Seventeen years ago I was married in the Salt Lake Temple.  I was an 18 year old bride, my husband to be was 20.  Just a year and a half earlier my parents 24 year marriage had ended in a nasty divorce that left my family in shambles.  My husband had returned home from a mission early because of health problems and the rumors and stress of the situation had made things difficult for him.  We had been dating for 3 years and even though our lives seemed to be falling apart we knew we wanted to be together, and began planning our wedding.  We had both been raised in LDS households and taught that we should be married in the temple, so I really didn’t think too much about where we would be getting married and I didn’t think about who would not be at our wedding.  It really didn’t hit me till that morning when my mom gave me a tearful hug and sent me into the temple alone.  My mom could not attend my wedding nor could my sister or any of my close friends.

That was a terribly hard day for my family as still raw feeling were chaffed even more at the exclusion on such an important day.   I wish now that I had worried more about the feelings of my family than the inevitable gossip of others who really didn’t matter.  I wish that the culture would have made it acceptable to and even encouraged me to have a ceremony that would have included all my family.  Now, seventeen years later my husband and I are still happily married and raising two beautiful daughters, we left the LDS church 4 years ago.  And though some relationships are still strained, I am very close to my mom my siblings.

-Alison