“Can we just book a hotel room, or get ready in our apartments?” Since our couples are located in the heart of Boston, surrounding metro areas, and farther out in the quieter rural areas around New England, each wedding poses different options for getting ready locations available to each couple. If you’re wondering what you need to plan for during the getting ready portion of the wedding day, check out Wedding Details to Start the Day and A Sample Wedding Day Timeline.
Here are some tips for what to look for in a getting ready space for both brides and grooms.
1. Max Window and Natural Light
Although we’re always ready with an on-camera flash, the intimate moments between a bride and her mother, or the groom and his best man, are best captured in natural light. If you’re looking to get ready in a hotel, see if the hotel would allow you to get ready in a ballroom (ask if the ballroom has outside-facing windows). If you’re getting ready in your own home, the goal is to find the room with the most natural light from the windows, and keep that room clear of any wedding day clutter. If you’re getting ready at a different location (bridal suite at a venue) where you can’t control where you get ready or the amount of light, that’s okay – just let us know so we can plan accordingly.
2. You need more space than you think
We say this because we want to make sure you get photos with all the important people in the getting ready process, like siblings, parents, wedding party, etc., and if you only have two feet of wiggle room, it will be hard to capture those candid moments because of the lack of space.
Hotel rooms, especially in the heart of the city, can be pretty cozy, with very little room to pose a bride or groom close to a window. We’ve had to move dressers, TVs, and beds to try to get enough space to get epic getting ready shots, but if we’re all squished trying to get a bride in a dress between a bed and a window, with about 2 feet of space and a TV behind you, we may not be able to capture the sweet moments of the bride stepping into her dress, getting her train fluffed, or having all the bridesmaids or groomsmen helping with the attire. Our biggest pet peeve is the air conditioning unit that’s always in the one window we have available to use, so even if we clear out that entire area, the shots may still have an air conditioner (usually a tacky beige color) sticking out of the wall, right in front of the person getting ready.
If you’re aiming to get ready in your own home, once you find the room with the best natural light, we recommend keeping that room clear of almost everything. It’s helpful to move non-sitting furniture, if possible, like dressers, tables, and nightstands. Sofas or chairs are fine, as long as you’re fine with them possibly being in the photos. If you have a wedding party getting ready in your home as well, dedicate another room for all of the bags, clothing, makeup, and accessories, so the room that we’ll take photos in is ready whenever you are. The photographer can also use that room to photograph any details, like the wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, etc.
If you’re getting ready at a different location, like a bridal suite at a venue, consider choosing a portion of the space to keep clear of all items, just so the photographer can come in and begin using that space without having to clear it out.
3. Colors of the getting ready room:
This one is a little out of most people’s control, but we included it because it helps to guide any brides or grooms that have getting ready space options. We recommend a light-colored room, with white or beige walls, because that will help brighten the photos, especially with natural light.
If the room you’re getting ready in has dark walls or furniture, let your photographer know. My team typically arrives early to identify the best way to use the available space and lighting to still get light, colorful, and bold photos.
Colors to avoid in the getting ready area, if possible:
- Orange (this will reflect onto your skin, making your skin tone a little different
- Red (we had a bride get ready in a room with bright red walls, and there was a lot of pink tint in her white dress)