Why Every Bride Should do a Boudoir Shoot

Ludovica Lanzafami

August 5, 2017

Boudoir shoots are nothing new. Hell, I had one when I was engaged in 2007 (and no I’m not going to show you them!) While lots of brides might consider doing them, I’d have to hasten a guess that a lot of you reading this might have dismissed the idea as something silly, vein and super embarrassing. While in 2007 the main marketing push for boudoir photos was an “a gift for your man” (vom) ten years later and I’d still like to encourage you to consider doing one, but as a gift for YOURSELF.

A boudoir shoot is a great way to celebrate what a gorgeous bad ass you are and to create some amazing photographs to reflect that. It’s often easy to get swept up with work, life and current insecurities and not celebrate who we are. It’s a cliche, but when you’re much older I guarantee you’ll look back at photos of yourself now and think “Wow what a babe I was back then!” This is your chance to take some photos for you, but also for future you!

I was submitted this gorgeous set of images by Italian wedding photographer Ludovica Lanzafami recently, and I thought as well as sharing them, I’d use this post to share some things to think about if you’re considering your own boudoir shoot.

Choose the right photographer

This is obviously really important. You want to find a photographer you feel happy with, who will make you feel comfortable. You also want someone who’s on the same wavelength, who understands the style of imagery you want to produce.

Meet them in advance

If possible, I think its always a good idea to meet any photographer before you hire them (whatever the shoot) but especially if you’re doing a boudoir session. It doesn’t matter if the shoot is going to be tame or risque, you’re going to be in a potentially vulnerable situation so you need to be sure you feel good about who you’re hiring.

Set some boundaries beforehand

Show the photographer some examples of the kind of photos you like, but also some that you really don’t like! Explain the vibe of the shoot, what you’re going to wear and how you’d like the photos to look. If they’re thinking of creating something really raunchy and overtly sexual, whereas you want something cute and playful… Well that would be a terrible day for everyone involved!

Trust them

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can speak to their past clients before you book, or read some testimonials.

Also, don’t be worried about them critiquing your body! Yes, they’ll be looking at you, but to figure out poses and lighting that will work best for the shot, they won’t be thinking about what your belly looks like, I promise!

That being said, if you are super nervous, there is no harm in asking if you can bring a friend or your partner along to the shoot too.

Wear something you feel GOOD in (sexy lingerie does not have to be it) 

This is the perfect opportunity for you to buy something new, something you feel your most fabulous in. This is your shoot so your underwear style is more Agents of Shield themed boy shorts over Agent Provocateur lingerie, wear the damn boy shorts! You’ll love the photos more if you look and feel like yourself.

Speak up if you ever feel uncomfortable

It’s a good idea to go into the shoot with a clear idea of how much skin you’d like to show. If the photographer wants you to show more than you’re comfortable, or wants you to pose in ways that you don’t happy about, do not be afraid to say something! Remember this is your shoot, you’re in control. This should be a fun and empowering experience, not a scary one!

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38 comments

  1. All good advice! I was interested once to read a thread on Brides Magazine where people stated what their biggest regret was. For around 80% of people it was economising on the photography. So I would add booking a great photographer to the list!

  2. Wise words Kat!
    One thing I really regret is receiving our lovely relaxed, reportage-style photos only to realise the only pics of my brother are the giant group ones. With hindsight we should have given our photographer a ‘hit list’ of the most important people.

  3. I would honestly recommend an hour for photography, especially if you want to travel to a location, if you have a big bridal party 1 and 1/2 seems to be a great amount of time to shoot everyone in a relaxed but professional style.

  4. Marie Corcoran

    Splendid advice-glad I did most of these! A lot of planning and preparation but boy was it worth it- amazing day! Picking the right photographer is massively important too- someone you can get on with and who ‘gets you’ helps to achieve the perfect pics- something so important as the day is like a dream after and you need to be able to remember. I had a friend unable to make our wedding and after viewing our photos she said she felt she had actually attended- priceless. We used Jaye Enme Photography- highly recommended πŸ™‚

  5. Thankyou so much for writing this! I’m getting married six weeks on Saturday and this is exactly what I needed to read. I feel like there are so many little things I won’t think about or don’t know about and I want to limit the number of regrets I’ll have about things we did or didn’t do.

  6. Natasha

    Fantastic points on all counts. We did none of the above to the point that i as the bride was queuing my own first dance music and dealing with the playlist as well as organising everyone and didn’t get a stitch to eat i was so busy which resulted in abandoning my reception early to be away from it all.

  7. Lindsay

    Wow! This list is tip top , and I’m a little proud that I did most of these things at my own wedding! But I had this blog as one of my guides! It really helps to get tips from people who are married and have the hindsight.

  8. Pavla

    Love this. My wedding is next month, I cannot wait and this is a really good advice, I feel like I need a timetable for the day so that I don’t forget anything πŸ˜€

  9. I got married last year and lots of these things rang true to me. Great advice! Especially eating the Food still gutted I didn’t get to try all the different flavoured layers of our wedding cake and totally skipped our hog roast in the evening…I love food too!!! Your wedding looked classy and full of happiness πŸ™‚

  10. four weeks till my big day and I love this, happy to say ive sorted flats (cons) for myself and bridesmaids already!

    xxx

  11. Steph MJ

    I did all of these things having taken advice from other blogs/magazines and I’m so glad I did. The decision to dispense with the bouquet toss was a particularly good decision – it was made of brooches and would have killed someone!

  12. Chloe

    I do love reading your blog, you put things in such a way it makes sense and you are realistic! Reading your blog makes me even more excited about our special day and it gives me the much needed confidence boost to stick to my guns and plan things the way we would like them to be! <3 and also yay to wife and wife πŸ™‚ I can't wait to hear those words!

  13. im not planning a wedding or getting married just yet but I helped with my sister’s in June. I agree with all of these point- especially starting the DIY early; we were up the night before cutting and sticking and decorating- it was so exhausting and stressful for her
    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

  14. Andie

    This is a great list! I was thinking to do my own hair and make up on my wedding day but this made me re-think about my choice πŸ™‚ Thank you for this amazing tips!

  15. Aww. Such a good list. The most important things are to relax and enjoy your day… and to hell with what anyone says you SHOULD be doing. x

  16. Choose a professional Officiant not a friend or family member.
    A professional Officiant will know how to make the ceremony flow properly.
    The ceremony is the reason while you’re there and why everyone else is as well.
    Make it spectacular and have people walk away from the ceremony going that was an amazing ceremony instead of thank God that’s over.
    A professional Officiant like me and my Great Officiants will guide you through the process of ceremony design and content.

    Remember if you choose a friend and they screw up your ceremony you can’t really do it again. Don’t let somebody practice on your wedding.

  17. kizzie

    These ointment are perfect and spot on. I got married on Saturday just gone and am glad to say we did Al 13 of the above and our wedding was absolutely amazing πŸ™‚ god luck to the everyone out there currently planning… I promise the hard work and effort is worth it.

  18. To add to your points about photography-
    – Give your photographer your family portrait. If you have a big family allot at least 30 minutes for just those, and have a person on each side of the family wrangle the strays!
    – To get the beautiful couple and bridal party portraits – I would say give yourself plenty of travel time plus 30-40 minutes. If you have a rowdy wedding party, give yourself an hour, so you can have fun and no stress. The less stressed you and your photographer are, the better your photos turn out.

  19. Brilliant list!
    I so agree with making time for photographs, even better if you can go off and have them done somewhere away from guests.. that way the time will go much smoother and you won’t spend extra time trying to prize yourself away from Aunts and Uncles and Second Cousins.

    Also hell yes to ‘Golden Hour’. Those are the kind of pictures from the day you will definitely have put up on the wall.

  20. Elizabeth

    This is wonderful! I would also suggest the following, too:

    ~Have a photography back-up plan… our wedding day poured and while we had umbrellas in our wedding colors, our photographer didn’t do any great photos with us and the bridal party outside. Our only photos with our bridal party are overly posed, in church and in the upper room (looks like a studio-all white)before the wedding… HAVE A PLAN and make sure your photographer follows it!

    ~Dance. We spent so much time going table to table greeting guests, before we knew it, the night was over. We barely danced.

    ~Make sure that your family/friends can clean up the venue and gather your items so you can leave.

    ~Tell everyone that they are adults and they need to be responsible for their own rides, transportation, stuff, problems and stay out of it. Bridesmaids/groomsmen who can’t do the simple things you ask of them (being with the group for photos/getting ready/etc), if they can’t, ask if they can opt out of being part of your special day!

    Love this list! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Sarah Gibbon

    I’m going to follow as much of this advice as possible, especially about the first dance!

  22. Mrs H

    Me and my gorgeous hubby got wed after 11 years together. Didn’t do any of the above apart from the flats and saying ‘I do’. We ran away in secret to Gretna Green on our own……just the two of us, I wore converse and he wore jeans (amongst other garments obv!). Pleased nobody but ourselves. It was the best day ever and I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing. It’s not for everyone I know but for us…….it was perfect πŸ™‚ You look beautiful by the way.

  23. Couldn’t agree more on the DIY – I started a year before our wedding and although my family mocked me for it, I’m so glad I did!! x

  24. As I am planning a wedding myself I am an avid reader of your great blog. Love the tips especially the one about the extra pair of flat shoes.

  25. I went, as a guest, to a friend’s wedding and they had a family member officiate. I felt so embarrassed for them. He was very nervous and made the entire ceremony about himself. A professional wedding officiant knows how to make the wedding ceremony about the love and commitment that the bride and groom feel for each other. Go to a pro for that part.

  26. Camila Miranda

    I decided to plan my wedding myself but OMG! There is so many details! Your blog is helping A LOT. Great post, very helpful πŸ™‚

  27. Juliet

    Yeah re photos! 30 yrs ago photographers didn’t shoot friends as standard – we have no pro ones of our friends and hundreds of my husband’s great aunts etc who I’d never met before and never did again. Our tog also ignored request for no soft focus (no probs with that today- deservedly out of fashion!) so fave compositions of me and husband are soft focus!!!
    My mum also missed out on a pic of me and her- as my dad gave me away- lots of me and him!
    Make sure you have some time for just the two of you- easily missed in a busy day and you could look back with regret when you realise you hardly saw/ spoke to each other all day once the party had begun (have done this ourselves at big birthday parties!) ! You could always get the photographer to take some couple pics away from guests then leave you alone for a while! This was easy thirty years ago when newly marrieds went away on honeymoon half way through the day!! Have a great wedding day πŸ™‚

  28. Priceless advice. Sometimes the Wedding Photography is given a low priority, some chasing the cheapest available, rather than the best that they can afford. We believe that professional Wedding Photography is priceless, so agree with your advice Kat of not scrimping on memories. Keep up the good work.
    top-photography.co.uk

  29. This is great advise for pre wedding planning, as it’s only after you get married or when a bit of time has past that you realise how important the photographs of your wedding day really are. Also Speeches, why don’t we just get them out of the way before food? it’s always a stressful thing stand up in front of you friends and family, so why let it ruin the dinner you have been dying to eat.
    Top advise, explained perfectly, thanks Kat!

  30. Emily

    Absolutely agree on all of these! I got married last year and about half of these applied to me. Also I would say try on wedding accessories beforehand such as shoes and tiara/hairpiece. I bought a rather expensive tiara which after a few attempts to get on comfortably never actually made the cut on the day. I went with a lovely hair comb instead, it was super comfortable and didn’t move all day. Anyone interested in a hair comb should look here as they were my saving grace! http://lolabeeandme.com/wedding-hair-accessories/hair-combs.html

  31. Christy

    I recently got married, we had a friend who is ordained, marry us. I poured my heart and soul into planning a wedding for 8 months. I had very little help from anyone, including my husband since he works very long hours. The day ended up being absolutely gorgeous, sunny and 80 degrees in Ohio… It was beautiful, especially after it rained for 22 straight days over the summer. We had a non traditional ceremony.. One I had worked on with some input from my husband, and with our officiant. Everything looked like it was going to be perfect. So the ceremony began… It came time for him to say his vows he had written. Mind you, he didn’t want to share those with me previous to the day so I had no idea what to expect. His were 3 lines long and it took him less then 30 seconds to say…. I was minorly devastated. Mine were an entire page and deeply heart felt. I had let him read my rough draft, and had insisted that my vows would be longer then a few lines. Hoping he would get the jist of what writing your own vows entail. He obviously didn’t get it. Now… What he did say was very sweet, don’t get me wrong. No big deal really. The next part that went wrong for us, really has me upset and I am trying to work through it. We never said I do. The beautiful ceremony we had come up with was so different from the traditional, though the I do’s were in our officiants rough draft,they did not end up in the ceremony. She never asked for the expression of intent. I realized it that night, but we were sure we had to of said it! After all that’s the one thing you HAVE to say. I didn’t get upset until we got our video back and realized… We never said it. I seriously cried for quite some time after my husband went to bed. There are other things I could nit pick about our wedding, like the fact that one of his groomsmen was drunk before the ceremony ever began, and wore his sunglasses around the front of his neck while walking down the aisle, and during the entire ceremony. But the fact that we didn’t get to say “I do”… I feel so bad about the whole day for some reason. Like the whole point of us being there was taken away. I feel like I want to go to the courthouse Just to be able to say I do so I don’t feel so bad. But.. What do you do? Legally all the paperwork has been filed, and no one is going to go to the court and say that we didn’t say I do… We are married. My best advice to someone getting married, make sure the little important things are in place before you get too wrapped up in all the rest of the details.

  32. Natasha Harris

    I always ‘ran’ up the aisle πŸ™ˆ I was late and about to burst into emotional tears and I just guess the sooner I got there the better lol. Luckily it was a long aisle 😊

  33. Natasha Harris

    I also ‘ran’ up the aisle πŸ™ˆ I was late and about to burst into emotional tears and I just guess the sooner I got there the better lol. Luckily it was a long aisle 😊

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