Whether you are getting ready at home, or in a hotel suite, I highly recommend that you plan out the setting ahead of time. You have so carefully planned out every other aspect of your wedding day, so why not the hours before the ceremony? Make sure that wherever it is you’ve decided to get ready with your bridesmaids, friends, and family, it’s somewhere that is comfortable for you.
If you are most comfortable in a at-home setting, then you should be home. Make sure that the area you are getting ready in is well lit, with lots of natural light. If you can organize all the little things that are important to you ahead of time (the night before). Put it all in a pretty bowl or tray on your dresser, this includes all the jewelry you will be wearing, and any little memento’s, such as a note from your groom, a sentimental or lucky penny, etc. As your photographer, I want to make sure I am photographing all the little details that make up the day. Sentimental items make for beautiful flat-lay pictures! This is true for a hotel setting as well.
Getting ready at a hotel vs. home
If you are having a destination wedding then getting ready at home is obviously not an option. Make sure the hotel room is clear of as much clutter as possible. A pretty hanger for your wedding dress is key to making for a pretty picture. Hang your dress it in a safe spot away from your hair and make-up station. I am always photograph a wedding dress, shoes, and other details. So be prepared for your photographer to be able to catch the details of your wedding day. A hotel room can be cramped, so make sure you only invite your closest friends, to be there to help you get ready. This is also good for your mood. Who want’s aunt sally popping in to criticize your hair do? Maybe you don’t have an aunt Sally, but the point is there is always someone, who you love, but is always making comments or making you uncomfortable. If you are an introvert I suggest one or two friends or family members.
Calm and happy
I suggest that you surround yourself with some scented candles, soft music, or whatever your jam music is. Make the environment as calming and pleasant as possible. You may decide that having a bunch of people around you is not ideal, and that is ok! Hotel rooms can be challenging from a photographers perspective, without knowing the decor of the suite or room, make sure that it is a place you feel good about. If there are ugly bedspreads or curtains (lets face it, were not all getting ready at the Ritz! The key is light, a window, make sure the curtains are all the way open. A hotel can also be nice, in that you have room service, you are going to be treated like a queen. In general when you book your suite at a hotel, and you book the honeymoon suite, the attendance are going to bring up champagne, or food, which is my next topic.
Make sure your wedding photographer has a set of all the paper invitations from your wedding day!
Make sure to eat!
Munch away! If you are getting ready in a hotel, have a brunch or light lunch arranged a head of time. This way you avoding last mnute food cravings and grabbing that bag of Doritos. A light healthy snack will help with those butterflies! A light sandwich, or a bunch of little hand foods are great for munching on. Along with plenty of water. Stay hydrated! Make sure you have acess to a few bottled waters to take to grab in the limo or car. If it is a hot day, staying hydrated will help you from feeling dizzy.
The most important thing is that you are comfortable, and that you feel relaxed and happy. Allow for plenty of time to get ready, no one likes to be rushed! Allow an extra ten minutes for each aspect of getting ready: for example of you think hair and make-up will take an hour, add an extra ten minutes! Padding time is good! This is what your wedding planner is there for. Take advantage of their advice! However, if sitting in your wedding gown for a few hours is going to make you anxious wait around in a bathrobe. I’ve known some brides who felt uncomfortable in their wedding gown. If this is you, make sure you are all ready but save putting on the dress till the last minute. If you do this, do a trial run the day before with putting the dress on. You don’t want to be caught off guard if a button or zipper pops off, so trying the dress on the a few days before the wedding day is a good idea!