As mentioned in my previous post, I have decided to shift all pre-wedding photoshoot details here instead of blogging half of it in Day 1 and half of it in Day 3. This post is probably going to get a little lengthy.
Hubby and I researched for quite a bit on where to take our pre-wedding photos. We were contemplating between Taiwan and Korea and in the end decided to settle on Korea because I love the way they do their makeup and hair (hehe. not much difference for groom though). Everything is about being natural as compared to Taiwan, they will make your hairstyle really hard and use nth number of fake eyelashes. In addition, the practice in Korea is that they will send you all the raw photos taken that day. I feel that this is the most important part because many couples in the end double their cost because they want to get more photos. I mean seriously, think about the number of photos that will be taken within 4 ~5 hours. Definitely not just 30 or 40 which is the average number of pages in a wedding photobook.
There are many agencies in Korea that helps to link you up with Korea photoshoot boutiques but the prices are steep. So thanks to Facebook newsfeed algorithm, it pushed me sponsored posts from HelloMuse and Jun 6 Wedding. We met up with both agencies and decided to go ahead with Jun 6 Wedding because it looked more reputable and had so much more customers and reviews. Actually till the end, we were still quite skeptical on whether it was a scam as we all know Facebook likes and reviews can all be faked. Well lucky for us, it wasn’t (haha). Their Facebook page is over here if you would like to take a look. They are an agency started in HongKong and now have locations in Hongkong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. A point to note though. Everything is in Mandarin so if you can’t speak or read Mandarin it’s better that you stick to Singapore agencies instead.
In total we paid around 3.5k for our photoshoot which I would say is very reasonable as it is almost the same as in Singapore. In addition they have perks every month so we signed up last November and the perks we enjoyed were 3 free nights stay and an additional 3 minutes video.
I initially contact them via the e-mail which they provided in Facebook and their reply speed is really prompt. Within a few hours I was directed to their Singapore liaison. She got me to choose the studios which I liked by browsing the Facebook albums which they have uploaded. I chose 4 to 5 and she brought the photo albums for us to see during the meetup.
On the second meetup after choosing the studio, we signed the contract and they informed us on all the details of the package and also the payment method. We had to pay half first and the rest to the studio when we are in Korea.
There are so many studios to choose from and after meeting up we decided to choose Studio 35 which is Bong Studio. According to them, Bong Studio is a hot choice because of 2 backdrops as seen below.
I love the first photo so much! All that colours.
One week before your photoshoot, the staff that will meet you in Korea will liaise with you via Whatsapp to confirm your flight details as they need to arrange airport pickup for you. Yes. Airport pickup and return is included so we didn’t need to lug our luggages around (yay for that). They will also send you your itinerary and tips on travelling in Korea.
Arriving in Korea
When we reached, the driver was already waiting for us to fetch us to our hotel. As our flight was pretty early, we had lunch and did other stuff before they picked us up again at 1.20pm to depart to our bridal studio. The default option was Vereca which I was okay with it because I saw the sample gown photos which they’ve shown us and they looked pretty nice.
The Jun 6 staff which met up with us was Lyeon. She’s really friendly and passed us a bag of goodies which included our itinerary, 2 complimentary T money (for us to use when travelling. This is equivalent to ez-link cards in Singapore), some travel guides and a bag of chocolates. Grateful for those gifts.
Vereca was located in Gangnam which was not far from our hotel so we reached within 30 minutes. When we were there, we were given a catalogue for us to choose the gowns from. I looked through it and only liked 1 out of like… 10 of them. I started to get worried on whether I will be able find one which I like that day >< Before bringing the gown out for you to try, they would do basic bridal hair for you (which I didn’t like but it won’t be the same hairdo on the day itself. Just for us to preview how we will look like).
The Vereca staff started to take out gowns similar to the one I fancied in the catalogue. I told them I preferred A-line dresses and ballgown kind of dresses so she started to let me try them. From my research online, most brides were given around 3 to 4 gowns to try before they are asked to make their choice. This was a worrying factor because I am a VERY picky person. The first few gowns which I tried.
Tried 4 dresses and liked none of them. I knew from research that I would be asked to pick from one of them so I chose dress no. 4. After which we tried Mermaid dress. Oh forgot to mention. Brides will be entitled to 2 wedding gowns (1 a-line or ballgown, 1 mermaid), 1 evening gown, 1 mini dress while groom is entitled to 1 tuxedo and 1 shirt. I wasn’t really into mermaid gowns because since young we are instilled with the perception that wedding = ballgowns and the puffier it is, the better. So when she said we had to choose a mermaid gown I was pretty disappointed because I was thinking okay fine so now I have to choose a a-line/ballgown that I am okay only with and now I still have to choose a mermaid which I do not like. Lyeon though was trying to convince me that most brides are the same as me. We all dislike them but once we try them on, our opinions will change so much that we actually prefer mermaid over the classic kinds. I was very skeptical and kept telling her that I do not have the figure to pull off one.
And.. she was right. I loved it. Made me look so much slimmer (hahahaha #lifeofafatty). I chose dress 1 because it was so niceeeee! I love the train of the dress so much. It’s so simple and classy. After trying these I was thinking okay at least there’s 1 which I liked. I was taken by surprise when the Vereca staff suddenly asked if I wanted to try more a-line/ballgowns. She told Lyeon that she could tell I didn’t really adore the one I chose previously. Of course I was happy. And I felt sorry that I wasted so much of their time. So I took my phone out and showed them some research I’ve done before. I really wanted an off shoulder dress even though she mentioned that every gown can become an off shoulder just by adding accessories. The down side to choosing a gown that is made as an off shoulder from the start would be that we will be unable to add other accessories such as lace etc to it.
When I tried this on, I was sold. I loved it. Totally. And was beaming from ear to ear. A happy ending to wedding gowns and finally we could move on to evening gowns.
They do not have a wide variety of evening gowns as they prioritize on wedding gowns. Moreover, I didn’t want a pastel coloured dress because it would be too similar to my white wedding gowns so my choices were even more limited.
After getting opinions from everyone there, I chose the first one as recommended. The Vereca staff showed me a picture of a celebrity wearing it and said that it looks really good in photoshoots as compared to our naked eye view so I decided to just trust whatever she says because I felt bad for taking so much of her time and effort. It is such a difficult job for her because the dresses are just so heavy. And for every single one, she has to use so much strength to tie it so tightly so that our figure will be optimized. Salute to her and the nanny (they actually call it 保姆 so it’s nanny if you do a direct translation. hahaha) who helped.
After that it was finally hubby’s turn. I seriously swear he was bored to death while I was trying those gowns. Thank god we had the wifi egg so he could entertain himself. As compared to me, hubby chose his in like… 1/4 of the time I took. Well he only had 3 choices – black, grey or white. He chose grey because black gives off the feel of a waiter (oops).
Lastly for the mini dress, we were not able to try (which was okay because I was so tired from trying) and we are only able to choose from those that she took out. Chose a cute and fluffy one. They also got our height difference so that they can prepare shoes for me to wear on that day. Thankfully I do not need to wear heels but just 3cm platform slip-in as it will be covered by the gown anyway.
Makeup & Hair Styling
On the photoshoot day, they came to pick us up at 10.50am because we were given an estimation of 2 hours to do makeup and hair. In my mind I was thinking “really? we need that long of a time?”. There was traffic jam that day and we arrived late. In the end they even had to rush to make sure we were ready for our photoshoot.
I upgraded to Jenny House (paid an additional SGD$250 for this) because I love the way they do their hair and makeup so much. I actually went to search Instagram #jennyhouse and see fellow brides hairdo + makeup before I decided on this. Plus they do a lot of celebrity makeup eg. Song Jihyo, SNSD, etc.
When we arrived, we were directed to a private room which I think is for wedding couples. I was then given their special facial mask and they started to do my hair. Not sure what they sprayed because they used so much different products on me while I was awed by the amount of makeup in front of me.
Welcome to paradise
Once my facial mask was done, another staff came and started to prep my face for makeup. So I had like 2 staff working their magic on me concurrently. I felt like I a princess (haha).
Trying out some hair accessories and earrings on me
I had 0 regrets for upgrading because they are just so professional! They have a junior staff that will start preparing your hair and makeup. Then a senior staff will come in and finish/touch up everything else to make sure you are perfect for the shoot. A memorable part about the makeup was when the junior makeup staff started to light wooden sticks. I initially thought they were going to light incense perfume but to my horror, it was used to curl my eyelashes. I honestly was petrified. I didn’t move an inch when they held it near my eyelashes. I swore I held my breath too. I was so afraid that it’ll burn my eyes accidentally. Well of course nothing happened and I got in return really naturally curled lashes. Always trust the pro.
I was also very thankful for their patience in doing my hair. I knew my hair wasn’t very easy to deal with because it’s really fine. Great for everyday maintenance because it won’t frizz and when you wake up from bed it’s flat against your face. However when you need to style it for events, it gets so troublesome. It’s so hard to create volume and it easily gets back flat. Despite the junior staff having already done my hair according to my wishes which was big curls, the senior hairstylist immediately advised me to get smaller curls once she touched my hair and totally didn’t mind redoing my entire head to small curls. I feel that they are really passionate about their job. It’s really a tedious process to curl hair. So thankful to her at the end of the day because my curls stayed nice and as the day went by, the curls started to get bigger which became what I wanted *thumbs up to all of the stylists in Jenny House*
We took quite awhile to reach Bong Studio because it was located in the outskirts of Seoul. The moment we entered, we were amazed. The studio is huge with so many sets of different backdrops. There were fake cherry blossom trees, flowers, stairs, fountain, etc. There were 4 couples that day including us so they informed us that there might be delays as we might need to wait for others if they are using that particular scene. That never happened though. The photographer was very efficient in using the time given.
Before the photoshoot officially start, we were given a paper with the different scenes in the sample album which we saw before and was asked to tick 10 that we love as it is impossible for us to finish taking all of them within 5 hours. Of course I chose the flower scene and the white flowers. As we met up with the period where most studios are in the midst or have changed their scenes, I was a little disappointed when they informed me that the walls of my flower scene has been changed to yellow instead of light blue. But when we saw the photos after they were taken, I felt much better because it still looks great.
The photographer was very friendly and kept making us laugh throughout the photoshoot so that our smiles would be more natural. They were very encouraging and did not criticize us at all even though we were novices at this entire photoshoot thing. I also had a nanny which helped to change all my dresses + hair and my husband’s ties/bowties. I think she has a more tiring job than me but throughout the entire 5 hours she was still very smiley and showed no sign of fatigue. And I think she’s around 40 years old? What a fit lady. Every single scene, she will make sure that my gown, my hair, my husband’s hair, bowtie, pants, etc is perfect. The photographer on the other hand will give instructions on how to stand, where to put your hands, curl your fingers, etc.
The Jun 6 staff on that day was Vivian, another friendly and welcoming staff to work with. She helped to translate whatever the photographer and nanny was saying and took pictures from the side so we could have behind-the-scenes pictures for ourselves after the shoot. Several behind the scenes pictures as seen below.
After the entire shoot it was around 6pm and we were famished for not eating lunch that day. We only had bread for breakfast in the morning too. Vivian & another Jun 6 staff (did not catch his name) kindly helped to buy drinks and kimbap for us to have. It’s either we were too hungry or the person who made the kimbap is really talented. They were so good that we each finished one entire roll ourselves.
While we were eating, the photographer transferred all the pictures taken that day and gave us in CD form so that we can choose 30 of them to be printed into the photo album when we get back.
Waiting for Photo Album
It was a hard time trying to choose just 30 pictures because they are so pretty even before photoshop. Looking forward to the final pictures! We’ve just submitted the 30 photos we’ve chosen so we need to wait 3 to 4 months for it.
Will update again once we receive the album and 20R photo 🙂
Read pt. 2 here: http://www.hwee-ified.com/korea-pre-wedding-photoshoot-pt-2/