Where to Get Ready for Your Wedding

May 3, 2024

A bride in a simple white wedding dress stands reflected in a full-length mirror, adjusting her dress while another woman in a teal dress stands nearby, both in a room with wooden interiors and large windows.

If you’ve found this blog post, then you are wondering where to get ready for your wedding. Well, you are 100% in the right place! Deciding where to get ready on your wedding day is crucial so that you can set the tone for your big day. This location isn’t just any location, is it? It’s truly a place where you’ll be surrounded by your closest friends and family as you prepare to marry the love of your life.

As a Pennsylvania wedding photographer, I’ve photographed a variety of getting ready photos, and I’ve compiled my ultimate list of tips to help you decide your perfect wedding day prep location. 

Whether it’s a chic hotel room or a getting ready room in your venue, I’m here to help you decide where to get ready for your wedding. Keep reading to learn more!

Where to Get Ready for Your Wedding

The getting ready space at your venue

A man in a vest adjusts his tie in a mirror reflection, with another man helping him adjust his vest in a well-lit room filled with elegant furniture and scattered belongings.

First, does your venue have a getting ready space? That can be an incredible option for you, especially if it’s already included in the price you’ve paid to book your wedding venue for your big day. 

However, there are a few things to consider:

  • Is there enough room for you to get ready?
  • Is there enough room for any makeup artists and their tools?
  • Is there enough room for any hairstylists who will be helping you to get ready?
  • Is there enough room for everyone else that may be in your getting ready suite?

If you answered yes to all of these, then I’ve got great news for you: the getting ready space at your venue sounds like an awesome choice for you. 

Pro tip: bright, white walls are a photographer’s dream. This provides such a great beautiful blank slate for your getting ready photos. These types of photos can sometimes feel a bit “messy” (there’s usually a lot of things sitting around, like water bottles, snacks, attire bags, hangers, and more), so if your venue has plan white walls, this is a huge plus, but it’s not make or break. 

Hotel room or Airbnb

A close-up shot of a groom adjusting his shirt cuff, dressed in a white shirt with black suspenders against a neutral-colored wall.

Are you staying at a hotel room or nearby Airbnb the night before your wedding? That can also work as a great place for you to get ready in the morning. Makeup artists and hairstylists often bring their own lighting, but if you are able to sit facing a window, the natural light is ideal for photos.

 Hotels can provide a luxurious backdrop for your photos and will usually provide easy access to a lot of essential services, which can help to reduce stress the morning of your wedding. Meanwhile, Airbnbs offer variety, space, and a personalized setting that feels a bit more “homey” for a comfortable morning getting ready.

Truthfully, both options are great options as long as they aren’t super far from your venue. 

Your house or a family member’s house

A bridesmaid, dressed in a beige dress, carefully secures a sheer white veil to the back of a bride's head, focusing intently on her task.

Lastly, if you are getting married nearby, you could also use your house or even a family member’s house as a getting ready location. I’ve actually photographed a few weddings where the couple got ready in their childhood home, which is such a sweet touch and full circle moment. If this is an option for you, it’s definitely something to consider. It can result in photos that are even more sentimental and special.  

Tips for Your Getting Ready Wedding Day Location

Now that you know some of the best places to get ready on your wedding day, let’s talk about how to get the most out of your location.

Keep the space as tidy as possible

First things first, be sure to keep the space as tidy as possible. I know this can be hard with the rush of everything the morning of your wedding, but it helps a lot! Sure, it will help me get photos that aren’t super “busy” but it can also help you to be in a space that doesn’t feel very chaotic.

Some tips to make this happen:

  • Designate specific activities for particular areas (i.e. where will makeup be done? Hairstyling? Eating? Getting dressed?)
  • Assign a cleanup crew (Can a few of your friends or family members help keep the area as tidy as possible?)
  • Utilize garment bags and hangers for any wedding outfits and accessories
  • Limit the number of people that will be in the space

Have your detail objects organized (in a shoebox or somewhere else)

A bride stands in a sleeveless white dress while two women adjust her train in front of a mirror, ensuring every detail is perfect for the ceremony.

Next, be sure to have your detail objects organized in a shoebox or somewhere else if you want your photographer to capture detail photos. This is so that it’s super easy to find everything, and you won’t be looking around for any invitations or other detail items when your photographer is ready to capture the details!

Some great items for these detail photos include any wedding favors, veil and hair accessories, shoes, invitations, and other stationery.  

Make sure there’s decent natural lighting

A woman in a white wedding dress has her back turned to the camera while another woman, wearing a teal dress, carefully buttons the back of her dress in a brightly lit room

I know I mentioned this briefly before, but you want to make sure that there is decent natural lighting. Natural lighting helps to bring out the true colors and details of your wedding outfit so that I can photograph everything exactly as it is. 

Natural lighting is always better than artificial lighting, which is usually not super flattering and can create harsh shadows or even change how colors actually look. 

Choose a location that has enough space for everyone

An older woman in a dark blue lace dress is assisting a bride in a detailed lace wedding gown with fastening the back of the dress in a room with white curtains and elegant furnishings

Try to plan ahead and think about who will be in your getting ready space. You want your area to be able to fit everyone without it feeling super crowded. This is why I usually suggest limiting the number of people that will be allowed in and out during this time!

Plus, the more space you have, the more organization you’ll have for each getting ready activity, like hair and makeup sessions and even any last-minute touchups. Plus, I will have the ability to capture candid moments and beautiful portraits without feeling stuck in the space within constraints.  

Arrange for snacks and drinks for energy

The same scene as the second image, showing the older woman and bride in a lace wedding gown, but taken from a different angle where the bride is facing the window, back to the camera

Don’t forget about eating and hydrating before the main event begins. The hours leading up to your ceremony can be pretty lengthy! (And, honestly, pretty hectic.)

Try to have a selection of light snacks and hydration options so that you and everyone else stays pretty energized before anything really even starts.  

Plan your timeline to avoid rushing and stress

A woman in a blue dress adjusts the tie of a man in a black suit and white shirt, both standing in a room with classical white decor and a mirror reflecting a portion of the room

Next, be sure to plan your timeline to avoid rushing and stress. While your wedding day will never be completely stress-free, there are some strategic timeline choices you can make. For instance, always over plan and assume everything will take longer than it actually will. This way, if anything does run over, it’s really not a huge deal. 

This especially goes for the time you spend getting ready. You never know if a delay might occur due to something unforeseen like traffic or even a weather mishap. It’s always better to have that buffer time built in already.

Verify easy access for parking

Three women in blue robes standing around a window, one of them hanging a light blue dress on the window, in a room with white walls and a radiator, depicting a casual, pre-wedding preparation atmosphere

Last but certainly not least, and this is a bonus, you can also verify easy access for parking near your getting ready space. If there’s no easy parking near where you are getting ready, at least let any friends, family members, or vendors know so that they can plan accordingly. 

If you are getting ready at a hotel or even a wedding venue, odds are high that parking facilities will be easy to access nearby. However, something like an Airbnb in the city might mean having to utilize parking garages with a walk over to the getting ready space. 

Final Thoughts: Where to Get Ready on Your Wedding Day

Well, there you have it! Now you know where to get ready for your wedding. Whether you choose an Airbnb, hotel, or even the getting ready suites at your venue if they have them, you really can’t go wrong. It really comes down to your own unique needs and wedding day timeline.

Are you still looking for a photographer for your wedding day? I’d love for you to get in touch. Click here to contact me so I can learn more about your love story.

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