What to Wear to a Bridal Boudoir Photo Shoot, According to a Sports Illustrated Model

Ella Halikas shares her lingerie picks from Victoria's Secret, Savage X Fenty, and more

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Ella Halikas

Malik Amandla

There's so many photo shoots leading up to a wedding, but one of the most thrilling experiences is a bridal boudoir shoot. Whether you are doing it to commemorate your wedding or create a gift for your partner, taking these intimate photos is an empowering experience you won't forget. Of course, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to pose in lingerie, so we tapped model and confidence coach Ella Halikas for advice.

With her experience modeling for Sports Illustrated, Under Armour, and major lingerie brands, Halikas knows all about picking the right lingerie to feel sexy and confident in front of the camera. "Just know that you are loved and you are beautiful," says Halikas. If your boudoir shoot is part of a wedding present for your new spouse, she says that it's important to feel good in your skin. "They love you and all of you," Halikas emphasizes. "You don't need to hide away parts of your body," .

Meet the Expert

  • Ella Halikas is a model and content creator based in Los Angeles who embodies self-confidence and body positivity. She was featured in Sports Illustrated 2021 Swimsuit Edition and regularly models for different lingerie, swimsuit, and fashion brands.

Her go-to piece is a good bodysuit, and we love how Dreamgirl's Embroidered Mesh Teddy combines bridal elements with sultry sheerness. If you want more coverage, Halikas recommends layering on a silk robe like Victoria's Secret Lace Inset Robe and letting it coyly drape off your shoulder.

So no matter your body type or lingerie style, here are Halikas' top lingerie picks and tips for rocking your bridal boudoir photo shoot.

Bodysuit: Dreamgirl Embroidered Mesh Teddy

Dreamgirl Embroidered Mesh Teddy

Walmart

Price at the time of publish: $36+

"A one piece bodysuit makes everyone feel good," says Halikas. "It snatches you in and really accentuates your curves." With an adjustable tulle bow, this lace teddy further highlights your waist, while giving a bridal touch. It's the perfect balance of sweet and sexy.

Colors: White | Size Range: S-3X | Materials: Lace, Mesh

Matching Set: Adore Me Tiana Unlined Set

Adore Me Tiana Unlined Set

Adore Me

Price at the time of publish: $22

"Any matching set—whether it's colorful or just a classic black or red—is a staple to have in your closet," says Halikas. This floral lace set is one that you can wear way beyond the boudoir shoot. The unlined balconette goes up to size 46I and has fully adjustable straps and supportive wings. With nine colors to choose from, you can find the right shade to fit with the theme of your shoot, no matter if it's sweet or moody. Do note that the garter belt is sold separately.

Colors: 9 | Size Range: XS-4X | Materials: Lace, Mesh

Silk Robe: Victoria's Secret Lace Inset Robe

Victoria's Secret Lace Inset Robe

Victoria's Secret

Price at the time of publish: $90

For an extra confidence boost, Halikas recommends having a silk robe on set, like this pretty one from Victoria's Secret. "I always feel a lot more powerful and sexy when I have a robe," says Halikas. "It's nice having something that you can drape off one shoulder." Bonus: the flare sleeves and lace trim makes it feel extra glam.

Colors: 6 | Size Range: XS-XXL | Materials: Polyester

Corset: Adore Me Jasmine Unlined

Adore Me Jasmine Unlined

Adore Me

Price at the time of publish: $27

"I love a corset piece," says Halikas. "You can make it tighter and further accentuate your curves, lift your boobs, and hold you in." Thanks to the boning, sweetheart neckline, and lace back closure, this piece looks like a found vintage treasure. We also love that it comes with a matching lace panty and attached garters. Now you just have to decide whether you'll choose the innocent white or naughty red.

Colors: Black/Red, White | Size Range: XS-4X | Materials: Satin, Lace

Stockings: Savage X Fenty Butterfly Effect Stockings

Savage X Fenty Butterfly Effect Stockings

Savage X Fenty

Price at the time of publish: $12

No lingerie look is complete without some lacy thigh-highs. They play up your legs and lead to some creative photo ops, whether you're pulling them up or down. Halikas says she loves Savage X Fenty for trendy lingerie that's both affordable and inclusive. Featuring a delicate butterfly pattern, these go beyond your basic fishnets.

Colors: Black | Size Range: XS-3X | Materials: Polyamide, Elastane

What to Look for in Bridal Boudoir Lingerie

Colors

Deciding on the color of your lingerie really depends on the overall theme of the boudoir shoot. Are you sticking to a bridal look and plan to only wear white? Then go with a white bodysuit like Dreamgirl's Embroidered Mesh Teddy. If you want to embrace your dark, sultry side, try something in red or black, like Adore Me Jasmine Unlined Corset. Halikas say you can never go wrong with the "girl-next-door" look by opting for soft pinks and reds. That's why we like the Tiana Unlined Set from Adore Me because it comes in nine different colors to fit your mood.

Ella Halikas

Ashley Canario

Materials

Just like with the color, choosing the materials for your lingerie largely depends on your theme. Mesh and leather lend an edge while lace and satin feels more girlie. Halikas says she loves silk and satin pieces like Victoria's Secret Lace Inset Robe, which skim your curves. "Any material that makes you feel good and confident is great," she says.

FAQ
  • How do I pose during a boudoir photo shoot?

    Sure, you've probably taken a ton of selfies and group shots with your friends, but posing solo in front of the camera is a bit different. When all the cameras are on you, Halikas says it's important to take up space and not be afraid to move around.

    "The more I modeled, the more I realized it's almost like you're dancing around rather than striking a harsh pose," says Halikas. "Don't think so much about poses, but think about fluidity and movement between them. Some of the best shots are actually those moments in between."

  • How do I find the right photographer?

    Besides finding the right lingerie, it's equally important to find a photographer you trust and are comfortable shooting with. Research their previous work and consider meeting them first and having a test shoot. Halikas says it's also important to communicate what look you are going for and any boundaries you have while shooting. Going in with a mood board of inspirational images ensures you are both on the same page.

  • What else can I do to relax and feel confident on set?

    Halikas has accompanied many of her friends during boudoir shoots, acting as the ultimate hype woman. "You can bring a family member or friend who won't judge and who can bring out the fun and creative side of you," she says.

    Music is also key—Halikas always has a playlist of girl power anthems going. And to get yourself hyped up, start practicing your poses at home—ideally in your new lingerie.

    "Practice in front of the mirror, and then once you are there, just act as if you are in your room alone," says Halikas. "Really connect and engage with the camera and block out the exterior pieces and people in the room."

Why Trust Brides

Emily Cieslak is an Assistant Commerce Editor and writes about all things beauty and style. Prior to writing for Brides, she worked as a fashion buyer where she managed the lingerie category for a major online retailer. To learn how to dress and pose for a boudoir shoot like the pros, she interviewed model and confidence coach Ella Halikas.

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