For the Bride || The Window Effect

For Brides, Weddings

There are so many logistical details involved in planing a wedding day and when it comes to figuring out where you and your girls are going to get ready for your wedding day, it often comes down to the practicalities. A hotel room, the living room of your parent’s house, maybe the bridal suite your venue offers, or even the basement of the Church. Often the only things taken into consideration are the size of the space (can 7+ girls comfortably get ready here with all the make up bags, curling irons, and bags of stuff that will entail?), and the convenience of the location to where the girls have been sleeping and where the wedding will take place. Both of those are super important factors, but I’d like to offer one more.

When you are figuring out where you should get ready for your wedding, I’d like to suggest that you look for a place that has at least one large window. It might not seem like the biggest deal (after all, can’t you, Mary Kate use flash, or just use the artificial lights available and still make us look good??) but I promise that after years of wedding experience, it makes a night and day difference, not just in your wedding photos but in the actual experience you have the morning of your wedding. No amount of filler flash or artificial light will ever be able to recreate the effect of pure natural light streaming through a window. And there are plenty of studies out there that prove that natural light raises your endorphins and all around makes you feel happier and calmer. Whether it’s sunny or rainy, the natural light streaming through the windows or, even just one window, will be the most flattering light on your face. Natural light has a way of making your eyes pop and your skin look beautifully healthy and radiant. If you’re still not completely convinced, I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite window-lit getting ready images for you to take a look at.

Kaitlyn got ready in her parent’s house and the huge windows behind her lit up her gorgeous eyes and smile as her sisters did her hair and makeup before her wedding.

In the bridal suite of the Morningside Inn, there was a huge window just off the left frame of the image below which bathed Susan in the gorgeous creamy light you see which is giving her that beautiful bridal glow.

Elizabeth had the finishing touches done in the dark, barely lit library rooms behind the Church. I found this window located in an incredibly tiny hallway nearby and I pulled her out for a few photos because the bright light streaming in and bouncing off the white walls made the perfect lighting scenario for some incredible bridal portraits.

Mary-Kate got ready in her family’s living room and the huge bay window to the left of the harps gave us the perfect light.

Annie got ready in her family’s basement which had multiple huge windows and light walls that bounced the light around so we had even more freedom to shoot from different angles and really max out the natural light.

Samantha (also the bride from the very first image in this post) got ready in the bridal suite of her reception venue. The walls were dark paneled wood but by utilizing the huge floor to ceiling windows looking out over the Ohio river, the dark walls actually worked to our advantage to create a rich contrast for her bridal portraits instead of being a huge disadvantage as they otherwise would have been.

I hope this short post was helpful and got you thinking a little bit more about the advantages of natural light in your getting ready space!


Mary Kate


  1. Mandy says:

    Such great advice for brides. It really explains so well the “why” behind the window. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing

  2. Sarah says:

    Fantastic post! I am starting to do more maternity photos in my home, as well as moms & newborns and I LOVE using window light! Gorgeous images.

  3. Mabel says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Very helpful! 

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3 Comments on For the Bride || The Window Effect


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