Ask a Mormon Woman: I’ve been invited to an LDS reception. What should I expect?

Nov 30, 2009 by

Recently, we were asked about LDS wedding receptions. What are Mormon wedding receptions like? What should I wear? What should I expect?

By Amanda**

A lot of LDS couples get married in the temple, which is a sacred building where a reception cannot be held. So the reception is held in a different venue ~ my sister’s was in a local church, my sister-in-law’s was in a restaurant, and mine was in my in-laws’ backyard. I’ve been to some that have been held at reception centers, gardens and parks.

The majority of the Mormon receptions that I have been to take place the evening of the wedding and are open house style [you come anytime between the start and end time, unless otherwise noted] for two or three hours. Often the bride, groom and their parents, and sometimes attendants, will stand in a line so that they may greet their guests and accept congratulations.

Typically there is a place for guests to sign in, a place to put gifts, and tables set up for guest to enjoy refreshments. Refreshments served can vary greatly. At our reception we had a dessert bar. I heard recently about a reception that was a carnival theme and the bride and groom served hot dogs, cotton candy and other carnival treats. Some will serve more of a meal, some will serve hors devours, and others will serve desserts or treats.

People usually dress in nice clothes – blouses, skirts or dress pants for women; slacks with a collared shirt for men. I have been to a couple receptions where there has been dancing. Sometimes it is more successful than other times. People sometimes bring their children. Like other receptions, the bride and groom often cut the cake, throw the bouquet and leave together before everyone leaves. Alcohol is not likely to be served.

If you’ve been invited to an LDS wedding reception, and aren’t sure about something; don’t hesitate to ask! Any bride, groom, family member or friend will be glad to answer your questions.


**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit or

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1 Comment

  1. Heidi

    It’s true–dancing doesn’t go over big at LDS wedding receptions, do they? So ironic in light of the fact that most young couples spend a lot of time at church dances getting to know one another better. Great post!


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