People throughout the world practice a wide range of traditions. These traditions often stem from one’s celebration of faith and religion, and they become evident in important occasions like wedding days. Traditions often vary based on location as well. Depending on where you live, for example, Mormon temple weddings might be as common as traditional wedding ceremonies. In a state like Utah, Mormon temple weddings (also referred to as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) are more common than traditional Christian celebrations.
In this article, you’ll witness what it’s like to celebrate a union as diverse and also traditional as Mormon temple weddings.
What Are Mormon Temple Weddings?
Mormons, or faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are wed in a sacred temple. Inside the “House of the Lord,” couples are “sealed” together not only as husband and wife on Earth, but also in “life” beyond the physical world in heaven.
A Mormon temple wedding is a private and sacred celebration. Non-members cannot enter the church. However, individuals who obtain a “temple recommend” are permitted to enter the Holy Temple.
Here’s a short walkthrough of the festivities that happen after the sacred union. These images are captured by our award-winning roster of photographers. Check them out!
Understand the Importance of The Temple Exit
According to Jessie and Dallin, Utah Wedding Photographers, “Imagine leaving the temple, being greeted by your cheering family and friends. Hugs, tears, and moments are shared. The exit for couples who are married in LDS temples is the equivalent to the first kiss at the altar for many couples who have traditional wedding ceremonies. Temple sealing ceremonies usually take at least 45 minutes to an hour. The exact time that couples will exit the temple will depend on a few different factors, including how busy the temple is that day, how long the ceremony takes, and getting ready time.”
A Mormon bride and groom’s temple exit is equivalent to a traditional celebration’s first kiss. Because sealing ceremonies can last up to 40 minutes, your photographers will surely set up in time to catch you taking your first steps as husband and wife.
Get Romantic Bride and Groom Photos
Before anything else, the bride and the groom must have their moment of love and serenity captured in photos. Photographers may direct a couples portrait session in a shooting location just outside of the temple or in a separate location altogether. Many couples choose to incorporate the temple grounds in their portraits for symbolic reasons, but staying put also makes for a quick and easy transition to other photos, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Focus on The Glam and Bam Bridal and Groom Party
When family members are done with their sessions, it’s now time to call on the bridal and groom’s party. The order may vary but, bridesmaids, groomsmen and both of them are photographed with the couple. These people are just as important as family members.
Plan For Group Portraits: Fun and/or Formal
After capturing images of the couple and the wedding party, it’s time to capture moments with the family. Depending on your preferences, you can start with either side of the family (bride or groom). It can be helpful to prepare a list ahead of time and designate a coordinator (preferably, someone who knows everyone in the various groups) to help expedite the process and move more quickly through the formal group photos at Mormon temple weddings.
Expect Lots of Fun and Candid Moments
Once outside of the temple, non-members of the church can celebrate with the bride and the groom. Depending on whether it’s a busy day or not at the temple, your group may choose to wait to take formal portraits until other groups finish and clear the area. In the meantime, you can always have fun and get creative with candid moments (whether posed or not). You don’t need to wait until the reception to have a good time!
Here are a few more tips from Utah Wedding Photographers, Jessie and Dallin.
Skip the Receiving Line
There is nothing we are more passionate about on temple wedding days than recommending to couples that they skip the traditional receiving line that often occurs at LDS wedding receptions. At many receptions the couple will stand in a line for 1-2 hours and greet their guests as they come to give them their well wishes. Who wants to stand around in a line, making small talk with people they aren’t close to, one of the best days of their life? Instead make your reception an event. You can include dancing, performances, mingling, etc. Create memories, and photos, that will make an impact in your daily life as you look back on them throughout your marriage.
Timing at the temple
When you are planning your temple wedding day, keep in mind that you will probably need more time for portraits at the temple than you might realize. Time goes so fast when taking portraits, and temples get busy on the weekends. Sometimes there could be up to three or four other couples getting married in a different room at the same time, which means that the temple grounds are packed with people! Plan ahead and if a luncheon is the next event on the timeline, don’t list it to start until at least 3 – 3.5 hours after your ceremony begins. Temples don’t accommodate luncheons, or receptions and couples will be booking a venue in a different location for those, so plan accordingly for drive time between events.