A pre-wedding photoshoot is common (and some people would argue: a must) in Taiwan.
From what I understand, the traditions of wedding photoshoots came originally from the West and it evolved to the extravagant, and costly, process that exists today!
Generally people spend $30000 NT+ (approx $1000 CAD+) as well as 1-2 days on pre-wedding photoshoot packages. It’s especially popular in Taiwan. A lot of people come to Taiwan (from Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.) for their photoshoots to take advantage of Taiwan’s beautiful scenery. On our trip, we saw a few couples taking their outdoor pre-wedding photoshoots.
What does the package usually include?
- 4-6 gowns for the bride + make up + hair
- tux for the groom + make up + hair
- 20+ sets of photos
- large prints of the photos with frames (ones that you can hang in your bedroom, except many, like my parents’ and my uncle’s, end up in storage)
- photo albums for the bride’s family and the groom’s family
- gown and tux rental for the day of your actual wedding & banquet – these photoshoots are done before the wedding, hence “pre-wedding”
- for certain packages – ones with outdoors shots – the price may include transportation, usually doesn’t
- invitation (with pictures)
- thank you cards
Someone blogged about their pre-wedding photoshoot: a couple’s pre-wedding photos.
We did the photoshoot mostly for my dad, he wanted this as a memory. Before going to Taiwan, I did some research online and it seemed that non-package photoshoot was almost as expensive as the packages (trying to promote the packages, I guess). Many studios said that they charged $3000 NT (approx $90 CAD) for one look (including dress + hair + make-up) and this didn’t include the fee for photoshoot and print.
We didn’t need a package because we were not having a full Taiwanese wedding. I read that some people asked their friend or relative to be the photographer and just rented the gowns from either a gown store or a studio. We decided that we were going to ask one of my uncles to help us out (he takes pretty good pictures).
However, we were running around Taiwan, visiting people and didn’t have time to go to Taipei (where my uncle lives) for this. Luckily, we walked by a studio near my grandma’s place in Xihu and inquired about their prices. They said it would be $4000 TWD (approx $130 CAD) to do a photoshoot with one gown (the price included make-up, hair, print for two photos with frames, basically everything; some places trap you with “extra” fees when you do your photoshoot). It was perfect for us.
(It used to be 蘿琳數位婚紗.)
The make-up artist’s blog.
In a way, it’s a pretty good system. The gowns are re-used (compared to a lot of bridal gowns in North America, probably sitting in the back of closets). First, they try to find gowns in your size, then alter other gowns, if needed.
The make-up artist told me that some people buy their own gowns and sell them to the store after the wedding to be used in photoshoots.
The photoshoot only took half a day (45 minutes on make-up) and we were allowed to see the pictures right after they were taken. The photographer was pretty good. We wanted “natural” poses, no cutesy and cheesy ones. The photos turned out alright. It didn’t feel natural doing the poses, though. My neck only bends one way!
Overall it was a good experience. This studio offered what we wanted.