A wedding is one of the biggest, most important days in someone’s life — and for Latter-day Saints, this day is unique. Marriage is an important part of their religion and so a wedding is a huge celebration.
If you’re attending your first LDS wedding (or even if you’ve been to plenty before), there are some essential things to know about the day and the attire you should wear. Make sure to read these tips before you go!
What To Wear to An LDS Wedding
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages its members to wear their best dress or suit when attending a religious service. Those in attendance at weddings are expected to dress in modest clothing, which is defined as clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Men are encouraged to wear tailored suits with long pants, while women should wear conservative dresses or skirts with blouses or tops that cover shoulders and do not show cleavage such as the styles that you will find at Sweet Salt Clothing. Members are discouraged from wearing casual clothes, shorts, tank tops, or low-cut dresses.
Before you attend an LDS wedding for someone you don’t know personally (especially if it’s your first), it’s helpful to know what they will be wearing so you can look appropriate. You may feel awkward, but your best bet is to dress modestly without being too casual.
What To Do at An LDS Ceremony
Attending an LDS wedding is a new experience for many of us, especially if you haven’t attended a lot of church functions. There are two types of ceremonies to be aware of – a sealing ceremony and a ring ceremony.
In the LDS church, they usually hold the wedding ceremony in the temple (called a sealing). There are hundreds of temples dotted across the globe. There is likely one an hour or so from your home. However, you must be a member of the church and pass what’s called a “temple interview” in order to attend a sealing ceremony. This can be disappointing to family and friends not of the LDS faith because they’d like to attend such an important ceremony. In many cases, members will perform one ceremony in the temple and hold a second, traditional ceremony at their chapel or somewhere else that non-members can attend.
Many non-members still go to the temple grounds and wait outside because it’s a beautiful place with well-kept lawns and gardens. Often you’ll find temples with visitor centers where you can comfortably wait for the happy couple to exit the temple. Most temple weddings include taking pictures outside of the temple with all family and friends, so you’ll want to be there.
An LDS ring ceremony, as mentioned above, is similar to most wedding ceremonies. These often take place at a chapel (which is open to everyone) or another event venue. Often, the couple chooses to do this at the venue where their reception will take place that evening. Just like any other wedding ceremony, you’ll want to arrive and be seated on time to avoid disruption. The couple will choose someone to officiate the ceremony. This could be their bishop or a close family friend. Most couples choose to simply exchange rings while others add in their own vows. This is a special part of the wedding you will not want to miss.
LDS Wedding Reception
A Mormon wedding reception can be an intimidating first experience for those unfamiliar with LDS culture. This is especially true if you’re not LDS yourself or you don’t know anyone else who has attended a Mormon wedding. However, it’s important to remember that guests of any religion are always welcome at weddings of members of other faiths, so there’s no need to be anxious.
An LDS wedding reception is just like any other except you most likely won’t see an open bar. Dinner is usually served, dancing is included with either a band or DJ, guests bring gifts, and a send-off for the bride and groom can be expected. Be sure to send off your loved ones with the perfect gift. Gifts for newlywed LDS couples can be something they can use for their new home such as LDS pictures of Christ, anything for the kitchen or bath, and even some money that they can use on their honeymoon.
If you’ve never attended an LDS wedding before, make sure to get familiar with what modest clothing entails beforehand. If you’re wanting to know more about the special day, be sure to ask the bride or groom weeks before and even their family members if you don’t want to be a bother.