Updated on: Feb 17, 2024
Have you ever wondered what a Mormon wedding ceremony looks like in a COVID-19 world? Or have you ever wondered what they are like generally? There are so many different kinds of wedding ceremonies that exist out there, but there are very few that most people are privy to. Traditional Western wedding ceremonies are very familiar and maybe the most attractive option, especially when COVID-19 is considered with how much it has been affecting our world.
Many churches have made social distancing a priority, however, the indoor locations can cause the intended guest lists to shrink. If you plan to have a larger party, you may want to consider an outside venue where there is more open space. However, during such unconventional times, people may want to consider unconventional wedding ceremonies to indulge in. But, what other types of wedding ceremonies are there? Before deciding on that, you will want to explore many kinds of wedding ceremonies; today, we are going to be focusing on wedding ceremonies of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, most know as Mormons.
Planning a Mormon Wedding Ceremony
What happens at a Mormon Wedding Ceremony?
What exactly happens at a Mormon ceremony, you might be wondering? It turns out that it may not be as strange as you might imagine. They still have traditional decorations and flowers, however, certain aspects might seem rather foreign. For instance, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints typically have their wedding ceremony in a temple. To witness the ceremony, guests must have a temple recommendation that may be acquired from their bishop. Temple recommendations are given to members who feel that they are worthy to enter the temple, also known as the House of the Lord.
This might raise some eyebrows initially that only members of the Church of Jesus Christ with temple recommendations can attend, but there is a good reason for this. There is a large focus on family; this potentially makes for more personal and meaningful wedding ceremonies. Unfortunately, this means that non-Mormon friends and family would be unable to attend the wedding ceremony. However, they are welcome to wait for the couple outside of the temple. It is quite common for friends and family to excitedly greet the bride and groom when they come out of the temple.
Rich Mormon Wedding Ceremony Traditions
Now, we can move on to what exactly happens at these ceremonies; which might not seem all that different from a traditional wedding ceremony. Everyone, including the guests, led to what’s called a “sealing room” within a temple, where people sit and observe the ceremony. The dress code is simply your usual church clothes, dressed modestly, and not at all flashy. However, the bride and groom are both dressed in pure white. The atmosphere can also be compared to that of a library; everyone is expected to speak in a low voice and to keep it generally quiet.
A “sealer,” a man who has authority from the church to perform the sealing, enters the sealing room and begins the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom are asked to kneel at the altar in the middle of the room facing each other. The sealer will usually begin by welcoming those in attendance and then offers the couple some counsel and advice about their marriage and starting their new life together. Every sealer uses his own life experience to personalize the first few minutes of the sealing ordinance. The sealer then recites the words to the ceremony which are not mentioned due to this ceremony being sacred to those of the Mormon church. The ceremony concludes with the bride and groom being sealed together for time and all eternity and to all children born in that union.
These ceremonies do not last very long at all, though there are usually festivities that follow afterward. Here, non-Mormon friends and family can attend, to share in the festivities. One might be thinking that the idea of sealing rooms may not be such a good idea, given the state of the world today with COVID-19 still spreading worldwide. However, temples have taken the appropriate steps to follow COVID-19 guidelines to social distance according to the country in which the temple resides, such as allowing fewer people to participate in the sealings.
Differences in a Mormon Wedding Ceremony
There is a wide array of wedding ceremony types that correspond with particular religions. They all have their own unique twists; a Mormon wedding ceremony, as we have learned, is no different. The differences besides the barrier of entry are very minimal. One thing to consider is that the degree of faith is stronger in certain beliefs than others.
For example, let us consider Paganism; they certainly have their own conventions for holding wedding ceremonies, but you do not need to be a Pagan to hold or attend a Pagan wedding ceremony. The differences between these religions and wedding ceremony types make the world more colorful, and we must take care to respect those differences. Many take strong comfort in traditions that are shared with their community and fellow believers, and that is a beautiful thing.
Mormon Wedding Ceremony: Conclusion
It certainly sounds like there is a lot of prepping for a Mormon wedding ceremony, but the payoff is considered worth it. Consider the very low divorce rate, for instance; for those deeply passionate about a partner for eternity, Mormon wedding ceremonies become attractive.
With the barrier of entry requiring a bit of prep work, along with non-Mormon friends not being able to attend the sealing, it can seem daunting, but these concerns can be alleviated with both proper planning, checklists, and also holding a wedding reception elsewhere once the official wedding ceremony is finished. Speeches are still given and can add a personal touch to any wedding. Apart from all that has been mentioned, a Mormon wedding ceremony is certainly not all that different from a traditional wedding ceremony, is it?
Written by Jan Rojas; Contributor: Jack Leduc