How To Choose Where To Get Ready On Your Wedding Day

Choosing where to get ready on your wedding day might be the last thing on your to-do list, but here’s why you might want to bump it up a few bullets. Your getting ready location will make all the difference for these treasured photos with your VIP family members and bridal party. And trust us, those photos you’ve been saving to your Pinterest board all these years didn’t happen by accident! So let’s dive right in with the 8 things to consider when choosing this spot:

blue and white bridal gown with white halter top bridesmaid dresses
Photo by Corbin Gurkin with gown by Kate McDonald Bridal

floral applique wedding dress from couture designer
Photo by Joel Serrato with gown by Pronovias

1. Your Venue

The easiest place to start will be your wedding venue. When doing your site visits, it’s always a good idea to ask if they have a bridal suite available. If so, could they show you around that day if it’s not currently occupied. Be sure to ask what time restrictions or limitations might apply to the use of this space too. This is the easiest place to start your search because it means you can eliminate transportation + location considerations, but be sure the space doesn’t skimp on the other bullets on this list!

bride balloons wedding day getting ready
Photo by Mallory Sparkles with robes by Le Rose

2. Size

Is it large enough to fit your entire bridal party + family members who will be there comfortably? Is there more than one mirror and if so, are they scattered across a couple rooms? Is there enough space to fit everyone’s bags, dresses, accessories without clutter, and still give you enough room to hang your dress for those full-frame photos you’ve always dreamed of? Plus… in this tech age, does it have an ample number of outlets? Not just for charging phones or playing music, but also for a few makeup artists to be working on multiple gals’ hair at the same time!

floral applique wedding dress from couture designer
Photo by Konstantin Semenikhin with gown by Elie Saab

3. Character and Cleanliness

More and more brides are opting to rent an Airbnb or VRBO property for the weekend, or even just for getting ready specifically, as opposed to hotels because of a little thing called character. With an abundance of options in every style, you have more freedom to choose a unique space that not only fits the mood of your wedding (hello, cohesive gallery!) as opposed to those infamous hotel carpets and draping, but you also have more options for large, open concept spaces that eliminates the clutter we just talked about. You don’t think about the negative effects of bags piled up in the corner where you’re supposed to be getting dressed until that’s exactly what happens to you. So cleanliness doesn’t just refer to the dust-free surfaces and Airwick scents of a space, but rather, the lack of busyness in the background.

getting ready robes with long lace bridal gown
Photo by Bethany Small Photo

4. Natural Light

But even a space with character to the max needs a little help from the sun. Natural light is a game changer for photos, especially if your photographer shoots film, so be on the lookout for spaces with lots of windows that allows for natural light to pour in without trouble.

floral applique wedding dress from couture designer
Photo by Haima Friat with gown by Berta

5. Outdoor Options

Not a total deal breaker, but oftentimes photographers will take portraits outdoors so if you choose a space that has some outdoor access or even a cutesy rooftop or terrace, it just widens the backdrop options available that day. Depending on your timeline, portraits can be taken after arriving to the ceremony site, during cocktail hour, etc. if you have no outdoor option at your getting ready location, which is why it’s not a deal breaker.

bridesmaids helping bride into wedding dress
Photo by Camilla Anchisi with gowns by Jenny Yoo

6. Location

We’d argue that these photos are sometimes worth a location a little farther away, but it will likely have an effect on your budget. It means that you’ll have to factor in transportation to your ceremony venue, and it also might mean booking a longer photography package. For many photographers, start time will begin when your getting ready photos do and continue during the time it takes you to get to your venue… meaning, it’s not a stop and go hour count by the exact minutes they are shooting. Ask your photographer to be sure, but it’s definitely something to consider if you’re sticking to a budget.

off the shoulder wedding dress in English cottage wedding venue
Photo by Alee Gleiberman Photography at Historic Walton House

7. Timeline

Similarly, your location will affect your wedding day timeline. You may want to factor in some buffer time if you have a longer drive because you just never know with traffic. So if things are already pretty tight, it may be in your best interest to choose a getting ready spot close to your venue.

taupe bridesmaid robes and white brick venue
Photo by Miramar Photography

8. Visualize yourself + your group

Last but not least, be sure you can visualize yourself in the places you’re looking at! If you think it’ll all just feel off on the wedding day, you might have some regrets about this years down the road. Trust your gut and choose a space that feels right for you.

colorful tea length wedding dresses in eclectic California venue
Photo by ThirdCoast Photography at The Fig House

Are you feeling good? We know the perfect place is out there for you, and between all the resources you’ve got at your disposal these days, there are a lot of locales to be excited about. So get ready to start your search with confidence and clarity now that you’ve got these tips under your belt!

off the shoulder bridal gown with navy bridesmaid dresses
Photo by Figtree Wedding Photography with gown by Karen Willis Holmes

If you’re on the lookout for more planning tips, check out our recent posts on indoor wedding photos and choosing your calligraphy style too!

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