Bridal boudoir shoots have become increasingly popular in the past few years, and it can be a fun way to capture that bride-to-be glow you’ve been sporting since the day you said “yes!” And while boudoir might suggest sexy lingerie or sultry poses, it doesn’t necessarily have to. Sexy means a different thing to everyone, and this type of photo shoot should really about what makes you feel beautiful right now.
Before asking a photographer friend to shoot my photos, I did a little research on my own and stumbled upon one 80’s-inspired bedroom shot after another. We’re talking teased hair, heavy makeup, and high-waisted thongs. They may or may not have involved satin sheets and a bride-to-be with a rose stuck between her teeth. Needless to say, this wasn’t for me.
For my boudoir shoot, lingerie wasn’t really my thing. I wanted something more sweet than sexy, more Old Hollywood than modern bombshell. We opted for romantic shots of my wedding day accessories (The veil! The jewelry! The shoes!) and added vintage props like suitcases, old clocks, and books. Sophisticated, whimsical, pretty – and no cleavage in sight.
That said, bridal lingerie can be shot in a very tasteful and elegant way and ultimately, this should be whatever you want it to be – it’s your time to play dress up and feel amazing.
Here are just a few untraditional (but sexy nevertheless!) bridal boudoir photo ideas for your own shoot!
Many boudoir shoots take place in the bedroom, but why not move the romance to the outdoors? This is a great idea for themed boudoir shoots (love the bohemian and country-inspired photos below) and is the perfect opportunity to play around with unconventional props. Flower crowns? Boots? A couch in the middle of a field? Way too much fun to stay inside.
2. Black and White
Bridal boudoir shoots have such an artistic feel in black and white. For those of you looking to take photos in lingerie, this is such a beautiful way to do it. I love the use of natural light from windows in many of the photos below, and there’s something about this type of photography that makes even the most seductive piece look incredibly elegant.
3. All In The Details
Not ready to strip down to your underthings for the camera? I wasn’t either, but that’s not to say you can’t have a bridal boudoir shoot to remember! It’s all about perspective – maybe it’s a beautiful shot from the collarbone up, or one of your legs draped over a vintage chaise lounge. Consider laying your wedding lingerie across the bed or over a favorite chair, or keep the focus on the beautiful accessories you’ll be wearing on your big day.
And who says lingerie has to be involved at all? You can create a sexy boudoir vibe all your own in a familiar setting, wearing casual and cozy favorites. (See here for more inspiration!)
Bridal boudoir shoots are all about what makes you feel beautiful. The best photos happen when you’re relaxed, happy, and most important, comfortable. A few tips on feeling confident before the lens:
1. Know and trust your photographer. Even if this isn’t a particularly revealing photo shoot, it helps to feel at ease with the person behind the camera and know that they have your best interests at heart. Share your ideas for shots you’d love to do…and those you’re not comfortable with. Finding inspiration from Pinterest, blogs, and magazine editorials as reference for your photographer will ensure that you get the best shots in your boudoir session.
2. Treat yourself. Chances are, you’ve been working hard at the gym and eating healthy before the big day – feel proud of how great you look! Before your shoot, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to some spa-worthy pampering. A facial, light spray tan, and/or manicure and pedicure can go a long way in helping you feel your best on shoot day. Professional hair and makeup is another pretty way to get camera-ready.
3. It’s all about the lighting. Think soft natural lighting from windows or airy spaces, black and white photography, or the golden hour just after sunrise or before sunset. Beautiful lighting means beautiful photos, guaranteed.
4. Make it familiar. Bring a playlist of your favorite music or props from home (like wedding jewelry, a beloved robe, or your fiance’s photo) to create a more natural setting. And remember to smile and have fun! If it doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to stay within your comfort zone.
Would love to hear what you’re doing for your bridal boudoir shoot! Share your ideas at the style letters, Twitter (@styleletters), or Facebook, and find more wedding inspiration on my Pinterest board just for you.
About Maria: With over ten years’ experience in the fashion industry, Maria MacNamara has styled women all over the world, from Jimmy Choo and Brown Thomas in Ireland to J.Crew and kate spade new york in the United States. An accomplished writer and editor, she has been featured in ELLE, Redbook, and InStyle. As editor of the style letters, she has worked with major brands,she has worked with major brands, as well as local designers and boutiques. Follow Maria’s style adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!