For starters, Kathryn and JR are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'd never photographed a Mormon wedding before and was actually really nervous about it. Kathryn and JR are an incredible couple, though, and they made me feel so welcomed and loved. Whatever nerves I had about photographing their wedding vanished as soon as I was with them.
Second, by the time we met, Kathryn and JR already had engagement photos taken. JR proposed to Kathryn in Utah during a picnic, and hired a photographer to take photos that day. In lieu of engagement photos, which I offer complimentary to couples who book me for their wedding, Kathryn and JR chose to have their first look and wedding portraits taken a week before their wedding. This is something I'd never seen or even heard of before, but I love the idea! And for LDS couples, it makes a lot of sense!
For those who don't already know, an LDS wedding -- called a sealing -- is a very intimate, sacred and private affair. In order to witness it, guests must be members of and in good standing with the LDS church. Photography is strictly prohibited, and the bride and groom usually wear traditional Temple robes over their clothes. That means the couple doesn't actually have photos from their ceremony. By having a first look and couples session before their sealing, Kathyrn and JR were able to experience elements of a non-LDS wedding while still honoring Mormon traditions!