Wedding Wisdom Wednesday: Choosing Your Wedding Day Prep Space

Local wedding pros share insight and tips for planning your wedding.

Carla Welechuk Kowski
Where you get ready the morning of your wedding can have a big effect on the rest of your day.

Planning a wedding is all about myriad tiny details. You’ve thought about everything from cake flavors, signature drinks, what perfume you’ll wear and how to fold your napkins. It’s a lot, I know, but it makes sense. You want your day to be absolutely perfect!  

However, there is one huge element many couples overlook: where they will be getting ready on the morning of the wedding. This is often an afterthought and not given much attention, but this one element can set the tone for your entire day!  

Often, brides do not realize when they start planning how much time they’ll need for hair and makeup. You are going to be spending anywhere from four to six (or more!) hours getting ready, depending on whether you choose a team of artists or a solo artist, which can take much longer. That’s a big chunk of your day! Your entire reception may not even be that long. This is why I stress putting some extra thought into planning the space you’ll get ready in.  

Here’s a breakdown of options to help make the most of your experience: 

1) The venue’s ready room: Consider the space; many venues offer bridal suites and groom’s rooms, but make sure to actually go look at these spaces before choosing this option. Not all venues are created equal in this regard. Some venue ready rooms we’ve worked in are cramped, have poor lighting and don’t have adequate outlets. This is especially true if you are getting married at a historic venue or in a more rustic setting. You are going to need space for your entire wedding party and family, your hair and makeup team with all their gear (we have a LOT of gear), plenty of table space and chairs, mirrors and a bathroom that does not require you to risk seeing your partner before your first look. 

2) A hotel: Hotels can be a great option, if they meet all the points outlined above. Again, we recommend going to look at the actual room size before deciding. Hotel rooms can be cramped and often have little to no table/counter space to set up on. Note: Y ou do not want to set up your beauty team in the bathroom. Not only is that unsanitary, it will also be a huge headache for anyone who needs to use the facilities. Generally speaking, when choosing a hotel to get ready, you will probably need to book a large suite to meet your needs. 

3) An Airbnb or vacation rental: This is my preferred option. Choosing a whole house to get ready in on your wedding day has so many perks. Not only will you be able to select a space that covers all your needs, you’ll also be able to sleep there the night before. I highly recommend getting all your belongings to your Airbnb in advance and steaming your dresses the night before. This is a huge time-saver and doesn’t risk anyone compromising their hair and makeup with all that steam! One thing to consider when you choose your vacation rental is to make sure parking is included. You do not want everyone battling for street parking the morning of your wedding. 

4) Your home: This can be a great option and has many of the same benefits as renting an Airbnb however, there can be some drawbacks. Often couples have the wedding planning “aftermath” taking up space in their home. That may be gifts or leftover DIY crafts eating up coveted table and counter space. Another thing to think about is pets. If you have fur babies at home, this can cause problems not only for them, but for your beauty team. Not all animals and humans mesh well, especially if they've never met each other. If you do choose to get ready at home, we recommend keeping fur babies in a safe space away from all the cords and hot tools. This goes for human children as well. 

5) A rentable beauty prep space: A new trend in getting-ready options is renting a private beauty space designed specifically with wedding hair and makeup prep in mind. Look for spaces with great natural light, ample seating, and plenty of mirrors, counter space and outlets. Bonus: Many beauty prep studios include a kitchenette so you can chill a bottle of bubbly or some snacks to enjoy as the morning progresses! 

Use this cheat sheet to make sure your space fits your needs. 

____ Ample room for everyone in my wedding party and family (think: where will everyone sit and put their things?) 

____Plenty of natural light (think: big windows) 

____Numerous outlets with easy access (think: an outlet on each wall that is free of obstructions) 

____Lots of clear table and counter space (think: dining room table or kitchen island) 

____Easy access to a restroom (think: do I need to leave this space to use the restroom?) 

____Plenty of adjacent parking (think: will my beauty team need to cart their gear far?) 

____Amount of time your need in the space (think: will I be able to drop off things in advance, and does the space allow enough time for hair and makeup to be complete?) 

____Overall vibe and ambiance (think: is this space inviting, and does it make me feel relaxed?) 

Giving some extra thought to your wedding morning will ensure that you have a fun and stress-free experience spending time with your loved ones. Happy wedding planning! 

Carla Welechuk Kowski is the owner ofAlea Beauty LLC, a luxury hair and makeup service that specializes in on-site styling and being a go-to glam squad for brides. Alea means ascending, and Alea Beauty is all about helping you reach that next level and feel your most fabulous on your wedding day. Alea Beauty’s talented team of professional hair and makeup artists take the time to get to know each client, because they want their brides to have the most fun, relaxing and magical beauty experience for their special day … and because you deserve to feel fabulous.