minnesota — beyond

It's looking at your wedding gallery and film for the first time and knowing that the images capture people's souls. It's never understanding how beautiful you are until you can see yourself fully, completely immersed in all of the little moments on your wedding day.

send inquiry

for photographers

podcast shownotes



My hope is to make wedding days less about crossing items off of a shot list and more about being present in the real, raw and unposed moments.

documenting the moments that feel alive.

you can call me bree

Getting Ready in Style: How to Ensure You Don’t Choose an Ugly Space

Elopements, Wedding

Let’s dive into an essential part of your wedding day and your wedding photos: getting ready in style.

Picture this: You’re surrounded by your loved ones, the anticipation of the day fills the air, and the bridal party is sipping bubbly as you slip into your gorgeous gown. But wait, stop right there! Don’t let the excitement distract you from choosing a photo-worthy getting ready space that perfectly matches your vibe and style. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when you look back at those precious moments that will be a part of your wedding story for forever.

So, let’s talk about how to make sure you don’t accidentally end up with an ugly getting ready space. Here are a few tried and true tips to help you make the best choice:

1. Reflect Your Vibe and Style:

Your wedding day is filled with special moments you’ll want to remember forever. When choosing your getting ready venue, think about the overall vibe and mood you want to set for this part of the day.

Do you imagine a glamorous start to your wedding, with champagne toasts while you get your hair and makeup done? Or would a relaxed, casual setting put you at ease before the big event? Maybe an elegant suite with floral accents fits your style best. Whatever tone you envision, make sure the venue fits that aesthetic. Things like decoration, lighting, and the overall layout will impact the ambiance. A brightly lit room with sterile decor will have a different feel than a cozy suite with big windows and plush furnishings.

Keep your vision in mind and choose a space that brings that mood to life. This will help set the right energy from the start and get your wedding day vibes flowing. Your getting ready photos are also guaranteed to turn out beautifully if the backdrop fits the style you’re going for.

2. Pay Attention to Lighting:

Natural light is a dream for photographers (like yours truly!), as it creates a soft and flattering glow. When scouting for a getting ready space, make sure it has ample windows to allow that beautiful sunshine to pour in. This will not only enhance the ambiance but also result in stunning, luminous photos that you’ll cherish forever.

3. Declutter and Personalize:

Remember, less is more when it comes to getting ready spaces. Clear away any unnecessary items and clutter to create a clean canvas that lets you and your loved ones shine. At the same time, don’t be afraid to infuse the space with personal touches. Hang a custom-made sign with your initials, display your cherished family heirlooms, or bring in meaningful decorations that reflect your love story. These personalized elements not only make the space feel more like you, but they also add depth and emotion to your photos.

4. Consider the Layout:

Think about the logistics and comfort of your bridal party and family while getting ready. Is there enough space for everyone to move and relax? Are there separate sections or rooms for hair and makeup? Pay attention to the layout of the space to ensure that it accommodates your needs and allows everyone to feel calm, comfortable, and ready to celebrate.

5. Embrace Hidden Gems:

Don’t limit yourself to traditional getting ready spaces. Consider unique, unconventional locations that speak to your adventurous spirit. Think cozy cabins nestled in the woods, trendy downtown lofts, or even chic rooftop terraces. These hidden gems can add an extra layer of magic to your pre-wedding moments and create a sense of anticipation that sets the stage for an extraordinary day.

Remember, your getting ready space sets the tone for the entire day and the backdrop for a good chunk of photos and video as well. So, take the time to choose a space that reflects your personality and vibe.\

6. Check Out Venues In Person:

One of the most important things when choosing a bridal prep space is to visit potential venues in person before booking the venue. Photos online rarely do a space justice or allow you to get a true sense of what it will feel like on your wedding day. By taking the time to visit venues before signing a contract, you’ll be able to pay close attention to details that photographs don’t always capture.

For many, the getting ready space is an afterthought when it comes to choosing a venue. And if that’s you or if you fell in love with all but this space of your venue, remember the you can get ready off-site. Somewhere that better reflects your taste.

Make notes on aspects like:


Is there ample natural light or do spaces feel dark and cave-like? Proper lighting can make a huge difference in how you look and feel when getting ready.

The lighting in your getting ready space can also make or break your wedding day photos.

Harsh, uneven, or dim lighting will not provide the best backdrop. Instead, look for spaces with ample natural light streaming in from large windows. Natural light flatters everyone and creates a romantic, ethereal vibe perfect for a bride on her wedding day. If the space doesn’t get much natural light, check to see if the indoor lighting can be adjusted or if they have an overly warm or cool tone. And as a photographer and videographer, I’d recommend avoiding those pesky fluorescent lights!

If light levels are too low or uneven, it can also make your makeup application challenging.

Wall Colors

Cool toned greys and blues tend to be more relaxing while warm tones like peach can provide a lively vibe. Think about what tones will complement your wedding style and most importantly your photographer and videographer’s editing styles. If your photog has a super colorful, fun style, then a hot pink getting ready space could be a vibe! If their work you love is all natural and organic, maybe look for another space.


Make sure there is enough comfortable seating and table space to accommodate you and your whole bridal party. If there are plastic folding chairs, the space probably won’t photograph in a way that looks high end or luxury. On the other hand, if the furniture doesn’t match your unique tastes, it can carry through in your getting ready images.


Look at how spaces are configured and if the layout will work for hair, makeup, getting dressed, etc. Having separate rooms for each can be nice, but isn’t totally necessary.

Size and Layout

It’s important to make sure there is enough room for you and your entire bridal party and vendors in your space. Consider how many bridesmaids, family members, and friends will be joining you as you get hair and makeup done and slip into your wedding dress. You’ll want to ensure there is plenty of space so that everyone can comfortably move around without constantly bumping into each other. Specifically, take into account the number of people in your bridal party and confirm that the room can easily accommodate that many individuals plus any additional family/friends, photographers, videographers, hair/makeup artists, etc.

The space should feel open and airy, not crowded and cramped. There should be enough room for chairs and stations for hair and makeup for all bridesmaids along with a space where people can gather before and after they sit for hair and makeup.

And when it comes time to put on your dress, there should be space to carefully step into it without knocking anything over. Your photographer should also be able to shoot without capturing the foot of a bed, or other distracting item in their frame.

You and your bridal party will likely be spending hours in this space together as you prepare for your first look. Make sure it is inviting, relaxing and comfortable enough to hold you all.

Scope it out in person if possible to get a true sense of the dimensions and floor plan. Don’t pick a space to get ready that is so small that your bridal party members are bumping into each other and constantly apologizing. Opt for ample square footage to make the morning of your wedding as stress-free and special for you and your friends as possible.


Venues may provide mirrors, racks, steamers and other useful items or you may need to bring your own. Visiting a potential getting ready venue in person gives you a chance to envision how the space will feel on your wedding day. Pay close attention to details like whether there’s a refrigerator and anything else that you might need for the morning of your wedding.

7. Think About Backdrops:

When looking at getting ready spaces, pay close attention to the backdrops where you’ll be taking photos. You want attractive, aesthetic backdrops for your pre-ceremony photos rather than ugly walls, doors, or cluttered spaces.

Look at the wall colors, wall decor, windows, furniture, and other background elements with a photographer’s eye. Neutral colored walls work well, as do large windows that let in ample natural light. Avoid spaces with busy patterned wallpaper or distracting decor that will take away from you being the focal point, unless it adds to the vibe of the day.

Do you have a good spot where you can get clear photos without unattractive elements in the background? Keep in mind furniture and decor pieces that may end up in shots if not strategically placed. The getting ready space should have ample room for your photographer to get far enough away to take full body shots of you in your dress without backing up into a wall or furniture. Look at sample photos taken in the space to envision how your shots will turn out.

8. Consider Private vs. Shared Space:

One important consideration when choosing your getting ready space is whether you want a private room or are okay with a shared space, like a salon.

There are pros and cons to both options. Private spaces provide privacy and give you full control over who is allowed in the space. This allows you to play your own music, be as loud as you want, and not have to worry about strangers walking in and out.

Shared spaces can get noisy and chaotic as multiple groups and clients try to get ready at once. It may be hard to control who comes in and out. You’ll have less privacy and it will create a less intimate setting. Plus, you might end up with people you don’t know in some of your images.

When deciding between a private vs shared space, think about your personality and priorities. If having privacy and control over your environment is important, then booking a private suite may be worth the additional cost. But if you’re easygoing and on a tight budget, a shared getting ready room could work as long as you know your expectations and priorities ahead of time.

9. Envision Your Photos:

Your getting ready photos will be some of the most special memories from your wedding day. Take some time to envision how you want these photos to look before booking your prep space. Do you imagine classic portraits standing by a window with soft natural light? Or fun candids with your bridesmaids while sipping champagne? Maybe you want an industrial vibe with cool graffiti walls in the background. Whatever your wedding style and photography vision, choose a getting ready venue that aligns.

Traditional brides may opt for a hotel suite with luxurious interiors. Bohemian brides may prefer a unique Airbnb with artsy decor. Glamorous brides can select a penthouse with glitzy decor and skyline views.

Select a venue that naturally fits your desired getting ready photos aesthetic. This will ensure beautiful backdrops that complement your portraits and candid moments.

10. Bring Your Own Touches:

Adding your own decorations, flowers, and other personal touches can transform an ordinary getting ready room into a space that feels special and unique to you. Here are some ideas for DIY elements to personalize the space:


An inexpensive way to add color and festivity. Buy balloons in your wedding colors and let them float around the room. Metallic balloons or oversized balloons make the biggest impact.

Photo Backdrop

Turn a blank wall into a photo station by hanging a backdrop. Use a curtain, fabric, paper fans, string lights, balloons, or other decor items to create a fun backdrop for portraits.


Ask your florist for extra bud vases, posies, or loose blooms to scatter around the getting ready space. Greenery garlands also add natural beauty.

String Lights

Wrap string lights around mirrors, windows, pipes, or furniture for a cozy glow. Opt for warm white lights or match your wedding colors.

Personal Items

Bring in favorite photos, mementos, and other personal touches that show your style and personality. Taking the time to add handmade or custom accents helps make the getting ready experience feel relaxed and special. Even simple touches like flowers and string lights go a long way in transforming a nondescript room into your own fabulous space for preparing on your wedding day.

11. Where to Find Getting Ready Spaces:

Now that you understand the importance of choosing a stunning getting ready space, let’s dive into where you can find these hidden gems that perfectly match your vibe and style. Get ready to uncover some secret treasures!

VRBO – Vacation Rentals by Owner

VRBO is a fantastic platform that connects travelers with unique vacation rental properties. But did you know that it can also be a goldmine for finding incredible getting ready spaces? From cozy cabins tucked away in picturesque forests to stylish beachfront retreats with panoramic views, VRBO offers a wide range of options that will make your heart skip a beat. Imagine waking up on your wedding day in a dreamy cottage surrounded by nature’s beauty, creating a magical and intimate start to your journey as a married couple.

Airbnb – Explore Unique Spaces

Airbnb is another go-to platform for finding extraordinary and personalized accommodations. The best part? You can also find jaw-dropping spaces perfect for getting ready on your wedding day. Whether you’re envisioning a sleek modern loft with floor-to-ceiling windows or a vintage-inspired apartment filled with charm, Airbnb has got you covered. Explore the listings, read the glowing reviews, and let your adventurous spirit guide you to the perfect getting ready spot. Who knows, you might even discover a locally-owned gem filled with character and stories just waiting to be told!

Peerspace – Unlock Hidden Locales

If you’re seeking an out-of-the-box getting ready experience, then look no further than Peerspace. This innovative platform connects you with unique and unconventional spaces that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s a trendy industrial warehouse with exposed brick walls or a funky urban studio adorned with vibrant artwork, Peerspace allows you to think outside the box and infuse your wedding day with a touch of creativity and personality. These hidden locales often become the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Click here to get $50 off when you complete your first booking on Peerspace!

Now that you have a list of remarkable platforms to explore, let your imagination run wild! Take some time to browse through each platform, keeping your vision and style in mind. Be open to unexpected choices and trust your intuition. Keep in mind that finding the perfect getting ready space is like unearthing a hidden treasure – it may take a little digging, but the rewards are worth it.

As always, if you need any guidance or recommendations, I’m here to help. Together, let’s ensure you don’t just get ready, but you get ready in style.

Leave a Reply