Someone I recently met invited me to her wedding. I was quite excited until she told me that she was a Jehovah’s Witness. This got me confused since I used to think that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate events, and I decided to learn more about their practices.
I asked her how this was possible, and she explained that not all events are forbidden in the denomination. Though I planned to attend the wedding, I wanted to familiarize myself with all their rules as a Christian to avoid breaking them.
Therefore, I visited the Kingdom Hall before the wedding and talked to the minister. I also read more about their ceremonies through online articles.
After learning everything about their ceremonies and attending the wedding, I decided to write this article to share with those wondering, “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have weddings?”
Yes. Jehovah’s Witnesses have weddings to celebrate the new life that a couple is starting together. They follow the example of Jesus, who attended a wedding where he performed the miracle of turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). However, they have strict rules and avoid certain activities during such celebrations, like throwing rice at the couple, since they do not believe in superstitions.
I invite you to join me in this article as we look at Jehovah’s Witnesses’ weddings. Keep reading to find out what a Jehovah’s Witness wedding looks like, how long their weddings last, whether they wear wedding rings and much more!
What does a Jehovah’s Witness wedding look like?
Jehovah’s Witness weddings are not very different from those of other religious groups since they are officiated by ministers and involve the exchange of vows.
A Jehovah’s Witness wedding is mostly held in the Kingdom hall (their place of worship) or at a government office in some countries.
Their weddings are a simple ceremony that mainly consists of a brief talk that focuses on the Bible.
Since Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to remain separate from the rest of the world based on Jesus’ teachings in John 17:14-16, they have certain rules that apply to weddings.
For instance, they do not throw confetti on the couple since they do not believe in superstitions.
What Happens at a Wedding of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
When a Jehovah’s Witness couple is getting married, the minister talks to them about the importance of marriage.
The couple then exchanges vows and rings, and the minister declares them wife and husband. There is also a prayer that the minister says, asking God to bless the couple.
After the ceremony, there is usually a social gathering or a reception, depending on the couple’s preference.
How long is a Jehovah’s Witness wedding?
The duration varies based on the specific activities planned for the day. For instance, a Jehovah’s Witness wedding that features a reception is likely to take longer than one that does not have a reception after the main ceremony.
With that said, the main feature of Jehovah’s Witness weddings is the wedding talk mostly takes 30 minutes. During the wedding talk, the minister tells the couple how the Bible will help them have a lasting marriage.
Can Jehovah’s Witnesses go to other people’s weddings?
Yes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to attend other people’s weddings that take place at a non-witness service like a Catholic cathedral. However, they are not allowed to directly participate in the wedding ceremony.
Additionally, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to attend weddings that involve pagan practices. They do not believe in pagan practices since they argue that they are not in line with scriptural truth.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses wear wedding rings?
Though wedding rings are believed to have first been used by pagans, the use of wedding rings among Jehovah’s Witnesses is acceptable.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses do not embrace pagan practices, they argue that there is no definite evidence that proves that wedding rings were part of false religious practices.
Therefore, some Jehovah’s Witnesses wear wedding rings since they believe that it symbolizes marriage. However, it is important to note that not all Jehovah’s Witnesses wear wedding rings.
What kind of a wedding dress do Jehovah’s Witness wear?
The bride can wear any wedding dress she likes as long as it is modest and not revealing. Jehovah’s Witnesses live by Bible directions on dressing modestly as mentioned in 1st Timothy 2:9: “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.”
Since Jehovah’s Witnesses do not permit its members to wear tight clothing, the wedding dress should not show the bride’s figure.
The wedding dress must also be long since Jehovah’s Witness emphasizes that women should always wear clothes that cover their knees. Most Jehovah’s Witness brides wear simple white gowns to their weddings.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept wedding gifts?
Yes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not against wedding gifts as long as they do not go against certain biblical principles. They believe that since it encourages people to be generous (Psalm 37:21), there is nothing wrong with giving the newlyweds gifts.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also have bridal showers since they believe that this does not have roots in Pagan religious rituals. They use such gatherings to support newly married couples.
As much as they accept wedding gifts, they do not believe in announcing the givers of the gifts. They prefer maintaining anonymity when accepting wedding gifts to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to the givers.
Can a Jehovah’s Witness marry a non-Jehovah Witness?
Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage their members to marry fellow members and strongly discourage marriage with non-believers.
This rule is based on 1st Corinthians 7:39, which encourages a Christian woman to marry a fellow Christian man when her husband dies: “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.”
According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should marry a person who shares and practices the beliefs of a baptized witness.
They imply that God instructs his worshippers to marry people of the same faith since Malachi 2:11 describes how the men of Judah defiled God by marrying women who worshiped idols: “Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the Lord’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols.”
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have receptions at weddings?
Yes. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses choose to have receptions at weddings. However, this mostly takes place after the main ceremony and in a different venue, not in the Kingdom Hall.
If a couple chooses to have a reception after the wedding, they decide who to invite.
During the reception, meals and drinks are served. If there is alcohol in the reception, it is taken in moderation. Raising a toast is not allowed at the reception.
However, the reception may include dancing and music.
Can Jehovah’s Witnesses attend the wedding of a dis-fellowshipped or disassociated relative?
No. Jehovah’s Witnesses discourage their members from associating with dis-fellowshipped relatives. Therefore, a person who is still a member is not allowed to attend the wedding of a disassociated relative.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not encourage association with those who leave the faith since they believe that 2 John 9-11 forbids it.
They argue that not attending the wedding of a disassociated relative and limiting interaction with them protects them from moral and spiritual contamination.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.