As your wedding photographers and/or videographers, we’re working to tell the story of the entire day, which means we always photograph the bride and groom getting dressed. There’s no question about how much thought goes into choosing a perfect ceremony site and a reception venue, but often times a getting ready room is a bit overlooked. But it’s just as important as some of the most sentimental moments of the day take place there, so there’s some things to consider to help the day run smooth and your photos/video look beautiful!
This one may seem like an obvious one, but how far your prep area is from the ceremony site can dictate a lot in how the flow of your day goes. We always say, the less driving time the better! Your day will be wonderful, but exhausting, so the closer you are, the easier transitioning from one place to another will be! Plus no one wants to be pulling their hair out stressed in traffic for a long drive! If your ceremony site doesn’t have a prep area with all the gorgeous things below like light or enough space, and you have to get ready off site, consider renting a party bus to transport you and your wedding party around town with style!
If you’re a T+L couple, you’ll hear us say this a lot. It’s all about the light! Really though! Beautiful natural light is a photographer’s best friend, but it’s also your BFF because it’s going to make you look your best, which we know is what you want! ;) No one looks their best under harsh indoor lighting, so when choosing a space, you need to look for natural light and lots of it. How do you know if a room has enough light for great photos? As long as there is at least one large window, or several small windows, it will provide enough light. We ask your HMU artist to set up in front of a window so not only can they see your face much better with more accurate light, but we’re also able to take more flattering photos/video. On your wedding day, you may even see us turning off lamps/other lights. We promise we’re not vampires! This is because certain colored lights cast an ugly color and are distracting and unflattering. Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back and will always be looking for the best light, and now you know to look for a space with lots of natural light too! If your venue doesn’t have a space like that, large hotel suites work wonderfully for this, so we’ve recommended a few below that we’ve worked in and love!
The amount of space a room offers is so important! Consider this…you have about 9 girls in your wedding party and they’ll all be getting ready in the same place. They all bring 2 bags with them and very quickly you’ve got one very loaded room. And that doesn’t even include what the HMU artists will need to bring. YIKES! So think big! Yes, spring for the bigger hotel suite. Having a large space is also helpful for eliminating clutter! We know how messy prep time can get, which is why we’re also professional room tidy-ers! We know you don’t want sandwiches, duffle bags and a steamer in the background of your photos, which is why we do our best to help you keep the room tidy…or at least the part we’ll be using…the part with the best light!
Another thing to think about is the atmosphere. Perhaps getting ready at your house will have a much more personal and sentimental feel than a hotel. Or maybe you’d like that classic and romantic look, or a fun edgy look that a unique hotel could offer. Even the rooms that your venue offers may be just what you’re looking for. However, don’t forget how important light is! Atmosphere can be fun, but it’s not the end all be all. We’ve shot stunning prep photos in a very simple room with just a nice window!
5. Get Dressed in Great Light Too!
So you’ve followed our advice, you’ve found the perfect space with beautiful light, plenty of space, and it looks gorgeous as well! It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to leave this great room to get dressed in an ugly one with no windows at the ceremony site, right? So don’t…if you can. We highly recommend getting dressed where you get ready, but if your dress is just too big to ride in a car with, make sure there’s a naturally lit place at your ceremony site as well where you can slip into it. We’ve used hallways, lounge areas, anything with natural light! The trick is, you can slip it on in private, but before you lace/zip/whatever-it-up, we’ll bring you into the light for the final touches.
6. The Groom
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the groom! He needs everything we’ve mentioned above as well! It may seem surprising, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received a timeline that had no mention of the groom prior to the ceremony or how many times we show up to the groom’s room, and it’s basically a closet! So don’t leave him out. Find a great room for him as well, and he’ll thank you later!
Here’s a list of places we’ve shot in that blew us away with the perfect combination of space, light, and atmosphere!
The Rosewood Crescent (Classic, Romantic)
Hotel ZaZa (Fun, edgy)
Downtown Dallas Omni (Classic)
Downtown Fort Worth Omni (Classic)
The NYLO (Industrial, Modern)
The Joule (Pictured below. We highly recommend their rooftop penthouse!)
The Stoneleigh (they also have a rooftop suite and beautiful rooms)