top of page

Best Getting Ready Locations | Destination Wedding Planner

One of our top 21 Questions to ask when booking your wedding venue is whether or not they have getting-ready rooms for the couple. Of all the things to ask on a venue tour this may seem like a low priority, but in fact, finding a great location to step into your suit or gown can actually take a lot of thought! From great lighting and ample room for your squad to the distance to the venue, we're breaking down all of the key elements to consider when choosing a getting-ready location.

Sweet Caroline Photography

Location is Key

In this day and age, most venues will have spaces on-site for the couple to get ready. Depending on the venue, that space could be a bright and airy suite, made for snapping the perfect photo, or a dark and dingy room that was repurposed to satisfy a need. If you find yourself facing the latter, or if your venue doesn't have space for you and your partner, you may want to look into renting an Airbnb or hotel room nearby. We'll dive into it further in the next few bullet points, but by selecting a location off-site you may be able to tick all of the boxes of things you need in a single location, to make getting ready for the big day run smoothly. Just remember, if you go off-site, the closer you can get to the ceremony location the better! Limiting the time you spend in traffic (which translates into time for your wedding day looks to get wrinkled!) or delays to happen, the better! Plus, being closer to the venue allows you to maximize every minute of that wedding day timeline.

Danielle Harris Photography

Space for the Squad

You may be thinking, How much space could we possibly need? And while that will certainly vary from wedding to wedding, the answer in most cases is lots and lots of space - in fact, more space than you think you need. At various points, you may be sharing your space with your wedding party, family members, multiple hair and makeup artists, the photographer and videographer, and your planner. There will also be gowns and suits, purses, steamers, hair supplies, and snacks. While these are all crucial elements (none to be forgotten!), in a tiny space this can begin to feel a bit chaotic. By selecting a location with extra space, you'll have a bit of room to breathe and not feel like the entire wedding is closing in on you. If it's going to be tight, ask your venue if there are any spaces where people can store their belongings or hang out while they wait for the big moments like the moment the dress goes on, the group photos, portraits, etc. Even having a few spaces to overflow into could make a huge difference.

Chloe Luka Photography

Bonus Points for Aesthetics

First and foremost, creating a functional space to get ready in is crucial. That translates into finding somewhere with lots of lighting, outlets, and space. If a space has those items, the next step is ensuring it has at least a few good spots for snagging photos. Even if they're right outside of the getting-ready room, a few pretty spots within a stone's throw is enough. While you won't always be able to find a space to get ready in that is drop-dead gorgeous everywhere you look, a great photographer will be able to find good-looking nooks in any space. Most of the images snapped while getting ready will be fairly tight, so the whole space doesn't need to be perfect - just perfect enough.

Jordan Voth

Double the Space

Don't forget that both sides of the wedding will need space to get ready. Many venues will only have room for one person and their squad, so it's completely normal to have the other half of the wedding party get ready somewhere nearby. The good news is that half of the group frequently has fewer bells and whistles, so it's easier to find a suitable secondary location. This could be a nearby home, Airbnb, hotel, etc.!

With that in mind, this is a great example of where a photographer's second shooter can be hugely important. Having two people snapping photos is always highly recommended (and worth any additional fee), but if the wedding party is split, it's crucial to ensure that both are documented. Be sure to connect with your photographer about this ahead of time so they can best plan out their shot list and ensure appropriate coverage of the couple and their crews.

Sweet Caroline Photography

What to Avoid

It's best to avoid dark or cramped spaces, spots that will have other members of the public in and out, and anywhere you can't leave your stuff safely unattended. Instead, find somewhere that is dynamic, private, and has space for detail shots, bridal portraits, etc. while also allowing for other members of the party to carry on with their prep. Before you step into your wedding day look, your photographer will want to grab detail shots of your dress so it's smart to pick a space where they can sneak off to grab some of those shots easily.

Stepping into your gown, putting on your jewelry, and adding those final touches to your hair and makeup are all beautiful moments in this portion of the day that are great to capture and you'll want enough space to do so, with room for others to be out of the shot, especially not people from outside of the wedding party. Though many will say that getting ready at your salon is a great option, it can come with a handful of obstacles. Salons can have limited space for actually getting dressed, and the spaces they have may not be conducive to capturing those beautiful moments well.

Stoffer Photography

Those moments of getting ready, surrounded by your loved ones, and prepping to walk down the aisle are beautiful and tender so it's important to have a physical space that is up to that standard. The best getting-ready locations have a few things in common. They have great lighting, and heaps of space, and are as close as possible to your ceremony location - and they will be the backdrop for some of the best photos of the wedding day!

Did you find this helpful? Here are more guides you might love!




Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
bottom of page