(Closed) How to include Non-members in an LDS reception?

posted 10 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Well, speaking from almost first hand experience, I don’t think a dance/DJ would be a waste at all!  I’m LDS, as is all my immediate family.  However, all my extended family are not members.  So, we really tried to make everyone feel included in the receptions that were held for my sister and I.  At my sisters reception, she had a DJ/dance and it was a BLAST!  The whole place was up and dancing.  She’s into country, so it was mainly swing dancing and such, but everyone loved it.  If you have the reception at your church building, I believe you do have to get permission from the Stake Pres. to have a DJ/Dance.  We had music at my reception and dancing if they wanted, but I just put together an ipod list.  My sister had her reception at an Elks lodge, so obviously, special permission wasn’t needed for dancing/DJ.

You already had a great idea with the ring ceremony & cutting the cake.  I chose not to have a ring ceremony beings my DH’s family are members and could be in the temple with us, but I’m sure your family will greatly appreciate it.  I’ve been to some ring ceremonies and they are beautiful. 

Honestly, I would say that every LDS reception I have been to is just like any other reception (minus the alcohol lol).  Some brides choose to have a formal sit down dinner type reception and some choose to have a come/go as you please type of reception (like you and me). 

If you need any ideas or want someone to talk to, you can always PM me 🙂  Good luck!

Post # 4
71 posts
Worker bee

People do still like to dance – I do!  I especially love to watch the first dance and father/daughter dance kind of stuff. It hasn’t been as common in the past, but it’s much more common now.  Just not as easy to get people to cut loose without alcohol, but we still know how to have fun.  Just don’t do the hokey pokey or it’ll clear the floor like the wedding I attended last week!

DD held a ring ceremony at the luncheon, which worked well too.  Some people have little program times listed on the invitation so people who want to be there for that (toasts, cake cutting, etc) will be sure to come at that time.  Ask your parents what will help them feel included.

Post # 5
374 posts
Helper bee

I think, personally, that you should have your ring blessing and exchange someplace else.  You’re already married by the church and is this just an exercise in doing somehting to make your family feel included or do you feel at a loss for this tradition yourself?  So, why do you need to invite the entire church and have them coming and going?

Who is doing the ring ceremony?  A professional pastor [is it your parents or some random person?], LDS bishop, a friend?  Will you have this person ask your dad to give you away?  I’m a little confused about the purpose of this second service except to make your parents feel OK and to have something inclusive of everyone.  Will it be meaningful to you?  Will it be meaningful to him?

Will your folks be seated outside waiting for you or will they be sitting around waiting somewhere else?  I don’t see why, after the sealing, if they’ll be sitting outside, that after you emerge why you can’t, right then and there, do the ring ceremony followed by a prayer and tossing of flower petals?  Take your photos and be done. 

Then just people you want to invite go to the reception.  That will be your parent’s reception.  They can invite their friends and family.  His side gets a specific # of invitees.  Your folks hire a band, you have a signature drink [no alcholol], you have your toast, your first dance, toss the bouquet, cut the cake.  Why not do this?  Why does everything have to take place at the church and be an open house?

Post # 6
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

We’re going to do a ring ceremony too since half of my family won’t be able to come and very few of his.  I know for us, not all of them would even set foot on temple grounds (sigh), so having some sort of tiny ring ceremony there doesn’t work for everyone necessarily.

We’re actually doing everything over 2 days so it’s a bit more relaxed.  Get married on Friday afternoon and have a nice dinner afterwards with those who went to the sealing + close relatives & friends.  Have a honeymoon night.

The next afternoon/evening, there will be a reception in a relative’s backyard.  At the start will be a ring ceremony.  I think it’s a nice way to bridge the gap for those who can’t come.  It may be somewhat silly (we’re silly people) and may or may not be something like the zombie wedding vows 😀 Explain a bit of why we got married in the temple. Give us a  chance to say why we love each other.  I don’t know the details yet.  Not quite like a regular ceremony, but enough where it’s at least not that strange to everyone, I hope.

There will be at least a sandwich buffet, 2 cakes, lemonade bar, fresh fruit, etc. I don’t think we’ll do a receiving line and just make sure to visit around.  

I think dancing would be fine – many LDS people who grew up in the church went to lots of stake dances, after all.  I’ve danced at LDS receptions before, also. I think we may do some, though I am not sure.  If he’s veto-ing due to cost, just hook up an iPod or something with your songs loaded on. I played impromptu DJ for an old roomie for free once (It wasn’t easy…the music she had would be quiet then swell, and I hadn’t heard it before, so I had to keep adjusting the volume to make sure it could be heard but wasn’t blaring, heh)

Otherwise, like JsDragonfly said, there may be a somewhat typical LDS reception but not really.  The details are up to you as to what you want your reception to be like.  Ours will be pretty casual come and go if you like also.

Good luck!

Post # 7
374 posts
Helper bee

Hi Zelda and All.  I love Zelda’s idea.  I hope you are going to wear your wedding gown both days!  I hope  your invitations will read:  Temple Sealing at x:00, date, place; Ring Blessing and Exchange, X:00 date/time/place so your guests will know you take both ceremonies seriously.  If you don’t take ceremony #2 seriously, don’t do it as it makes a mockery of other people’s faith and traditions which you don’t want to do at this sensitive time.  Weddings make people a little nuts and you will find once it is over things will settle down.  But for the time being, you don’t want to cut yourself off or burn your bridges.

I would dispense of explaining ‘why’ you got married in the temple, because everyone there will know either directly or indirectly.  Instead, scripture would be appropriate and some words about the meaning of marriage and the promises you make to one another.  You could speak about the meaning of your rings, because that is what you are doing on that day.  The sealing was yesterday.  Why bring it up to those who weren’t able to attend.

What about reversing the days?  Maybe do the Ring Blessing and Exchange before the temple sealing so that your dad or your folks or whomever it is in your life can walk you down the aisle; have a receiving line; serve cup cakes [therefore, no cake cutting] and sandwiches and lemonaide and have no dancing.  I would ask someone to organize a few games such as the Newly Wed Game and have other guests be contestants.   You should not participate bercause it will be more fun to watch other couples answer the questions.  Then for the people who are not married maybe you can play some kind of a dating game where couples have to answer questions about each other.  Give small prizes.  Everyone go home.  Wear a simple fun white dress that you can wear on your honeymoon; maybe praire style with a cute bonnet or something tasteful and modern; but not THE DRESS.   Someone you know must know how to sing or play a flute or guitar.  The Relief Society in our area is always making bonnets and if your stake doesn’t have a pattern maybe someone in the ward does.  But do wear flowers in your hair and he should wear one on his lapel, too.  They can be silk flowers on a barrett; or a bonnet.  Nothing extravagent. 

Then the next day have the sealing and non Mormons can attend the reception and wedding cake.  If the non-Mormons aren’t family, I wouldn’t go through the expense of inviting them; just let them come to the ring blessings.  At the reception, someone should give a blessing on you and he; bless the food and enjoy the evening.   Then have your honemoon.  That way you won’t have to do anything the next day except hang out together as husband and wife.  Do you really want to have to get up the first morning after you spend the first night as husband and wife and get up and have to go someplace?  You really won’t feel like it.

Let me know how you work through this.


Post # 8
19 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

hey my situation is quite similar to yours, my FI’s family are all members and only myself and my mum are members on my side, because of this we decided that our ceremony would be held at church but the reception is going to be held in a nearby hotel. I have tried my best to make everyone feel comfortable, we are having a sit down meal with 70 guests and a dj on the night with 120 guests…we are also serving alcohol which is ok with me as i have always been around alcohol, my FI’s immediate family seen fine with this i just hope that no members are offended in anyway …what do you think?

love the idea of having a ring ceremonySmile

Post # 10
37 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

I am doing the reception the next day after the ceremony. I am about to just tell people to come after the ceremony so they don’t have to wait and wait. I haven’t figured out who I will invite to the sealing. Probably only those close to us (though the room sits 40 I am certain we will have far less).

I certainly am doing a ring ceremony but am doing it non-official and I’m not going to include anything about Temple ceremony (some people say do it to be missionaries, I just feel by having a sealing, and inviting people to only the reception, that says enough about my choice. People haven’t been mean about it, I just want to do something special).

My Fiance and I are going to read a poem, Exchange rings, have a first dance, The poem and exchange of rings is going to be a surprise. Then we will talk to everybody before hand (Once everything is all settled, there are just a couple more details left to deal with), and have them share with us something special. These people will be specific people who I love very much, and are immediate family members. It will also include his parents and possibly his Aunts and Uncles. 

This is the best thing I can think of, no real problems with Reading a poem and exchanging rings. There are no vows, only promises, and its a poem that I am going to write myself, so it refelcts both of us and our relationship. 

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