When it comes to envisioning the wedding morning, and all of the elaborate preparations that will go on, we imagine most brides would like their special day to start in a beautiful and relaxing environment. For many that may be their own home, but for others there may be a search involved when it comes to finding the optimal location to get ready.
From a photography perspective, we're experts on what makes locations more appealing than others, and we think the best hotel rooms have all or most of the following features:
1. BIG windows. Rooms with grand floor to ceiling windows are optimal, but rooms with many big windows are good too.
2. Good natural light. This inherently comes with big window room, but a room with any windows is better than no windows. Natural light is best for checking your makeup for color and tone accuracy, and most desirable for those fresh face close-up portraits. For the best natural light request a room with north or south facing windows, or optimally a corner suite with windows along two walls.
3. White, cream or very lightly warm colored walls. In general light or pastel tones of beige and ambers are best for skin tones. Dark walls in brown, blue or purple are okay, but make rooms very dark. Above all, avoid green painted walls. We love the color light green as much as the next person, especially for wedding colors. However, green walls, especially darker hues, make everyone look sick.
4. Suites or a larger room. If you can swing it, or can get a great deal, try to get the largest room or suite you can afford, especially if you plan on having your bridal party get ready in the same room. No one enjoys getting ready in cramped quarters. Having a comfortable space definitely helps reduce stress.
5. Creature comforts. Often hotels are very good at making brides feel like queens for a day by including pampering perks. But even if they do, it is a good idea to bring extra treats if you are planning to have a roomful of ladies getting ready. Champaign, white grape juice, water, fruit, as well as some sweet and salty snacks, or whatever you fancy, is good to have around in order to keep your blood sugar stable and stress levels down.
With these criteria in mind, here are some hotels in or near downtown Chicago that offer brides and grooms ultimate spaces for getting ready, and of course also for your wedding night stay. They all have rooms that meet our optimal conditions for lighting and decor for great "getting ready" spaces, and are listed in random order: