As a wedding photographer in Central Illinois one of my biggest recommendations for anyone looking for a venue for their wedding day is to find one that has a space for you to get ready in. You might be thinking why is that important? Can’t we just drive to the venue once we’re dressed? While you definitely can do that, there are SO many reasons that getting ready at your venue creates a much better and more smooth wedding day experience. Let’s get into those reasons as well as what to look for and what questions to ask your venue so that when it comes time to choose your venue you’ll be ready!
One of the main reasons to look for a wedding venue that has a space for you to get ready in is how much easier it makes your day. You and your wedding party will be able to all get ready together. Once ready you won’t have to travel far in order to get to your ceremony, so there’s no need for carpooling and worrying about traveling in your wedding attire. Traveling in a wedding dress can be a real pain so trust me when I say this is HUGE for your sanity!
Now that you don’t need to spend time getting from your getting ready space to your venue you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself with your favorite people! You and your best friends can take your time getting ready together without the stress of making sure you leave with enough time to get to the venue for your reception. As a wedding photographer in Central Illinois one of the most common things I hear from couples after their wedding is how they wish they could have spent more time talking to their people. There’s so much that goes into a wedding day, so creating time like this is SO important so you can squeeze every moment possible out of your day!
Now this does vary from venue to venue, but for the most part if a venue has a getting ready space you’ll have access to that space throughout your day. This can be a lifesaver for a whole variety of reasons. Whether you have a wardrobe malfunction and need a space to fix it, you need to touch up your makeup, or even if you need a space to keep any medication or any other items you may need on your day. As a wedding photographer in Central Illinois I can’t stress just how nice it is to have your own designated private space available on your wedding day.
Having a getting ready space in general is a big win for a wedding venue, but as you can probably guess not all getting ready spaces are created equal. As a Central Illinois Wedding photographer there are certain things I’ve found that you should look for in a getting ready space to make sure that you not only are able to get ready at your wedding venue, but also able to have the best possible experience while there. Here are a few must haves for your wedding getting ready space!
Having outlets on hand is a must, not only for you but also for your vendors as well! Having multiple outlets in your space lets you and your wedding party charge your phones. It also gives your HMU artist plenty of plugs to use as they prep you for your day. Lastly it lets your photographer charge any batteries throughout the day to ensure they are always ready to capture any moment of your day.
Having some sort of natural light in your getting ready space is a HUGE bonus. This lets your HMU artist work in the lighting that you’ll spend the most time in on the day of your wedding. This lets them get it right so you can be looking and feeling your best for the big day!
Depending on the size of your wedding party this can vary a bit, but in general more space is better in terms of your wedding getting ready space. More room means you and your wedding party can enjoy each others company without being crammed together.
Having seating available is great for you and your wedding party’s comfort, but also SO important for getting your hair and makeup done!
When you arrive at the getting ready space you’ll likely have some time on hand before you actually need to get into your wedding attire. Whether that’s for getting your hair and makeup done, or if you just have some extra time built into your day to hang out with your closest pals. Having a way to hang dresses and suits before you put them on keeps them looking fresh and ready for your wedding day!
Just like how each getting ready space is different, each venue’s rules are different for their getting ready spaces. That’s why it’s so important to be up front and forward with your questions to your venue to make sure your plans fall in line with their rules. As a Central Illinois Wedding Photographer here are some questions I’ve found that you should be asking your venue about your getting ready space.
Pretty straight forward here, but so so SO important! Ask your venue what time you get access to your getting ready space. This is crucial to planning out your timeline. Once you know what time you have access to the space you can plan out how long you’ll have to get ready there before your ceremony starts. If it’s only a short amount of time you may need to do some prep beforehand like your hair and makeup. Another important note is to ask when do you lose access to the space? Most venues let you have access to the space for the whole day, but not all of them.
Some wedding venues only have one getting ready space, some have multiple, and some have certain spaces that are available depending on the package you purchased through them. Know which space(s) you’ll have access to prior to your wedding day so you can plan out who is using which space and when. If they only have one space available to you your partner may have to get ready at home while you get ready on site or vice versa.
Like I mentioned above some venues don’t give you access to their getting ready space for the entirety of your wedding day. Ask your venue not only if you’ll have access to the space all day, but if so if you are then able to leave some items in the space throughout the day. Again most venues will let you do this, but you have to check first to make sure!
Last but definitely not least, especially considering the previous question, can the door of your getting ready space be locked? If you’re leaving items in your getting ready space throughout the day the last thing you’d want to find after you finish celebrating the best day of your life is that your phone has gone missing. This can be more important at some venues than others. Any downtown wedding venue should have this though just considering how many people are in the area and while someone unknown coming into your venue during your wedding is unlikely it’s not impossible!
Now that we have an idea of what you should be looking for in your wedding venues getting ready space, I thought it would be fun to take a look at three of my favorites I’ve photographed in my time as a Central Illinois Wedding Photographer. Let’s take a look!
In Eureka, Illinois you’ll find The Cannery, one of my favorite wedding venues of all time! The Cannery is a beautiful wedding space with rich history and tons of beauty to go around in their multiple spaces for your wedding day. In terms of getting ready spaces they have a gorgeously lit and spacious bridal suite with all the amenities you could ask for. The other partner and their respective wedding party will have access to the indoor basement lounge area called The Grove which is another beautiful space to hang out in and get ready for your wedding.
I’ve come across a ton of incredible wedding venues as a Central Illinois wedding photographer, and The Hesed House in Heyworth Illinois is one of my favorites. The venue has an incredible amount of space for your reception and ceremony, and that holds true with their getting ready spaces as well! With spaces available for both wedding parties, tons of space to use in each, and an abundance of natural light you can’t go wrong!
While not in Central Illinois, it felt wrong to leave The Ivy House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin off this list as it’s seriously one of the coolest wedding venues I’ve been to as a wedding photographer. The modern industrial style of the building gives the perfect touches of classic and historic feel with modern amenities for you and your guests to enjoy. The spaces available for getting ready are some of the best I’ve seen with SO much opportunity for photos it makes it almost hard to leave them!
Knowing everything you now know about getting ready spaces, as well as seeing a few of my favorite venues and their getting ready spaces, you’re probably eager to start planning how you’ll use your getting ready space. If you’ve already got a venue booked for your wedding be sure to ask them questions about your getting ready space. And if you’re still in need of a photographer for your wedding in Central Illinois be sure to send me an inquiry. I’d love to hear from you and help plan out your perfect day!