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The Three Bridal Suite Essentials

Washington DC Wedding photographer
 Welcome!  I am a love stories and history obsessed photographer living in the heart of Washington DC, who is dedicated to  preserving legacies for future generations. Here is where share wedding tips and tricks, a peak into my work, and recent adventures. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!
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   There are three things that you can NEVER have enough of in your bridal suite (ok, other than champaign.) Over the past five years of photographing weddings time and time again I have noticed brides making the exact same mistake when it comes to the getting ready room. Resulting in unneeded stress, anxiety, and tension in a space that should be relaxing, joyful, and filled with a little nervous excitement!

   “But Alex,” you might be asking, “it is just the space were we are getting ready in. It is not that important.” 

   You are right!! This IS the space where you are getting ready in! It is the place were your wedding day starts. The 2-3+ hours that you spend in here set the tone for your entire day.

Britland Manor Estate wedding bridal party

Whether you are getting ready in a hotel suite, an Air BNB or in your venue’s bridal suite, this is a space that should be filled with excitement (maybe a little nerves) and lots of laughter.

The last thing that you want it so be stressed out, tripping over each other, anxious about getting behind schedule. By including these three simple, but very important things, you will have. a

Number One: TIME

Firstly- schedule yourself the luxury of extra time during the getting ready portion of the day. This is the part of the day that really sets the tone for the rest of the day. Extra time allows you to relax and savor this time with some of the most important people in your life- instead of stressing about being short on time!

Chat with you Hair and make up to figure out what time they will be finished. Once hair and make up is finished, I recommend scheduling 35-45 minutes to get into your wedding dress.

You might be thinking “Hold up Alex, 45 minutes??? Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive? It takes me maybe 5 minutes to get into my dress!” You are probably right, but it is always better to have MORE time than not enough.

I have learned over the last 5 years that this is that this is the part of the day this is most likely to get behind schedule. And it is the place hardest to catch back up after.

Give yourself the luxury of being able to relax and enjoy the process, instead of being stressed about the schedule.

Turf Valley Wedding Bridal Party

Once dressed, you can use the extra time to fun things! Maybe it is bridesmaids first look, or having a special moment with just you + your Mom.

Bonus Tip: have a dress with a long line of buttons up the back? Add a crochet hook to your bridal suite bag!

They can be ordered for less than $5 on amazon and will save you so much time when it comes to sliding those pesky little elastic loops over each individual button

Number two: LIGHT

This is the single most important thing I am going to share with you in this blog post, so PLEAS

You can never have to much NATURAL LIGHT in your bridal suite! Even on cloudy days, windows will fill the room with natural light that is extremly flattering for photographs!

Make sure that your bridal suite has at least ONE large window. Bonus points if it has a near by neutral colored wall that we can use as a backdrop!

Yep. It’s that easy. Having a large window (the bigger the better) is a GAME CHANGER when it comes to amazing getting ready photos! Your hair and makeup artists will also appreciate it! Just one big window is absolutely essential in creating the type of wedding day prep images that you dream of and help you look your best. 

This goes for the groomsmen suite too! 

Number Three: SPACE

This is the number one mistake that I see brides make when planning their day, not giving themselves enough space in the bridal suite!    

 I see brides getting ready all the time in rooms that are just too small. The bride, bridesmaids, hair and makeup team, and family members are all crammed into adjoining hotel rooms. Practically tripping over each other as they navigate around the queen sized beds that take up the majority of the space- and each other. Suddenly a space that previously seemed snug, can suddenly feel way too small.

Not only will it quickly get cluttered and cramped, but it will have an impact on your photographs.

Inside most standard hotel rooms, the majority of the space is taken up by two queen sized beds. Often this limits the space we have for pictures, and means that we will only be able shoot in the hotel room from the waist up.

   Instead, investing if in a room with a king sized bed and a couch will give everyone with more space to move around and your photographer more space to get the full length shots that everyone loves!!  

You can really never have to much space when it comes to a getting ready suite, but these are the minimum the recommended space based on standard hotel room size: 

      0-3 bridesmaids – one room with a couch/king sized bed combo is sufficient.

      4 – 5 bridesmaids– invest in adjoining rooms with at least one king size bed/couch combo 

      6-8 bridesmaids- invest in a larger hotel two room hotel suite,

      9+ bridesmaids– Upgrade your hotel suite, or invest in an AirBNB close to your venue- giving everyone the space to spread out.

Find out more about wedding planning on our blog series:

Engaged? These are the first 5 things you need to do

The 3 Must Have Tips for Rain on your wedding day




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