The Getting Ready Space
Something many couples don’t realize as they plan their wedding is just how much time they’ll spend in the “getting ready” portions of their day. For so many couples it’s hard to imagine what your wedding day might look like as far as the timeline goes. How much time do you actually need when it comes to venue rental or wedding photography coverage?
It’s hard to hard to figure it all out, especially with all the other decisions you’re making. This is, of course, a part of a much large conversation and something we extensively talk about with our couples, along with their planner, when we complete their custom wedding photography timeline. Today, however, I want to focus on the getting ready portion of the day.
Where you might get ready, what does “suite” really mean anyway, and putting some thought into your getting ready time on your wedding day. So much goes into that first portion of time on a wedding day and it will set the feel for your entire day.
What should a wedding day feel like? Your day should start surrounded by your favorite people, sipping your favorite beverages, and preparing for the most wonderful day of your life. There are so many versions of that story but it should always include those things. Do you love golf? Start your day with an early tee time with some of your closest friends. Obsessed with jazz? Bring in a few vinyls, some well-made mimosas, and plan a brunch with the closest crew. The sky is the limit but the time should reflect you, and start you day off right.
When you’re planning your wedding morning here are a few things that we find people often don’t know to ask for or think to plan for their days.
Square footage, not “suite”
When you’re shopping for the getting-ready space, you’re asking about actual square footage. Hotels and venues throw the term “suite” around as an equalizer however all suites are not at all created equal. Knowing how big something is, gives a much more accurate view of space. Be sure to ask and actually tour the space!
When choosing a getting-ready location it’s hard to emphasize enough how important natural light sources are. Big windows, french doors, and anything that lets that natural sunshine in will make a huge difference in your photos and the overall feel of the morning. Although we can create light anywhere you want your morning to unfold naturally and we want to be a fly on the wall. This happens much easier when we have natural light in the room.
Plan for great food (it’s the only time you’ll eat until dinner)
It’s hard to eat on your wedding day. You’re nervous, excited, and overwhelmed. The solution is to plan for amazing food. Your absolute favorite foods should be on the menu so that you’ll actually want to eat. It’s important that you do eat because your day is going to being to move so quickly that this will be your last chance to eat before your reception, AND you might not get a chance to eat then either! We cannot have you passing out, yes, it’s happened.
You and your partner nearby
It’s incredibly important that you find a way to get ready near each other on the wedding day. Even just a “10-minute drive” can add 30 minutes of travel time to a day that you might not be expecting. Rooms within the same hotel or venue are simply the best-case scenario.
Have only your most VIPs with you
Your room will fill up quickly. You have yourself, perhaps your mom, grandma, and auntie or two, your wedding attendants, the planners, the photography team (3 people minimum for us), and the video team. That’s a LOT. If you’re easily overwhelmed it could just be too much. Say no to extras, only have the most important people with you. This needs to be a room with people that lift you up, encourage you, make you laugh, and you want to share your most important moments with.
Not everyone needs to be ready when they are
Keep in mind, no matter who you have in your room with you, not everyone needs to be ready when you are. Ideally sure, that would be great, but makeup timelines don’t always allow for that. If you’re in a crunch, choose the 2 most important people to you. Potentially this might be your mom (or mother figure) and perhaps your maid of honor. Everyone else can be ready when formal photos happen later in the day but your first intimate portraits (you stepping into your dress and putting jewelry on) can be with your most important people.
The morning is a wonderful time to recopy your vows, exchange letters to each other, or open gifts. One of my personal favorite things to photograph in the morning is the two of you reading letters from each other in separate spaces. Neither of the couples sees the moment until after the wedding day is over and then when they see the album design, the story of that moment becomes obvious and there are usually tears.