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No request is too big and no intricate detail is too small when it comes to the "Big Day." But why do we get married the way we do? World Wide Wed explores the customs and traditions that define weddings around the globe — and shows how today's multi-cultural couples are making their ceremonies uniquely their own.
In our fourth episode of World Wide Wed, we head to San Diego, CA for the wedding of Sergio and Melissa, who are both members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With a solid foundation of friendship and the mutual desire to make serving God a priority, the couple decided to get married and create what in Mormonism is called an "eternal family."
Mormons believe that family can be together forever in the afterlife, however in order to create this eternal family, couples must be married in a Mormon Temple. This presents unique challenges for couples and their guests.
In order to attend a wedding that takes place inside a Mormon Temple, you must be a member of the Church, abstain from premarital sex, be free from drugs and alcohol, pay 10% of your income to the Church, and wear temple garments. These strict guidelines mean many of the people closest to Sergio and Melissa would not be in attendance at the ceremony.
"Immediately after Sergio and I got engaged, we realized [some of] our family and our close friends would not be able to be at our marriage ceremony," Melissa says. Even Melissa's father would not be able to attend the wedding. "I talked to my dad and he expressed that he was sad that he wouldn't be able to be there... A few weeks later he said that he was going to try to be there. I was like, 'Uh, Dad, you know what that means? That's a lot of sacrifices.'" Melissa's father made some big lifestyle changes including giving up alcohol and wearing temple undergarments so he could see his daughter wed. "He said he was sure he wanted to do it. I'm really grateful that he's going to be able to be there."
Hit play above to learn more about marriage traditions in the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to see Melissa and Sergio celebrate on the day of their sealing ceremony.