LDS Ring Ceremonies

LDS Ring Ceremonies 101

LDS Ring Ceremonies 101

In recent years, hosting an LDS ring ceremony has increasingly popular for Latter-day Saint couples and their families. A ring ceremony is a public event where the bride and groom exchange rings. It is most typically done so non-member family and friends can help celebrate their marriage. Here are some basic guidelines when planning your LDS ring ceremony.

Official Church Statements

Since the final decisions about a ring ceremony are personal, the Church has provided limited official LDS ring ceremony guidelines. Here’s what they have to say!

Couples may arrange with their bishops to hold a special meeting for relatives and friends who do not have recommends. This meeting provides an opportunity for those who cannot go to the temple to feel involved in the marriage and to learn something of the eternal nature of the marriage covenant. The meeting may include a prayer and special music, followed by the remarks of a priesthood leader. No ceremony should be performed, and no vows should be exchanged. – General Handbook of Instruction, 1989

 

 

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. – Spencer W. Kimball

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. – New Era, 1987

Though the exchanging of rings is not part of the temple marriage ceremony, rings may appropriately be exchanged at the conclusion of the temple marriage ceremony in the room where that ceremony takes place. To avoid confusion with the marriage ceremony, it is not appropriate to exchange rings at any other time or place in the temple or on the temple grounds.

 

A couple may exchange rings in locations other than at the temple. The circumstances should be consistent with the dignity of their temple marriage. The exchange should not appear to replicate any part of the marriage ceremony. For instance, there should be no exchanging of vows on that occasion. – Church Bulletin, 1989

Try to Hold It Before the Sealing

As a general rule, it is encouraged to hold any outside ceremonies before the sealing. The sealing is meant to be the crowning ordinance and nothing should surpass it. However, modern wedding schedules often make this difficult. If you are unable to hold your LDS ring ceremony before your temple sealing, the best time is after the sealing and before the wedding reception. You may invite special friends and guests to a ring ceremony and luncheon or hold the ring ceremony half an hour before the reception.

Speak of Eternal Marriage

Many LDS couples have their bishop or another ecclesiastical leader officiate the ring ceremony. Before the exchanging of rings, consider having your bishop speak about eternal marriage and bear testimony of the temple. If applicable, a brief explanation of a temple sealing can be described.

No matter what is spoken, no part of the ring ceremony should replicate the sacred ordinance of the temple sealing.

Invite Close Non-Member Family Members to Speak

If time permits, invite close non-member family to say a few words on marriage or give brief toasts. A musical number, poetry, or other appropriate expressions of love may be shared.

Don’t Exchange Vows, But Do Exchange Loving Words

Since nothing should compare with the sacred covenants you make, it is generally considered inappropriate to exchange formal vows at a ring ceremony. However, exchanging loving words and hopes for your future is a sweet and personal way to involve the bride and groom more deeply in the ring ceremony as they exchange their rings. Consider using one of these prompts for the words you’ll exchange:

  • This ring symbolizes my…
  • As I give you this ring, I look back on…and look forward to…
  • I give you this ring as a symbol of…

 

Location

Ring ceremonies are most easily held at your reception location. If you are planning on having a reception somewhere other than your local LDS meetinghouse, consider asking about accommodations for a ring ceremony in a separate room or if decor can be easily changed over. Depending on how important a ring ceremony is to you and your family, you may wish to budget a little more for ring ceremony decor and set up.

Other Traditions

Many couples may wish to incorporate other wedding traditions into their ceremony. This includes having the bride walk down an aisle with her father or family member, kissing at the end, lighting candles, or pouring sand. Generally, these traditions are appropriate so long as they do not take on the guise of a formal wedding vow or marriage. The couple should not be married or take the form of being married at their ring ceremony. Outside of this, one of the great joys of the ring ceremony is creating a personalized moment all of your friends and family can enjoy. Feel free to personalize it to you.

Talk With Your Bishop

Your bishop will be able to give specific counsel and direction on your circumstances. He’ll be able to discuss what ideas are appropriate, what sorts of ceremonies are appropriate in each room of your meeting house, and how to best invite the sacred spirit of the day into your ring ceremony.

 

 

Photo by Jarvie Digital

LDS Ring Ceremonies 101 - LDS Ring Ceremony Planning

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August 8, 2017
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10 Comments

  • Fernando Vargas

    Mdd

  • Fernando Vargas

    The article left me some doubts:
    1. Are Lds meeting houses used as the reception location? I have been told that we are not to use it for private events.
    2. When does that civil wedding take place if we do a ring ceremony?

    I would appreciate if you guys help me out with this…

    • Keek

      The ring ceremony is basically the civil wedding. You have to get a permit from the state first of all – basically means you are married. Anything else is gravy if you want a religious ceremony. Of course you aren’t sealed until your temple ordinance, and basically the piece of paper is just that until that ordinance. If you get married civilly first by your bishop ( where you say “I do”) and then act as man and wife i.e you consummate the marriage you have to wait a year to go to the temple. This article is talking about having some celebration so those that can’t attend the temple can still participate in the marriage hence the ring exchange. I dunno if that answers anything. See comment below for building question.

    • LDS Wedding

      Fernando! This is Aleah from LDSWedding.com. I wanted to give some answers to your questions based on our research.

      1. LDS meetinghouses are available for both receptions & ring ceremonies. There are a few rules couples and families have to follow, so anyone wishing to use the chapel for any event needs to talk to their bishop and/or building coordinator.

      2. In the United States, the couple may be married civilly in the temple. That means that once the couple has their marriage licenses, the sealer inside the temple is able to marry them according to law. In many other countries, however, couples must be married by a government entity first, such as in the United Kingdom. The temple sealing then becomes a religious ceremony only. So, for many United States couples, the ring ceremony has no legal or religious significance. For couples outside of the United States, a ring ceremony and the official civil ceremony where the government official marries them act as one.

      Hope that answers your questions!

  • Member

    Sorry. Dictating this is crossing the line. It should be up to the people getting married as to how they want to do a ring ceremony. Maybe they want to have it in a beach somewhere, maybe in a park or some other venue. Maybe they want to have a reaffirmation of their vows. Establishing guidelines for an optional activity adds only confusion and hostility.

    I love the church. The church is true.

    But the latest doctrines are meddlesome at least and the teachings of man at worst. It creates confusion.

    • LDS Wedding

      You’re totally right that everyone needs to determine what is personally best for them. We did a lot of research on what the Church has suggested and what the most common practices are for Latter-day Saint couples.

      We’ve updated the article with two quotes from the Church handbook on why formal vows are discouraged. We hope everyone follows the spirit of the law and does what is best for them and their families.

  • Marcia Cay Galan

    I’m so glad these guidelines were given! When i got married 42 years ago we were discouraged when we wanted to have one for our nonmember family. We’ve since made up for any bad feelings, but it was a sad memory on a beautiful day.

  • Keek

    These guidelines are Not from the church as far as I know. Therefore it is just someone’s opinion. Almost every wedding reception I have been to has been in the cultural hall “gym” of the church. You’d have to ask your bishop or the building coordinator to see what is ok to schedule. It isn’t a rule you can’t have private events- here we have held toddler type ” joy school” events for moms and kids, ( singing and reading books)–we have had birthday events there as well- as long as you get permission. I don’t think you can have say lulalaroe parties or homeschool classes etc. We had a ring ceremony after our temple wedding- we didn’t do vows but did have a speaker and a special musical number. Looking back it would have been cool to have said some stuff to each other but I guess we didn’t think of that. It was nice for his mom to see our ring exchange to feel that we were married. I always said I didn’t want a reception at church but ended up having a gross lattice background with tewel (sp?) it was almost so tacky it was cool lol!

    • LDS Wedding

      Keek! We’ve updated the article with the official statements from the Church we based our research off of. We hope that helps!

  • Faith balmoi

    Am learning here, thanks for sharing

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