black and white photo, bride getting ready, bride looking in mirror putting on earrings

Operation Glam Squad: Getting Ready at Your Venue vs. Off-Site Primping

October 24, 2019

In advance of your wedding you and your team will convene in a shared space to get ready. Your ceremony venue might be so lavish as to provide a bridal suite, and while there are certainly advantages to this arrangement, nothing is without pitfalls. Here are some things to ponder when deciding where to get gorgeous.

On-Site Prep Pros

  • Time management. Giving your bride tribe a firm schedule and singular location to which they should arrive lessens the likelihood of anyone being late, stuck in traffic, or showing up to the wrong place.
  • One less thing to plan. Supposing you dress anywhere but your ceremony site, you will then have to make arrangements for everyone then to arrive at the ceremony in unison. Prepping on-site removes this complication from your long list of to-dos, and the expense of it.
  • No risk of ruin. Your dress is white, or some variation thereof. Give some thought to what the elements, a dirty limo door, or a slam on the brakes while applying lipstick will do to your perfectly pristine look. 
  • Less opportunity for a chance run-in. Your groom should see you when you plan for it, whether that be on the aisle or in a first-look. You don’t want to spoil the encounter by pulling up to the ceremony just as the fellows are making their entrance. 
  • Access to your coordinator. For any last minute questions, changes, or needs, your venue representative is just a loving and panicked shout away. 
  • Privacy. At your home or hotel, there is always threat of pets, little ones, or unexpected guests popping into your space to quickly say hello. Keeping the suite central to your inner circle (and free of puppy paws) keeps you on schedule and in the right mindset.
  • Clean-up, schmean-up. With some exception, there is very little for you to do after the wedding besides gather your things. At home the vacuuming, rubbish removal, and abandoned champagne glasses are your responsibility.
  • “Backstage” exclusivity. If your ceremony and reception are all housed under one roof, having a safe spot for a quick touch-up, a brief rest from the dance floor, a private restroom, or storage for your belongings will be a godsend. 
  • Space. Look, there’s going to be a lot of you. Count your bridesmaids, one, possibly two mothers. You. Photographers and videographers. Make-up artists and hairstylists. A flower girl or two. Is your home equipped to house all of these people? 

Home/Hotel/Salon Prep Pros

  • Convenience. Rolling out of bed and right into a hairstylist’s chair is pretty delightful. Whether it be your honeymoon suite or your home, not having to transport your beauty goods and garments, and forgoing the nagging fear you’re forgetting something, is priceless. 
  • Space. Forget what we said in the On-Site list. Maybe your home or room is gigantic and perfectly suited for double digits worth of your people. View your potential on-site suite in advance and determine if it’s more cramped than your personal space, or less so. 
  • Comfort and Intimacy. Your photographer and many a social media poster will be snapping shots of you in various stages of prettification. Having a more personal space in the background might be more inviting, especially when looking back at your album years later for a “remember when…” sort of charm.  
  • Room service. For hotel room preppers, never underestimate the appeal of an in-house clean-up crew who will spiff up your glam-mess, make your bed, and leave you with fresh, fluffy towels. Call down for food when your team needs a bite, and let someone else carry it away when you’re done. 
  • Easier for early call times. Daytime weddings often require a sunrise hour start. Hopping in a car headed for the ceremony site before your caffeine has kicked in can be a recipe for a grumpy bride. Spending the morning at home or in your hotel allows you to ease into the day, and take it as it comes.
  • The WOW factor. Walking down the aisle and seeing it fresh along with your groom and guests adds to the grandeur of the moment, something a bride is robbed of if spending the day on-site. 


Other variables worth thinking about:

  • Where do you have the best lighting? Natural sunlight and an abundance of it is best.
  • Where will your formal photos be taken? Proximity to the suite would be very helpful.
  • How easy is it to bring in food and drink? Is there space for it?
  • Can your beauty technicians travel to you? Many only provide service in the resort or salon that employs them.
  • Are there enough hanging rods? Mirrors? Bathrooms? How’s the ventilation and air conditioning? Beware of a suffocating and ill-equipped dressing space.

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