I remember the pounding heart and the sense of nervousness before jumping out of the plane. That sort of anxiety that you feel when you know that your life would never be the same once both your feet land back on the ground. Everything felt slow, and the heart never felt louder. But soon, the sense of relieve upon hearing “I Do”, was quickly overwhelmed by the joy of the start of a brand new life. We started planning our wedding that very night, and amongst the plans we talked about, was that of the pre wedding photoshoot.
The first idea we had was, instead of getting a professional to take our shots, we were to use that money to get our own camera and travel the world to do our own pre wedding photoshoot. While that idea was good, the actual execution meant that we were have to lug around the gown and suit whenever we travel. We thought to ourselves how inconvenient that would be considering how we usually backpack on our travels.
Being disney geeks, we also thought about how we can rent disney costumes and go to exotic places based on the Disney character to do our shoot i.e Aladdin in India etc (Hence the Olaf shoot you see below). But again we were stumped by the practicality of doing that as costumes are expensive to buy and renting means that we would have to rent for the entire duration of our trip (sometimes weeks). That idea was quickly scrapped too.
After much brainstorming, we finally thought of how instead of bringing clothes to a country, we can get clothes from the country itself, and what better clothes to get to represent a country than their traditional clothes. With that thought in mind, we bought a camera and a tripod, and started to head to as many countries as we possibly could before the wedding.
It was a pre wedding photoshoot that took us 2 years in total. Some countries where renting their traditional costumes is considered normal i.e Japan and Korea, were easy. But other countries such as Malaysia, Maldives etc were much harder. We had to source and seek local help to guide us to renting companies. I remember Hanoi being particularly difficult as most shops didnt have a website and even if they did, were mostly in vietnamese. We couldn’t Google for it and most of the shops that we do find, only sold the traditional costumes instead of renting them.
We also had to take into account cultural sensitivity as we were in the country’s traditional costume and dint wanna show any disrespect. The one we did in Malaysia, we took extra caution to not cross any cultural lines that may seem disrespectful.
Each shoot also took us approximately a day each out of our travel schedules, as we had to prep, collect the costumes, do the shoot, return the costumes etc. For the shoots, we either hired local photographers, asked friends and family who are along the trip with us or made use of our own tripod and camera’s timer.
Neither of us were professionals, and without a proper professional to guide us, we also quickly ran out of poses and at times had issues getting into the “mood”. What we had no problems with was laughing at each other and ignoring the awkward stares by both tourist and locals when we stroll along the streets in the traditional costumes.
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Korea
Country: Seoul – Korea
Place: Bukchon Hanok Village
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Japan
Photographer: Family members
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Maldives
Place: Maafushi Island
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Bangkok
Country: Bangkok – Thailand
Place: Marble Temple
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Malaysia
Photographer: Family Members
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: China
Country: Beijing – China
Place: Forbidden City
Photographer: Locals + Tripod
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Vietnam
Country: Hanoi – Vietnam
Place: Hoan Kiem Lake
Photographer: Tripod + Locals
Pre Wedding Photoshoot: Disney (Olaf)
Photographer: Family + Tripod
Here we are 2 years later, finally with a more or less completed collection of shots from around the world. Even though some of the shots were probably not as nice as if someone had hired a professional photographer to do their pre wedding photoshoot, what we did walkaway from it all was the memories and experience of traveling and making something happen, that to us, means more than pretty pictures that collect dust at the bottom of the cabinet.
*PS All pictures, images and videos belong to the Singapore food blog and travel blog team behind Livelaughtravel.net. Any use of the above images, videos and content has to gain written approval by the livelaughtravel team.
Check out also our proposal video here!