FYI: For Your Information
A Word about Receptions
It is a common practice in some areas of the world to hold a reception or celebration for the bride and groom where they may receive the congratulations of their friends. However, receptions are often expensive and complicated. President Spencer W. Kimball offered this advice on receptions:
“I know you plan a reception following the marriage. It offers a delightful opportunity for relatives and friends to bring gifts and wish you well, but I hope you will again avoid temptation to go to extremes in following the world in showy pageantry. There is danger that the ostentatious display may detract from and overshadow the simple wedding. With your good judgment and clear thinking, I know you can graciously entertain your guests in a wholesome, friendly, and dignified reception without the excesses so often in evidence” (New Era, June 1975, p. 6).
Cameras are not permitted inside the temple. After the sealing, pictures of the bride and groom in their wedding clothes can be taken on the temple grounds. Therefore, your photographer is not required to have a temple recommend. Also, other friends or relatives who do not have recommends can join the couple on the temple grounds during the picture taking.
A Word about Rings
Wedding rings are not part of the temple ceremony. The sanctity and impressiveness of the marriage ceremony should not be overshadowed by any other procedure. The placing of the wedding rings is appropriate immediately after the couple leave the altar.
Guests at the Wedding Ceremony
Because the temple sealing rooms vary in size, the couple should inform the temple (when making an appointment for the ceremony) how many guests are expected to attend the sealing. Only those who have received their own endowments and have current temple recommends may attend the sealing. Even the largest temples are not able to accommodate more than about 50 people.
If you are receiving your endowment on your wedding day, you may want some guests to attend your endowment session with you. Other guests may have time only to attend your sealing. In either case, you must inform your guests concerning when they should arrive at the temple. Double-check these times with the temple.
Some temples require guests to dress in temple clothing even if they attend only the sealing. Others, because of the arrangement of their rooms, can permit guests with temple recommends to attend a sealing dressed in street clothing. In this case, those who attend should be dressed as they would be for sacrament meeting.
Two endowed male members of the Church who have current temple recommends will serve as witnesses to the sealing. You may select your own witnesses, who will sign your marriage papers at the temple, or the temple can provide the witnesses.
Bridal Dress and Groom’s Attire
People who enter the temple to be endowed, married, or to participate in the other ordinances change from their everyday clothes into clean white temple clothing. You may rent it at the temple or take your own with you. (Men’s reception attire is not appropriate for the temple ceremony.)
Wedding gowns may be delivered to most temples before the sealing. The gowns will be taken to a bride’s dressing room and held for you.
Throwing Rice and Honking Horns
Your wedding is a happy time, worthy of celebration. But some worldly traditions are not appropriate on or near temple grounds. There should be no rice thrown on or around temple grounds. It is also in poor taste to deface or decorate automobiles that are parked near the temple. Honking horns and dragging objects behind automobiles also would not be appropriate following a temple marriage.
Laws of the Land
If civil law recognizes a temple marriage, you will need a marriage license valid in the civil jurisdiction in which the temple is located. Some areas require you to have blood tests to obtain a marriage license. Also, depending upon your age, you may need to have your parents with you to give written consent in order to obtain a marriage license.
In the United States and Canada, you must take to the temple a legal license that permits you to marry. This license can be obtained in the state or province in which the temple is located. In some locations you may have a waiting period before a license can be used. Please check on civil requirements with the temple in which you will be married well in advance of your planned wedding day.
Temple marriages in some countries are recognized by the law of the land. Laws in many countries, however, require persons desiring to be sealed in these temples to be married civilly first. In such cases, the couple should go to the temple for the sealing as soon as possible after the civil ceremony.
A Holiday Note
Nearly all temples are closed for a two-week period in the summer, for some national holidays, and for several weeks around Christmas. Over the Christmas holidays, temples are usually open one day to accommodate marriages and sealings and living endowment sessions. Before you complete your wedding plans, it would be wise to check the temple schedules to make sure the temple in which you wish to be married is open. Your bishop should have a copy of all the temple schedules.
© 2005 Before Forever - School of Family Life