Here's what you need to know about where you get ready for your wedding.

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beaded applique Rivini ball gown
Credit: Erich McVey

Nearly every wedding venue has some kind of bridal suite these days—some of which are akin to cozy hotel rooms, while others that are spacious and filled with natural lighting. But should you get ready there? Unless you're having a destination wedding with all the wedding activities at a hotel, it's rare that this is your only option. You might have the space to gather all your bridesmaids for hair and makeup styling at home, at your hotel, or you may simply prefer to have everything done at a salon. If you're weighing the options at hand and aren't sure how to navigate this decision, here are some questions you'll need to answer first.

Where are you going to be most comfortable?

If you're planning to provide food and drinks during the getting ready process, it sometimes makes sense to go with the more convenient option. For example, if you're getting ready at a hotel, you can have room service delivered at a specific time. Here, you don't have to worry about cleaning up the mess, as you can send house keeping to the room once everyone's finished getting ready.

Will your photographer be documenting the getting ready process?

If your photography contract is a shorter day, like a six-hour package, it may not make sense to have him or her spending a chunk of that time traveling from one venue to the next. Instead, it may work most seamlessly if you get ready off-site and arrive to the venue at the same time as the photographer, putting on the dress in the bridal suite so you can capture photos of this final step.

Where do you want your getting ready portraits to be taken?

Of the options at hand, whichever seems like it may have the best backdrops for photos may be the clear winner. Think about things like the lighting, the wallpaper, and the spaciousness of the setting. Is this the kind of place that you want to serve as the background of your getting-ready photos? Is there a balcony or courtyard nearby where you can have your bridal portraits and formal photos with your bridesmaids taken? A place that offers multiple backdrops is usually the best choice.

Which option is the most time efficient?

Getting ready on-site at the ceremony venue can save a lot of time—especially if your venue is in a secluded location or a long drive from where you'll be staying for the night. If you're not sure which option makes the most sense for time efficiency, jotting down a detailed timeline for getting ready can help you through the decision.

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