How To Choose A Wedding Getting Ready Location

You’ve selected your ceremony and reception venues, and now it’s time to choose a wedding getting ready location. This decision is a lot more important than you may realize! The location you choose will set the tone for your day and impact your beautiful wedding morning photos. After all, every bride wants stunning photos with their bridesmaids as they prepare for their special day. So there are a few things to think about when you’re looking for a perfect location, including where it is, how much space you have, and how much natural lighting there is.

Keep reading to find out how to choose a wedding getting ready location that’s right for you!

When to start getting ready?

Typically, brides and their bridesmaids will start to get ready at least 3 to 5 hours before the ceremony. Hair styling can take between 60 to 90 minutes, and make up another 60 to 90 minutes. It’s useful to leave some extra margin of time for any extras, last-minute changes, breakfast, photos and mingling. Also, make sure to allow time for getting to your ceremony venue.

Where are you getting married?

This is one of the main factors when you choose a wedding getting ready location. Sometimes your venue will have a space for you to prepare for your special day. When you visit your ceremony or reception venue for the first time, check if there is a bridal suite available. Ask about any restrictions and it’s best if you can see the space too. But if that’s not an option, then make it easy for yourself by finding a location that’s as close as possible to your ceremony and reception venues. A lot of brides choose to get ready in the hotel they stayed in the night before. That way you don’t need to worry about organizing extra transport.

Consider the size of the location

Space will be very important for your wedding morning! Make sure you know exactly how many people will be with you before you choose your wedding getting ready location. This includes your bridesmaids, some family members and vendors such as hairstylists, makeup artists, your photographer and videographer. Everyone needs to fit in comfortably including any bags and equipment. Consider extras you’ll want in your space, for example somewhere to hang your dress, a mirror area, a snack area, decorations for photos, as well as plenty of outlets for charging phones and using hair tools. Another tip is to have some options for people who want privacy when they’re getting dressed. So check if the location has an extra room or bathroom to keep everyone happy.

bride and bridesmaids on wedding morning
Photography: Sydney Noelle | Venue: Providence Plateau

Is the environment calming?

If everyone around you is enjoying the getting ready process then you will too! So it’s important to create a calming space. One tip is to limit how many people are coming and going from your space. If it’s too busy, that can lead to stress, which is the last thing you want before your nuptials. Think about who really needs to be in the room. You can even have a ‘waiting area’ for any extra people that want to stay nearby. A second tip is to prep the area. Keep everything clean and minimal by putting any bags and clutter in a closet or to one side, laying out dresses and accessories neatly and having dedicated stations for make up and hair. Another way to make sure that the ambience is relaxed is with scented candles or diffusers, flowers and your favorite music.

Is there natural lighting?

One thing you can’t forget about is lighting. If you want beautiful wedding photos good natural light will be a must! Make sure that your space has several windows that allow bright light to pour in. Foor to ceiling windows are the best for stunning portrait photos. Also, try to have a dedicated make up station near a window as make up products can vary quite a bit under different lights.

Do you need outdoor space?

Outdoor space is a great bonus element for a wedding getting ready location. Sometimes brides want photos outside while they’re getting ready. Consider a charming terrace or garden for different background options. It’s also useful if you’re indoor natural lighting isn’t great. And you can pop your champagne without worrying about ruining anything inside!

choose a wedding getting ready location
Photography: Kaley Rae

Consider bright interiors

Similar to natural lighting, it helps to have light colored walls. Soft and neutral-toned interiors are the best backdrop for beautiful photos. They reflect light and will compliment any wedding style. You don’t want bright pink walls if your wedding colors are navy or sage green. It’ll distract your serene getting ready ambience, and will stand out too much in your photos.

Is your getting ready location close to the groom?

If your location isn’t big enough to host large separate spaces for the bride and groom, then do make sure that the groom’s location is close to yours. You might need to send over some last-minute items to the groom or vice versa. Your photographer and family members will be grateful! But don’t forget to think about logistics so that you don’t see each other before the big reveal!

Does the location match your vision?

Everything about your wedding needs to complement your vision, including the space you choose for your wedding getting ready location. Don’t settle for spaces that don’t match your style. Visualize you and your bridal party while you’re visiting, and trust your instinct! The location you choose will help to set the mood for the day. So it has to be somewhere that’s true to you! This includes taking your own decoration, flowers and cute getting ready pieces such as matching pyjamas.

wedding dress
Photography: Joel Serrato

Types of Venues


A hotel is best if you’re having an out-of-town or destination wedding. Everyone will be in the same location which makes it much easier for logistics. It’s also the most luxurious option. You can choose how big a room you need, you’ll have help nearby and you’ll have a clean space to work with. But this can also be the most expensive choice, so do think about your budget carefully.


This is a great option if you want to find a unique space with some character. You could reserve it for the night before, if you want a home away from home vibe with your bridesmaids. Don’t forget to double-check natural lighting with your photographer before committing to the space.


Some salons offer packages for you and your bridesmaids to get ready, and even have a pamper session beforehand! This is the perfect set-up for your hairstylist and make-up artist. The salon will already have the best lighting and the equipment they need. Plus they’re pros at creating a relaxing and clean ambience. But do consider that you might not have privacy and you might have to start early to fit in with your timeline.


The most comfortable location will of course be your home. It’s also the cheapest option if you’re looking to cut costs! Even if you need any extras, you’ll have them on hand. Also, if you get nervous, then being in a nostalgic location you know can help a lot. The disadvantages are that it might be far from your ceremony venue, and it can get hectic or messy if there’s not enough room for everyone.

bridesmaids helping bride
Photography: Ana Kete

If you keep these tips and details in mind, you’ll be able to choose a wedding getting ready location that’s perfect for you! For more planning advice for your special day, head over to WedBoard. You’ll find more help on venues and the build-up to your special ‘I do’ moment, such as How to Choose a Wedding Venue, What to Expect From Your Day of Wedding Coordinator and What To Do the Week Before Your Wedding.

Featured image: Beba Vowels

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