As I was planning my destination wedding several years ago, I spent many a nights with my head spinning in trying to decide what to gift my husband-to-be on our Wedding Day. There are sentimental favorites of course, like a handkerchief embroidered with his initials, a new set of cufflinks or a brand new watch. But I wanted to give him something that would knock his socks off -- something that he'd always remember and cherish. And so I decided to gift my sweetheart with an album full of boudoir photos starring me
Yes, opting to book a boudoir session was something I had to talk myself into doing. Like many women, the thought of being photographed in lingerie was quite frankly freaking me out! I am definitely one of those women who isn't 100 percent confident with my body image, but I knew he would absolutely love this gift and I knew it would most definitely take him by surprise. And you know what, on our Wedding Day while he was getting ready for the festivities, he opened that album (with my photographer documenting each and every moment) and yes it made his heart skip a beat. It was ... The.Perfect.Gift.
So if you're contemplating doing a boudoir session for your sweetheart as a Wedding Day gift, here are a few tips to consider when planning your boudoir shoot:
1) Do your research when booking a photographer. Look through plenty of portfolios/blogs and find a style that you love. You will find that much like wedding photography, boudoir photographers come in all price ranges -- but as the saying goes, you typically get what you pay for. Boudoir photography is an investment so look for consistency in style and quality in their work to ensure that you will get similar results. When it comes to boudoir photography, because it's such an intimate and personal experience, look carefully at reviews. Also make sure to book your session giving your photographer enough time to edit and deliver the photos before your Wedding Day (if you plan to order prints or an album, also make sure there's enough time to do this with your deadline in mind!).
2) Pick a photographer that offers products. Yes, you can certainly go the money savings route of printing your own photos or making your own album, but photographers often have access to professional labs who will create products that the typical consumer just doesn't have access to. These are high quality products that will last much longer than what you could ever find via Shutterfly or printing at Target -- plus do you really want the high school or college student working behind the counter at your local drugstore or Costco having access to such private photos? Think twice and if it's in your budget, invest in the professional grade products your photographer offers.
3) Consider the location for your photos. Does your photographer provide the location for your shoot? This is an important one to consider because it may require additional investment. Some photographers will provide the location (studio, hotel, etc.), but others will rely on you to provide the setting. Boudoir photographs can be done in the comfort of your own home or perhaps a friend's home -- just make sure you have plenty of privacy and lots of natural light! Setting matters when it comes to indoor portraits.
4) Invest in a hair/makeup stylist. This matters, trust me! Make a day of your boudoir session and get dolled up with both hair and makeup from a professional. Tell the stylist you hire that you'll be taking boudoir portraits and give him/her some inspiration photos so they have an idea of what you like. It will make a world of difference in your photos to use a professional stylist, plus you'll feel like a million bucks! And hey, plan a special date with your honey afterwards if you'd like. Take advantage of that gorgeous styling, don't let it go to waste!!!
5) Mix up your wardrobe. There is a belief that all boudoir photos have to be done with sexy lingerie. And while you should have at least a few photos with some gorgeous lingerie on, boudoir photos can be equally sexy with simple pieces. Consider wearing a jersey or clothing piece from your sweetheart's favorite sports team or college alma mater. Some of my favorite boudoir photos were shot with my bride just wearing a simple white tank with a cute pair of undies. You could also wear your spouse to be's favorite dress shirt and tie (leaving it open and unbuttoned of course!). And of course, you could also do nude or implied nude photos wearing just a simple white bedding sheet -- just make sure your photographer is OK and comfortable doing those types of photos. These photos are your vision, so make it your own and wear/bring things you think will get your honey's heart racing!
6) Relax and have fun. You're nervous, I get it. If you're not one of the 10 out of a million girls blessed with a bikini model's perfect body, then you will probably be nervous. And that's OK. If you feel inclined to diet or workout so you're in great/better shape before your shoot, do it. If you're not, hey no worries! You are perfect exactly how you are. But most women, have trouble/worry areas that make them nervous. The best thing to do is talk to your photographer ahead of time about the areas of your body that you are not confident with and share your concerns. This will give them a head's up when it comes to angling and photographing you in the best way possible. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the process, so exhale, get pampered and enjoy the experience.
Boudoir photography is a beautiful gift your spouse-to-be will love!
To book or inquire about a location for a destination wedding or honeymoon, contact one of the Best Destination Wedding travel agents who specialize in destination wedding and honeymoon travel. You can contact them HERE! or visit the website atwww.wrighttravelagency.com
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About me: I am a former BDW Bride AKA as MarieSam and I was addicted to this forum as I planned my own wedding in 2009. Since 2010, I have been the proud owner of MarieSam Sanchez Photography -- a husband and wife wedding + portrait photography team based in Southern California and documenting love all over the world. I am also a mother to two girls, an avid traveler and a destination wedding writer/blogger.