Inspiration & Ideas for Bridal Boudoir Photography in Chicago


So, you’ve decided to tie the knot. First of all, congratulations! Planning a wedding can be a tad stressful with a long to-do list and plenty of decisions to make, but it’s also so exciting. One of those decisions you’ll have to make is what to get your partner for a wedding gift, and the good news is that there’s one idea that never fails: bridal boudoir photos! 

When it comes to fun and flirty yet meaningful wedding gift ideas, bridal boudoir pics have gotta be it! Not only will they make your spouse’s jaw drop, but they’re something you can both look back on in awe for years to come. Plus, boudoir photos are a great way to celebrate YOU and this amazing phase of life you’re about to begin! 

If you’re thinking about booking a bridal boudoir session in Chicago, but aren’t fully sure where to start, you’re in the right place. We’re going to share some frequently asked questions, tried-and-true tips, and beautiful boudoir images to help you feel confident and inspired! 

General Bridal Boudoir FAQs

What is bridal boudoir? 

First of all, what is bridal boudoir, anyway? Bridal boudoir is when a soon-to-be bride has intimate photos taken as a way to celebrate the milestone of getting married, and the photos are often gifted to the spouse. 

That’s the technical definition. For us here at NSFW, boudoir photography is all about intimacy. It’s about giving your sensual side the space and freedom to shine. It’s about feeling sexy and stunning in your own skin. It’s about expressing your true self

When it comes to wedding boudoir, these images are a gift of intimacy for both you and your partner. It’s a way to build trust and show your vulnerable side. 

Also, we believe that boudoir photography should be inclusive and that it’s for everyone. While the name and definition imply that it’s for brides, wedding boudoir is for any she, he, or they who wants to tap into their wild side. Groom boudoir? We’re here for it! 

Are boudoir photos a good gift idea?

Well, we might be biased, but we say heck yes! When it comes to gift ideas for yourself or a romantic partner, intimate photos are something to be cherished. 

Like we said before, they’re more than just sexy photos, although that’s certainly part of it. They’re also a gift of vulnerability, openness, and trust. It’s eye candy, but it’s also something intimate and special that only you can offer. Convinced yet?!

How to Rock Your Wedding Boudoir Photo Shoot

Once you’ve decided to book your Chicago bridal boudoir photoshoot, you might have some questions about how to get the most out of your session—and we’ve got answers! Here we go! 

When should I take my bridal boudoir photos?

When it comes to booking your photo session, the important thing is to give yourself enough time to get your boudoir album or photos back before the wedding.

So, work backwards from the day you’d like to gift your images. Give yourself some extra time just in case (because Murphy’s Law is a real thing!).

Talk to your boudoir photographer to see how long their turnaround time is for images. This might change depending on whether you are just getting digital files vs. a photo album. Here at NSFW Boudoir, we recommend allowing at least a couple of months to get your beautiful, edited photos back, especially if you’re ordering an album!

What do you wear to a wedding boudoir shoot?

When picturing bridal boudoir outfits, images of white lacy lingerie and sheer veils might come to mind. 

While this is a classic look that never fails, it’s not your only option! In the end, it’s important to wear something that makes you feel sexy and confident. For you, maybe that looks like the archetypal image of bridal lingerie. Maybe it looks like rocking your partner’s favorite band t-shirt. Maybe it looks like something strappy and leathery. Maybe it looks like nothing at all—because nude boudoir is super fun and sexy, too!  

Now, how about the rest of your look? When it comes to bridal boudoir makeup and hairstyles, the options are endless! If you love getting glammed up, now is the time. However, if understated is more your vibe, go for it! Again, it’s all about what makes you feel dang good

If you’re interested, we know some amazing hair and makeup artists in Chicago who can help you look and feel your very best! 

What should I bring to a boudoir session?

When it comes to accessories and props, feel free to bring some elements you plan on incorporating in your wedding, or just your favorite pieces. This might include jewelry, heels, flowers, a veil, a silky robe, a wedding garter, something that belongs to your partner—Oh, and don’t forget to wear your engagement ring! 💍

Also, bring whatever you might need to touch up your hair and makeup and an outfit change if you want more than one option.

Depending on the Chicago boudoir photographer you hire, you might not need to worry about packing a thing, because they’ll come to you! We often do boudoir shoots at our client’s homes—a place they feel connected to, and where they feel most comfortable.

How do you pose for a boudoir photoshoot?

One of the biggest questions we get is about how to pose for a boudoir session.

First of all, don’t worry—there is absolutely no modeling experience required! As experienced boudoir photographers, we’re here to offer you direction and make sure that you look amazing in your images. 

We have some go-to poses that we like to use, especially as you’re getting comfortable at the start of your session. But we also love to encourage you to be yourself and let your personality shine, and we know how to make that happen! 

Another important thing to note is that we will never ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Your boundaries are important, and they look different for everyone. We’re here to listen and then help you create photos that you love! 

For more boudoir pose ideas, check out our portfolio and our Instagram page.

After Your Bridal Boudoir Session

Once your photoshoot is complete, what’s next? Here’s what to expect and a few ideas for what to do with your new boudoir pics!

Should you get a wedding boudoir album or just images? 

If you don’t have a specific plan for what to do with your boudoir images, an album is the way to go!

A photo album or boudoir book is a lovely way to gift your images to your better half. Not only is it a beautiful presentation, but it helps to preserve your photos for years to come. 

Pro tip: Don’t forget to print off a wallet-sized picture to offer your boo some on-the-go eye candy. 😉

How many pictures are in a boudoir album?

This varies depending on where you’re ordering your album from and what style and size you go with. Here at NSFW Boudoir, we offer gorgeous albums with different numbers of photos depending on the package you purchase.

When to gift your spouse your bridal boudoir photos

Now the fun part: giving your images to your fiancé! 

There are a few popular options for when to gift your wedding photos to your partner:

  • The night before the wedding. Especially if you’re spending the night apart, this is a fun way to get your partner’s heart a-racing. They thought they couldn’t be more excited to see you, until… 😏
  • The morning of the wedding. This is a classic! A few hours before your fiancé sets his eyes on you on your wedding day, give them a taste of what’s in store for later.
  • The wedding night. After enjoying one of the best days of your life together, it’s time to enjoy your first night as a married couple! You might be feeling a bit tired after a day of festivities, but this gift is sure to offer a surge of energy. 
  • On the honeymoon. Wedding days can pass by in a flash! If you possess the virtue of patience and want to savor the moment together, the first night of your honeymoon might be the perfect, romantic time!

Whenever you choose to gift your images, make sure it’s at a moment when your partner has some privacy so that they can truly enjoy it without feeling uncomfortable (you probably don’t want your mother-in-law in the room!). 

Ways to gift your boudoir photos

One of the best things about giving photos as gifts is that you can really get creative with it! Here are some ideas for how to do it:

  • In a boudoir album. Like we mentioned above, albums are a beautiful way to present your images! 
  • As a framed image or wall print. If you think your partner will want to see your pictures every day by using them as decor in your home, take the extra step to get your photos ready to hang on the wall or sit on the bedside table. 
  • In a keepsake box. If you like to keep things more private, print your favorite images from your boudoir shoot and place them in a decorative keepsake box. If you want, include some sexy lingerie or toys that you can enjoy together later, too!
  • With a thoughtful note. No matter how you decide to present your images, consider including a thoughtful note or letter for your partner to read. Tell them why you decided to gift them these photos, what you love most about them, and why you can’t wait to be married. 

Pssst…you can find more romantic gift ideas in Chicago here

Bridal Boudoir Photography in Chicago

If you’re interested in booking a wedding boudoir session in Chicago, we’d love to chat! 

Learn more about our philosophy and process, check out our boudoir gallery, and if you like what you see, contact us! We would be happy to answer any questions and look forward to helping you feel amazing before your special day. 

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