A Mormon Image: Newport Beach Temple Wedding

or, an untraditional Mormon couple in traditional clothes.


After the ceremony while I was walking through the temple halls, people were coming out from all over the place to gawk at my dress. I think most of them had never seen formal Vietnamese wedding regalia before. What’s funny is that the Vietnamese traditional dress (ao dai), seems, to me, to be more suited for the temple than American wedding dresses with its floor length, high neckline and long sleeves. Unlike many others before me, I didn’t have to wear anything over or under my dress to make it appropriate for the temple.


Submitted by Kim Nguyen

This photograph is part of our ongoing series highlighting Mormon images. Comments to the post are welcome. In addition we invite you to submit your own images to the Mormon Image series. Other photos in the series can be found here. Rules and instructions, including submissions guidelines, can be found here.

14 comments for “A Mormon Image: Newport Beach Temple Wedding

  1. totally cool photos! Love the idea – it would work for Japanese kimono as well, but although women occasionally wear kimono to church, I have never heard of it being worn to the temple (and the traditional wedding kimono is white too)

  2. I read this and wondered how hard it would be for modern American Mormons to pick up foreign customs. The dress was really cool both from tradition and its usability for the Temple. Kim, was it hard to find the dress, imported, or hand made?

  3. I served in the Garden Grove 12th Vietnamese Branch in 1995-1997. This was before the Newport Temple (though Newport was in the mission).

    This brings back some good memories. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Very cool–I love that!

    (Don’t get me started on ridiculous Wedding dresses at the temple, or the also ridiculous practice of buying a wedding dress not for the actual wedding, but just for the pictures outside the temple and the reception.)

  5. ESO… the bride wearing this lovely dress had a different dress for the reception. Question for Kim- did people give you a hard time about the modesty of your other dress?

  6. Those are excellent photographs: The framing, the illumination, the placement of the sun, the statue, the temple inscription. Very well done.

    I like seeing the temple ceremonies adapted to different cultures. Some years ago, I attended the homecoming sacrament meeting of a missionary who served in the Philippines. He wore a Barong Tagalog (see here: http://www.philippines.hvu.nl/clothes1.htm) over a white shirt with no necktie. He said that was traditional formal wear in the Philippines, and that they were worn during temple sessions there.

  7. My wife and I wore formal Indian clothes to our temple wedding, but they weren’t white so we did have to change. Still, it was funny seeing the temple workers at the recommend desk give us a look and try to decide if they wanted to give us grief over whether our clothes were “Sunday appropriate” or not. :)

  8. Wow! I can’t believe this was posted :) Thanks guys…

    @jettboy: It’s pretty easy to find an ao dai online… You just need your measurements and it takes about 3-4 weeks because each one is custom made: example — http://www.aodaivinh.com/

    @ESO: I actually had 4 dresses! But also 2 weddings and 2 receptions… Only my husband’s immediate family is LDS, and I’m the only one in my family, so we had a ring ceremony the next day.

    @Ariel: Nope, I had no issues. I think being a convert and from California, I’m probably not judged as harshly as a TBM from Utah on modesty. We also had 2 wedding receptions, one right after the temple ceremony with members of the church and one the next day with friends and family… the fact that there were only about 10 mormon people at our 2nd reception out of 250 people (where I wore the less modest dress) might have something to do with it?

    @Bro Jones: I actually had a pretty hard time finding a plain white Ao Dai. Traditionally vietnamese wedding dresses are red… Even with the ao dai I was worried, so I brought along my temple dress too. :)

  9. Thanks so much for the information. As a wedding planner in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, I am always looking for new and exciting wedding information. I would love to explore the possibility of featuring you on my wedding website so that other brides may view your info. as well. I am sure they will find it as valuable as I did. If interested, please feel free to email me by visiting my site http://www.everafterplanner.com .

  10. Thank you, you’re beautiful in your beautiful dress!

    If we take American midwestern/mountain west standard to be the Church standard, we lose a lot. Your dress looks really good, it’s temple appropriate (in Europe, especially Scandinavia, trad dresses are not); what else could we want from a wedding dress?

    My daughter and daughter-in-law both had to create add-ins to their wedding dresses, because they could not find a wedding gown that would cover shoulders; all of them seem to be evening-gown style that leave the top bare, relying on the boobs to keep them up…

    or whatever… I’m no expert!! ;)

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