Utah couples line up to wed in temple ahead of 4-year closure

Salt Lake LDS Temple
Salt Lake LDS Temple Grounds - (Photo: Jon Shuppy)

Alexis Anderson wanted to get married in the Salt Lake Temple so bad she booked it before she was engaged.

“It’s just like iconic and beautiful and looks like a castle,” a shivering Anderson said Saturday night moments after tying the knot.

She had plans at first to wed in the springtime, but the announcement that her desired wedding venue would be closed four springs in a row for seismic retrofitting shook up her plans.

“We didn’t want to wait four years so we figured might as well try to get in there,” said Anderson’s new husband, Parker Young.

So eager were they, the couple made a reservation in August – a month before Young popped the question. He said:

They said ‘[December] 28th, we have one more left,’ so we were like OK!

The couple was told they were nearly the last ceremony out of about 65 weddings Saturday.

The temple, a Mecca-like site for millions of the LDS faith around the world, will soon be swarmed with workers.

“We probably have 300 to 350 individuals — engineers, architects, designers, subcontractors, the contractor, my staff,” said Brent Roberts, who oversees the project.

Roberts said early planning began in 2002. Moving forward, the 4-year project timeline is aggressive.

“Four years is the tightest schedule we could actually put together, this is a major undertaking,” he said.

The temple was completed 126 years ago and if the church wants to use it another 126 years, it’ll likely need to survive an earthquake.

The structure is getting the same safety mechanisms already installed at the Utah Capitol and the city and county building in downtown Salt Lake City. Workers will also upgrade aging mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and improve access for the disabled.The first thing people will see are walls going up around the construction zone. Church officials say there will be large viewing areas to watch the progress.

Though Temple Square will remain open during construction, visitor activities will be moved across the street to the Conference Center.