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  • Christina Hubeli

Where Should I Get Ready for My Wedding?

Bride popping champagne with bridesmaids
Photo: Golden Bloom Photography

The morning of your wedding is such a special time (and a personal favorite moment of the day!). There’s the serene calm of everyone getting ready with a buzz of excitement for the festivities to come.

Making sure you have a comfortable, spacious area to get ready in shouldn’t be an afterthought! If you and your wedding party are getting hair and makeup done, it may be an early morning, and you want to ensure everyone starts the day in a relaxed environment.

The four most common options for a getting ready space are at your wedding venue, a hotel, a home, or a salon. Below we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each so you can determine which makes the most sense for you and your group!

At your wedding venue

You may have the option of getting ready at your wedding venue. The biggest asterisk with this is that just because your venue lists a “getting ready suite” or “hospitality suite” as an amenity, this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily large enough for full hair and makeup service. Especially in the city, these suites tend to be smaller rooms where you, your partner, and wedding party can stash your stuff during the wedding. That’s not to say you won’t find a large getting-ready area in a Chicago venue, but just make sure to check it out yourself during your venue tour to ensure it’s big enough!

A few other things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to get ready at your wedding venue. Make sure to ask what the earliest time you’re able to arrive is. For instance, if you have 8 people getting hair and makeup done and need to start bright and early at 6 AM, this is going to be an issue if your venue doesn’t allow you through the doors until 8 AM. Typically, you can pay hourly for that extra time if needed.

Which brings me to my next point – ask if the suite is included in the venue pricing or if there is an additional charge. Most commonly, it’s included but there are a few venues that offer it as an optional add-on. Another great question to ask is if you have access to the suite for the whole night so you can leave your personal items there, touch up your hair and makeup, etc.

At a hotel

Possibly the most popular spot for getting ready is at a hotel. This is typically the same hotel that you have blocked rooms at for guests, and some hotels are able to offer a discounted rate for your suite if you block and book a certain number of rooms per night.

If you’ll be doing full hair and makeup service in the hotel room, you’ll want to book some sort of suite, rather than a standard guest room. Suite size can vary greatly by hotel, and some hotels will have different suite options. Hotels, especially those in the city, are used to having wedding parties get ready in their rooms, so if you’re not quite sure which suite can accommodate your group, your contact at the hotel should be able to help you.

If you’re looking for more space than a suite can offer, another option is to book a meeting room space in the hotel for hair and makeup. This is a great route to go if you have a larger group getting hair and makeup done and would like a bit more space to spread out in.

If you won’t be getting hair and makeup done, booking a hotel room can still be a sensible option for a general gathering place for your wedding party. It’s an easy spot for your group to meet at, get ready, have some drinks and food, and get excited for the day.

At home

Typically, we’re going to recommend that you only get ready at a home (whether it’s yours, a parent’s, a friend’s, etc.) if it’s close to your venue. While it can be cheaper and more convenient, if you’re having to travel from Evanston to a suburb in the West Loop, chances are we’re going to have to allot a bit more travel time (weekend traffic plus the potential for crashes/slowdowns means you’ll probably be spending more time on on the road than you’d like to).

Of course, there are instances where getting ready at a home is totally doable and sensible! If this is you, check out our blog 5 Things That Make a Great Getting Ready Venue because there are a few factors you’ll want to pay closer attention to with getting ready at said home. With a hotel suite, you’re typically going to be in a more ideal room placement in the hotel (think: better views and better lightning). With a home, especially if it’s an apartment, the lighting might not be the best, and this can really impact how your getting ready photos turn out. If possible, check out the lighting in the home prior to your wedding day around the time that you’ll be getting ready there.

Getting ready at a home often is easiest if you’re not getting hair and makeup done. If you are, however, it’s important to consider the space and electrical requirements of the hair and makeup artists. Think about if you’ll have to move around any furniture, bring in extra chairs or tables, etc. in order to accommodate the services.

At a salon

Getting ready at a salon is best for small groups where just a few people are getting hair and makeup done. With this, you’ll of course still need to coordinate a location for getting dressed. Some hair and makeup artists have service minimums; depending on when you’re getting married, they might require a certain number of adults to get hair and/or makeup done in order for them to travel to your getting ready location. If you don’t meet that minimum, they’ll usually ask that you come into the salon for your services instead. This is most common on weekends during peak wedding season.

If you’ll be getting hair and makeup done at a salon, keep in mind that it might not be as comfortable or private as getting ready at one of the above options. There will likely be other clients there, so you’ll get more of the “hustle and bustle” of a weekend at a salon. You’ll also want to think through the logistics of transportation: how you and your group will get to/from the salon and allotting extra time just in case.

Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?


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