For Brides | The Getting Ready Room

After shooting close to 100 weddings, I LOVE to share advice or tips that I’ve learned through those weddings with my couples! A few weeks ago, I shared a post for brides about 10 Details to Bring to the Bridal Suite and received some amazing feedback! Today on the blog, I’m sharing advice on the room where you’ll be getting ready on the morning of your wedding. As your photographer, my goal is always to create timeless images that you’ll cherish for a lifetime! Hopefully these tips will help you as you plan for your wedding day!

Natural Light

If you feel an affinity towards my style, it probably has something to do with my use of natural light! My best piece of advice for brides when it comes to the morning is to secure a space that had big windows. By having just a simple window in the bridal prep area, I am able to create beautiful portraits with soft light — the more windows, the better!

I encourage my brides to get creative with their spaces! Is there an Air B&B you can rent for the night? Do you have a family-friend who would be willing to let you use their home for the morning? Take a little time to brainstorm your options — you might be surprised with what you discover! : )

Tessa found an event venue with floor to ceiling windows for getting ready in the morning.

Cait chose to get ready at her personal home because of the large windows on 2 sides of every room.

Lexie asked a family friend to use their spacious condo for the morning — every single wall was made of windows and overlooked the city. 

Find a “Clean Space”

Natural light is always my first priority but the second step is finding a neutral area to use as our backdrop. Usually that means a blank wall (bonus points if it’s white!) or simple & classic background. Throughout your wedding day, I want you & your groom to be the focal point of your photos. This means that its my goal to eliminate any unnecessary distraction — Aquafina bottles in the background? Gone. The hotel advertising pamphlets on the table? See ya! Often times, I even move artwork on the walls to ensure that YOU stand out on the photos!

Lacey & Calvin used a hotel room that had large windows on the southern side of the building. This light allowed us to take some beautiful portraits in the afternoon! The walls were also fairly bare, which created a distraction free background.

Ashley specifically found a hotel with white walls & white bedding — the BEST natural reflectors!

Avoid Church Classrooms or Basements

Most churches give couples access to the preschool or nursery room for getting ready in the morning.  There is nothing “timeless & romantic” about a bride slipping into her wedding dress with a backdrop of coloring book pages taped to the walls! Another option churches often provide is the use of their basement but that usually means that there are no windows, which means no natural light. Again, it’s not the end of the world but it’s always great to have at least 1 window in the room to give your photos a soft look!

Here is an example of a church basement that doubles as a preschool. Again, nothing wrong with this space but it isn’t as timeless as a space that has natural light or clean walls.

Another example of a church basement with no windows. 

Step Outside

If you have a tight schedule in the morning or are required to be at the church early, you might not have access to a great room but that doesn’t have to stop us from getting timeless photos! Is there a porch outside? How about a patch of shade near the trees? Stepping outside for those final “getting ready” photos is a great option to avoid a small dark room.

Michelle got ready at her ceremony site and there wasn’t much room or light (see photo 2 below). We decided to take getting ready photos outside to ensure they would have a timeless look. 

This was the room Michelle was given for getting ready — nothing wrong with it, just a little cramped and no “clean space” for getting dressed.

In photo 1 you’ll see the space doubled as a classroom and although the lighting was okay, the space feels a bit cluttered. Instead of taking portraits here, we stepped outside for a timeless backdrop (photo 2 of Ryan).

Finally, Lauren had a BEAUTIFUL space to get ready but it was very small so we decided to step out to the patio to make sure everyone could be in the photos! Best decision of the morning!

Hopefully these tips & tricks are helpful to you in the planning process of your wedding! Remember, the getting ready room doesn’t need to be extravagant but putting in a little extra effort to find a bright  & timeless space will make ALL the difference when you get your photos back!!! Xo

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