Wedding Photographer: Ryan Cummings
I scheduled the photographer as early as I could after settling the wedding day. I only had a couple photographers in mind as possibilities, and didn't want the stress of having to do more searching if they were booked. I met Ryan Cummings while he photographed my friend Libby's wedding last year. He was very friendly, good with kids, and shot natural photos. They turned out very well. He has lots of options, and we chose the basic digital wedding package. He releases the copyright also, so you can keep every photo he takes. He'll send copies to your parents too. I had another recommendation from a friend for Jonathan Canlas, but he was more expensive and I already liked Ryan quite a bit. I called Ryan and he was available! He worked out really well. He got to the temple well before we came out for pictures, and did a great job. He was also efficient and organized. I highly recommend him! He let us do something pretty fun too--after the luncheon (or during, actually) we looked at a few pictures he'd selected from the pics he'd just taken and we chose one. He touched it up, printed it and mounted it and brought it to the reception for the guest book table. This is the photo we chose:
(Something I just noticed--a wedding picture of Libby and her husband Jay are one of the rotating photos on the homepage of Ryan's website! They are celebrities!)
Wedding Luncheon location: Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Finding the luncheon location was tricky. I had no idea where to look for ideas. Since I was getting married in the Salt Lake temple, I wanted it to be either close enough to walk to, or a very short drive. Some of my aunts have bad knee problems, so walking very far was a concern. JSMB was one of the obvious choices, as was the Lion House, since they were very close to the temple. I was told by the temple that I should allow 3 hours between the start of the ceremony and the beginning of the lunch, so I was aiming for 2:30 pm lunch. Again, the JSMB/Lion House websites were very helpful. They list prices and have pictures of all the rooms. I did everything over the phone--and didn't have to go and meet with the coordinator at all. (If I'd done flowers through JSMB then I would have had to go, however.) There was another venue that I found close by, the McCune Mansion, but their website was completely unhelpful and they did not reply to my email. Other choices were to rent out a restaurant for the lunch, but since I was picking a venue without ever seeing it, I did not like that option as well. As far as prices go, my mother told me something interesting--she is in the Utah Symphony Choir, and they go to an annual dinner. She said that they have called around a lot of places in the salt lake area, and that JSMB is one of the cheaper options when you have lots of people, so her choir always ends up going there. They don't charge you for the room either--just the food and service fees.
Keep in mind--if I'd wanted my mom to spend all her time hunting around the city and visiting every restaurant, then I may have found another place. But my goal was for less hassle and stress on everyone, especially my parents. (Are you noticing a trend yet? I wanted everything to be as stress free as possible, and to avoid turning into bridezilla. I did become bridezilla for a couple weeks, however.) I was very pleased with the luncheon at the JSMB. We ended up in the Wasatch Room.
Tip: 3 hours between the start of the wedding and the luncheon was barely enough time. I initially thought it was way too long and we'd all be waiting forever, but no. In fact..the groom and I were 15 minutes late because we'd left my ring in his temple locker! (We had a ring ceremony at the beginning of the luncheon.)
Continued in part 3...