Once you've decided on the perfect venue to marry the love of your life, you're probably thinking about every other major vendor you need to book! Where you'll be getting ready on your big day might not even be a thought in your mind at this point, but it truly sets the stage for your day. Of course there's no need to pick your spot immediately, but it should be on your radar! I'll be breaking down all of your getting ready location options, why they matter & what to consider. These spots are where all your fun, candid bridal party photos will happen, as well as photos with some of your closest family and friends! It also goes beyond just pretty Pinterest-worthy photos. Where you get ready for the big day can be cluttered & add to stress to your morning, or it can be a calm & joyous spot for you to relax and prepare for the best day ever.

Here are the three most common spots our couple's choose for getting ready and how we navigate the space to get the best photos possible. Below, I'll be breaking down the most important factors when deciding on your space!

Your venue

This one is easy & obvious! A lot of wedding venues now offer gorgeous bridal suites for both you and your groom. My favorite? The light, bright and spacious ones of course! For my photos to be bright and airy, I quite literally need light & air! Check with your venue to see what options they have and if you go on a tour, you'll definitely want to see the space to make sure it will work for you and your bridal parties. Almost all venues have some sort of space for you to get ready in. If the space is dark and small, no need to worry! I quite often pull my brides out of the getting ready space provided, and I find an area at the venue that is spacious and full of light. I promise you can't tell the difference!

light and airy wedding photography at Sticks wedding venue in Des Moines, Iowa
light and airy wedding photography at Sticks wedding venue in Des Moines, Iowa
light and airy wedding photography Sticks wedding venue in Des Moines, Iowa

Venue: Sticks Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa

Rustic natural wedding at Red Acre Barn in Prole, Iowa
Rustic natural wedding at Red Acre Barn in Prole ,Iowa
Rustic natural wedding at Red Acre Barn in Prole, Iowa

Venue: Red Acre Barn in Prole, Iowa

Light and airy wedding photography at Carper Winery in Norwalk, Iowa
Natural Carper Winery wedding in Norwalk, Iowa at Carper Vineyards
Light and airy wedding photography at Carper Winery in Norwalk, Iowa

Venue: Carper Winery in Norwalk, Iowa

Light and airy wedding photography at The Chateau at White Oak Chateau in Cambridge, I
Light and airy wedding photography at The Chateau at White Oak Chateau in Cambridge, I
Light and airy wedding photography at The Chateau at White Oak Chateau in Cambridge, I

Venue: The Chateau in Cambridge, Iowa

A hotel

This is a very common & favorite getting ready spot for my brides! You'll have somewhere to stay the night before the wedding & you can just get up and begin the day, right in your room! This is also a great option if your venue's getting ready space isn't large enough for your bridal party. Just be sure to choose a hotel within a driving distance that works with your timeline. So many hotels now have amazing options with plenty of natural light which will ensure the best photos. Be sure to ask if they have a suite! You'll have plenty of space for everyone and your hair & makeup artist can often come right to your room. Another bonus: take advantage of room service and have champagne & pastries delivered! If you need help choosing a hotel, please ask me! I have tons of recommendations.

Des Moines AC hotel wedding getting ready photos in Des Moines, Iowa
Light and airy wedding photography at The Chateau at White Oak Chateau in Cambridge, I
AC hotel Des Moines Getting Ready photos in Des Moines,  Iowa

Hotel: AC Marriot Hotel East Village in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography

Hotel: The Fives Hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography

Hotel: Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa

AC Marriott Des Moines, Iowa getting ready photos for wedding
AC Marriott Des Moines, Iowa getting ready photos for wedding
AC Marriott Des Moines, Iowa getting ready photos for wedding

Hotel: AC Marriot Hotel East Village in Des Moines, Iowa

your home

So many of my brides have gotten ready right at home & I think it is the most special thing. Whether it's your own home, a friend's home or your parents house, there is something so warm & traditional about getting ready at the place you know best. If Andrew and I hadn't done a destination wedding, there's no doubt in my mind that I would've gotten ready at my parents house! Of course this isn't always possible due to location, space, and other factors but if it is, it can be so special. Again, just be sure that it is within a reasonable distance to your ceremony location! I will always find the spots with the best natural lighting, whether it be the living room with a big bay window, your backyard, or your front porch. I LOVE the personal touch your gallery receives when your wedding day images start at home.

Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at Hyperion Golf Club in
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at BASH
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at BASH in downtown De
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography

Don't worry...

I didn't forget about the guys! We always try to capture a few of your groom & his groomsmen getting ready for the day if your timeline permits! They're usually just hanging out, cracking jokes (& the occasional beer!) & I know it's so fun for my brides to see these photos later on. Here are just a few of my favorites!

Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at AC HOtel downtown, DSM
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at AC HOtel downtown, DSM
Des Moines light and airy wedding photography at AC HOtel downtown, DSM