Finding the Right Location

Choosing a getting ready location is one of the most important decisions you'll make when wedding planning, outside of the venue and ceremony of course. This location is important because it is where you will spend your entire morning surrounded by your bride tribe. It is where you will be putting on the dress of your dreams. Where you photographer will be taking the detail shots. It is also where you will be get your bridal portraits taken at. I mean, when else do you get to spend the morning with those beautiful ladies, get pampered and ready for the most important day of your life?

Here are some things to look for when choosing the right "Getting Ready" location:

  1. Natural Light and Light Colored Walls The more natural light the better. When you have windows in the space that bring in natural light, I am better able to create beautiful portraits. The natural light that comes through these windows create a beautiful soft light in the space. Soft, neutral colored walls provide a light colored backdrop, reflect the soft natural light and help create the beautiful portraits.
  2. Great Character Find a location that has great character but also aligns with your vision for the day.
  3. Lots of Space Remember there will be a lot going on that morning, and in that space. You might sometimes feel like Kevin from "Home Alone" and wish everyone will disappear. Okay you might not really feel this way, but there will be moments where you just need alone time. Having a location that is calm and tranquil with a space for you to just tuck away is important. Let's not forget about all the bags, dresses, people, snacks and drinks we will need to fit into the space. Having extra space to hide some of that away for the detail shots and bridal portraits can be a big plus.
  4. Outdoor Space Not necessary but a huge bonus. This will add variety to those bridal portraits with your tribe, and it provides a great space for the Champagne Pop.

Venue: Crooked Willow, Osakis, MN

Consider the Timeline of the Morning

Often times the planning for the morning of your Wedding Day gets overlooked. However, the getting ready portion of your wedding day can be quite lengthy. The morning of your wedding is really the only downtime you will have the entire day. You will want to plan this time out well. Here are few tips to help make your wedding day morning go as smooth as possible.

Consider the amount of time it will take per person for hair and makeup.


30-45 Minutes per person

60-90 Minutes for the Bride


30-45 Minutes per person

60-90 Minutes for the Bride

Ask your Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist to bring more then one Assistant. Cutting costs on your wedding day is perfectly reasonable, but when you try and cram everyone into one person't schedule, you have the risk of running behind. A good rule of thumb is to have one Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist for every 5 people.

Next schedule the most responsible people first. Thisensures those that tend to always be late won't be holding up the schedule. You don't want to let your tribe have to much say in this however, because no one wants to go first for the fear of their hair or makeup not holding up for the entire day. Ensure them that in end they will be touched up so they look fresh as they walk out the door.

Venue: The Hive, New Ulm, MN

You will also want to take into consideration external factors. The mother of the bride may want to be one of the first ones on the schedule so that she is ready to help where it is needed before the ceremony. Also your chat with your bridesmaids that have smaller children. See when someone will be there to watch her littles so that she can get her hair and makeup done during this time.

Remember to be flexible. Everyones hair and skin type is different, so some of their services may different then others and may take a different amount of time. Don't give your tribe appointment times, instead give them a list of the order they will go in. Then request that everyone be available the whole morning so that they are present to jump in the chair when it is their turn. Also, if someone needs to step out for a few minutes, someone else can step in and start their process.

Consider the hairstyles that have been choosen. Some hair stylists or makeup artists that maybe the makeup be done first, especially if the hair style that has been choosen frames the face. However, if you have choosen a style that requires setting (curls) it is best to start the hair process first so that while it is setting you can be getting your makeup done, then your hair finished after. This will be much more time efficient.

Venue: AirBNB rented by the Bride

Brides' from a photographer's standpoint, have your hair done first, or sometime in the middle, then move onto makeup. I tend to step right in at the end of makeup to capture those final details, then any touch ups to the hair can be done following right before you step into your dress.

Lastly save the quickest appointments for last. This is the perfect time for the flower girls. Those little ones tend to get antsy and fidgety. Saving them for last assures that their hair won't fall before the ceremony.

Sample Timeline

8:00 AM Bridal Member No. 1’s Hair, and Bridal Member Number 2 Makeup

8:30 AM Bridal Member No. 3’s Hair

9:00 AM Bride’s Hair and Bridal Member No. 1’s Makeup

9:30 AM Bridal Member Number 3’s Makeup

10:00 AM Bridal Member No. 2’s Hair and Bridal Member No. 4’s Makeup Up

10:00 AM Photographer Arrives to get getting ready and detail photos 

10:30 AM Bride’s Makeup and Bridal Party No. 4’s Hair

11:00 AM Hair and Makeup is complete Champagne Pop Photos in matching robes are taken

11:15 AM Bridal Members get into their dresses

11:30 AM Bride gets into her dress

11:45 AM First Look with Bride Tribe

Venue: Crooked Willow, Osakis, MN

Other Tips

  • Wear clothing that can be easily taken off without messing up your hair or makeup. This is a perfect opportunity for you all to have matching robes or zip up tops. 
  • Start getting ready 2-3 hours before the photographer arrives. 
  • Since getting ready takes a few hours, get in good breakfast. Eat some emerging whole grains, fiber and satiating protein. Even keep nuts, crackers and fruit on hand in the bridal suite. 
  • Have all your detail items ready for your photographer. You can find a list to these items here. A Checklist for Amazing Detail Shots