In our experience taking pictures of weddings and marriage celebrations in and around Washington, DC, we have noticed that the vast majority of brides and grooms choose to get ready in the hotel where their wedding reception (and often their wedding ceremony) will take place. This makes perfect sense, of course. Many hotels that serve as wedding venues offer brides- and grooms-to-be special rooms as part of booking the site for their nuptials. There is also the added level of convenience of getting ready in the same place where one is going to be tying the knot and/or dancing the night away, not to mention the fact that many luxury hotels in the Washington, DC metro areas are have beautiful and sumptuous interiors that make the pictures of the future spouses getting ready look fantastic.
We do always enjoy, however, when brides and grooms change things up a bit and choose to do their pre-ceremony preparations at a different site. One particularly cool trend that has emerged recently is for grooms to get cleaned up and dressed at an old-school barbershop/mens club. These institutions generally offer straight-razor shaves; lounge areas where the groom and his groomsmen can relax, play pool and get prepared for the wedding ceremony; and a bar area where the wedding party can have a drink or two. It is not surprising that many modern grooms like the idea of spending some time relaxing with their groomsmen in a quiet, elegant and comfortable environment before the bustle of activity that is the marriage ceremony.
One barbershop/mens club at which we have had the pleasure to take photographs is the Quinntessential Gentleman (or the QG) in Baltimore, Maryland. The name is intentionally misspelled to honor the owner’s mother, who was the person who inspired him to both be a gentleman and to open the business. Located just a few blocks from Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor, the QG started in 2005 as a barbershop offering a sophisticated take on the old-fashioned approach to mens grooming. Since then, the QG has expanded its services to include a spa, a cigar lounge, a bar, a restaurant and an upscale men’s clothing store.
Grooms who book the Quinntessential Gentleman for their pre-wedding preparations can start with a classic hot-towel and straight-razor shave, as the groom in this image did. We love that particular part of the getting-ready process, because it makes for some great photos that we cannot get at other venues. Producing images that are unique is special is always a goal for us, so we appreciate the opportunities that venues like the QG give us to try new and different approaches to wedding photography.
After his shave, the groom returned to the Clubhouse, a private area equipped with a TRUGOLF golfing simulator, a pool table, several old-school arcade video games and a massive TV, to join his groomsmen in getting dressed for the wedding. As he got ready, the groom made sure to have each of his groomsman assist him in putting on one thing. One helped him into his shoes, another fixed his cufflinks and the groomsman in this photo worked on his tie. It was a nice way to get all of the members of his wedding party involved, to make them feel a part of his marriage celebrations and to recognize the importance of them supporting him on such an important occasion.
Location: The QG, 31 S Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202.