When planning your wedding day, you put a lot of thought and planning into what your ceremony will look like and if a venue is the right vibe you envision for your reception, but have you put much thought into what makes a great getting ready location? I put together a list of the top hotels in Portland for wedding day getting ready photos
Your wedding photographer will more often than not, begin the day with getting ready photos at your hotel or venue. This is such a special part of the day and one of my favorites to photograph. Emotions are high, it’s all starting to sink in and the excitement is palpable! Those few hours before ‘I do’ can really set the tone for the rest of your wedding day.
Getting ready photos are an essential part of your wedding day story. Those photographs will be the first you see when you look at your wedding gallery & album. My goal as a wedding photographer, is for my couples to look back at their wedding album and relive each moment, remembering how they felt as the day unfolded. Most of my couples will have a few of their nearest and dearest friends and family helping them prep for the big day. There is a lot of love in that getting ready room and a lot of emotions to be documented!
And though it may not be as perfectly curated as the rest of your wedding, such an important part of the day deserves a little bit of planning.
As a wedding photographer, the top four things I look for in a getting ready location are lighting, size of the space, overall aesthetic/vibe and location. All of these will play a huge role in what makes a great getting ready location. Let’s dive right into it!
SHOCKER, a photographer’s first priority is light. Nothing beats great, natural lighting. Big windows, little to no overhead lighting needed, perfect. That being said, a great photographer will be able to work in any lighting situation and be able to produce amazing photos. But it sure does help when a space has some good natural light while you’re getting ready. (your makeup artist will also thank you).
You’re going to want to keep in mind the size of your wedding party, or how many people you’ve invited to get ready with you. It can be a total nightmare trying to get ready, be super cool, calm and collected when you’re in tight quarters with 10 people running around.
Ask yourself, does this hotel/Airbnb/getting ready space have a similar vibe & aesthetic to the rest of my wedding? When you receive your wedding gallery from your photographer the first images you will likely see, will be the getting ready portion of your day. Those photos set the tone for the story telling of your wedding day. If you’re not getting ready at your wedding venue, try to find a location that coordinates well with your other venue. For example if you’re planning a super modern, minimalist wedding with a neutral color pallet, maybe stay clear of hotel rooms with bright walls and loud art on the walls.
Wedding day photography timelines can sometimes be a bit tight early on in the day. Because of this, your getting ready location (and the surrounding areas) will oftentimes be where we will shoot your first look, formal portraits and wedding party photos. That’s a pretty big portion of your wedding day (and wedding day photos) in one location, so be sure you like it! Consider the surrounding areas of your getting ready location, Is there a terrace or garden? Are there any parks by your airbnb? Is your hotel located in a cool part of the city? Your photographer or planner should be able to help you with this!
Looking for recommendation on florists, planners or other local wedding vendors? Check out my list of favorite Portland, Oregon wedding vendors.