You’ve spent months planning your perfect wedding day, but have you considered the moments before the wedding? Selecting the Best Wedding Getting Ready Locations is an important decision that sometimes get overlooked.
Some of my favorite moments with my clients happen before the wedding. I usually spend about an hour to an hour and a half photographing getting ready photos, and when it comes down to it, location is crucial! Below are a few tips to help you select the perfect getting ready location.
01 – Lighting is Important
The two most important things in a photograph are you and the light. When selecting a space, opt for rooms with large (preferably South-facing) windows that bring in natural light. While you’re getting ready, photographers will usually use this time to photograph details like your shoes, dress, perfume, etc…. items like this photograph better in bright, natural light and rooms neutral colors.
02 – Select a Room with Neutral Walls and Enough Space
When I shoot getting ready photos, I prefer taking them in hotels with neutral walls because the neutrality allows the bride and her party to be the focal point of the images. Even if you live in the city, it is best to rent a couple hotel rooms or use one of your wedding party’s rooms for getting ready photos. Make sure the hotel space isn’t cramped and has neutral walls. There are some gorgeous hotels in the city, but some just don’t make the best fit for getting ready before your wedding!
My favorite hotels to photograph in Chicago are Waldorf Astoria, Public and The Langham – these hotels have fantastic light, neutral walls, and a ton of space! They are some of the best wedding getting ready locations.
If you’re getting ready at someone’s house, choose a room with windows, clean walls and space to move around in.
03 – Upgrade to a Suite
If you have more than a couple people in your wedding party upgrade to a suite. You will have more room, more light and you can include everyone (your mom and your spouse’s mom)! This is helpful in ensuring there isn’t a large bed in the way of you getting ready, and also helps keep the bed out of photos! Emily and Ben’s Suite in the Ritz Carlton was a gorgeous location for getting ready photos (below)! Talk about beautiful light!
04 – Keep Things Tidy
When you get to the room, designate a specific area for everyone’s bags. Right before your photographer arrives, have your attendants cleanup from breakfast/lunch. Clean spaces photograph much better than cluttered.
Keeping the bed made and floors clear of clutter allows them to be in the background without distracting from the subject…you! Want a great example of a clutter-free space? Check out this shot from Kerri and Mike’s wedding (below)!
05 – The Little Details
Consider your stylist and makeup artist’s needs when selecting a getting ready location. When you’re picking a space, make sure there is enough room to create a mini “salon”. It’s nice to have a work surface for them to lay their tools (separate from your food table is preferred!) as well as plenty of chairs.
Full-length mirrors are a must! Not only do they aid in the getting ready process, but they also reflect natural light! Most hotel rooms will provide them (if they’re not already in the room) if you call in advance!
The moments before your “I do’s” are special. Your mind will be racing and your heart will be fluttering. All your hard work is finally coming together. Take a deep breath and let your photographer capture this beautiful time.
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