Real Weddings

How Your Getting Ready Space Could Make or Break Your Photos

Expert Post written by Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events

With your big day fast-approaching (let’s face it, it’ll be here before you know it), I bet you’re checking and double-checking your final timeline with your Planner, making final payments to vendors, and picking up your attire from alterations. Fast forward a little bit, and your day is finally here. You’ve loaded everything into the car to head to the venue and get ready and you enter into…a dimly-lit, fluorescent-light-outfitted, your-grandma’s-old-couch-storing, random-file-cabinet-in-the-corner-having room. Right after you make peace with the whole situation, your photographer and videographer show up, say hello, glance around quickly, and then quietly return to their vehicles to have small mental breakdowns.

You see, getting ready spaces aren’t just about how many outlets there are for curling irons, or how many surfaces there are for stuff, drinks or food. They’re not even just about whether or not there’s a mirror that more than one person at a time can see themselves in. When it comes to a wedding day, they’re a space to capture some seriously cherished memories and moments in. Having enough space for your videographer and photographer to move around without accidentally stepping on someone’s belongings, having enough light (natural or otherwise), and having well-appointed décor can elevate your getting ready photos and video to “publish this now” vs “oh, that was nice, but we’re only ordering the close-ups in the album”.

Photo by Simply Splendid Photography

Hotel Rooms

If your venue’s getting ready space is less than ideal, or nonexistent – look for hotels within 15-20 minutes from your venue as an option. Portland is rich with eclectic, unique, and absolutely beautiful hotels. Most have large windows that let in lots of natural light and feature well-appointed décor that no one would mind seeing in the background of their photos or video. If you end up going with this option, do make sure to reserve your room for the night before as well as the night of your wedding. Since checkout is usually around noon, and check-in typically isn’t until around 4:00PM, this could impact your timeline. Booking a suite can ensure that everyone has a bit more room to spread out, though floor plans and square footage will vary hotel to hotel. Once everyone’s finished getting ready, have your Planner make a note to call Housekeeping staff to come in and smarten things up a bit. Your room will be fresh for your arrival later that evening!

Photo by Simply Splendid Photography

Air BNBs

If you have a large bridal party, perhaps you’ll opt for a rental instead so everyone can really spread out. Again, make sure to have your dates right so you can utilize the space all day and night the day of your wedding. One thing I love about a rental is there’s typically a full kitchen included, which allows for one of the most important things to occur on your wedding day: EATING. Stock that fridge y’all, and not just with champagne (though, obviously.) Make sure there are some options for protein, include a few veggies, and if anyone in your bridal party has any dietary restrictions or allergies, ensure they have a few options as well. Besides all of the things I just mentioned, while Portland is rich with fun hotels, it’s even richer in the architecture that some of its homes possess. Bonus points for rad backyards – hello fun first look photos + video!

Photo by 27 Wonders Photography

Your Own Place

If you’re close to the venue and have some of the pros we talked about in this post, then by all means – utilize your own space! Imagine having photos and video created in your own home – so special. If you’ve got animals, make sure they’re well-accustomed to strangers in their space to prevent any anxiety-induced destruction (and that none of your bridal party are allergic!)

Photo by Crystal Genes Photography with Glamology Makeup

Whichever space you end up choosing for getting ready, remember this: stress does not make for beautiful memories. Ask yourself that question first and proceed forward with decision making from there. As always, loop your Planner in on what your priorities are, and they’ll ensure those are addressed, done, and dusted.

Ashley Lachney is the Owner of Alston Mayger Events, a boutique wedding planning company based in the PNW. She prides herself on providing couples an ‘easy button’ for rad parties, and empowering her couples’ vendor teams to execute their roles to the best of their abilities. You can find more tips and a full portfolio on, or on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram at @alstonmaygerevents.

Featured photo by Alyssa Rae Portraiture