While some couples in Hong Kong are taking budget weddings to another level by tying the knot in McDonald’s, most Chinese couples spend extraordinary amounts on their weddings, including in the latest trend of elaborate pre-wedding photo shoots. Several months before the big day, couples put together pre-enactments of the event, dressing up in rented bridal gowns and tuxes, renting out a church, and hiring a photographer to capture those crucial marriage moments. Such performances can cost up to $10,000, which falls on top of the more traditional wedding expenses. Many couples choose to document a variety of staged experiences that incorporate several costume changes, and some couples even travel to exotic locations for these photo shoots, adding to the cost. Brides and grooms are seeking to capture fantasies rather than candid moments, and because of that, few pictures are actually taken on the day of the wedding.
In the U.S., the emphasis is on the big day itself, and anyone organizing a budget wedding knows that photographs are a crucial part of capturing the magic. As you plan your own budget wedding, consider a few alternatives to the high cost of wedding photographers. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Ask a trustworthy or artsy friend to take photographs.
2) Find a package deal with a local photographer who would be willing to do both your engagement and wedding photos.
3) To supplement professional photographs, leave disposable cameras on your guests’ tables during the reception to add more candid shots to the mix.
4) If there are shots you want to make sure you have, plan them out before the wedding day, and let your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members know when and where you’ll need them. You’ll save your photographer’s time, thus saving money.
5) Ask recently married friends for their budget wedding tips. You want to be sure you have beautiful images of the day without spending an arm and a leg.
Photo Credit: Jakob Montrasio
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