Master wedding day logistics and actually enjoy your getting ready experience!
We've done hundreds of weddings in the eight years we've serviced brides with hair and makeup. Like everything in the wedding world, there are so many more details to consider than you’d ever imagined! We'd like to share a few things to think about when planning that portion of your wedding day and finding the best getting ready venue for your needs.
There should be enough space for everyone in the party to lounge, for food/drinks, and for artists to be set up (each artist needs at least 6'x1' of table space), as well as appropriate chairs for hair and makeup height-wise and plenty of natural light. You will want to figure out where you will get dressed and whether that is the same spot as the getting ready space or not. Also consider what the backdrop is during getting ready pictures – you don't want a bunch of Jimmy John’s platters as the decor in a small, dark, standing-room-only space (seriously, we've been booked to work in situations like that). This all is part of why we decided to design a space optimized for our brides.
Here are some insider tips about the options for bridal getting ready spaces and the logistical considerations that come along with each.
The first thing to know is that having artists come on-site will cost more than working with them in their studio. Some have it built into a higher-rated package (like we do) and some charge per artist for the additional time and parking associated with an on-site booking. The higher rate covers the time to pack/prep kits, set up a workspace, and pack up afterwards, as well as parking fees. So if you were to get ready at someone's home, a hotel, or your venue, there will be different package rates or upcharge fees to consider when hiring your artist.
Artists who have a minimum (like we do) are booking exclusively your group for your event that day. Artists who do not are working with several clients around town that day. Of course you could do a salon setting, but then you’ll have separate appointments and a less cohesive feeling for your group since you can't be lounging in robes and sipping champagne.
If you are getting ready at a hotel, you have to book a big suite that can fit a large group and you need to ensure the room has great natural light. We've seen too many small rooms with romantic lighting and no room for the group. On top of that we are often doing back-breaking bending down to short banquet chairs that were brought up from the hotel event spaces. The room needs to be booked for the night before and night of your wedding in order to not deal with having to check out during getting ready time. And make sure you assign someone to cleaning up the room after you've wrapped getting ready. We've left many hotel rooms after the flurry of girls getting ready and it's really sad to see the leftover food and dress bags strewn about... and that's what the couple comes back to after the reception. If booking a hotel room, just make sure you're in a wonderful space and that clean up is covered.
If you are getting ready at your venue, make sure the room fits your needs as mentioned above regarding lighting and space. You will also want to chat with your venue coordinator about fees associated with getting in early (there are often additional costs for things like starting at 8am for makeup instead of coming at 2pm for pictures). Make sure you know about any catering rules (i.e. many venues will require you to do catering through them rather than any outside food/drink). Some brides love the convenience of just being in one place for the whole day! But do make sure you know if your things can stay locked up in the bridal suite that day, or if there is a cap for when personal belongings need to be out of the room.
Lastly, here’s what you should know if you’re considering getting ready in our studio. We designed our space to have enough room for bridal parties to hang out and food and drinks to be set up, plus space for dresses to be hung and bridal portraits to be taken with your photographer. We have professionally lit makeup/hair stations. Basically, we wanted to offer an option that was competitively priced, but took care of every need to make the getting ready experience seamless for the client. Plus you can bring in whatever food/drink you like, and we can also recommend catering from our friends upstairs at Chowgirls Killer Catering.
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The makeup and hair portion of the wedding day takes a longer amount of time than your formal photography and ceremony combined! It’s really important to make sure you choose a space and set up that’s optimal for your group to be together and for the artists to work. Why hire professional makeup and hair services and then stick everyone in the wrong space? The getting ready part completely sets the tone for the day so make sure you plan it thoughtfully.