What to Look For in a Getting Ready Space


April 28, 2021

If you’re thinking about important spaces for your wedding day, you’re probably primarily focused on your ceremony and reception venue. Outside of that it’s easy to trust that everything else will fall into place later on in the planning process, especially when it comes to the details like where the bridal party will be getting ready. It’s relatively common for brides to plan a getting ready space around what’s convenient or where you’ll be anyways. For example, if you and your girls are staying in a hotel room the night before the wedding, you’ll probably decide to just get ready in the hotel room. Or if one of your bridesmaids has a house that’s close to the ceremony venue you may choose there. 

While ultimately you have to do what’s best for you and your crew, I do want to point out some ways to be more proactive in picking a space to get ready in. It’s worth looking for certain qualities in this space because the getting ready photos are some of the most natural and fun! You don’t want for them to be tarnished by a crammed space or poor lighting. It’s also important to recognize that you’ll be spending a lot of time in this space on the morning of your wedding, so you want it to be enjoyable and well suited for you and your bridal party! 

Here are some things to think about and look for as you’re deciding where you’ll be getting ready on the morning of your wedding day: 

wedding day hair

Does your venue have a space? 

It’s not uncommon for the venue you’re using for your ceremony or reception to have a room that’s designated as a getting ready space for the bridal party. If it’s a church or other public space, the room will most likely be a nursery classroom or something along those lines. If it’s your venue space, they may have a certain space that you can pay extra to have for a getting ready space! Often if your venue has a room that they use for this, it will probably be better suited for you and your bridesmaids as it was probably designed to be used for the purpose of getting ready. 

getting ready morning of the wedding

Does it have good and natural lighting?

A lot of natural light in a getting ready space will help create beautiful photos of you and your friends as you’re hanging out and getting ready for the big day! It also helps for photos of your dress hanging in a window, or detail shots in natural lighting. It may not seem like a big deal as you’re finding a getting ready space, but it is a big deal to your photographer and will ensure that your photos turn out like you want them to! And it’s not just the photographer that uses natural light, but it’s important to your makeup and hair stylist too. They will want to seat you near a window while they’re doing your makeup so that they can make sure that they’re matching your skin tone and not doing too dark or too light based on whatever the lighting is in the room. Natural lighting basically ensures that your makeup will work in all lighting the rest of the day, so it’s important to keep this a priority as you’re planning out your space! 

wedding dress portrait

Is there enough room?

The last thing that you want on the morning of your wedding will be to feel crammed and claustrophobic! Make sure you’re keeping in mind all of the people that will be in this space on your wedding day. This probably means you, your bridesmaids, personal attendants, moms, photographer, videographer, makeup and hair artist, and anyone else who will be coming in and out. You want to make sure that you have plenty of room, not only for you to be able to move around, but also for you to set up and spread out. Your hair and makeup artist will most likely be bringing a lot of extra equipment and your girls will probably be bringing along everything that they need to get ready as well! Finding a spot that is spacious enough to fit you all and has some extra room will make the morning feel a lot smoother! 

wedding day makeup

Does it have what you need for getting ready? 

If you’re able, try to tour the space that you’ll be using to get ready before the day of the wedding! While you’re there, try to pay attention to the things that are essential to getting ready. This means you should be looking for plug-ins/outlets, mirrors, and fans in the ceiling so you don’t get too warm. Unless you’re planning on bringing extension cords, it’s good to ensure that there will be enough plug-ins for everyone to use! It’s also important that you have at least one full-length mirror as well as a lot of small mirrors for everyone to use. If the space doesn’t have these already, try to think about where in the room you could bring your own and set them up! 

getting ready wedding day morning

If it sounds like we’re passionate about your getting ready space, it’s because we are! This is a huge chunk of one of the biggest days of your life, and these photos are priceless! They’re natural and unstaged photos of you and your best friends! We want for these photos to turn out the best that they possibly can, because we know that they’re ones that you’ll look back on forever! 

For more Wedding Wednesday tips, click here to check out the blog!

what to look for in a getting ready space

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Hey there, and welcome to the JWP blog!  We are a photography team based in Iowa and we’re glad you’re here!  We hope you’ll enjoy viewing our most recent weddings, tips brides, and business and educational resources for photographers.  


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