A pre-wedding shoot might seem like a extra expense and hassle for some couples. They can cost up to the thousands, especially if you're having a destination shoot.
However, there are ways you can have one that's simple and affordable, especially in this day and age of Taobao and Carousell.
Follow these wedding hacks for a pre-wedding shoot (PWS) that won't have you overstretching your wedding budget.
1) Go with a simple, natural wedding shoot
Many wedding photographers offer an affordable package for a shorter shoot period of one to three hours under $300. This is great if you aren't particularly picky about your shoot locations and outfits. Instead of having to rent gowns and suits for the occasion, you can stick to casual wear and looks.
However, if you've always dreamed of having a destination shoot, you can consider picking nearby locations like Bintan or even Bangkok and shoot with a local photographer to save on costs.
2) Go budget on your outfits
For couples who didn't sign on any bridal packages that includes a pre-wedding shoot, going ala carte doesn't mean it has to be costly.
There are plenty of brides who are selling off their gowns and dresses they previously worn for their own shoots on Carousell, Dayre and the Budget Brides group. Best of all, they're usually only worn once - which makes them nearly good as new.
Taobao is also a good place to check out for deals - if you do your due diligence that is. Stick to reputable sellers and study their customer reviews, measurements and workmanship before making your purchase.
Of course, you can always choose have a shoot in your casual clothes. Before you disregard this seemingly unromantic notion, we've seen plenty of casual PWS that turned out to be more emotionally charged than expected.
3) Go DIY on your flowers
Buying fake flowers from Daiso, Taobao or even NTUC to create your PWS bridal bouquet is actually a thing. If you still prefer real flowers, there are always the wholesale flower markets.
Creating your own bouquet from scratch - be it with some help from a skilled family member or friend, can turn out to be more meaningful and heartfelt. Some brides even do without flowers for the shoot!
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4) Go basic on your nails and makeup (but still have them done professionally)
You don't need a full wedding day look, but you don't need to take the DIY route either.
While there are brides who choose to do their own nails, hair and makeup for their PWS, for those who aren't that confident in your makeup skills, there are professional MUAs who charge affordable rates - especially if they are just starting out and are looking to build up their portfolio and experience.
Your nails shouldn't be neglected either. You can get decent wedding-ready nails easily for under $50 at home-based or neighborhood salons if you stick to simple designs!
5) Go online for your prints
Websites like ZNO has affordable and customisable wedding print options - from photobooks to canvas prints. Of course, you can also cross the causeway to visit the JB print shops as well.