Have any of you ever thought about having a bridal boudoir session before getting into your wedding dress? I can guarantee you that most of you just took a sharp breath and got a little nervous. A perfectly natural response for the majority of women out there, even those who would have thought of themselves as being body confident. Bridal boudoir is not for everyone but maybe some of you have never even considered it and so today, we wanted to explore it a little bit further.

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Erich McVey via Once Wed

So What is a Bridal Boudoir Session?

A bridal boudoir session is a photo shoot that takes place either before your wedding day (so you can gift your husband to be with the photographs on your wedding day) or before you get into your wedding gown on the day itself. The session typically involves posing in under garments that make you feel really great, that maybe your other half loves to see you in or pretty underwear that has been specifically bought for your wedding day and/or night. The end result is intimate photographs that are meant for private use; as a gift to your husband, a beautiful reminder of how amazing and dare we say it, how sexy you felt in the run up to your wedding – or as my wonderful friend Amanda Wilcher puts it best, for your 90 year old self.

There are a number of ways to approach a bridal boudoir session but to us, there is something extraordinarily beautiful, classy and a little more tasteful about showing a level of modesty, and this is the boudoir style we will only focus on today – actually the only style we will probably ever feature on Fly Away Bride!

So, how do you achieve it?

Choose The Right Photographer

Not all wedding photographers offer bridal boudoir sessions so if you have already chosen a wedding photographer, it’s possible that you might have to look for another one that will shoot a bridal boudoir session separately. It’s incredibly important that you look at their portfolio of bridal boudoir sessions before you book so that you feel comfortable with their style. Make sure you like what you see. Is their style too ‘out there’? If your wedding photographer hasn’t shot a boudoir session before but is willing to do it for you, make sure you talk to them at length about what you are comfortable with and go through in detail the things you like and don’t like.

Stay Within your Comfort Zone

This not only goes for the photographer point above but also the location that you choose and the garments you wear. If you are a bit nervous or self conscious, then baring a little too much in a public place will not work for you. Choose your bedroom or a beautiful hotel room, somewhere private where you feel at ease. When it comes to choosing your underwear, wear what makes you feel good and not what you think you should be in. Only bare as much as you are happy to and remember that sometimes, more can be more too. You don’t have to bare all to be sexy.

Beautiful Light

When choosing a room or location and a time, make sure that there will be enough light. It’s definitely worth consulting your photographer on this one as they will know best how to manipulate the surroundings you have. Think white, bright and lots of natural light.


Accessories make all the difference when it comes to ensuring your bridal boudoir session photos turn out classy and timeless. A sheer, silk tulle or lace veil is a beautiful, beautiful accessory that can be used to cover up certain areas of your body while at the same time adding elegance and gracefulness to your portraits. Other items like hair pieces and beautiful wedding jewellery will add beauty to your delicate look.

Hair and Make Up

It’s a good idea to have your hair and make up professionally before your session so make arrangements to have an artist there with you or to have it done beforehand. Avoid strong features such as a very dark or coloured smokey eye if you want your natural beauty to shine through. Your make up can make all the difference when it comes to trashy vs classy.

Simple Pose

Finally, our last tip to ensure timeless, ethereal wedding boudoir photos is to keep your poses simple. You can still be playful but simplicity is always more beautiful. Use props wisely and don’t over think it. A good photographer will direct you and chances are, the photos you will love best will be the ones that you didn’t realise were being taken.

The following are a collection of our favourite bridal boudoir images to give you an idea of just how artistic and etheral a boudoir session in this style can be. I think my 90 year old self would appreciate any of these…

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Image Credits; Cihan Alpgiray The Lane | Jose Villa | Photographer Unknown | Elizabeth Messina | Ann Street Studio | Tori Leiszler | Jessica Lorren

Even though I’m travelling at the moment, I couldn’t help but spend a few evenings looking over an amazing week of weddings and 5 that really took my breath away were…

Parisian Elopement

Spanish Mission Inspired Wedding

Retro Super8 mm Scottish Wedding Movie

Moroccan Inspired Wedding

Catalan Country Wedding

With too many chicken bus rides this week, I even missed out on some of our own posts myself so here is a look back. On Monday we went a bit girly for French Manicured Wedding Nails before sharing our first real wedding in Malta on Tuesday. Honestly, it was a stunner so check it out! On Wednesday, we went back in time to the 1920s for a timeless photoshoot from a group of Berlin creatives. Yesterday, we roamed the streets of Amsterdam with Tina and Marius for their beautiful engagement session. Now, back to my hammock for the rest of the morning, I’ve a busy afternoon planned to go see the Mayan ruins down by the beach in Tulum, Mexico. I must post some of my adventures over the next few weeks! Hope you all have an equally wonderful weekend planned wherever you are and we will see you back here on Monday! Adios Amigos! x

6 Responses

  1. Jessica {Storyboard Wedding}

    I did a boudoir session and it was a fantastic time and I am really happy that I did. The right photographer is step one, but I would almost say a step just before that is knowing that look and feel that you are going for, as not all photographs can shoot what you might hope to achieve. The very thing after the photog is def your ‘attire’! Its really worth the effort and bit of extra $$ to get some really amazing pieces, showing up in your best date night bar, likely wont quite cut it and get you the end results your hoping for. Last thing I can say is once you’ve made the decision to go for it, GO.FOR.IT. Trepidation and fear comes out on camera, so if you were confident enough to choose to do it, harness that same confidence and turn into some wonderful on set energy!

  2. Amanda {Amanda Jayne Events}

    Thanks for this! I think that even though boudoir sessions are really “in” there isn’t a ton of info out there for those who want to research the “how” and “what.” Good info! Maybe I’ll have to surprise the hubby as our 2 year anniversary is coming up!

  3. After the Wedding

    […] Boudoir Shoot: Another opportunity for some photos, this time for your groom’s eyes only. You might not need to wear the whole dress but definitely bring it as a prop, along with your wedding accessories and any other lingerie you have planned. For more ideas see our post on bridal boudoir sessions. […]


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