Planning any type of wedding is a busy and emotional task. However, planning Latter Day Saints weddings can be particularly stressful for the bridal couple due to many differences in the actual wedding ceremony.
While many LDS couples will choose to have what most people would consider a traditional wedding, others that are very devout in the religion, choose to have a temple wedding with a sealing ceremony.
Temple weddings or sealing ceremonies are very different from what most people consider traditional wedding ceremonies. There is no walk down the aisle escorted by the father of the bride. There are no bridesmaids and groomsmen. There are very few guests and the guests that are present can only be there by "recommend" meaning they have qualified and the "recommend" has been signed by the bishop and stake president. Therefore, many times, not all family members can attend a temple sealing ceremony.
With all that being said, many LDS couples choose to have their sealing ceremony and then hold a separate "ring ceremony" and traditional reception at another venue. This generally is a good choice for most couples as it enables them to include all the family and friends they would like and also to include all of what is generally consider "typical" wedding festivities such as photographs with the family and bridal party, decorating of the couple's car, or throwing rice or birdseed. None of these activities are permitted on temple grounds and must be undertaken at a separate venue.
Of course this does not mean an LDS bride cannot enjoy many of the same festivities as her non LDS friends. If the couple has chosen to have a sealing ceremony in the temple, it simply means they can choose to have a separate ring ceremony and/or reception at a different venue such as a ballroom.
Another difference in Latter Day Saints weddings is the gown the bride will wear. If she is having a temple wedding, the gown if much different than most wedding gowns. The bride will have a temple gown that is very modest and not overly accessorized. There are gowns available for the bride to use at every temple or she can choose to purchase her own. If she will be having a separate ring ceremony and/or reception, she may choose to purchase a second, more elaborate wedding dress from many of the different styles of modest wedding dresses available specifically for LDS brides.
Of course, there are many more things to consider when planning an LDS wedding. The very best resource would be your own temple. However, there is also the internet and many very helpful websites such as weddingslds.com and and ldsweddings.com. Both sites are very helpful and are a good starting point when just beginning to plan your Latter Day Saints wedding.
With a little bit of advance planning along with patience and understanding on everyone's part, Latter Day Saints weddings can be the sacred, beautiful and memorable event that every bride and groom wishes for.
Tags: temple weddings, sealing ceremonies, LDS weddings, modest wedding dresses, temple gowns