Singaporeans have this interesting habit of posing for staged wedding photos months before the actual wedding. Whether you think it’s ridiculous or a wonderful way to memorialise your relationship, if you’re going to get married to a Singaporean, there’s a high chance you’ll be going through this rite of passage.
In recent times, brides have become frustrated with the limited number of scenic spots in Singapore. If you don’t want to take yet another set of pictures posing in front of Marina Bay Sands or the Botanic Gardens, you might decide to do what many couples before you have done and jet off for an overseas photoshoot.
Wedding photographers have risen to the challenge, and at those wedding exhibitions that are held at shopping malls all over the island, foreign photographers or Singapore companies with foreign contacts often set up booths where you can sign up for a package.
Signing up with one of these companies or contacting a photographer based at your destination will be way cheaper than paying tons of money to fly an entire photographic and makeup team over from Singapore, as well as pay for all their food and lodging.
Beware of hidden costs
It’s not all rainbows and white horses in the world of wedding photoshoots, though. Many brides have reported being made to pay for a slew of extra charges upon arrival at their destination. Some add-ons you might typically be asked to pay for include:
- Vehicle rental charges, especially if you have to drive to out-of-the-way areas
- Clothing rental (even if it’s included in the package price you will have to pay if you don’t like what they’ve provided)
- Make up charges
- Hairstyling charges
- Ampoules for the hair
- Per-photo processing/editing charge; the price of the package usually includes x photos, but you might have to pay if you want to keep more
- Airfare and accommodation
To minimise unpleasant surprises, grill your liaison in Singapore to find out exactly what is or isn’t included in the package price.
Here are the top 3 destinations Singaporeans are flocking to for their pre-wedding photoshoots and a rough estimate of the kind of prices you can expect to pay.
This is hands down one of the most popular wedding photography destinations amongst Singaporean couples at the moment. It’s fairly close by, there’s no language barrier for those who speak Mandarin and there are numerous scenic areas near the capital like Yangming Shan.
There are quite a few Taiwanese bridal shops in Singapore, and they tend to have a sister company in Taiwan with photographers and costumes ready and waiting, so this is one of the cheaper destinations to go for a shoot. However, be prepared to meet lots of other couples with identical photos competing with you for Facebook airtime.
Cost: The more inexpensive packages range from about $1,800 to $3,000.
Try Vivi Bride
Everyone loves Bali for being breathtakingly beautiful and, more importantly, affordable to someone armed with Singapore dollars. If you’ve ever stayed at one of the island’s eye-popping resorts, it’s not hard to see why you might be hankering to enjoy that kind of luxury one more time, and be caught doing it on camera by professional photographers, too.
There are tons of wedding photographers based in Bali, and hiring one of them can often be cheaper than going through a Singapore liaison. Many are foreign photographers based in Bali who can be hired to shoot your pictures over one or two days, keeping your costs under $1,000 in all. However, this might mean you’ll need to settle some/all of the incidentals such as your gown on your own.
Cost: If you’re willing to do the legwork and source for a photographer in Bali, you can get away with paying less than $1,000. Otherwise, budget around $2,000 to $3,000 for a package purchased in Singapore. It helps to source for a good driver beforehand or you should prepare to pay inflated prices.
Try I do I do Bali
With sappy Korean dramas redefining Singaporeans’ idea of romance, couples are flocking to Korea in hopes of recreating their favourite scenes in, um, Winter Sonata or whatever is popular right now. Another advantage of staging your photoshoot in Korea is that the outfits and makeup you end up shot in will be Korean style, and the overall look of the pictures tends to be quite trendy, as opposed to the slightly “aunty” style of many run-of-the-mill wedding photographers.
Because of the language barrier, most people book with companies headquartered in Singapore but with counterparts in Korea.
Cost: Be prepared to budget at least $4,000, bearing in mind that your airline costs will probably not be included and will cost at least $500 more.
Try The Louvre Bridal, who are partners with the Korean Tourism Board.
Are you thinking of going overseas for your pre-wedding photoshoot? Tell us about it in the comments!