A ring ceremony has become an important event to help Latter-day Saint couples share their wedding day with those family members and friends not able to attend the temple sealing.
However, crafting the perfect ceremony might be difficult. Many couples wonder what is appropriate and how best to invite the spirit while celebrating this joyful time. We’ve created a simple LDS ring ceremony program to help couples and their families plan a special event no one will soon forget.
If you’d like to learn more about ring ceremony guidelines, read through our in-depth article here.
Seating the Guests
Depending on the formality of your event and the number of guests, take time to seat everyone. Traditionally, members of the bridal party help seat guests as they arrive before going to join the wedding procession. If your ring ceremony is more informal, consider having your bishop or the person hosting the ceremony invite everyone to take their seats five minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
Following a more traditional protocol when it comes to the wedding procession will help family members unable to attend the temple feel involved. This is especially true of parents. The groom and his parents, along with any groomsmen to stand next to him, should go down the aisle first.
Next, any flower girls and bridesmaids. Finally, the bride and whoever she wishes to accompany her walk down the aisle. The guests should stand as the bride walks. Music is often played during this period. Should any family members or friends be gifted musically, inviting them to play for the procession might be a good way to include them.
The Church Leader
After the bride and groom have taken their place, instruct everyone to be seated. The bishop or another church leader you’ve chosen to host the ceremony should then share a few remarks. It is appropriate to discuss how the bishop feels about the couple, how he’s seen them grow, and the importance of their temple marriage. They may also give a brief overview of what a temple marriage is. You can learn more about that here.
Because the ring ceremony is not a civil marriage in any sense, it does not need to be officiated by a church leader. The only exception would be if the couple desired to hold a ring ceremony in the chapel. Another family member or important person in the couple’s life may host.
The Advice or Well-Wishes
If time permits, invite parents or other family members to speak, offering words of advice or well-wishes for the bride and groom.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also invite others to read a poem, perform a musical number, or offer a short speech.
The Ring Exchange
No part of the ring ceremony should mimic formal vows or detract from the covenants made in the temple. You can read more about the official guidelines for ring ceremonies here.
However, it is appropriate for the couple to share their feelings with each other. As you exchange rings, consider using one of these phrases to start you off:
- 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…
We’ve also created three examples of LDS ring ceremony wording that couples may read to each other as they exchange rings. See them here.
Because no vows have been made, it is inappropriate for the host to declare the couple as married. Appropriate wording may include:
- To celebrate the joy of their marriage, the couple may now share a kiss.
- Thank you for sharing your love with us this day. You may now kiss.
After the kiss, the couple should exit back down the aisle, followed by the bridal party and their parents.
If you held a ring ceremony, what did you do to include family members and make it special? Let us know in the comments!