Hey there! Happy Tuesday! Today I’m going to talk about the importance of a good bridal suite. This is the place where a Bride will do many things. Sometimes this suite is where the entire morning takes place. Hair and makeup are done in this room. Bride and Bridesmaids hang out here all morning. It’s where the dress, shoes and details are held. And it’s where the Bride will get into her dress and make final touches before leaving for her first look or ceremony. This space is a very important space! There are many things to consider when choosing the right bridal suite, and unless you’ve done this whole getting married thing before, you probably don’t realize the importance of your choice. So today, we’re helping!
Here’s a list of things we think are important to consider when choosing a bridal suite:
1. Choose a room with lots of windows. As photographer, I’m always on the hunt for the best light possible. It makes a huge difference in photos, and I always want the very best light for my couples… especially my Brides during this portion of the day. Lots of gorgeous, natural light, streaming into the bridal suite makes everyone happy. Your photographers will be giddy, your hair and makeup artists will thank you, and you too will enjoy the hours spent in this room soaking in the Vitamin D. Sun makes us happy and relaxed, and on this day you want to be happy and relaxed! If you get ready in a room with very few or no windows at all, the artificial lighting is all we have to work with and to be honest… it’s just never going to be very pretty. Choose a space with lots of big windows that let in a lot of light. This is by far the most important element of your bridal suite. When Brides choose a suite with that delicious natural light, very good things happen…
2. Make sure the space is big enough. Easily the 2nd most important element of your bridal suite, is giving yourself, your bridesmaids, your photographers, and your hair/makeup artists room to work. I love it when a Bride brings her hair and makeup artists to her bridal suite. It makes for very consistent photos and I have the chance to document the entire morning. So while I do encourage finding a suite for the entire getting ready process, it’s important there’s enough room for those things to take place. Squeezing 6 Bridesmaids, Moms and Grandmothers, 3 hair/makeup artists, photographer, and all those dresses in one tiny room does not work very well. The room is cluttered by the time I arrive, and even my best efforts to clean the space and move furniture around doesn’t help much. There’s just nowhere for everything to go! The Bride needs a clear space to get into her dress without leaning on a bed, stepping on a coffee table or tripping over a trash can. As photographers, I need a clear space to fit at a minimum the Bride in full length as she steps into her dress with an uncluttered background. One of my favorite moments of a wedding day is when a Bride is being attended to by all of her Bridesmaids at once. But that photo can’t happen if there’s no room for everyone to stand. So considering the size of your bridal party and the size of your bridal suite is important.
4. Don’t forget about your dress. That all important dress shot. You know, the one of the Bride’s gown hanging beautifully from a grand window or staircase with light streaming in from the side? The one every Bride wants? Those can’t happen unless the window or staircase exists. I do my best to work my magic, but sometimes finding a place to hang the dress becomes a huge challenge. If there is no clear space, near a window, that allows me to hang the dress from I become limited with what I can do. I’ve been known to take a dress out to a parking lot, find a pretty tree on the side of the road, and hang a dress from that tree. This is not ideal. This is not something I ever want to do because taking a dress out of a bridal suite to the side of a highway is terrifying. So, consider options for where your dress can hang, and ask me about it before the day of your wedding. Let me come up with a plan. Many times, I’ll ask the Bride to leave her dress and all of her details at the venue the night before the wedding. While your venue may not have a bridal suite available it could be a great place to hang a dress and style detail photos. A library, a siting room, a ballroom, the wooden barn walls of your venue… can all become wonderful backgrounds for your dress. Then when I’m done, all I do is carefully pack up your items and bring them with us to your bridal suite where you’re getting ready. Easy and done!
Woah… overwhelming huh? It’s a lot to consider, and a lot to think about. But I promise it will all work out. It always does. Here are some suggestions that might give you some ideas if you’re feeling lost when finding and choosing a bridal suite.
1. Hotel suites are great. If you’re getting married downtown, there are beautiful hotels everywhere. If it’s possible for you, find a gorgeous hotel and ask for their honeymoon or bridal suite. Usually theses are two room suites that provide plenty of space for everyone, and the windows are usually very big and plentiful. A Super 8 motel is not going to give you the same look, so remember not all hotels are made equal.
2. Your venue. Does your venue have a getting ready space for the Bride? In my experience these are lovely options. Especially if you’re having your wedding at a historic home, these venues have gorgeous bridal suites. And to this point… make sure the BRIDE is the person using this space, not the Groom. So often I see a Bride and her Bridesmaids crammed into a small hotel room while the Groom and Groomsmen get ready at the venue where there is plenty of room. Always, always let the Bride have the bigger, prettier space.
2b. Venue won’t let you on site early enough to get ready? No problem. A good Plan B is to either go to the salon directly for your hair and makeup, or have it done at a local hotel. Then, go to the venue when your time begins, and make your finishing touches in the pretty, light filled space. Bring your dress to the venue with your hair and makeup done, and step into your dress there. Not all of your photos will be in the best space possible, but the most important ones will be.
3. Getting ready at home? Not always a bad thing. If you know your home, your parent’s home, or a relatives home will be the place where you get ready make sure to look around and prepare the home before the wedding morning. Find a bedroom, sitting room, or living room with the best light. Then de-clutter. Some of the best getting ready rooms have been in a private home. The Bride and her parents however, made sure to clear a space for photos. The carpets were vacuumed, furniture was moved out of the room to provide ample space for the Bride and Bridesmaids to stand, and the distracting decor elements were taken out for the day.
I hope this helps! And always, always reach out to your photographer to ask about your bridal suite if you are wondering if it will work. They will be happy to help you come up with a plan!