Most brides forget or simply don’t know how to choose the perfect getting ready room for their wedding. While your ceremony and reception definitely play the biggest roles on your wedding day, a great getting ready room is really important as well. There’s so much excitement and joy buzzing during those hours before you walk down the aisle. Not only will you want to look back at those charged, candid moments just before you say, “I do,” but the style of your getting ready room really affects your bridal detail shots.

I love to start out the wedding day by meeting all the bridesmaids. Hearing the story of how and why each girl is special to you is really fun and helps everyone feel comfortable. While you finish up with hair and makeup, I start gathering the bridal details. This includes things like your dress, shoes, rings, and invitations. You’ve put so much thought into each piece and I make sure to photograph each one.

Dusty Blue and Navy Wisconsin Wedding | Karen Elise Photography

Window Light

Lighting is what makes the number one difference in your final photos. Choosing a room with a large window ensures that we’ll have plenty of natural light. Light from a large window means the difference between soft, beautiful skin tones or harsh shadows under your eyes, gray skin tones and discolorations like orange or green tones in your images. Your makeup artist will also really appreciate a large window since natural light ensures that your makeup will be the most accurate and lifelike.

Karen Elise Photography Wedding Day Experience

Light Neutral Colored Backgrounds

When it’s time to choose your getting ready room, look for a room with light, neutral colored walls like white, cream, or a light shade of tan or gray. When the light from a window enters your getting ready room, the walls and ceiling act like a giant reflector. This means that if you have clean light coming in but the walls are orange, they’ll reflect back onto your skin with that same hue. Likewise, if the walls are painted a dark color or covered in dark wood, the light is swallowed up instead of reflecting back and filling the shadows on your face with clean, soft light.

Room Size

Another thing to consider is the size of your room. Depending on the size of your bridal party you can have anywhere from 9-13 people in the room at one time. You want enough space for your bridal party to get ready comfortably, hair and makeup stations, and room for the photographer to be able to back up a bit and get everyone is the frame.

Elegant Forest Green Wedding | Karen Elise Photography

Venues with a Dark Getting Ready Room

While most venues know about these priorities, you can always choose a separate location to get ready at if they don’t have something like this available. Hotel rooms are ideal if you don’t have access to a great room at your venue. You can always count on them having a large window and while the color of the walls can vary, light neutral walls are pretty standard. Hotel rooms usually have plenty of clean, uncluttered space and are a great alternative for a dark venue.

The Groom’s Room

While the bridal suite is the obvious priority, don’t forget to think about the same things when it comes to your groom’s getting ready space. I recommend getting ready at the same location so that we’re is able to move back and forth easily between rooms and don’t lose photo time because of travel.

To wrap it up, remember to look for a spacious room with a large window and neutral, light colored walls. Don’t forget to think about where your groom will be getting ready and keeping it at the same location. A bright, uncluttered getting room is the key to soft, beautiful skin tones and pretty, clean bridal detail photos you’ll treasure forever.

Check out this post, “What to Include in Your Wedding Day Timeline” to read about my favorite things that I’ve seen brides include in their wedding and ideas you might want to consider..

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How to Choose the Perfect Getting Ready Room

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