Let’s Revisit is a mini-series I am doing “revisiting” popular wedding photographer blog topics that I have not covered in quite some time. It’s time for a refresher!
Today I want to talk about a part of the wedding day that for the most part doesn’t get much thought. Or, the thought it does get, is not sufficient or thorough. Where you get ready and dressed for your wedding day…matters. It matters for the Groom too! Most of the time when Brides and Grooms think through where they will get ready, they think about proximity to the Ceremony, cost, and what the location means to them. Proximity to the Ceremony space is an important one! You don’t want to waste 30-60 minutes of your Day of Timeline driving all over the place. Cost is also very important. Let’s be frank: Weddings are expensive. Even when you plan a smaller budget wedding, things are costly!! And, lastly the meaning of the location to the couple holds a lot of weight, as it should. Getting ready at home, or a friends home is very special! However, even though all of those things are very important, I would say there are a couple things that are more important. I am biased because I look at this from a photographer’s perspective, but its truly out of care for my clients. I want to deliver stunning images, and not just stunning images of the Ceremony, Reception, and Portraits, but the entire day. That’s why it matters to really think through where you will be getting ready!
It has been said that a photographer’s main tool is not their camera, but light. I agree with this. Photographer’s are manipulators of light! This is the number 1 priority when choosing a Getting Ready location. Is there beautiful and plentiful light? Without it, your photographer will have a harder time delivering those stunning images. Tungsten and Florescent light do not count. Natural light is best and the most flattering! You need windows or doors, or a private outdoor area!
This is the 2nd most important bit. If you are having an outdoor/country/barn wedding, why would you get ready in a hotel room? Continuity between venues will allow your photographer to capture moments that are really representative of the day. If you are having a barn wedding, consider a quaint Bed and Breakfast instead of a hotel room. If you are having a beach wedding, consider renting a pretty beach cottage. If you are having a modern city wedding, go for the hotel room. Old city architecture wedding? Get some rooms at a gorgeous 100 year old inn. Your photographer will be photographing your details during this time as well. So, if you’re having a vintage wedding and there is nothing vintage around to use for your necklace photograph, it’s not going to make a ton of sense image wise. This piece is especially important if you are ordering an album! You want the whole day to coordinate well together!
This really depends on your wedding party and how many family members will be with you while you get ready. Having 20 plus people with you? Don’t book 1 room at the B&B, book the master suite. And, don’t forget that your photographer is going to be there as well; probably with a lot of gear to boot! He/She will need room to move around the space to capture candid moments and to really photograph the over all feel. They will not be able to do this if they are relegated to standing in one corner while you slip into your dress!
Maybe the space doesn’t meet one or more of the criteria listed above, including cost, location, and meaning. What do you do? If you love a certain place but it’s an hour away, consider hiring your photographer for an extra hour that day. Found the perfect place, but it’s too costly? Consider cutting the budget somewhere else. Your parents want you to get ready at home with them? Clean out a bedroom, replace bed linens, remove clutter and unnecessary furniture, and make sure there is plenty of light. Or maybe the perfect place doesn’t have a lot of light? Make sure you are okay with images that have more grain and a moodier feel. Your photographer may give you a lot of black and whites! Have to get ready in the church’s nursery rooms even though you are having your wedding in a field? Bring some props to the room with you so your photographer can still create continuity in your images. An old chair, some extra lace, leftover flowers, etc… Can’t afford the honeymoon suite at the hotel to accommodate all your family that wants to be with you while you get dressed? Consider having them come after you are dressed for a big reveal! Unless you have unlimited resources and book things so far in advance, chances are you will have to compromise in some way. Make a priority list, and go from there!
Picking the right place to get ready can really change the way your entire wedding day feels, especially through your images. Photography is one of the most important parts of the day, and maybe even one of the most expensive. Make sure you have done everything you can to help your photographer capture the full story of your day! Those images are forever!