3 Tips for a Flawless Bridal Getting Ready Suite Experience

April 25, 2023

Giving you the best start to your wedding day!

After my many years of shooting weddings, I’ve seen a thing or two with getting ready suites! I’m going to dive deep into 3 very important tips when choosing your bridal suite. I want to help give you some tips for this very important part of your day, these will help how your day gets started, which we all know is going to affect your entire day! Some things you may have thought of, but maybe not in a photography/vendor aspect. Other things may seem like common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many suites I’ve walked into thinking to myself, “where the heck am I going to photograph XYZ?” I’m even going to share the number 1 thing of what not to do!! (GASP!)

You’ve gotten engaged, you’ve celebrated with friends and family, you’ve asked your most treasured girls to be a part of your day, and now the planning begins! You have a budget, you’ve started a Pinterest board on your wedding esthetic, and you’ve started scouring vendors and locations! 

Picking a location can be tough sometimes, or maybe you’ve been eyeing a location for months or even years and it’s available and you’ve booked it! Some locations are great and provide a getting ready suite for their brides! This can be hit or miss and here’s what to look for when picking if you want to use their space!

Start to think about how many people will be in your getting ready suite…this usually starts with how many people are in your bridal party. Plus family; are you inviting your mom and future MIL to the suite? Ok, now that you’ve thought about size, now you need to start thinking about how many VENDORS are being added to this! You will have a hair and makeup team, a photography team (I show up with anywhere from 3-5 people depending on if I have students photographing with me for the day), if you’ve hired a videographer their team will be there too. I’ve seen anywhere from 1-3 videographers in a bridal suite! Did you hire a planner, Is a florist showing up to drop off flowers, someone catering lunch…see where I’m going with this?! There’s A LOT of people involved in just your morning prep! 

So space is KEY to your day!! Which is really what this post is all about! 

Now, when I’m arriving your hair and makeup team is already there, set up, and should be almost finishing up, but this leads me to these crazy tips, since I don’t get to have a say where things land when I get there, most stuff is already happening as it should.

1.) Picking a place that has ample space for your entire bridal party and team of vendors. One with many rooms works best! If your venue doesn’t have a BIG, and I mean BIG space for you and your party to function in then maybe it’s best to start looking at Airbnb’s for getting ready in. Now if your party is on the smaller side the venue suite may be a great option! If you have many rooms you can have an area where hair and makeup can be done, a place where food and snacks and hanging out are happening, and a totally separate area where all the pretty pictures can take place! This leads into my 2nd tip!

2.) Keep the space organized and clutter-free: A bridal getting ready suite can quickly become chaotic with multiple people getting ready and various items scattered around. To keep the space organized, make sure to provide plenty of storage space for bags, clothing, and accessories. Encourage everyone to keep their belongings in designated areas and to tidy up as they go. If you’ve stayed the night at your place the night before (which happens a lot), make sure you’ve kept it tidy for your team arriving the next morning, and for the love of God, make the damn bed! There I said it, be a grown up. No one wants to have a dorm like appearance in their photos! 

This next and last tip is so crucial for your photography and videography!

3.) The space you pick should have ample natural light: Natural light is essential for creating beautiful and flattering photos. Look for a getting ready suite with plenty of windows! This also helps with aesthetics on your wedding day. Yes, it’s important to have your getting ready photos flow with the main part of your wedding. When you think about how all the photos will look in an album together and they look cohesive; than you’ve achieved the end goal! 

Now for the JUICY part! That thing I said in the beginning of this blog about what not to do!

DO NOT (are you ready for it?) GET READY AT HOME!! Unless your home is neutral colors and you’re a minimalist, this is not a good option for getting ready. Yes, I know it saves a lot of money, but in the end it’s a really big headache and stressful! More on this topic in another blog post. 

For now enjoy seeing pics that usually aren’t shared in detail. All the behind the scenes of getting ready, and what these types of spaces do for your wedding day! 

Loving these venues? + Want to see more that have fantastic getting ready suites?

Find these locations below:

Gardener Ranch, Carmel Valley

Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley

Seascape Resort, Aptos

Bernardos Lodge & Spa, Carmel Valley

Willow Heights Mansion, Morgan Hill

Hayes Mansion, San Jose

Sadly, I have to say the The Luminary Farm is no longer a wedding venue.

Are you a Bride: then make sure you grab my Bridal Details Checklist here!

Thanks to all my second shooters that help catch the magic of getting ready suites on big wedding days!



Dedicated to