Wedding: Guide & Tips for choosing Prewedding Photos Packages & Bridal Gown in MalaysiaMonday, August 15, 2016
1. Time is CRUCIAL
Time is everything!!!!!! So start early, I would suggest at least a year ahead. or start right away after you say I do. Let me tell you why you need such a long time to prepare. Firstly, one year may seem long but if you deduct all the time you used up on your daily job and other miscellaneous things you have to do, you actual left not much time for your wedding planning. Let’s do a quick calculation, 1 year you have approx 52 weeks that set you with 104 days (about 3months) that you might be free as you need not to work on the weekends. Truth is there are some weekends that you need to allocate for other errands so let us take a alternate weekends for wedding planning and you left with 52 weeks which is about one and a half months. Now tell me is one and a half month sound very long to you? Definitely NOT.
All in all, I think I took about 7days to really visit the bridal shop to decide which gown and which packages suit us the most. Maybe I am plusize so it’s harder to find the right dress for my size. That is only choosing dress, you also need to spare time for photoshoot (one day is sufficient) and time to discuss with photographer on the style you prefer for your prewedding photshoot which will takes andhour plus another hour or two for gown fitting. Then you need to wait for 2months or longer for them to process you pictures into albums. Also, if you are Chinese those restaurant are usually fully booked a year ahead. Oh you also need time to plan for your wedding dinner like selecting the restaurant, theme and etc which I will cover in next post. I will focus on prewedding photoshoot in this post. Let me summarize the lead time you required to plan for your prewedding photoshoot. Only when you done with your prewedding photoshoot then you can plan for your actual day as you need the processed photo to show your family and friends on that day.
- Shopping for Wedding Packages – 2 to 10 days depends on how strict is your requirements. ( I took around 7 days in total)
- Discussion with Photographer + Gown Fitting Session – 1/2 to 1 day.
- Prewedding Photoshoot – 1 to 2 Day.
- Photo Selection – 1/2 Day.
- Album Processing – 2 to 4months depends on Bridal shop schedule.
2. Set a Budget ($$$$)
Doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, there will be something that will fit your budget. Most importantly is to set a budget so you don’t over spend and need not to waste time if the price tag doesn’t match your budget. Often, we tend to go over budget especially when we see something beautiful (usually girls fall for beautiful things) we tend to pay more to get it. Truth to be told I exceeded a little on my actual day dress but I saved on my prewedding photoshoot package as I managed to find a deal within my budget. So remember to set a budget unless you want to eat white rice for entire month after your wedding LOL. Also setting you budget help filtered out bridal shop quick. When you enter, take a look at their dress and then move on to see their prices. If the dress doesn’t justify the price and that price doesn’t meet your budget tell the SA politely and leave. Sometime SA would ask what is your budget and they will give some discount to match to your budget nearest possible else move on.
Based on my research on Bridal Expo in KL and also Bridal Shop in PJ & Jalan Loke Yew let me summarize the cost involve on all prewedding related items.
- Standard Bridal Package ( 3-4 style pre-wedding photoshoot can be 3 gown + 1 casual / 4 gown, groom suit will be matching with the bride gown/ casual outfit) – RM 2500 to RM 8000.
- RM 2500 – RM 3000 – Very normal gowns selection and pretty standard photographer. Some gown quality are pretty standard with some fabric are really rough and the colour are usually those wash off white or satin yellowish colour. Most gown are satin type which are a little outdated in my opinion. Newer trend are usually with lace detailing, gems or crystal and poofy tulle.
- RM 3000 – RM 5000 – Very normal gowns selection and pretty standard photographer but slightly better material than the previous range. Similarly mostly satin gown unless if you go to newer bridal shop then gown selection might be better. Otherwise, you have to top up to select those nicer and newer design gown
- RM 5000 – RM 8000 - This is rather expensive to me, well at least for executive level working adult la… Unless you are filthy rich then that’s another story. At this price tag you can get really gorgeous dresss….. I remember two shop Annie Lousseau and Armadale both have really gorgeous dress which the most basic package cost about RM 7k and up.
- Freelance Photographer for Prewedding Photoshoot : RM 1000 and up
- Makeup Artist + Hair Styling for Prewedding Photoshoot : RM 800 and up
- Album Print (Self Design using Preset Template): RM 200 and up (standard size) | RM 300 and up (large size)
** Price are taken before Feb 2015 (Before GST implementation)
3. to Buy Wedding Photoshoot Packages or to Buy Ala-carte or DIY?
Buying Wedding Photoshoot Packages means less hassle but you might end up spending more money but lesser time and effort. If you do not want to go through all the trouble finding photographer, makeup artist (MUA), designing your photo album and buying or renting gown individually then buying packages will be a wiser choice.
Okay what if you do not want the album? It’s a waste of money as it will end up under the bed. I totally agree and I believe many think the same. In this case you can go for the ala-carte option. Rent gown from the bridal shop OR buy the gown and resell it later. Then hire a freelance photographer and makeup artist. This will be more work as you need to spend more time to find the right photographer instead of getting it all in one package. Now you might think should you buy gown or rent gown for this ala-carte option? You can buy your gown from Taobao.com or other online shop ranges from RM 300 and up for a decent looking dress. The set back is the size and whether the design will suit your body shape as you are not able to try before purchasing (tips: tryout gown at bridal shop to find out the right design before purchasing online). Purchasing off the rack in shop in Malaysia can be pretty hefty i think. Renting will cost RM 300 to RM 2000 like I mentioned above. A pretty decent one cost about RM 500. So you do the math, buying online and renting is almost the same price but renting is lesser risk as you can try it out before deciding.
As for DIY option means you doing it everything yourself. You do your own makeup, take your own photos (using tripod or with helps from friends) and process the photos yourself. This option give you flexibility as in you can do what you like BUT you need more time as doing everything yourself maybe very time consuming especially when taking photos using tripod. This option is only feasible IF you able to do your own makeup and take decent photos. I did go for this option as I want to take my prewedding photos in USA and it will cost a bomb to hire photographer over there. Technically my DIY Prewedding Project is not over yet. You can follow my pass DIY result and I shall update here for the upcoming DIY project. This option will be most cost saving one and most time consuming one.
I highly recommend to buy a custom made gown for your actual day because it make your dress design and unique. There is two type of custom made, one is following the same design you saw at the shop and custom the size to your body and second is a custom design to suit to your requirement. If you buy the gown you have to take risk that you may have to keep the rest for the rest of your life or if you are lucky you will be able to resell it. Renting gown is not too bad actually, I recommend you to rent those designer range gown which require additional cost if you buy a bridal package that offer actual day gown in the package. It’s you big day a drop dead gorgeous wedding gown is a MUST!!!!!! You can check out my guide for choosing actual day gown here.
5. is this the right Bridal Shop or Gown?
I suggest you to go tryout all different design of gown and see how it look on you. Then go home and do some research online and see which design you prefer the most. Then lock the design in your head so when you visit those shop and if you don’t see the design you like then move on to next store; need not to waste time seeing their package because without the gown you love it's meaningless.. So even the price is good but no gown fit you it’s useless. When ever you come out of the Bridal Shop and if you quite fond of their offer note down the pricing and what they offered in the package. Most bridal shop do not give you a copy of the price and details of the package. So note it down so you can do comparison later.
When trying gown, remember to take picture so you can compare (not many bridal shop allow photo taking so inform your husband to secretly snap when you are showing him the gown. ** Don’t tell I teach you LOLzzz). Oh I think you should not wear makeup when you go for gown fitting, this will avoid transferring your makeup to the gown and you might have to pay to fix it. Once you done with the gown, you should take a look at their photo album to see if the photographer style is the one you like. Also pay attention on the look the makeup artist created in those album if it’s something you love to have for yourself too. Lastly, if the gown and photographer make good impression to you then you just need to consider the price. Try to negotiate with them and tell them your budget, they will try to suit your budget.
I think I shall stop my post for now. Next series I will share my review on all the bridal shop I visited. Thank you so much for reading my post and to those who are getting married soon, Congratulations on you Big Day. Hope these tips help you on planning your big day. Do share with me your wedding pictures kay? I love to see them all!! Bye bye XOXO!!