idaho where there are a lot of Mormons, you may find it much more difficult than you anticipated finding modest wedding dresses and modest bridesmaids’ dresses, so it’s best to begin looking as early as possible.

Latter-day Saint wedding dresses will be worn over the garments, which for women have cap sleeves and a scoop neck. (Women receive their temple garments right before their endowment.) This means that backless or strapless dresses and plunging necklines are out of the question, eliminating an overwhelmingly large percentage of commercially available bridesmaids’ dresses and bridal gowns. 

While you will certainly want to wear your wedding gown for your pictures, you have a number of options for what to wear inside the temple for your sealing. If you want to wear your wedding dress during the sealing ceremony, it must meet some additional “temple-ready” requirements. Dresses worn inside the temple must be white, long-sleeved, have modest necklines, and reach the floor. Trains cannot be worn in the temple, so if you have one it should be removable. If your dress doesn’t meet “temple-ready” standards, then temple workers can provide you with a white dickie to wear underneath your gown so that it does. Otherwise, you can change and wear a plain white temple dress for the sealing portion of the ceremony. Many brides say that it doesn’t really matter much either way. Your ceremonial endowment clothing will be worn over your dress for the sealing, which means that your dress will be mostly covered anyway.

Latter-day Saint brides and grooms who are hiring a wedding photographer to take pictures outside the temple will also want to be very clear in communicating what they want. Rather than just being a pretty backdrop for their wedding, most LDS couples see the temple as an important third party in their wedding, the temple spire representing the Savior. Most LDS couples getting married in the temple want the spire prominently featured in at least a few of their wedding pictures. Make sure that when choosing the wedding photographer that he/she understands the significance of the temple to you personally, and specify how many and what kind of shots you would like as far as the temple is concerned. Even if the photographer is a Latter-day Saint, never assume that they know exactly what you want. Also, make sure that the photographer and all participants in photos knows that appropriate behavior when taking pictures on temple grounds is quiet and reverent.

The moments following the long-awaited question “Will you marry me?” are blissful ones for any newly-engaged girl. But soon, reality sets in. The overwhelming number of details that need to be planned simultaneously are mind-boggling. What’s more, LDS brides and grooms planning a temple wedding have special needs that also need to be taken into consideration. Getting married in an LDS temple can be a fantastic experience or it can be a so-so experience, depending on your planning in advance. By using these temple tips and other on-line resources here at WeddingLDS.com any LDS bride and groom can be prepared both spiritually and practically, and enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime temple sealing!

Jenny Evans

Exclusively for WeddingLDS.com

Copyright © 2010 WeddingLDS.com. All rights reserved.

Mar 272010
 
LDS Bride, LDS Temple, LDS wedding, LDS Groom, Modest Wedding Dress

DougMirandaPhotography.com

Since exchanging rings isn’t part of the temple sealing, Latter-day Saint couples have two options. Either they can exchange rings at the conclusion of the sealing after they have stepped away from the altar, or they can exchange them at a separate ring ceremony during the reception. Keep reading to learn why a ring ceremony may be right for you, get current guidelines from general authorities, and see a sample ring ceremony program.

Reasons for an LDS Ring Ceremony

Having a ring ceremony after a temple sealing is beneficial for many reasons. Latter-day Saint couples often choose to hold a separate ring ceremony because it:

  1. Allows parents, bishops, or other special people to be involved as speakers during the ceremony
  2. Lets a larger group of guests witness a part of the special day (it is only appropriate to invite family and close friends to the sealing)
  3. Includes family members who don’t qualify for temple recommends and can’t see the sealing

Why a Ring Ceremony is Good for Part-Member Families

It’s hard to imagine what less-active or non-member parents and family members must feel when they are unable to witness the temple sealing. A ring ceremony can lessen the hurt by helping them feel that they didn’t completely “miss” the wedding. Of course the rings are simply symbols of the covenants you’ve already made in the temple sealing, but exchanging them in a ring ceremony is a simple way to include everyone and publicly acknowledge the love and hard work that non-member or inactive family members have put into this special day.

LDS Guidelines for Ring Ceremonies

If you decide that a ring ceremony is right for you, then you need to know how to perform one in keeping with church guidelines. Ring ceremonies are not appropriate on temple grounds, and should instead be performed at another location.

The church’s most recent statement on ring ceremony protocol in 1984 reads that “the circumstances should be consistent with the dignity of [the] temple marriage. The exchange should not appear to replicate any part of the marriage ceremony. For instance, there should be no exchanging of vows on that occasion.” A 1987 article in the New Era repeats that “the sanctity and impressiveness of the [sealing] marriage ceremony should not be overshadowed by any other procedure.”

Sample Program for an Mormon Ring Ceremony

Other than the above listed cautions, couples are free to do pretty much whatever they want at their ring ceremonies. It should be something that expresses your personality and the special love that you share. Most ring ceremonies last between 10 and 20 minutes, and they may include:
Opening prayer

Special musical number by a friend or relative

A short 3-5 minute talk explaining the significance of temple sealing (this can be especially helpful for non-member parents trying to understand why temple marriage was chosen)

Brief speeches or “toasts” from selected members of the wedding party

Bride explaining her feelings for the groom

Groom explaining his feelings for the bride

Exchange of rings

Closing prayer

Again, there is no set pattern for an LDS ring ceremony. So as long as it doesn’t take place on temple grounds, replace the importance of the sealing, or turn into a “second wedding” brides and grooms can enjoy the freedom to plan their ring ceremony however they see fit. When done correctly, a ring ceremony is a great way to include family and friends in the happiness of your wedding day.

♥ Jenny Evans

Exclusively for WeddingLDS.com

Copyright © 2010 WeddingLDS.com. All rights reserved.