I have known that I wanted to be married in the temple since I was a very young girl and it's kind of hard to believe that after so many years of waiting to go inside, my time is almost here!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS church, also known as the Mormons, has 140 temples built or in construction around the world. To quote the mormon.org website directly "Inside [the temple], members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, such as baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors and eternal marriage." Due to the extremely sacred nature of these buildings only worthy members of our church who have obtained a recommend may enter. Any member of our church can get a recommend by answering a series of questions to assess personal worthiness during an interview with a church authority. Men usually receive a recommend before they serve a mission at 19, and women receive theirs if they serve a mission at 21, or right before they get married.
Only members with a current temple recommend are allowed to come inside the temple for the sealing and the marriage ceremony, which means that the majority of our friends and family will be unable to witness our marriage. Some of you may be familiar with this concept if you have had friends or family members getting married who have told you that you would be unable to witness the marriage. As a couple, we have had to deal with this personally, since That Groom's parents are not members of our church and therefore will be unable to attend the sealing/marriage ceremony.
It is very difficult to tell someone that they will be unable to personally witness such an important event, but That Groom's parents have been very understanding and supportive of our decision to marry in the temple. The private nature of this ceremony is actually the reason why we are having a separate ring ceremony as well. This ring ceremony will allow us to share our feelings for one another and about marriage with all of our guests, whether LDS or not.
What goes on inside of the temple is so sacred that it is not discussed with anyone who does not have a recommend. This means that I have never seen or participated in the sealing ceremony that I will be doing with That Groom on October 11th. Although some brides might lament the loss of the ability to personalize the ceremony, I believe in this process and have never wanted to be married anywhere else. I want to be sealed in the temple because I believe that a marriage done by sealing will last forever, and that we will never have to say "till death do us part".