Dear 100 Hour Board,
Have any of you gotten married in the Salt Lake temple or the Provo City Center temple? My soon-to-be fiance and I are looking at getting married around the end of July or first of August, and right now those two temples are our top choices. My concern is that these temples are so popular and busy that our sealing will just be another cog in a well-oiled machine, and won't feel special. Do any of you have any insight or advice?
-Here comes the bride!
Tally M. and I were married in the City Center temple. My advice? Don't get married on a weekend. We got married on a Thursday and there were only like 2 or 3 weddings that day so we didn't feel like we had to quickly get out of the way for someone else to walk through the doors and such. Plus there was parking available for everyone who came to the Temple. So it was pretty awesome.
Dear All Dressed in White,
The Salt Lake temple is my home temple, so I got married there. My wedding day was a Saturday in June, so it was plenty busy, but I never felt like we were just another cog in someone's busy day. In fact, if anything, I appreciated how experienced everyone was, because all the workers made the whole experience very smooth and easy.
When I got there they had a lady greet me by name (off her register of who was getting married that day at what time), then take my wedding dress to my dressing room while my almost-husband and I went to have an interview about some paperwork stuff. I don't remember all the details, but after that I think we changed into our temple clothes and then waited together in the celestial room while our guests arrived. There were a few other couples waiting to be sealed in the celestial room, too, but it wasn't crowded or anything (although I think close to the end of our time waiting there a session was ending, and some regular temple patrons started filing in). After our guests had all arrived, a temple worker came to get us, and we went out into the hall outside the sealing room, where we met our sealer and he talked to us individually for a while. He was really nice, and helped put us at ease before the ceremony. The sealing itself was really fast. Some sealers like to talk for quite a while before actually performing the sealing, but our guy talked for maybe five minutes, and then we had the sealing itself. The ceremony was probably the shortest part; the whole thing was over in about 10 minutes. Maybe some people wouldn't like that, but I actually thought it was perfect, because I probably wouldn't have been able to pay attention to a long speech beforehand, and he didn't give us any weird advice about needing to have kids right away or anything. It was short and sweet, but I thought it was perfect.
After the sealing I went to go change into my wedding dress. They had a big room with all the brides where we could fix our dresses, and it felt sort of like a group of friends getting ready before prom or something. A lot of us had our moms there to help zip/button up the dresses, temple workers were milling around telling us how beautiful we looked and helping fix our dresses, we got to admire everyone else's wedding dresses, it was actually a ton of fun. They also had a smaller room with mirrors and outlets and counters to fix hair and makeup, and they let my bridesmaids in to help make sure my hair and makeup were perfect. My bouquet had been left with a temple worker before the ceremony, and as I was leaving they got my bouquet for me so I would have it when I walked out the door.
We did have to wait a while after getting ready before we could walk out the doors, because we had to wait for the previous group to disperse. That worked out in our favor, though, because another groom who was waiting for his bride to finish getting ready helped us pin the boutonniere on my husband's suit, because I failed terribly when I attempted to do so. But they had a temple worker waiting by the door to let us know when we could leave, and they let our photographer know when we were about to leave so she could be ready for pictures, and tell our party to be ready. That system worked really well, because we had time to take our pictures as we were leaving the temple and feel really special, without worrying about someone else barging through, or worrying that we were taking too long (because hey, we had to wait before leaving, so other people can, too).
I think we had about 20-30 minutes to take pictures on the temple steps before another group came, but that was plenty (and we had a big group). Our photographer knew about the time constraints (the temple sent me an email with information to forward to our photographer so there wouldn't be any surprises), and did a great job of corralling everyone and keeping us on track. And again, I was actually glad that the pictures didn't take forever. After all the group pictures we took some more individual pictures with just my husband and I, but it was easy to find places to do that without feeling like we were in anyone's way.
Overall, it was a great experience. Like you, I had been sort of worried that we might just be another item of business, but everyone was so kind to us and made it feel like it really was a day about us, and the efficiency of the temple workers in everything made it super easy and stress-free.