Updated: Oct 19
Here's a news story: Wedding boudoir is a thing! Wedding (or bridal) boudoir is a boudoir session that takes place for the purpose of being a wedding gift. Wedding boudoir often contains photos in bridal lingerie, or other bridal accessories like veils, shoes... or sometimes even bridal gowns! Want to know more about bridal boudoir sessions? Let's take a look...
It's All About The Wedding
I've been doing bridal boudoir for over ten years, and bridal sessions are always special. Being a bride can be a bit of a crazy time. So many decisions... So many arrangements... And all of this typically comes on top of your regular every day workload. Being a bride in the 2020s can be stressful!
Bridal boudoir serves a few purposes. First, as we mentioned, a boudoir session is a great wedding gift. Its personal. Its beautiful. --Not to mention its about the best time you can have creating a gift. Often, its something equally enjoyed by you and your partner.
Second, boudoir sessions are just a fun time. Taking a few hours away from the hectic bridal grind can be a welcome break. Why not take a bit of "me" time and treat yourself to a bit of a change of pace. Take a day off, and pamper yourself a bit. After your session, don't be surprised if you feel revitalized and ready to take on your upcoming bridal chores with a renewed vigor. --Really!
Who Is Doing Wedding Boudoir?
Well, after all my years of doing bridal boudoir, I can say with confidence that the bridal boudoir audience is not limited to a certain age, personality, or occupation.
A big chunk of my brides are solid late 20's very early 30's, but bridal clients certainly do skew younger and older. The amazing part of being a boudoir photographer is witnessing the enormous age range of clients walking through my door-- It seems age is not a factor when it comes to feeling beautiful.
Think that boudoir is just an activity for "extroverts?" Think again. I have to admit, taking your clothes off and rolling around is certainly not something that most women do every day, so women, of all types, tend be a bit nervous at first about their sessions. This anxiety is typically very short-lived, however. It's difficult to describe, but after a few minutes the anxiety is often replaced by thrills, and by the end of the session women are typically walking on air-- having had such a good time.
Boudoir isn't an activity that shares a core of clients with specific job types or occupations. During my tenure as a photographer, I've have had the pleasure of working with such a spectrum of clients it would be impossible to say there is one single type of woman who walks through my doors most. There have been untold number of women entrepreneurs, attorneys, teachers, retail managers and medical professionals... just to name a few. Boudoir is truly for everyone.
What To Expect
A big part of the boudoir experience is the preparation. That preparation starts with finding the right photographer for you-- and that will take a bit of work. If you remember one thing from this post: Photographers are not all created equal. Followed by: Photography is not a price comparative industry.
I have written (seemingly) endlessly for the internet about how women should take finding a photographer seriously. Take a few minutes to ready one of my articles on how to shop for a boudoir photographer.
Americans are born with this affinity for comparing prices. In the world of photography lower is not better. It's not a bargain-- It's not a better deal. Now that being said, I understand everyone has a budget, but do not shop solely by price. Find a local photographer who has beautiful work. Someone who you can imagine yourself wanting to like someone in one of their photo galleries-- Find a local photographer who has rave reviews by clients. Save up the money and do your session properly. Trust me, and you will be rewarded.
The result of your session will be something you'll look back on for years.
Make It A Party
Here's a secret about boudoir-- it just gets better when shared with friends (or bridal parties.) Bridal groups are a great occasion for boudoir session. Everyone can get hair and makeup done. Have a glass of wine together, chat, relax, and have a fun afternoon. In my experience it makes a great gift for the bride. The bridal party can all chip in and pay the brides expenses for her session. After the session, your group is all prepped and ready to go out for a dinner, drinks, or a night out.
Afterward, everyone has a great memento of the event and photos they will enjoy for years to come.
What To Wear
Well, this is the fun part. Some women want their session to be strictly bridal lingerie. A beautiful accessory to their wedding day-- albeit a private one. One tip for those who choose to go "Full Bridal" in their sessions: Leave your cotton casuals and t-shirt bras at home. This harkens back to my earlier tip on not skimping on your photographer-- Also...don't skimp on your lingerie. I can't tell you (even with repeated pre-session coaching and comprehensive guides about what to bring...) brides still show up under-prepared for their session. A bridal veil and a cotton Target bra does not a cute bridal boudoir album make.
Invest in beautiful lace lingerie-- after all, you are a beautiful bride. Simple and pretty is the guide, here. Brides should be adorned in lace: White stockings, white garters, flower bouquets, white corsets are all perfect for a wedding boudoir session.
Wedding boudoir does not have to be all white-- or even any white, for that matter. It's your session and you can do what you please. Not so fond of the bridal lingerie scene? No problem. Dress it up a bit and bring along whatever you prefer. From cute to downright sexy, the key is to bring along outfits in which you feel comfortable and fit your body type and style.
Love lingerie but really have no occasion to dress up? Now's your chance. Shop it up. Whether casual looks, or more traditional formal lingerie outfits, have some fun.
When You Should Schedule Your Session
The all important scheduling is key to getting your album delivered on time for your big day. Your photographer (if you have chosen wisely) is most likely busy! Spring and Christmas season may be the busiest time for your local photographer so plan accordingly.
If time allows, you should be scheduling your session a few months before your wedding date. Don't wait till the last minute. Here's why...
Boudoir sessions take a bit of time from start to end. After your session is completed you may have to wait up to a couple weeks for your photos to be completed. From that point it may take a while to select your favorites. Printing and binding in some album companies may even take up to two to three weeks, as well. All in it could be two months until after your session until you have your album in hand.
With all the stresses of the wedding, one last thing you need to deal with is crossing your fingers and hoping the FedEx guy show up the day before your wedding day with your album.
Wedding boudoir is a popular wedding gift idea, and its been growing steadily throughout the years. Although it may be not on everyone's itinerary, I can assure you that boudoir photography is really a fun experience. They key is to stick to my basic rules of finding an excellent photographer in your area, and buying beautiful lingerie that you are happy to wear and makes you feel comfortable.
In addition, plan your session early, don't wait till the last minute.
Boudoir photographers are quite used to answering questions, so don't hesitate to engage with a local photographer in your area, even with the simplest of questions. (I literally get hundreds of inquiries sent me to each year...yes, hundreds!) As a matter of fact, here's one that just came through writing this post!
The point, being don't hesitate to ask questions. This will help you find the best match and a photographer you will be comfortable with during your session. Follow these steps, and what will result is a great time, and a great wedding gift.
Got a questions you'd like to know about wedding boudoir? Hop on over to my Contact Page and send me a note.
All the best,