The idea behind a pre-wedding phootshoot is all about enjoying the last moments before you and your partner officially become Mr and Mrs. That is,being able to do all the silly things together and rekindle the feeling of nervousness,happiness and excitement you felt during the honeymoon period. This is why pre-wedding photoshoots are usually designed to be causal, fun, creative and romantic and….but it also comes with a hefty price tag from around S$3,500 to S$7,000 or more.
Hence, it is important for you to know what exactly you are signing up for in order to avoid paying extra or getting disappointed in your pre-wedding photography package (thereafter referred to as the “bridal package”). Below are 5 things which you would want to know before signing a bridal package with a bridal studio.
1) Your Choice of Gown WILL Affect the Price of The Package
It is tempting to sign a bridal package when it is cheap and it seemed to include everything you want. However, the price may be low because there is only a limited range of gowns you can choose; you only get to choose the gowns which are “off the rack” (lower end) or “exclusive” (mid-end).
“Made to measure” gowns (a.k.a. “MTM”) are considered top range. If you happen to lay eyes on a gorgeous MTM gown, the amount you are required to top up can range from S$800 to S$1,500 per gown.
Our Advice: Browse through the range of gowns the bridal studio has to offer. If you see one you really like, check which price tier does it fall under and if you’ll need to top up extra cash before negotiating on the photography package.
Some bridal studios are also generous enough to let you try the gown on before signing any package so you’ll be able to see if the gown suits you.
2) Make Sure You Have Found Your Dream Dress in the Bridal Studio
We often see brides-to-be getting excited when they are greeted by a huge selection of gowns in the bridal studio. Hence, it is easy for them to assume that since there are so many gowns available, there must be one which suits their taste and fits them perfectly.
However after speaking to a few graduated brides, there are instances where they can’t find the ideal dress in the bridal studio at all after signing the package. In the end, they have to source for their own gown from elsewhere.
Speaking of this, there are cases where some unprofessional bridal studios become “petty” when you do not use their in-house gowns. As they are unable to use your photos for their marketing campaigns because you’re not wearing their gowns, there is little incentive for them. Hence they are less motivated to go all out to capture the best pictures. Sound horrible right? But yeap such places do exist…
Our Advice: It is important for brides-to-be to invest some time in selecting their gowns. Do not simply browse through their collection mindlessly; make sure you have something in mind to narrow your selection. Also ask the bridal studio if you could try on the gown before making a decision.
If this is not possible, try to negotiate for more days so you can go down for more fittings and not make a haste decision.** Otherwise, go for renowned bridal studios where you can be assured of the quality of service provided by them. They may charge premium prices but well, what you pay is what you get.
** Usually you are given 2 days for the fitting – One for the selection of gowns, another for the fitting after the gown is tailored.
3) Consider the cost of additional frames and prints
Depending on the cost of your bridal package, the number of photos given to you (softcopy or hardcopy) differs. For a typical package which cost from S$3,000 to S$4,000, you would get to choose around 30 to 40 photos to be printed for your wedding album; for every additional photo you choose to print will cost you at least S$50 and the duration for the photoshoot will be around 6 to 8 hours.
On average, a photographer will take up to 500 shots in one photoshoot. It will be a headache when you are asked to choose only 30 to 40 photos out of the 500 shots.How should you make the decision on which photo to choose? You might want everything! It can be very tempting to give in and pay for the additional photo(s) as you might think that pre-wedding photoshoot is only a once-in-a-lifetime event and S$50 does not seem like a lot compared to the few thousand dollars you are paying for the bridal package.
But most couples would prefer not to pay extra since the bridal package is already very expensive to begin with. As a result, they might have to forgo some photos which they really like.
Our Advice: If you are someone who loves to take photos, chances are 30 to 40 photos will not be enough for you. You may wish to consider having your pre-wedding photoshoot taken by a freelance photographer instead. Although the cost of hiring a freelance photographer might be higher, a freelance photography studio usually provides you with more edited photo compared to a bridal package. Some freelance photography studio will even return you all the photos taken during the photoshoot! Isn’t that great?
However do note that a freelance photographer package does not include gown rental. Hence you’ll need to source for your own gowns.
4) Bridal checklist
There are so many things you would need in a photoshoot and it is easy to miss out certain important things which you never thought would be needed, or you would assume is included
Such things includes hairstyling and makeup artist (check how many looks are included in the package), accessories such as tiara, necklace, bridesmaids’ wristband, bouquet of flowers, photographer’s transportation etc. You will be required to top up if you have last minute requests.
Our Advice: Google “Bridal package checklist” so that you will know what to negotiate for in your package. Eg, You might think that falsies are included as part for your makeup but it is actually not! As a rule of thumb, always do your research before hand.
5) Know Your Preference in Photography Style
Different bridal studios have different styles when it comes to photoshoot. Some bridal studios specialise in top-down shoot, some specialise in wide angle and distance shots, some specialise in close-ups shots etc. And you too, might have preference for a certain type of photography style. You would not want your photos to turn out to be something which you do not really like.
Our Advice: Take a look at the bridal studio look book and read their reviews; in forums, bridal websites and facebook etc. Assess their photography style and the post-processing styles to see if it’s something you like (e.g. filter effects, editing skills, contrast etc).
Focus on how well the couples’ facial expressions were captured instead of the location of where the photograph was taken. It is best if you can seek for recommendations from people you know and hear what they say about the photographer and the quality of the photos.
Despite the advice listed, there are still many to things to look out for before you sign your package. Our golden advice? When in doubt, ASK!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, you’re paying for a high-ticket service here so it’s only right that you know exactly what you are in for. A professional bridal consultant would be able to answer all your queries. If your bridal consultant is put off by your non-stop questioning, hmmm I guess it’s time you consider switching a bridal studio.