One of the areas of wedding planning that tends to get overlooked is planning out the perfect getting ready room on your wedding day. Getting ready images are just as important as any other part in your wedding day story and not to mention they also make great intro images in your wedding album too! Not only that, but it’s the very room that you are preparing for the most important and beautiful day of your life!! It’s also where you will officially step into your gown (for more than a dress fitting!) and add those finishing touches as a bride!! If you’ve invested in high-quality photography, my guess is that you’re also expecting high-quality images! Right?! Right :)
It all starts with natural LIGHT! Now I realize that not all (or really any) of my brides are photographers so they really don’t know just how big of a deal this is! And that’s totally okay!! You may be thinking, “The bridal room at my venue doesn’t have windows” or “The windows at church are stained glass with a lot of color”. Regardless of your situation, as long as the sun is shining there is light SOMEWHERE and I’ll be destined to find it, even it that means having to put my brides in the church lobby or outside on the sidewalk (of course, as long as they’re okay with it! Which they always are!). The key to remember is NATURAL light, unless the photographer you’ve chosen doesn’t focus solely on that (like I do!) and prefers to use flash or darker rooms!
So how can YOU help achieve those timeless bridal images? When searching for a getting ready room, keep in mind these top 4 components:
1.) Window(s) – I can’t even put into context just how important it is to have a window (a minimum of one.. but the more the better!) in the room that is easily accessible for your getting ready images. Natural light is the prettiest and dreamiest light there is. Now, I’m not saying to cross off just ANY window as an option. Picture a stain-glass window and the light that comes through when it hits the glass; yellows, blues, reds, etc. Yikes!! You’ll want clear windows so that you can have clean light coming through to highlight your wedding details and wedding dress! Not only does natural light aid a photographer, but it also helps out your makeup artist who also uses the natural light when applying makeup!
2.) Space to move – Consider selecting a rather medium/large room that allows multiple people to get ready in! Rooms typically hold hair/make-up artists, photographer(s), all of your bridesmaids, mother of the bride, flower girls, etc.! It’s super easy to fill up a room on the wedding day and you’ll want to make sure everyone has room to move around! Also, when the room is filled with people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the hustle and bustle of people exiting and entering the room!
3.) No trash/clutter – This usually only comes into play on the wedding day. The last thing you want in your beautiful getting ready images are plastic Aquafina water bottles and subway sandwich wrappers scattered in the background!! When I’m getting ready to shoot bridal portraits, I’ll first always make sure the area is cleared out of any distracting elements so that the bride is the center focus on her special day!!
4.) Clean/clear walls – Does this mean I dream of having big white walls with plenty of space and windows for getting ready images? Ideally, yes. Haha! But the reality of that is a 50/50. For church weddings, I personally avoid nurseries, children’s rooms with the animated animal posters and libraries. Neutral walls with minimal wall hangings and windows would be a great guideline to pursue!
*Bonus tip*: One thing I love to incorporate into the getting ready images (and always tell my brides about) are the bridesmaids and mother of the bride! However, It’s important to have them all dressed in their dresses with their hair and makeup completed!! This gives the getting ready images a unified look, which flows perfectly in an album spread! Here are some great examples of natural light that was used to achieve some of my favorite details images and bridal images!! Enjoy!
The bridal room HAD windows, was perfectly decorated and everything, but it was a little too small for all of Caroline’s bridesmaids to fit plus photographers and videographers. So I walked around and spotted this room that had tables already in it, which was for the catering staff. So we carefully moved out the two folding tables and bam! Some favorite bridal images to date and a happy, happy bride! :)
Are you a bride-to-be and looking for more tips? Check out this post: