January 26, 2017

Bridal Basics | Getting Ready

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Bridal Basics post! I always love writing these because I feel like it’s a chance to speak directly to you: the slightly-overwhelmed-and-looking-for-an-assist bride! After all, it’s not every day you plan a wedding, so I am happy to share some tips and advice I’ve gathered throughout the years as an Indianapolis Wedding Photographer! Today’s topic is one that applies to every bride: the getting ready location.

How to choose your Getting Ready location, Indianapolis Wedding Tips

More often than not, I start my day with the bride and her girls in a hotel suite in the greater Indianapolis area. Places like The Conrad, The Alexander, and Marriott offer gorgeous rooms with *mostly* great lighting, and I am always happy to shoot there. In fact, if your reception is at a hotel, it almost makes it easier to get ready there if possible because everything will be at the same location!

For example, Scott & Christine’s whole day took place at The Alexander Hotel — getting ready, ceremony, cocktail, and the reception! It was such a relaxed day, as we didn’t have to worry about travel at all.

Bright & Neutral getting ready locations for your Wedding Day by Indianapolis Wedding Photographer Sami Renee Photography Where to Get Ready on your Wedding Day by Indianapolis Wedding Photographer Sami Renee Photography

And Lindsay and Stephen both got ready at The Conrad Indianapolis downtown! Again, their cocktail hour and reception was taking place in one of the hotel’s ballrooms, so it just made sense to start the day there.

And, while a nice hotel room is always a great option, there is another way to do the “getting ready” portion of the day out there — and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites :)

Have you heard of Airbnb?!

If not, take a pause on this post real quick and click on that link. Seriously!!

The last three trips Chris and I have gone on have all been through Airbnb — it’s the best! We were able to stay a few blocks from Central Park during our trip to NYC, in a renovated air stream out in San Francisco, in the cutest apartment located in a unique Louisville nook, and more!

But enough of our travels…let’s get to the point of this post. :)

I wanted to suggest that, instead of cramming all your ladies, vendors, and family members into a hotel suite, you could book a local Airbnb rental for your wedding weekend! Not only is it normally more cost friendly, but you get so much more bang for your buck — more rooms, extra variety, and sometimes even a beautiful outdoor nook, too!

For example, Kelsey & Dean chose to invest in a gorgeous New Orleans-esque AirBnb for their classic affair, and it set the perfect tone to the day! The key here is choosing a home with “getting ready” photos in mind. She purposely chose a rental with great windows, neutral decor, and an open floor plan. I loved shooting Kelsey’s details out on the porch, capturing the bridesmaids all cuddled up on one of the beds, and photographing the girls getting ready next to the gorgeous windows. Not to mention, the gardens made the perfect location for a private first look! :)

By booking an Airbnb, you are able to have so much more control over the lighting, colors, and overall environment that will forever be captured in your getting ready photos. And forget about the photos for a minute — just imagine the relaxation and ease that comes with having a whole home for your bridal party to enjoy!

Again, this is just a suggestion — in no way do I think weddings are better or worse for having an Airbnb or hotel room or even just the church bathroom! After all, that’s why you book a professional; it is my job to work with whatever I am given and do the best I can to make it beautiful!! I just wanted to pass on an idea that may help you enjoy your photography experience even more. :)

Next week I’ll be sharing Part 2 of the Getting Ready series: what to bring! Stay tuned, and have a great week!

Indianapolis, IN



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Sami Orndorff is a Wedding Photographer & Lifestyle Newborn Photographer located in the greater Indianapolis area.