1. Setting the Date
First thing you need to establish is your sealing date. Remember that holiday weekends are good for other family members coming into town, but can result in many hometown friends and guests being out of town and missing your wedding and reception. As long as you have everything together, the temple if possible will schedule you up to six months out as long as they’ve received their yearly schedule.
2. Consider a low volume date
If your schedule allows, consider picking a low volume wedding date. This allows for less crowding and less Brides pushing their way around temple grounds for prime photo spots on your actual wedding day. June is always a busy month. Saturdays are busier than Fridays. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas there are also a fair amount of weddings. Remember, the Las Vegas temple is usually closed for a full two weeks in January for cleaning.
3. Consider a second bouquet
If you are getting married in the summer. The temple grounds are very hot from mid May to the end of September in Las Vegas. If your sealing is early in the day with photos in the heat, your flowers may not make it to the reception that night. This is a good thing to discuss with your florist. Each type of flower does better or worse in extreme weather conditions.
4. Rain or Shine? Usually Shine…
Expect a sunny photo session at the temple. Las Vegas is known for a little amount of rainfall and you can bet on clear and sunny skies. The temple has very limited amounts of shade. This can affect where your photographer will be able to get good photos on temple grounds especially if you are getting married mid day and the sun is up high. Keep tabs on the upcoming weather report as your day approaches. If on the off chance it is cloudy or does rain, it is nice to bring an umbrella or consider different shoes that are better for navigating slippery side walks.
5. A real first look
Since LDS weddings don’t consist of walking down the aisle, most of the brides and grooms first see each other in the temple with their temple clothing on, not their traditional wedding dress they will be wearing out for the day. Since the atrium inside the temple allows for photographs, why not opt for an intimate first look together before stepping out of the temple for those initial large group shots? I usually do this with my brides and it only takes about 5 minutes.
6. Scheduling your Photographer
When should you schedule your photographer to be at the temple? I have only even had one bride come out before the 1 hour mark after their sealing start time. However, it has been done. I suggest scheduling your photographer to be there exactly 45 minutes after your sealing start time.
7. Choose to photograph the “Grand Exit” of the Temple
Don’t go outside the temple to greet everyone until you know your photographer is there and ready. One of the best all time shots of your wedding day will be the happy fun shots that your photographer will get when you leave the temple doors and get to hear all your family and friends cheering. It would be sad to miss having this photographed by not having your photographer ready.
8. Dress to Impress
Have your family and bridal party dressed for photos at the temple. If you are planning on doing family photos and shooting your bridal party on temple grounds, you will need to make sure everyone not inside the sealing is there at the right start time and dressed for photos. That includes having flowers ready. A good trick is to bring a cooler with all the flowers and throw a few waters in there as well. You will need them once you start shooting your pictures.
9. How much time do I need?
Unless you did a bride and groom photo session before your wedding day…. I would suggest a solid two hours of session time. This is a perfect amount of time for family photos on both sides (30 minutes), bridal party photos (20 minutes) and bride and groom portraits (70 minutes). Any longer than that and you will get tired and most likely hungry!
Speaking of hungry. I know you want to look beautiful and thin in that wedding dress but please don’t forget to eat breakfast. You will need your energy and I have had many brides need to sit down because they weren’t feeling well and didn’t have anything to eat the morning of. Those dresses can be tight and constricting (not to mention heavy) and are a lot of work to wear. I have had to get temple attendants involved, by getting us some orange juice or even a temple cafeteria dinner roll because some brides forgot to eat some breakfast.
11. Let your guests be guests and …
…..not the photographer. I am all for letting your family and friends take pictures but when uncle so and so brings their nice SLR camera to the wedding and keeps interrupting so they can get a shot too, this can be very distracting and cut into your actual paid photography time. You paid good money for your amazing professional photographer and it would be a real shame to have those photos be limited because someone else wants in on the action. Let your guests enjoy the festivities and let the professionals do what you hired them to do.
12. Research your photographer
As a lds member myself, it can be tempting to ask a friend or relative to shoot your photos. I am all for this in most situations but not for a wedding day. Is your photographer experienced enough to handle the strong Las Vegas sun? Do they have backup equipment? Do they store your photos properly? What happens if their camera stops working? Weddings are not easily repeatable like maybe an engagement session could be if something happens to go wrong. It is a go, go, go type day and there can be many twists and turns. Put your trust in a professional and remember to LOVE their work. You want them to be good fit for you personality wise, since they will be your third wheel all day long!
That’s all for now! I hope you have a great day! Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or suggestions!