How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 6

Samuel and Sherlyn-137

Photo credit: Glen Sin Photography

 

In this post guest blogger, Bridezilla, shares her tips on choosing bridal packages in Singapore.

 

Pre-wedding shoot? Gowns? Destination shoots? Casual or full bridal? Made-to-order? Rented or bought? There’s so many things to consider when choosing a bridal package. WHERE IN THE WORLD do you start?

 

Bridal packages are for the people who want the convenience of having everything under one roof, planned and coordinated for you. The market supply is huge and you have so many companies competing locally, overseas, that there isn’t really a reason why you should get anything less than a bang for your buck.

 

Things to look out for in your bridal package:

 

Samuel and Sherlyn-3

Photo credit: Glen Sin Photography

 

Gowns and suits

Probably the bride’s most important consideration, apart from who she’s marrying, is the gown she’s gonna be wearing. The first thing that should draw your attention is not the price but the gowns that the bridal studio has to offer. Quality matters, but so does quantity. With a lot of bridal studios lining the Tanjong Pagar stretch, and Singapore being such a small world, the last thing you want is to wear the same gown as somebody else on facebook, post your photos around the same time, and be CONNECTED BY MUTUAL FRIENDS!!! You all will forever be known as the brides with the same gown :O

 

Bimbo-tic considerations aside, the number of gowns included in the package is one thing to take note of. Whether it is the same gown for the pre-wedding and actual day or whether you can choose different gowns for each day matters if variety is what you’re looking for. More importantly, it is the range of gowns you get to choose from without ‘topping up’. This tactic is just a simple way for bridal studios to earn a little bit more money, by offering what you think is a relatively cheap package, then only realizing that all the gowns you want to choose are from the “exclusive” or “designer” range. You might become victim to the upsell and end up having to fork out extra hundreds of dollars per dress.

 

This is why the quality and quantity of gowns is the most important consideration before committing to any package! Try and view as many gowns as possible and enquire what range they belong to under their classification. Find out how much you have to top up, and if the overall cost is really worth the price of a rented gown or if you’re better off with a made-to-order gown.

 

Same goes for suits, though guys usually have less issues here as they are less likely to succumb to the allure of ‘pretty’ suits. Chances are, the cost to tailor a nice suit overseas is relatively low. If so, negotiate to have the suits removed from the package. The good thing about most bridal studios is the ability to deduct the raw cost out of the package for items you don’t need, and being completely transparent about it.

 

E.g. if they include 2 suits and you don’t want them, they might just deduct like 200-300 bucks straight off. If any bridal studio is even slightly secretive about the raw cost they are deducting from your package, then you should be wary.

 

Another little detail about gown selection to clarify before you put your money down – Check what gowns are available only for indoor shoots and what are not allowed to take outdoors. Ask how much time you will get on your gown-fitting day and how many fittings you will get in total. Word also has it that some studios limit your time for gown selection and make you pay extra if you cannot decide on your gowns within your ‘package allocated time’. Also, sometimes the gowns on display are not available for your selection for whatever lame reason, so you might end up not being able to choose all the gowns you fell in love with at first sight.

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 3

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

Selected photos

 

This is the killer. Almost everyone I know has forked out money to buy additional photos on top of what they had already paid for their package. The way around it? Negotiate everything around photos!

 

Bridal studios usually provide between 30-40 photos in their standard package, and additional photos that you might want to purchase after confirmation would cost at least 80 bucks each. Just imagine, let’s say a typical photographer takes about 200 photos for a full day’s wedding shoot (and that’s on the lower end of the spectrum), and your package only allows you to select and keep 30-40 photos? The temptation is huge, even if you deny it now. Just 10 more extra photos will cost you $800 more. For a 3k package that’s more than 25% increase already. Look through the rest of the package. If there are items that are not necessary for you, swap them out for more photos to select and keep! Then discipline yourself when it comes to photo-selection, because a lot of bridal studios use this precise opportunity to upsell you additional photos.

 

I’m proud to declare that we didn’t succumb to any additional charges when it came to photos!

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 4

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

Albums

 

Look through their sample albums. The layout, design of the albums, the material and style of albums all give an indication of the value of the package. These days, studios use the acrylic cover and flat book styles to sell their ‘quality’, but chances are all studios are already offering the same, so don’t take their ‘premium’ offering too seriously. The more studios you shop around, the more you will be able to sieve out the really unique offerings from the standard ones.

 

Let’s face it, we are all noobs when it comes to weddings, unless of course you really love the process and have gone through it more than once in your life. The more we chatted and talked to different providers and studios, the more we learnt about the industry practices as well. It’s interesting how competition in the market works to the consumer’s advantage at times. You walk in to the first shop, and someone will tell you about the competitor’s offering and why that competitor is inferior to them. Walk in to another shop and they have a different opinion or selling point. That’s how you learn more and more about their upselling tactics, as well as the nitty grittiness that you need to look out for in different studios.

 

I digress. Apart from the large albums, find out what else they can throw in. Be it a table top portrait, large hanging frame, mini album, whatever you can think of, they probably can offer if you just ask. If they can’t, ask for more photos again to compensate for what other studios can offer that they can’t!

 

The best trick is to point out what their competitors are offering as part of your negotiation strategy.

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 1

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

Indoor/outdoor locations

 

The number of indoor/outdoor locations actually don’t really matter at the end of the day. Fact is, each day is limited to 24 hours, so even if they offer 10 locations, it’s laughable to think you can cover all of them within a 1-day photoshoot. 3 is a good ambition, any more will be a challenge.

 

When considering locations, most importantly, ask about their weather policies. It pays to be cautious here. Some charges could be incurred if a photoshoot is rescheduled, depending on how the studio treats the cancellation. Ask about the transportation as well, and if it could be waived. Otherwise go bribe your friends to be your chauffeur for the day.

 

 

Wedding corsages and car décor

 

Really, do you need these? My suggestion – DIY. It’s more fun, and something you can get bridesmaids to do. Instead of getting this, SWAP FOR MORE PHOTOS.

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg7

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

Hair and Make-up, and Make-up artists

 

This gets tricky. The bride definitely needs one. Questions around this to clarify are more towards the services of the makeup artist. How many styles can she do? How long will she be around to help you on the actual day/ wedding shoot day? What’s covered in the trial make up? Will they accompany you in your outdoor shoot for touch-ups or hair changes? Typically they cost extra for ‘out-of-studio’ services. If you are engaging them for the actual wedding day, check how long they will stick around, or if they will only do your first style and leave you for the rest of the day.

 

For me, the most annoying additional costs are the ampoules and false eyelashes. For convenience’s sake the studio will of course encourage you to pay makeup artists the extra 50 bucks or so, which initially makes sense since you’re already anyways paying a 4-digit amount in total. What’s another 50 or so bucks?

 

The reality is, till this day I have no idea what is in those dubious ampoules…and if you watch professional makeup artists, there’s no such thing! There are good primers and make-up bases, which I assume are already being used since the bride’s face will be covered in xxx layers of makeup…so I think whoever came up with this ingenious gimmick ought to be executed. Refuse this cost just for the sake of upholding your ethical values, and especially if your skin is generally okay with makeup.

 

It’s also worth asking if they could style your mother/in-laws/bridesmaids. My advice is to use the classic negotiation tactic and ask for more than what you really need, so that there is a higher chance that why will offer what you actually want.

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 2

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

Photographers

 

More and more people nowadays choose freelance photographers or dedicated independent photographers rather than those that work in the bridal studio. Again, the market for photographers is getting more and more saturated. Your choices are aplenty, so you should have reasonable bargaining power here. If you do choose to go with the bridal studio (which I kind of discourage now that I’ve been through that experience and heard about others), make damn sure you really like the photographers’ portfolios.

 

The size of our little island means that our network is wider and more interconnected than we think. Refer, refer, refer. Among your friends, friends of friends, brothers/sisters of friends, etc, etc will definitely be someone who is willing and able to photograph for you, at discounted prices! And if that’s the case, by now you should know what you could swap your unnecessary package elements for – MORE PHOTOS.

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg 8

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

Flower bouquet

 

Did you know that there are actually Flower arrangement courses on Groupon?

 

To be honest I just kept this in the package because I was too lazy and not keen on learning flower arrangement. Wedding fatigue is an illness that occurs as a result of overwhelming wedding details. This illness will lower your willpower to save and you will succumb to little costs here and there, for the sake of convenience or because you just can’t be bothered anymore. Unfortunately, there is a real price to pay for these perceived little costs – the ever-accumulating wedding price tag.

 

So stay strong couples!  Negotiate hard and be aware of the up-sell or cross-sell strategies employed by wedding studios!

 

A couple that saves together, stays together!

 

How to Choose a Bridal Package in Sg

Photo credits: Meremint Photography

 

What are your tips or experience in choosing a bridal package?  Share it in the comments below!

 

Like this post?  Here’s part 2:

How to Plan Your Wedding Banquet

 

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