A Mormon Image: Preparing for the Wedding Reception


Photo by L-s Sus, who writes:

The picture is of my wife and son and was taken at my sister’s wedding. It captures many themes that resonate with my concept of Mormon identity: Family, Motherhood, Nurturing, and Beauty. It also reminds me that we have benevolent heavenly parents who reach down and give assistance, and that we are just children in the grand scheme of things.

This photograph is part of our ongoing series highlighting Mormon images. Comments to the post are welcome. In addition we invite you to submit your own images to the Mormon Image series. Rules and instructions, including submissions guidelines, can be found here.

24 comments for “A Mormon Image: Preparing for the Wedding Reception

  1. gst
    October 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Lovely family. Willy Wonka wants his tie back.

  2. Hunter
    October 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    A bow tie to match the bride’s maid dresses, of course . . .

  3. Stephanie
    October 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm


  4. October 20, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Poor tyke is suffering. I remember well.

  5. Zat
    October 20, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Kaimi is a dude’s name?

  6. Katya
    October 21, 2009 at 7:41 am

    >5. It’s short for “Kaimipono.” Duh.

  7. Ida Tarbell
    October 21, 2009 at 9:02 am

    It’s bad form to critique pictures with cute kids, but there is a distinct lack of uniquely Mormon iconography here. The discussion of the image is very Mormon, however–do we turn more generic images (I’ve seen plenty of cute, bow-tie-wearing Catholic toddlers on their way to mass) into Mormon ones by the way we think/talk about them?

  8. Jonathan Green
    October 21, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Also, the background is kind of busy.

  9. brigham
    October 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Please tell me this kid was not forced to stand in one of those Mormon reception lines. If nothing else, I hope he ate before he came. Little ham sandwiches and a sherbet-Sprite drink can only go so far–even for a kid. For his sake, I hope there was a chocolate fountain.

  10. October 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    The heck of it is, I have many Mormon images, some very powerful that would set this board to humming, but I am just too reluctant to post them here.

  11. October 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Fair enough, y’all. We’ve gotten severeal submissions, and I’m not saying that any one picture is a perfect snapshot of Mormonism. I do hope that the images, collectively, will show a cultural tapestry which we can connect with.

    Another image will be posted tomorrow.

  12. October 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Everyone is a critic.

    Thanks for posting my picture Kaimi. I look forward to seeing the other images.

    For the record:

    Yes, the wedding theme was in fact Willy Wonka.

    Yes, the purple tie did match the bride’s maid dresses (ouch).

    Yes, my son was suffering. It was a hot day.

    Yes, my son is going to kick Ida and Jonathon in the shins for thinking too critically about this picture.

    No, my son didn’t have to stand in a reception line (just pose for pictures).

    So is it a Mormon picture? Maybe just to me.

  13. October 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I’m glad you opened the comments, I was totally bummed.

    This is precious. Having two boys now, I totally laughed at the lack of shoes! There are so many reasons this happens, but it happens daily at my house.

    Someone will have to explain ties to me. They make no sense. Who thought that choking someone for hours on end was a good way to civilize people? My 6-year-old prefers to unbutton the top two buttons and then hang the little tie clip at mid-chest. I’m thinking about getting him some gold chains. Will that count against his priesthood advancement?

    Oh, and is that a giant emu coming in for the kill behind the lamp post?

  14. October 22, 2009 at 2:58 am

    L-d Sus, I think your picture is a definite statement about Mormonism. Perhaps a Catholic boy could look the same. So what? It may be a little busy, but so what? Who comes up with these arbitrary ideas that busy is always bad?

    I disagree. I rather like the flag pole, the most intrusive busy element, because Mormon churches come with flag poles. Not all churches do.

    Oh, I decided to enter one, anyway, one that I grabbed real quick after I typed the word, “temple” into my computer search engine. I have many that go MUCH deeper, but I will hang on to them until I figure out what to do with them.

    I have many more yet to shoot, because I have decided that I must make a strong photographic statement about my Mormon heritage. It will probably take me a few years. I just hope I get it done before I die.

    I have so much to do before then, and the decades are going fast.

    Keep shooting, L-d Sus


  15. October 22, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I love the photo, I think people who comment negatively on pictures of children will be seated next to library-cell-phone-talkers in Hell and finally, I believe that is a truck purchased in Cheyenne behind you. Well done.

  16. sth
    October 22, 2009 at 11:03 am

    With no other explanation, you can definitely tell it’s a Mormon picture. Any non-LDS woman going to a wedding reception would be wearing a dress that showed a huge amount of cleavage whenever she bent over like that.

  17. October 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Well, I wrote a followup comment addressed largely to L-d sus last night, but it didn’t show up here. I can’t recreate it, but I will state the main theme of it:

    L-d sus, I think your photo works. To me, this definitely looks like a young Mormon boy. If I had seen this photo in a context with no other information, I would have thought, “Mormon boy” right away. Yes, a Catholic boy could conceivably be dressed the same, but so what?

    As to the issue of “busy,” again – so what? Life can be busy. In this regard, the flagpole is the most “busy” element, but I rather like it. Mormon Churches generally all have a flag flying. Not all other churches do.

    And I decided to go ahead and submit a photo, anyway, one that was easily at hand, deep not reach as deep perhaps as some of my Mormon photos but none-the-less has a strong personal significance to me and should, in some way, speak to others who lack that same personal tie – even though I do not know the subjects.

  18. October 22, 2009 at 11:38 am

    typo: should read “does not reach as deep…”

  19. October 22, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Now, this is really strange. When I came to my computer this morning, I did a “refresh” on this page and the followup comment that I wrote last night was not there.

    So, as stated above, I restated it and posted again.

    And now the comment from last night has suddenly appeared, too!

    And so has the new one.

    I look so redundant!

    But anyway, L-d sus, it should be clear to you now that your image is appreciated!

  20. October 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I agree with #16 sth. The way the woman is dressed does indicate LDS wedding reception. And I would add, not only for modest neckline, but also because the cardigan with white skirt is less expensive and more casual than you would probably see at a non-LDS wedding. All the moreso for the boy’s black pants, white shirt, and big bow tie, all nod to something more formal. And I think she looks lovely. Thanks for sharing the picture, L-s Sus

  21. October 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Bill, your earlier comment was flagged as possible spam by our automated spam catcher. It’s a generally good program, and usually catches spam. (It had 207 spam comments this morning, linking to dubious sites involving porn, gambling, or pharmaceuticals.)

    It occasionally gives a false positive and flags a legitimate comment as possible spam. Those don’t show up on blog until they’re manually checked and released. That was what happened with your earlier comment.

    The wordpress spam filter is automatic, and uses a whole bunch of tests which are designed to flag spam and not legit comments. They don’t make the algorithms public (if they did, spammers would analyze it for gaps). It’s supposed to be a “learning” program — i.e. it adds new rules to itself based on comments that we flag as either spam that got through, or false positives, so that it doesn’t repeat those errors in the future.

    Anyway, that’s what happened to your earlier comment. Sorry about that.

    And thanks for your submission, it looks good, and I’m adding it to the queue.

  22. S. G.
    October 23, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Actually, I think this is nothing more than a cynical attempt to get free, targeted advertising/product placement for Halladay Motors in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in an effort to capitalize on the lucrative Mormon market.

    Halladay Motors…marketing geniuses I tell you… :)

  23. S. G.
    October 23, 2009 at 12:53 am

    “My 6-year-old prefers to unbutton the top two buttons and then hang the little tie clip at mid-chest. I’m thinking about getting him some gold chains. Will that count against his priesthood advancement?”


    He’s not baptized yet, so all will be forgiven. However don’t let infractions such as these occur post-baptism or serious consequences in regards to priesthood ordination may occur. You will regret it when he is a 50-year old deacon, who still lives at home. : )

  24. October 23, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Thanks for the explanation, Kaimi

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