Brides, let's talk about something that is often overlooked .... your bridal suite!
When hunting for the perfect venue for your big day, there are a few obvious considerations: scenery & backdrop, price, size accommodation, location, full service bar (or was that just me??)
But one thing that isn't usually a deal breaker, is the bridal suite! It's a quick glance, a room seen and shown with a "And this is where you will get ready! Now let's go see the reception area!"
However, if you plan on getting ready at the venue in which your ceremony and reception is being held at, you will be spending hours in that suite getting prepared for the most important day of your life! Therefore, you will be getting MANY photos taken of you and your bridesmaids preparation! Hair, makeup, mimosas .... maybe a little bit of panic?? Many memories will be captured in that room; hundreds, if not thousands of photos will be taken! So the ambiance should be ideal!
So what are a few things to look for?
Size of course is crucial; a tiny space is hard to maneuver in. Think of how many people may be occupying that space besides you and your bridal party. Hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers, videographers, wedding coordinators, then the inevitable family member or two popping in and out ... it's a lot! It can get crowded fast! The last thing you want is to be anxious and overheated ... so pick a place with a lot of space to get ready!
Getting married at a hotel? Splurge for the suite or a massive room ... you'll thank me later when every photo isn't crammed with people scrambling over one another like hamsters trying to use the single mirror in the bathroom!
Next, think lighting! Of course as photographers, we can bring our own lighting equipment, but that's more gear to cram into a space that may not be too large to start with. Plus nothing beats that natural light coming in from outside! When scoping the room at your potential venue, open all the blinds and turn on all the available lighting to get a sense of the natural light. If you don't feel like it will be enough for your big day (especially for the TIME of day you will be using the room), check with your photographer and makeup artist to make sure they can provide additional lighting.
Make sure there are the "essentials!" Hangers or hooks to allow for your dresses to rest and relax, a mini-fridge or cooler to chill those snacks and drinks to keep you and your party hydrated, and dressing robes so you don't spill a thing on your dresses before it's time to change (many venues may not provide robes, so you can find adorable & affordable matching ones on Etsy!). Many venues and hotels will also provide steamers and emergency sewing kits, but this is something you want to make sure to ask if they have head of time, otherwise it is crucial to bring these items. When you don't think you need them is when you do! And don't forget to put together a killer playlist; set the mood for your day with some awesome tunes you and your ladies can jam out to while getting prepped!
Lastly .... ambiance! When you see the bridal suite at the venue you're considering, you want it to make you say "OMG it's perfect!" or "How freakin' cute!" It should make you feel as special as it looks on your big day; elegant chairs and cushions, floor-length curtains, huge floor-length mirrors (crucial to get the full picture of yourself as a vision in white ... or ivory, cream, whichever), whatever your "vibe" is, you want to find a place that reflects your personality. Again, you'll be spending a lot of time in there, so comfort is key ... it will definitely show in your photos if you're not "feeling it."
So while you're picking out that perfect venue to accommodate all of your guests for the perfect price, don't forget about yourself! Make it cute, make it classy, make it whatever you want ... just make it you!