1. Screw the hotel rooms
Nobody wants to be getting ready in a dark, messy, cluttered space on the morning of their wedding. Hotel rooms are often all of these things. They have ugly yellow lighting that messes with your skin tones in photos and are a lot more cramped and easily become cluttered and messy. This creates distractions in your images which takes the focus away from you and the moment. You will also be scramming around last minute to have everything packed up so you can check out in time, this only creates more stress that is completely avoidable. Instead of booking a hotel room, try opting for an airbnb instead. You can get a whole house or condo to yourself for a lot cheaper, it's a win-win!
2. Find a space with big windows
To get the highest quality images choose a space with lots of natural light. Turn off all indoor lights and open up all the windows for the best light possible. This will not only help your pictures to look AMAZING, but will help you when doing your makeup. Because we've all been there when you do your makeup in the bathroom and it looks great and you go outside and suddenly it's all uneven and you look like a clown. Natural light is the most authentic and keeps everything true to colour.
3. Consider space + comfort
You are going to want lots of open space to get ready and move around in. Remember, the more people you have in your wedding party, the more space you will need. It's also very important to make sure you will be comfortable in the space. Be sure there are nice chairs you can sit in and relax with all your girls or your buddies. The morning of your wedding should be fun and relaxing, not stressful and uncomfortable.
4. Think about your style
Your getting ready location is going to be documented in photos and be a part of telling the whole story of your day. If it is a completely different style than the rest of your wedding it won't do a good job of telling a complete story. If you're style is elegant, get ready somewhere elegant, if your wedding is more rustic, don't get ready somewhere elegant, get ready somewhere a bit more rustic to match the rest of your wedding. Make sure your surroundings are the style that you like.
5. Consider distance
It's important to consider how far away the ceremony is from where you are getting ready. You DO NOT want transportation to take out too much time in your day. The closer your getting ready location is to your ceremony the more time you will save and the more smoothly your day will run. I also recommend the bride and groom getting ready not too far away from each other, especially if your doing a first look. Being close makes it easier to coordinate whose getting there first and who has to hide.
Ladies, I'm talking to you! We need our mirrors to get ready. If you have 6 girls doing their hair and makeup all at the same time and only 1 mirror, that is not going to work out. You are going to want to have 6 mirrors, everyone should have their own mirror to get ready with.
7. Keep it clean
Not only will this help your photos look so much better by keeping the focus on you and the moment rather than all the clutter in the back like your bright pink Victoria's Secret bag. It will also help you be less stressed because you aren't worrying about where anything is and be more in touch with your emotions. Have all of your details laid out nicely for your photographer to photograph and so you don't forget anything.
8. Screw tradition
If tradition is not really your thing and you don't care about not seeing each other before the wedding consider getting ready together or even just hanging out in the morning. You could go for a walk, make breakfast together, go hot tubbing, anything that will make the day more focused around you and what you truly love to do. It's hard to find one-on-one time with each other during the day, so the morning is a great time to be together and soak in the day.
I hope that these tips helped you and you will be able to find the most perfect getting ready location that fits your needs. Whether you choose to follow tradition or not, the getting ready time is such a special part of your day. It's one of my favourite times to photograph. Having these photos of both the bride and groom getting ready really completes the wedding story.