Why You Should Definitely Consider a Boudoir Wedding Shoot

Want to surprise your partner with an intimate photo album? Learn why taking boudoir wedding photos can be a treat for them and totally empowering for you.
by The Knot
Boudoir photo shoot for wedding
Sergio Kurhajec

Boudoir photo shoots have maintained serious popularity among to-be-weds. It's most popular among brides, but grooms too, and even couples together, are choosing to pose for sexy shots. But what exactly is boudoir photography, and how does it work? To help you decide if a risqué photo shoot is the right move for you (both), read on for answers to all your questions.

What Is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography is a sultry professional photo shoot meant as a special gift for your partner. Whoever's taken boudoir photos will often present their finished shots as a wedding gift to their soon-to-be-spouse. Boudoir photos can range from intimate and flirtatious to straight-up sexy, depending on your own comfort level and preferences. They definitely don't need to be X-rated—if PG-13 is your boudoir photo sweet spot, that's perfect. You can also incorporate a theme or get inspired by a certain aesthetic: Try a classic pinup-inspired vibe, or what the pros call implied nudes. That means you're not wearing anything, but you're also not showing off anything either (think: a snap from the back, lying on your stomach or covering up with a sheet or pillows).

Who Takes Boudoir Photos?

Many wedding photographers have jumped on the boudoir bandwagon and started to include this prewedding service has an addition to your wedding photography contract. In some cities, you can also find specialty boudoir photographers whose expertise is taking sexy shoots for brides- (and grooms-) to-be. Beyond getting high-quality photos and having a seamless, professional experience, hiring a pro ensures you'll end up with a completed photo album, perfect for gifting your other half, a service many wedding photographers are able to arrange.

When Should You Schedule a Boudoir Photo Shoot?

Ideally, you want to do your boudoir photo shoot before the wedding. If you're spending time, energy and money on a prewedding wellness or beauty routine, you're welcome to wait until a week or so before your wedding to show off those glowing results (although, this depends on how much time you have or how stressed you are right before your day). Plus, a fun and pampering photo shoot is a good way to indulge and take a breather from wedding planning. Otherwise, take them whenever you'd like—one suggestion, though: Don't schedule your boudoir photo shoot for the morning of your wedding. Trust us, you'll have enough going on without adding an entirely separate photo session to your day-of timeline (and you won't want to feel rushed or look stressed in your sexy shots, right?).

How Long Does a Session Typically Take?

This will depend on the photography package you choose, but your boudoir photo session will probably last for about two hours. It takes time to prep hair and makeup, and set up any additional props or lighting. It may also take you a little while to relax. Most to-be-weds aren't used to lounging around in lingerie or a silk robe in front of a camera lens, so your first few shots could look a bit stiff. (Don't worry, you'll loosen up, especially if you have a photographer you really click with.)

What Does Boudoir Photography Cost?

Cost varies considerably—do a little investigating before committing to a vision of what you want. Multiple set changes, renting props or simply time spent can add up quickly. If you can include a private session in your wedding photography package, you may be able to get a better deal than if you go with a different photographer. The real key, of course, is whether you gel with your photographer—if you don't feel comfortable, it'll show on camera. Keep in mind you might need to budget a little extra if you plan to buy new lingerie and/or get your hair and makeup done beforehand.

Where Should You Take Your Photos?

Talk with your photographer to come up with the best location—one that's both beautiful and comfortable. Many photographers do a photo shoot in a studio. Another popular setting is a hotel room, but your own home is another great option. Mainly, you need to get the okay from your photographer on the locale—a number of different backgrounds for poses are important, and they'll also need lots of natural light.

What Should You Wear?

Choose outfits that make you feel confident, comfortable and sexy. A good rule of thumb: Bring something white, something black, and something in a bright color so you can mix and match. A corset will create sexy curves, while delicate lingerie will create softer, romantic lines. In addition to undergarments, don't forget any accessories you want to incorporate, like shoes and jewelry (and your engagement ring, of course).

Should You Bring Anyone With You?

Though you don't want to turn your shoot into a three-ring circus, it's a great idea to bring a friend along if you're the nervous type. You'll feel more at ease if you can make a few jokes with a pal, as well as listen to their encouragement or even suggestions. Another idea you'll love: Bring a bottle of bubbly. A little champagne may help loosen things up and create a celebratory atmosphere. You'll be posing like a pro in no time—and your lucky partner will love the results.

Why Do a Boudoir Wedding Shoot?

You may have already paid for engagement photos and first-look photos, and you've almost certainly already hired a wedding photographer (maybe a videographer, too). Should you really add wedding boudoir photography to the mix?
For many brides and grooms, the answer is yes. Here's why.

Boudoir Wedding Photos Are Empowering

Most people assume that a boudoir wedding shoot is a gift for the other partner, but actually, it is a gift to you. Participating in a boudoir shoot will help you see your beauty and your own power as a creature of desire. This is your chance to open up that sexy part of yourself and proudly put it on display for your partner's pleasure and your own. Yes, your partner will go crazy over these pictures, but they are also something you can look at to remind yourself that you are beautiful.

They Make an Amazing Gift

A boudoir photo shoot wedding album is the perfect surprise gift the day before your wedding to tease your someone special. You can also present it on your honeymoon and look through the photos together. Or, if you have monumental patience, present it to your partner on your first wedding anniversary.
The Perfect Reason to Buy Some Sexy Lingerie

A boudoir shoot will require you to buy some beautiful lingerie. (You can decide if you want to pick up cute and teasing outfits or something outright scandalous.) Now you not only have a few sexy pieces for your photo shoot, but you can also slip them on during your honeymoon.

Connect with Your Photographer

If you are using your wedding photographer to shoot your wedding boudoir photography, this is an excellent chance to bond with your vendor. This person will be seeing an intimate side of you, and that experience will more than likely help you feel more comfortable on your wedding day. A more relaxed bride or groom will result in better pictures all around.

Bond with Your Partner

If you decide to get boudoir wedding photos with your partner, this could be an amazing opportunity for you both to explore your intimacy in a new way.Think of it as a sexy trust exercise that will bring you even closer together. The resulting pictures will also be a memento you can pull out again and again when you want to heat up your future nights together.

Ready to find amazing photographers near you? Head to The Knot Marketplace to start your search.

Up Next
Bride and groom
5 Reasons to Say "Yes" to Couples Boudoir Photos
It might sound super awkward, but a joint boudoir shoot can be extremely romantic.
by Maggie Seaver1 min read