There are different ways of having a legal marriage. You can opt for a civil wedding, or you can have a religious wedding. Many religious institutions hold wedding ceremonies for their members, including the Mormons.
So, do Mormons celebrate weddings? Mormons do celebrate weddings with a ceremony known as sealing. When a Mormon couple gets engaged, they have the option of celebrating their marriage in a Mormon temple. There are two different ceremonies available for the couple, a temple ceremony and a standard church service. The devout Mormon faithful always choose the temple wedding where the sacred tradition of sealing the marriage takes place.
The latter-day saints’ church is a secretive religion where members cannot divulge information about their church to strangers. Their ceremonies, including the temple wedding, are a secretive affair only for the Mormons. Read on to find out more information about Mormons celebrating weddings and how a Mormon wedding works.
Do Mormons Celebrate Weddings?
Mormons do celebrate weddings. Mormon couples would want the church to recognize their marriage; therefore, many strive to have a temple wedding. A temple wedding is an important ceremony, and for a member to have a temple wedding, they have to fulfill certain conditions.
If the couple has been allowed to have a temple wedding by their local bishop, they will arrange for a day to take their marriage vows. A temple wedding is a strictly Mormon event; non-Mormon people cannot attend a temple sealing.
The Mormon members will also need permission from the local bishop to attend the wedding. If the couple are having a temple wedding, they cannot invite their non-Mormon friends to the sealing.
A temple wedding is a small affair; mostly family members get to attend the ceremony. The people who did not have a temple recommend will wait outside the church. The married couple will exit the temple and meet the other guests outside the temple.
Most of their friends will be outside the temple; hence that will be the first time they see the couple as a married couple. It is common practice for the married couple to make a grand exit, so thinking about what to do immediately after exiting the temple is important.
There is no walking down the aisle in Mormon wedding; the bride and groom will walk down between glass and wooden doors. There are two mirrors at the altar facing each other to show infinite images. The infinite images create the illusion of eternal marriage; the bride and groom will kneel between the two mirrors.
Many couples would want to have permanent reminders of their special day. Some hire professional camera persons to take videos and pictures of their wedding ceremonies. A temple sealing has a strict no-camera policy. There are no cameras allowed inside the temple; hence, hiring a professional camera person to come and take pictures at the sealing will not be allowed.
Mormons celebrate weddings to bind the couple together just like other religions but with a little twist. In other religions, like Christianity, wedding vows bind the couple till death. After one of the couples’ death, the widow or widower is free to marry another person. In the Mormon church, a temple sealing binds the couple together for eternity; not even death can separate them.
A temple sealing is always held in one of the temples across the world. There are currently close to one hundred and fifty temples in the world. The couple are free to choose any of the temples to hold their ceremony; they are not limited to their local temple. The devout Mormons will strive to have their weddings in the temple. It is the ultimate blessing to be sealed to a husband or wife for eternity.
Before getting permission from the local bishop to hold the wedding in a temple, the couple will have to fulfill several conditions. One of them is to show their belief in the church’s teachings. They will need to show participation in healthy living by abstaining from drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco.
They should also prove that they live a morally clean life, for example, abstaining from premarital sex. Once they have their bishop’s permission, they can start planning for their temple sealing.
After the wedding, the couple will host their guests at the wedding reception. A Mormon wedding reception is similar to other wedding receptions, with a few small differences. There will be no alcoholic drinks at a Mormon wedding reception. As a guest, bringing any alcoholic drink to the reception or smoking during the wedding reception is strictly forbidden.
How Does a Mormon Wedding Work?
After getting engaged, a Mormon couple has two options for wedding services they can select. These wedding services include the temple wedding and the standard church service. The temple wedding is held in the temple where the sealing ceremony occurs. A standard church service may happen in the temple or any other location, but there will not be a sealing ceremony.
The Mormon church teaches its members that marriage should be an eternity; death cannot separate the two souls. For a couple to have an eternal marriage, the wife has to be sealed to her husband. The sealing ceremony happens in the temple, and it is known as the temple wedding.
For the couple to have a temple wedding, they will need permission from their local bishop. The bishop will arrange for a private interview that the couple will attend together with their spouse. The bishop will ask them some questions to test their Mormon faith. Once the bishop finds them diligent, he will give them a “temple recommend” that allows them to enter the holy temple.
They will take the temple recommend to the stake president, who will ask them some questions about their faith, and if he is satisfied with their answers, he will sign the temple recommend. Once the bishop and the stake president have signed their temple recommend, they can begin to plan for the temple sealing.
At the temple sealing, the couple can only invite members of the Mormon church. The members shall need a temple to recommend from the local bishop to attend the temple sealing. To officiate the couple’s sealing, the person will be the temple president or the temple sealer, an individual with authority to conduct temple sealing. For a temple sealing, the couple will also need at least two witnesses present during the ceremony.
For a standard church service ceremony, the couple are not restricted on their guest list. They can invite both Mormons and non-Mormons to the wedding ceremony. They also do not require a temple recommend from the local bishop; their local bishop can officiate clergy at their wedding. However, there will not be a sealing ceremony in a non-temple wedding.
If a Mormon has a civil ceremony or standard church service, they still have a temple sealing option. The couple can apply for a temple sealing, but they will have to go through all the church requirements. They cannot have two sealings simultaneously; if the marriage did not work, and the couple gets a divorce, they will have to cancel their sealing before marrying other partners.
A Mormon wedding ceremony is among the religious wedding ceremonies recognized by various governments across the world. The marriage that stems from the ceremony is valid both in the church’s eyes and the government.
The temple wedding is a sacred event that non-Mormons cannot attend. If the couple want their non-Mormon friends and relatives to attend their wedding, they will have to hold a non-temple wedding.
A temple sealing is a ceremony many devout Mormons look forward to. It is a romantic and religious event that ensures the bond between a wife and husband goes beyond their time on earth. If the couple want an eternal marriage, then a temple sealing is the tradition that will make it happen.