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Everything You Need to Know about Bridal Boudoir

What is bridal boudoir?

A bridal boudoir session is a photography experience for any bride who wishes to celebrate her body, self and sexuality while also creating an incredible wedding gift for her spouse. 

Bridal Boudoir Outfit Ideas

If you are planning a boudoir shoot before your wedding day, here are a few bridal inspired boudoir wardrobe ideas to get you started!

View my Boudoir Wardrobe Guide

A Wedding Veil

There are really only 2 occasions in life to wear a wedding veil: 1) your wedding day and 2) a bridal boudoir session.

A wedding veil adds texture and movement to your photos in a beautiful, bridal way. 

If you are worried about getting your own veil dirty before your wedding day, see if you can borrow a used veil from a friend. 

Your Partner's Shirt

Bring a soft, button down shirt from your partner’s closet and wear it over your lingerie or nothing at all. 

Sentimental Jewelry

If your partner gifted you a special necklace, bracelet or earrings, consider wearing these pieces as accessories. 

And make sure your engagement ring is sparkly! I love capturing a few close up ring details against the lingerie.


White Lingerie

If you want a traditional, unapologetically bridal look, I strongly recommend having at least one all-white lingerie set for your boudoir shoot. 

My boudoir experiences typically give my clients time to wear up to 3 different outfits, so I recommend mixing up the colors and styles for each set. 

If you do one white boudoir outfit, consider a sultry all black look for drama and contrast. For a feminine, romantic style, consider florals and pastels. 



Wedding Shoes

If you splurged on a pair of designer shoes for your wedding, use your bridal boudoir shoot as an opportunity to break them in before the big day. They can pair beautifully with your lingerie.

Bridal Robe

I love when my clients bring beautiful, dramatic robes to their boudoir sessions. Consider a unique robe to wear with your lingerie as an added layer for movement and texture.

After your boudoir shoot, you can wear the robe again as you get ready the morning of your wedding. 

Remember to try on everything (and I mean everything!) before your boudoir photoshoot.

Fit is the number one most important thing so that you look and feel your best. 

Wardrobe Tip

View this bridal inspired boudoir shoot made complete with a wedding veil.

Recent Session

Your Boudoir Questions Answered

Next: I'm answering some of the most common questions about bridal boudoir.

Email me at ashley@artistrieco.com with any other questions!

How Soon Should I schedule my Boudoir shoot?

For bridal boudoir, I typically recommend that my clients schedule their photoshoots at least 2-3 months before the wedding.

This allows me enough time to fully edit your boudoir photos and to design and order your boudoir album so that everything arrives in time to gift the photos to your fiancé. 

Should I have my Hair & Makeup Professional Done?

Yes, for the best results, I highly recommend working with a professional hair & makeup artist for your boudoir shoot.

On-site makeup and hair styling is included in nearly all of my boudoir packages.

Our team of professionals will customize your look to exactly what you envision for your photos.

View this romantic bridal boudoir session captured in a Parisian styled loft in Chicago.

Recent Session

How long does a Boudoir Shoot Last?

If you work with me, the total boudoir experience is a half day experience, ranging from 3-4 hours.

This time frame includes your hair & makeup appointments plus about a 1.5 photo shoot with me. 

How many boudoir outfits can I bring? 


I tell my clients that I shoot about 1 outfit per half hour.

If you are booking a 1.5 hour shoot, I’d recommend bringing 3 outfits.

When Should I gift these photos to my fiancé?

This is entirely up to you! 

Many of my clients will ask their fiancé to open the boudoir gift the morning of their wedding day. If you do that, just make sure they open the gift privately without any wedding party members around. 

Other times, my brides may save it for the honeymoon so they can look at it together. 

Most of the time, my clients end up loving so many of the photos they end up making gifts with them for many occasions to come. Think: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and beyond. There’s no wrong time. 

What are your favorite Chicago hotels for boudoir photos? 

I absolutely love the Langham, Nobu Hotel, the Hoxton and the Publishing House.

These hotels have beautiful lighting and stylish decor. They can be a bit of a splurge but they are well worth it in my opinion. 

For a list of my favorite boudoir hotel options in Chicago, visit my blog post here.

View this recent sweet and sultry boudoir session done at the Langham Hotel in Chicago.

Recent Session

Is boudoir just for brides?

Absolutely not! Boudoir is for all women.

There are many reasons to do a boudoir session, the number one reason being to celebrate YOURSELF.

Read my article about 6 Reasons to Do A Boudoir Session.

Wedding Gift Ideas

Now that you have these beautiful boudoir photos, what do you do with them?

Here are a few ways my clients have gifted their boudoir photos to their partners over the years.

A Little Black Book

A beautifully bound boudoir album makes for a beautiful wedding gift to give your partner. An album lasts forever and is something you both can look back on for years to come. 

An added bonus: an album can sit discreetly on your bookshelves without anyone knowing the wiser. If you prefer to keep your photos private, it’s a very easy way to store your favorite boudoir photos.

Boxed Set of Prints

A simple and effective way to gift your boudoir photos is to have them printed and placed into a decorative box with a bow wrapped around it. Your fiancé will love rummaging through it!

To elevate your prints: ask your photographer to print the photos on a fine art quality paper. I also love printing the photos with a small white border around the edges. 

My ultimate favorite print option is doing a giclee print with deckled edges. Your photos will look and feel like they belong in an art gallery.

Boudoir Photo Scavenger Hunt

While you are away on your bachelorette weekend, leave a series of framed or loose prints from your boudoir shoot throughout your home and make a scavenger hunt for your fiancé to find.

Your partner will absolutely enjoy the surprise!

This can even be a teaser that leads up to the boudoir album you gift your spouse on the wedding day.

Bridal Boudoir Inspiration

View my boudoir portfolio samples to see if we'd be a good fit to work together.

My boudoir style is feminine, romantic and natural.

"Seeing photos of myself and also those from your previous sessions give a reminder of how beautiful women are when they are confident and happy in their bodies."

Bridal Boudoir Sessions in Chicago

For even more inspiration, view some of my recent bridal boudoir shoots done in Chicago.

Over the last decade, I’ve been honored to work with women from all stages of life, using photography as my medium to promote self love and help bring more confident women into this world.

As your boudoir photographer, it’s my mission to create a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll cherish forever, while leaving you feeling like your happiest, most beautiful self.

Through luminous lighting and painterly colors, your boudoir photos will be effortlessly chic, naturally beautiful and understatedly sexy. 

And while it’s certainly okay to gift these photos to a partner, I hope the reason you choose to do this boudoir session is first and foremost for yourself. 

To learn more about working together for your boudoir session in Chicago, please contact me. I look forward to getting to know you!

Meet Chicago Boudoir Photographer, Ashley Biess

Would you like to work together?

If you are hoping to book a bridal boudoir session in Chicago, I'd love to hear from you!

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Boudoir Contact Form

Thank you for your message. I typically respond to all inquiries within 48 hours, Mondays through Thursdays.
 
I look forward to getting to know you and hearing more about your vision for your boudoir photos.

In the meantime, you can read my FAQ and learn more about working together here.

Thank you for your inquiry!