The location choice for getting ready photos is just as important as your wedding venue. Not only will it affect your experience, it will make or break your getting ready photos. In our experience, most people pick a place because it is closer to the venue for their convenience without paying much attention to how it looks. As a result, their photos won’t turn out as nice as they can potentially do. This doesn’t mean you have to pick a place that is 20 miles away. Nice places are everywhere. You just need to know how to pick them.
Which place to pick for getting ready?
- Always pick a place with lots of natural light. The more windows and the bigger they are the better. If your photographers want less light for a dramatic look, they can close the curtains. However, it doesn’t work the opposite way.
- A place with sufficient space. A standard hotel room is too small for getting ready. Remember, there will be you, your bridesmaids, makeup artist, hair stylist, photographers, videographers, and maybe more. You don’t want to stuff ten people into a room for two. Consider a suite as a starting point.
- If the cost of getting a big hotel room doesn’t fit into your budget, or somehow there is none nearby, consider renting an entire house on Airbnb. You can book an entire house at the cost of two hotel rooms or even less. However, you need to check and make sure there is at least one big room with lots of natural light (most likely to be the living room). Be aware that there might be an extra charge if you don’t clean up after. Read the rules to be sure.
You got the place. Now, how to prepare it?
- A nice room will look absolutely ugly if stuff is everywhere. Bags, T-shirts, towels, coffee cups don’t need to be in the photos. Hide them all (in the closet, under the bed, or anywhere out of sight). Keep your room neat and clean at ALL TIME. How? Ask your wedding party to look after their own stuff and help you keep the room clean.
- If you want to take detail shots of your wedding dress, shoes, veil, rings, bouquet, garter, gifts, etc., gather them in one place prior to the photographers’ arrival, ideally on the bed.
- Ask the makeup artist to station you near a big window from the beginning. Natural light is great for photos. Your photographers will want you to be near a big window anyway. It is really inconvenient to ask the makeup artist to move after they set everything up. In addition, sunlight is better than any other light to for accurate makeup color.
- Turn on all light sources that you have besides opening all window curtains. Whatever can bring light to the room, do it. It is easier for your photographers to turn them off than to find and turn them on.
- If you decide to book a hotel room, three things you need to do:
- First: view online photos of that particular hotel, save the photos of the room you want, show the receptionist and ask for that room. Not all rooms with the same type look the same.
- Second: specifically ask for a room with main windows facing East (where you get more light in the morning).
- Third: avoid rooms on the ground floor or have windows blocked by anything (building, trees, walls, etc.).
- Rooms with neutral or cool colors (such as white, grey, light blue, cream) compliment your skin tone. Avoid warm colors like orange, red, yellow or other colors with a darker tone.
- When you book hotel rooms, make sure to have the rooms for the bride and groom as close to each other as possible. This saves a lot of time for photographers and videographers.
- If you don’t like the look of a regular hotel, and your home is not spacious or bright enough, Airbnb is a good alternative. We booked some entire houses for our vacation with Airbnb and were impressed by the look. Some of them look unique and interesting. Give it a try.