True story, I've had a bride get dressed outside before. Now before you freak out at what a weirdo photographer I must be, you've got to understand that we were at a venue only the bride and her 'maids were to be at. We were surrounded only by trees. The indoor light was brutal and the bride cared more about her photos than the thought of a bird flying through the sky seeing her. So I asked and she said yes. The fresh air + space to move was so appreciated and her prep photos turned out so stunning!
Hey guys! Today's Tipsy Tuesday post is to help all of you future bride and grooms to choose the best room to get ready in! Now, this may not be something that has even crossed your mind. You've probably figured you'd throw your dress on in the teeny church basement. Or in the chapel's nursery, because it's bigger. Or you and all the guys would get ready in your childhood bedroom at home. And you've asked your photographer to be there for the getting ready portion of the day, to capture all of the details and little moments. You've seen the beautiful photos of the best friend lacing up the dress and the mother helping her daughter put on her pearl necklace. The sweet moments as everyone huddles around the bride and prays with her. The groomsmen helping each other put on their ties. Beautiful happy moments that us as photographers love to capture for you. But let me caution you in advance, we aren't magicians and can't turn a Motel 6 bathroom into a Four Seasons Penthouse.
Next, can the space comfortably you and your wedding party inside? Your makeup artist, hair stylists, photographers, videographers, your mothers and grandmothers? Think of everyone who needs to be in the room (with all of their bags, equipment and accessories) and be sure you've chosen somewhere with enough space. If you're someone who gets claustrophobic easily, be sure to find somewhere with extra space so you feel comfortable to breathe and move around.
Now let me tell you about the importance of getting ready in a place with great natural light. While I can bring in extra gear like lighting stands and speed-lights and umbrellas to create lovely light everywhere I go, a wedding day doesn't always allow the time or space for all of this. My goal is to be capturing all of the little moments and details are they are happening, not focusing on dialing in settings on my gear or trying to move my light stand out of everyone's way as they're busily moving around. Keeping my gear as low-key as I can manage and relying on natural light, I can better turn my attention to the emotions and moods around me. So to get the best possible photos in your getting ready room, pay attention to the lighting in there. Is there just one florescent lightbulb to light up the entire room or big windows with nothing outside of them blocking the light from coming in? Are there light neutral colored walls or will the blue lightbulb be bouncing off of red walls on to your skin? If you're not sure, look in a mirror or take a good ol' selfie, noting if the light is flattering on you or not. It doesn't have to be perfect, I've got skills for that. You just have to like what you're seeing and be prepared for your photos to kind of match the feel of the room.
Maybe you're thinking, I have nowhere to get ready with good lighting and my pictures are going to suck! Before you give up, consider renting a spacious hotel suite or conference room, getting ready in a family friend's home, getting dressed before you get to the church or putting the final touches on out on the deck/sunroom. If you have no other options, don't worry! Honestly you can make the best out of the space you have. Clean it up, take out the trash, hang everyone's attire neatly on a rack, ask everyone to put their bags away when they're done getting dressed, close any closet doors and take down any decor you don't want to see in your photos. (P.S. Please always clean up a little regardless of what your room looks like; I'll be capturing the day as I see it). A professional is always ready to tackle whatever lighting situation we walk into so don't stress if you don't think your getting ready room is ideal. If you have the option to choose somewhere better than what you planned on using though, go for it!