A bridal suite could be at your venue, at a hotel, or it could be an Airbnb house. No matter where it is, these are some MUST HAVES to consider when selecting your space (coming from a beauty pro who has seen them all!) And yes, this means don't just assume your venues bridal suite will work....
#1 SPACE: Trust me when I say bridesmaids make a mess. Whether you have 3 bridesmaids or 12, you will want space to spread out and organize. Not only will it be for you and your friends/ family to hang out in, but you will need space for your beauty team to set up, photographers to stage photos, florists to bring bouquets & food to be delivered! A beauty team of 2 will have at least one lighting system, 3-5 kit bags, 2 chairs & 2 folding tables. That alone could fill up a room. More space = better.
#2 LIGHT: Again, this room is for more than just hanging out in. Your beauty team and photographer/ videographer will need natural light to best perform their jobs. While we always bring a lighting system with us (just in case), having lots of windows or natural light flooding the room will ALWAYS be best. You wouldn't ask a surgeon to operate in the dark, would you?! Same concept.
#3 OUTLETS: Professional hair/ makeup requires outlets for lighting systems & hair tools. While we normally have extension cords just in case, having multiple outlets that are easily accessible makes our lives so much easier. Plus, you can't forget that you will likely have a speaker to be plugged in & phones to be charged!
#4 ACCESSIBILITY: Remember all those things I said your beauty team brings with them? Yeah, we don't want to walk across two gravel parking lots and then up 5 flights of stairs to get to you. Do we do it all the time? Yep! It's truly part of job, but having an easily accessible suite makes our backs happier. Plus, you're not going to want to trek down stairs with a dress and heels on, either (especially if you've had some mimosa's!) Places with close by parking, pavement, luggage carts, first floor rooms (or elevators) are great!
#5 BATHROOMS: This may seem a bit obvious, but some bridal suites are just a room & the bathroom may be at the other end of the venue, down the hall, etc. If your better half is also getting ready at the same location, make sure you have a private bathroom available to avoid seeing each other.
Here are some common spaces we see and if I'd recommend them:
When in doubt, always ask your beauty team what they think! Chances are, they have likely worked at the venue/ hotel before, or can look it up and let you know. We want you to have the most relaxed, stress free morning, and the space you're in can make or break that. When I say we have worked in and seen it all, I mean it! We are always happy to help guide and offer recommendations.
Photos by: Keith MacDonald, Coryn Kiefer Photography, Sabin Gratz
Hillary Fay, Vermont Makeup Artist.