“Will I be allowed to wear my wedding dress to my temple marriage or sealing?” New Era, June 1975, 49
Answer/Sister Jasmine R. Edmunds
This is your wedding day! From the time you were a little girl you began to weave in your mind dreams of this day—this glorious time when you would have found the perfect man who loved you and wanted you beside him through all the years to come. You will be so beautiful for him today! You will wear a marvelous gown; your face and eyes are glowing with happiness and expectation, and he will think you are the loveliest bride in all the world.
You are one of the daughters of Zion—a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Your marriage this day will have a special quality; you and your sweetheart have kept yourselves clean and pure, and you are one of those blessed couples who are eligible to be married in the house of the Lord—his holy temple. This, you know, will entitle you to receive all the blessings of eternal life if, together, you will be true and faithful.
Years ago you began preparations for this day of days. Recently your mind has been crowded with questions: Can you wear your beautiful wedding-reception dress to your temple ceremony? You want it to be the most beautiful dress in all the world, with lace, or beads and embroidery, and maybe even a train. And your shoes? Can they have high heels? Will your mother or one you love be allowed to assist you in the temple as you dress for your wedding? Can you have outside photographs taken in your wedding dress and veil with the temple in the background? For all these questions you need answers so that this wedding day of yours will be perfect. You want to come to the house of the Lord with assurance and love and joy in your heart, ready to feel his Spirit and receive the blessings reserved for you.
In the Salt Lake Temple, and in all the temples of the Church, the dress requirements are much the same. You can, indeed, wear your lovely bridal gown for your marriage (or temple sealing). It may be made in any appropriate style becoming to you. The gown must be white, including trim. It may be decorated with lace and/or seed pearls or small beads. However, sequins or very showy trim is inappropriate. You may have a train on your gown, but for your convenience, it should be so arranged that you can comfortably carry it. Your wedding gown should have long sleeves and a modestly high neck. If, for any reason, your gown does not meet the full requirements of the temple, the bride’s room is supplied with lovely yokes and sleeve linings in all materials to match and enhance your gown so that it will be acceptable for your temple ceremony.
The all-white slippers worn by you in the temple with your gown should have no heels or very low heels and should be simple in style. You may wear a higher heel when you have photographs taken outside in the temple gardens.
If you have parents or family members who do not hold temple recommends, they may wait in the temple foyer while you are being married and then join you in the temple gardens for pictures. In the temple you will not have use for your “illusion” or wedding veil, but you may bring it with you and use it for your photographs on the temple grounds.
The giving or exchange of wedding rings is not part of the temple marriage ceremony, but it is a beautiful custom and is permitted in the temple.
Corsages and wedding bouquets are not used in the temple.
If you desire to use your wedding gown in subsequent temple visits, you will want to design your gown very simply and probably plan removable trim and decoration. Simplicity of dress is in keeping with the spirit in the house of the Lord.
If for some reason you do not have or do not desire to prepare a special wedding gown of your own, you will find lovely wedding dresses in the Salt Lake Temple that can be rented by you for use in the temple.
Your mother or one who is near to you may accompany and assist you throughout your temple marriage ceremony (provided, of course, she has her temple recommend):
And now, at last, that most important day of your life is here. As you come to the temple of the Lord, you come knowing that the gifts and blessings given you this day will make it possible for you to receive exaltation or eternal life. You are today’s precious youth; you are coming to the temple to be united for all eternity to the one you love. Yes, come and don your beautiful wedding gown; come with your hair shining and bright; come with your eyes glowing like stars; come to be married in the house of the Lord! But know always that it is your pure heart and clean mind, your love for each other and for all mankind, your faith, your humility, your willingness to walk in His paths and obey His laws that will keep that glorious joy in your hearts. You lovely brides and young men of the royal priesthood of God, come to the temple on your wedding day—and may you resolve to keep those laws that will assure you an everlasting joy and an eternal marriage.