June 8, 2020
Today’s episode is a little shorter than normal because it’s focused on only one single part of your wedding day: your getting ready location. But just because it is only one small part of your wedding day, don’t underestimate its importance!
Now, you might be wondering why we are talking about where you will be getting ready on your wedding day before we’ve talked about the thousands of other things you need to do before that day. Here’s why we think it is important to plan for your getting ready room LONG before your wedding day comes around.
Plan in Advance for Where You Will Get Ready
The location in which you get ready for your wedding day can play a HUGE role into the emotions you have on your wedding day, the photos that are captured, and the level of stress that you feel.
Let’s talk about how a getting ready space makes you feel. You want to be sure that where you are getting ready is a place that you feel comfortable in, a space that matches your style and your vibe for your wedding day, and a space where you can relax with all the people closest to you before one of the most important days of your life!
I know that a room full of bags, makeup, beds, food, and dresses makes me feel stressed and overwhelmed. When Cody and I were wedding planning, it was important to us that we had a place where I would feel comfortable and relaxed! We knew in advance what we were looking for in a getting ready space.
Secondly, the space in which you choose to get ready for your wedding day can greatly impact the photos that your photographer captures. If you value these photos, you’ll want to plan in advance how you can help them be the best photos they can be!
Lastly, Cody and I do not like last minute decisions. We knew that the value of our getting ready locations was important to us enough that we should plan for them in advance. We did this so that we could enjoy a restful, fun, beautiful, and exciting getting ready experience on the morning of our wedding day. If that’s what you want as well, here are some things you should think about when planning where you will get ready on your wedding day!
What to Look for in a Getting Ready Location
First: What’s the Light Like?
Your getting ready location is likely where the first detail and portrait photographs will be taken, so it’s important to choose a space that will best suit phenomenal photos! I’ve spoken about how these photos are some of my absolute favorite photos of our wedding day, and some of my favorite photos to capture of our couples on their wedding days.
The excitement and the love is so apparent as brides and grooms get ready for their wedding day. You will be surrounded by your closest friends and family members. This is the space where you will step into your wedding gown or put on your suit jacket. Your getting ready location is where your mom will help you with the final touches as she tries to hold back tears. It’s where your best friends will beam and smile because they are so excited your day is finally here. I get goosebumps thinking about how magical these moments are!!
As photographers, Cody and I want to make people the focus of each photo we take. We want emotions to ooze out of each photo, because we want you feel drawn into a real moment. The biggest thing that can help us to capture these moments in beautiful ways is light. We love to be in a space where natural light is available because it brings the most authenticity out of our photos.
Try to find a location with big windows streaming in with natural sunlight, or a space that is painted with light neutral colors. This will ensure your getting ready photos look stunning!
Second: Is The Space Without Clutter?
As I mentioned, Cody and I want the focus of our photos to be the people in them. Think about the moment where your mom finishes buttoning the last button of your wedding dress. She’s looking upon you with so much love and adoration, and you are smiling back at her with so much joy. It’s a beautiful moment captured in photo form, but now imagine there are coffee cups and food strewn in the background. Someone’s duffle bag is on the floor and the hotel’s landscape painting is jutting out behind your heads. It ruins the beautiful moment, right?!
You will want to plan in advance to have a getting ready space that is free of clutter and has enough space for you and your bridal party to get ready without it turning into a tornado! Choose a space that is free of clutter like big sofas/chairs, pictures on the wall, decorations, tvs, etc!
Some things you might not even think about can be distracting in a photo. A room that is neutral in color will help YOU to be the only focus of the photos. White walls and minimal décor are ideal. If there is some decor, make sure you can take everything off the walls in the room you will put your dress or suit on in. All this will ensure that no clutter or distractions will get into your lovely photos!
You might have a lovely space that is free of decor and has neutral paint on the walls, but you might not have a space free of clutter yet if you don’t ensure there is enough room for your wedding party to get ready there. You’ll want set expectations about what spaces are for photos and what spaces are for the more unphotogenic parts of getting ready. Plan to keep one space free of personal items, food, makeup, really anything!
Having a space that is organized and clear of clutter won’t just help you have gorgeous photos of you getting ready. It will ensure that your body and your mind can be clear of clutter as well. It ensures that you can start off your wedding day feeling at peace, comfortable, and joyful!
What if My Venue Doesn’t Have a Getting Ready Space
Now, you might still be thinking, why do I have to think about these things in advance? Hopefully if you are listening to this podcast, you have already started a budget for your wedding day and you’ve likely already chosen a wedding venue.
If you’ve chosen a wedding venue that has a getting ready space dedicated for brides and grooms, that is wonderful! But just because they offer it doesn’t mean you should use it.
When Cody and I booked our venue, we weren’t really thinking about where we would get ready. Our venue had a space, but it was a tiny room to the side of the kitchen. It had no natural light and was barely big enough to fit the wedding dress, bride, and her mom. So we knew we needed something different.
Here’s what we suggest to couples whose wedding venue does not have an ideal getting ready location.
Option #1: Rent an AirBnB
One thing we suggest to our couples is to book an AirBnB to use to get ready. This is what we ended up doing for our own wedding day! We knew that we needed a space to get ready and we knew we would need to look outside of our venue. Cody and I budgeted and planned for this early on, so that we weren’t stuck in a rut trying to decide where to get ready a month before our wedding day. And it was twofold, because I actually got ready at the AirBnB with the girls and then Cody and I spent our wedding night there! It was perfect because we knew we wanted something more cozy and secluded than a hotel room.
Option #2: Hotel Conference Rooms or Suites
The second thing we might suggest to a couple who doesn’t have an ideal getting ready room at their venue would be to look at hotel conference rooms. Now, I hesitate to even suggest this, because to be honest MOST hotel conference rooms or hotel’s suites are not ideal for getting ready photos.
However, there are some that can lend themselves to great photos. If you have a block at a hotel for your wedding day, likely the hotel will let you use the conference room for a discounted rate or even for free at times! Take a look and see if the conference room or a suite could be ideal.
Keep in mind what we said before about light, clutter, and decor. Can you move the tables and chairs? Is the bed taking up too much space? Can you take wall art down and hide it in a corner during photos? Is there enough space for personal belongings to be separated from photo space? This can help you decide whether the hotel’s conference room is ideal.
Option #3: Move Outside
Don’t get too discouraged if you can’t find an ideal indoor location that is available. While an indoor getting ready location is ideal and what we most encourage, as photographers we’ve learned that we can find ideal locations no matter the situation.
Many times if the getting ready location is not ideal because of its lack of light or decor, we will move our brides outside of the room. Sometimes this looks like using a hotel lobby or hallway. Other times it means we actually go outside and find a simple and natural backdrop for these photos.
Either way, trust your photographer to find a great spot for you. Sometimes our chosen locations might confuse you. I promise, we see the magic and beauty that can happen when people step into the frame. Check out our show notes for some examples of how we make this happen as photographers!
Why Is This So Important?
The morning of your wedding day will feel relaxed, peaceful, fun, and joyful if you think about your getting ready location in advance. If you want the photos captured of you getting ready to be beautiful, focused on emotions, and clean, then it is critical to think of your getting ready location long before your wedding day will arrive. Keeping these tips in mind will ensure your getting ready location is one that not only is conducive to gorgeous photos, but one that makes your wedding day stress free.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the More Than Marriage Podcast. If you enjoyed listening and you learned something new, let us know! Send us an email, tag us in a social media post, or send us a DM. We would LOVE to connect with you! Click here to listen to previous episodes.