When it comes to weddings and wedding planning, the little things matter (wedding planners will agree!). And while not always at the top of the list, where you get ready for your wedding matters! Your getting ready space sets the stage for the rest of the long day and before you walk down the aisle. It’s where you’re going to be with your very best friends and those very special people in your life that are there to support you as you get ready.
It’s going to be where you have hair and makeup, where you have a champagne toast and a few friends have an emotional impromptu toast, or where you give your mom or someone special a gift or letter for their support, or you receive a special gift from your fiancé. And it’s going to be where you put on your wedding dress.
When thinking about all those things that will happen, you’ll want to also consider how you’ll remember those moments in photos and video. And that means thinking about the exact space you want to be in for all those moments that matter. An area that has room for everyone with great natural light (if possible – wedding photographers and makeup artists love natural light) and that is close to where you need to be for the rest of the day’s events.
Where To Get Ready For Your Wedding
Fortunately, it’s a time when there are a lot of options when selecting a getting-ready location. Let’s look at some of the more popular ones.
Getting ready at your wedding venue is definitely the easiest option because it doesn’t involve traveling. And a lot of wedding venues have taken the time to make the getting ready suite look nice and have good lighting.
You will want to check what time you will be able to get into the room and start getting ready. This is where your wedding day timeline comes in. If you don’t have your timeline planned out, you’ll not be able to ask your hair and makeup team what time they need to start. And without that, you won’t know what time you need to be able to get into the venue.
Some venues, for example, might have 2 weddings on the same day. Or only allow couples access at 1 pm. If you’re just starting planning you might think this is ok and you don’t need another getting ready location. But as you get deeper into it, you might decide you want to do a first look. Or you might find out from your hair and makeup team they need 4 hours and not the 2 hours you expected.
When you start planning, you might think 1 pm to get into the ceremony venue is good, because you think the morning of your wedding timeline is going to be something like this:
1:00 pm Venue Opens
1:30 pm Hair & Makeup Starts
3:30 pm Hair and Makeup Ends
4:00 pm Bride gets dressed
5:00 pm Ceremony
But later you might realize that yourself, 5 bridesmaids, your mom your fiancé’s mom, needs 5 hours, not 2. And you might talk to your fiancé and decide you want to do a first look. And then you might also want to do a first look with your dad (or someone special).
Your day might start as early as 9:30 am, and your timeline might look something like this:
9:30 am Hair & Makeup starts
2:30 pm Hair & Makeup ends
3:00 pm Bridesmaids get dressed
3:30 pm Bride gets dressed
3:55 pm First Look with Dad
4:05 pm First Look
5:00 pm Ceremony
The biggest piece of advice here is to start thinking of your timeline as soon as possible in the wedding planning process. It will help determine if what your wedding venue is offering is going to work or not. If their space works, that’s great! And if it’s not going to work for the wedding day you want, then you can start looking at other getting ready location options (as listed below).
Hotel room and/or Bridal Suite at a hotel
Next to the venue, the hotel suite is the most popular place to get ready. Hotels are very accommodating to weddings. And depending on the hotel, many will have double suites or larger bridal suites which have plenty of room for a lot of people.
Don’t forget to think about the number of vendors you’re going to have when you think about what size room you want.
3 or 4 hair and makeup people, one or two photographers, one or two videographers, 4 or 5 (or more) bridesmaids, two moms, maybe a grandmother or aunt, a few other people – you’ve got close to 20 people in a room. And in the summer – that’s going to get hot if it’s a small room and the AC is mediocre (I’ve been there too many times!). Hot means uncomfortable. Uncomfortable means annoyed. And annoyed is not fun, and shows up in photos and video.
The takeaway – Hotels are awesome. Just think about the time of year, how many people will be in the room, and can the room handle everything that is going on. If one isn’t enough, find one with an adjoining suite to make it larger. And the more window light, the better.
Rent an Airbnb
Airbnb is another great option for a variety of situations, including both smaller and larger bridal party. You get the benefit of finding the exact right look you want, as well as having a place for your wedding party to call their own. It can work with traditional weddings in town or destination weddings.
Your home/apartment or your parents/in-law’s home
Another great option is your home or your parents/in-law’s home. This is popular with couples for a variety of reasons including:
- It doesn’t cost anything
- It is sentimental
- It’s open 24/7
You’ll want definitely want to consider it as you talk things over. After you’ve decided where to get ready, you can start working on the rest of your timeline.
Remember, start your planning early and your wedding day timeline will make this part of your big day that much easier to plan. If you need help with your timeline, we can make your timeline for you in just a few minutes. You can get started with that here.