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5 Reasons to do a Formal Session Before Your Temple Wedding

Temple Wedding Tips and Advice

A lot of our couples get married in LDS temples and we love photographing those weddings! If there was one thing we would recommend to all our LDS temple couples, it would be to do a formal session before their wedding. Wedding days are a whirlwind and are sometimes unpredictable. Here are our five reasons to do a formal session before your temple wedding!

*Find out more about Formal Session and Adventure Sessions for Traditional Weddings here!


Golden Hour Light

LDS temples only offer certain time slots for weddings to take place. You could run into either of these scenarios: your wedding is on a popular day and there are only a few less than desirable time slots available for you to choose from, or you choose a time that fits in the rest of your wedding day events and that usually means a morning sealing time. Getting married in the morning or early afternoon in the summer means that your bride and groom portraits will take place close to high noon, which is when the sun is at its highest level during the day. As natural light photographers we know the best time to do portraits is when the sun is at its lowest level during the last two hours of the day. This isn’t possible during an LDS temple wedding, and that is one of the biggest reasons to do a formal session before your wedding day. We’ll get you great pictures on your wedding day regardless of the light, but nothing beats pictures during golden hour!


You Can Have a First Look

A first look is the moment when the bride and groom see each other in their wedding attire for the first time before they are married. It’s such a special, intimate moment for the couple and we love capturing it. Traditionally, this would occur when a bride walks down the aisle and her groom sees her. We love doing first looks before our traditional weddings because they relieve a lot of stress during the ceremony and remove a lot of pressure, especially from the groom. LDS temple brides and grooms don’t get the chance to do a first look because photographers aren’t allowed to photograph the ceremony. The best way for LDS couples to have this experience is to do it at the beginning of their formal session before their wedding day!

Silhouette in front of the Brigham City Temple | 5 Reasons to do a Formal Session | Jessie and Dallin Photography

Time Constraints at the Temple

As we mentioned under the section about light, LDS temples have a limited number of available slots and times for sealing ceremonies. Even if you do get the best time, at 9:40 AM for your sealing, we have seen things get pushed back when the temple is busy. On popular wedding days, such as weekends in the summer, or following the end of spring and winter college graduation, LDS temples are busy! We have seen sealings that were scheduled for 11:00 AM run over by 1.5 hours, meaning that the couple should have exited the temple by 11:45 AM, but instead exited at 1:15 PM! If that were to happen, your timeline would need to be shifted around and unless you had built in buffer room, some portrait time could be cut. Here’s our blog with more tips to create a seamless wedding day timeline.


Pictures at a Different Location or at the Temple

If you’ve always wanted pictures in your wedding dress at a different location than the temple grounds, that is one of the best reasons to do a formal session! We’ve had couples do their formal sessions at the gardens of Thanksgiving Point, inside of a greenhouse, and up in the mountains! The possibilities are endless.  Some couples will even opt to do their formal session at the temple before their wedding day so that they can get more pictures with great light and low crowds!

Bride and Groom wearing Converse shoes, navy suit with yellow tie, and sunflower bouquet with puppy in Salt Lake City | International Peace Gardens Formal Session | Jessie and Dallin Photography

To Use at Your Reception

Another one of the reasons we recommend doing a formal session before your temple weddings is so that you can display some pictures of you in your wedding attire at your reception! You’ll get great images on your wedding day of the two of you, but they won’t be ready in time to print for your reception and for guests to see.

These are just some of the reasons to do a formal session before your wedding day. It is a huge benefit to you and you won’t regret it. But no matter what you decide, we love working with our brides and grooms and have a blast serving them on their wedding day!


Bride and Groom with Rainbow at the Draper Temple | 5 Reasons to do a Formal Session | Jessie and Dallin Photography

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  1. I waIs ordained a Melkznic priest some time ago ( 5 yes. Ago. Can I preform a wedding in the moment faith in the mountains or the coast? What would the proper ceremony be like?

  2. Robert Thompson says:

    Meant to say. Morman wedding

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