There's already so much to consider when planning your wedding. Finding the perfect ceremony location, the best dress, and working out how to cater for the hundred or so family and friends who will join you on this big day. Often, when we are booking venues, the 'getting ready' venue is the last one on the list. More times than not, it will be forgotten and we end up getting ready in a location that is less than ideal.

In my opinion, the getting ready location is just as important as where we choose to shoot the formal and post-ceremony photos. The photos before the ceremony are often raw, genuine, and tell a true story about the day. Surrounded by the people who mean the most, we get a lot of backstory from the images taken just an hour or so before the ceremony. As such, its vital that you pick the right location for these images. Below, ive put together a list of things to consider when scouting the perfect 'getting ready' location.

Let there be light

If there is one thing that is vital to great images, it is light. Natural light (or a lack thereof) can make or break your photos. Look for places with plenty of natural light, through large windows. Of course, you need to look further than just the living room. Bedrooms (where the bride will usually get ready), bathrooms, and other living spaces should all have some form of natural light. The room doesn't need to be totally bright, but some form of directional light through a window will make a huge difference to the ability to capture amazing images.

The In's and Out's

When finding a location to get ready, we often think a lot about the indoor space, but very little about the outside. If your budget allows it, find a location that not only has a beautiful interior, but also a courtyard or yard that can be used by your family and friends throughout the process. Getting ready takes a long time, particularly when you factor in bridesmaids, the mothers, and other friends who may pop in. Having a courtyard gives everyone the opportunity to get a little air, have a breather, and also provides the added benefit of giving us another place to get some amazing images.

Look for courtyards that have a bit of character. Old school seating areas, benches, brick walls, an abundance of plants. All of these things give us an excellent opportunity to create amazing images. Image courtesy of airbnb.

Size matters

No matter how large the bridal party, its vital that you choose a getting ready location that is large enough to ensure you, the bride, feels comfortable and relaxed in the build-up to the main event. Remember, it's not just you and the bridesmaids who will be there in the morning. You also need to factor in your mother and mother-in-law, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographer, videographer, and maybe even a few drop-ins throughout the day. The last thing you want is to have all of these people crammed into a small hotel room. Trust me, it will get on your nerves, and we want to ensure you have a stress-free morning.

Choose a location that has a large living space with an adjoining kitchen and, if possible, courtyard. This will give everyone plenty of room to spread out, reducing the stress on you as you get ready for the most important day of your life. Image courtesy of airbnb.

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