Believe it or not, where you choose to get ready on your wedding day can have a HUGE impact on the look + feel of your wedding images. If you think about it, a good portion of your wedding gallery is comprised of photos shot at your getting ready location – all of your bridal detail shots, your candid getting ready photos, getting into your dress… all of these important photos are taken here, so the location + lighting in that space is definitely something that you should consider carefully. Your photographer and your makeup artist both deeply appreciate an amazing getting ready location because it makes their job easier if the location is chosen well!
As a photographer who prefers to utilize natural light in my photos, a getting ready location with a lot of light-colored walls and decor is always welcomed. Locations with ample natural light, large windows, french doors, or covered porches + patios are a dream. Your makeup artist will also need as much natural light as possible, so please keep this in mind as you choose a getting ready location. The last thing you want is for your makeup artist + photographer to be fighting over the one corner of the room with great window light!!
As you begin to look at your options for getting ready, keep these things in mind:
- Is the space large enough to comfortably accommodate your bridal party + other invited guests who will be around during this portion of the day? Your creative team will need room to work as well, so ensuring that there is enough space so that everyone can hang out and work comfortably is important.
- Are the walls a neutral, light color? This is important to note, as dark-colored walls (especially of the red + orange variety) can create a really ugly color cast in your getting ready photos. Let’s face it… no one wants to look like an Oompa Loompa!
- Is there ample natural light? Ideally, there will be more than one window in your getting ready location so that your photographer and makeup artist can each have some space with great light in which to work. Both of us need natural light to do our best work, so please keep this in mind.
- If you were to shut off all of the lights in the room and open all of the curtains, would it still be relatively light in the room? This is a great test of whether or not your getting ready location is ideal or not. If the answer is yes, you’ve found a winner! If you were to shut off all of the lights in the room and it was really dark + cave-like, you may definitely want to consider another option if you really want those airy, light photos that you see in my portfolio. In a darker location, the use of artificial light is necessary, and let’s face it… flash is just not as gorgeous as natural window light!
Many venues in D.C. have a bridal suite where the bridal party can get ready – although not all of them are ideal. Picking the right location for brides + their bridesmaids to get ready because there are a ton of options for shooting details, plenty of space for both me + the hair/makeup team to utilize great light, and great locations for capturing light and airy getting ready photos. Bridal suites that lack ample space, have dated decor, dark walls (including wood paneling or wood ceilings), or that lack natural light are not ideal and should be avoided if at all possible. If you have questions about whether your venue’s bridal suite is ideal, let me know!!
If you go with a hotel room or Airbnb, invest in a suite if at all possible. Suites generally have way more space for everyone to spread out and they generally have more windows – and sometimes a balcony! I know that finding a great place to get ready may not be high on the priority list for many brides at first, but in my opinion, it is totally worth it to splurge on a beautiful getting ready space because so many of your photos will be taken here!! I hope this helps and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below!