Updated: Sep 11
We want to celebrate our love in the City of Love. We thought why not Paris? And what's next - We did it.
No. We didn't break our bank accounts to do this. No. We aren't rich kids who care nothing but how to spend money. Every penny we spent on our wedding, we earned through our honest hard work, so we wanted the best value every penny can give. Pre-wedding photoshoot in Paris was a distant dream but when we finally decided we wanted this, it wasn't as difficult and as expensive as we had expected.
If you have been wondering how possible it was, since flight tickets could have been a bomb, then I will realistically tell you - the budget for photoshoot shouldn't have factored in flight tickets - because we were actually there on a holiday. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is one of the major airports in Europe with many flights arriving each day - hence, the flight fare to Paris is relatively cheaper. I always use flight comparison websites such as Skyscanner to look for best deals. (If and only if, you just HAVE TO factor this in, roundtrip flight Kuala Lumpur - Paris costs around RM2,200).
Owh, flight not inclusive? Bad news. Well, I promise that's the only bad news you will encounter in this post.
This is the real trick. We didn't fly our photographer to Paris. Since it was a vacation anyway, we couldn't have hired a photographer to tag along with us. We then began to seek for an alternative and were delighted to discover that there is a handful of professional photographers in Paris who can give us similar service. After browsing through a few portfolios, we've decided to go with Maya Maréchal. For a half day shoot, it was €350 (±MYR1500) - such a deal. We were later told that she didn't base in Paris, and she did charge us a small travelling fee.
We love the natural touch of her photos and the colour tone (if that's the right term) of photos she edits. Before you decide on a photographer, remember to communicate with him/her about the theme or mode you are looking for in the photographs. Find a portfolio you really like and be open to what you actually want. We did not ask for a discounted rate because somehow arts is priceless.
We saved a lot of money while getting beautiful photos that we actually wanted. How?
Hiring a Malaysian photographer may cost much more since you have to buy flight tickets for the photographer and make-up artist, as well as to book them accommodation, and even their meals.
A local photographer - a small travelling fee (maybe), accommodation and meals are all not required. WIN
If you have self make-up skills, then this should save you even more money. Well, I did not have the skill (and still don't have), so we engage the service of a make-up artist. I did not have particular preference for make-up so I just browsed randomly online and came across CHARLES GILLMAN COSMETICS. He based in Paris (yay!). For the session, his charges were €150 + €20 (±MYR850) for early-hour services.
Yes, I even needed someone to do my hair. *facepalm*. The hairstylist, Trine Juel Lindblad, was introduced by Charles Gillman, the make-up artist. On the plus side, both of them worked together simultaneously and on the shooting day, my make-up and hairdo were done in an hour's time. Trine charged €80 (±MYR400) for the session.
The Wedding Attire
We bought my wedding dress and his suit during our holiday trip in Guangzhou. Knowing it would take some time to choose the perfect gown, we purposely arranged a full-day shopping around Jiangnan Avenue North wedding street（婚紗一條街）, known to be comprised of bridal stores. Everything essential for a wedding can be found here! We carefully picked the dress that went well with our budget. We couldn't recall the exact amount, but we didn't spend more than RM1500 for 2 wedding dresses and 1 set of complete suit.
Sorry for the poor photo quality! I just want to show how hectic it can be, choosing the right wedding dress. :)
The Locations of Photoshoot
We really didn't want to tire ourselves from the photoshooting session. After all, it was our holiday. We went around the city centre of Paris to capture a few different settings and background. All went pretty well. The experience itself was even more precious - as we moved around in the wedding gown and suit, friendly Parisians approached us to congratulate us. It was very heart-warming.
= / I have written a recount in Chinese, about our Pre-Wedding Photoshooting day in Paris. / =
/1/ Trocadéro with Eiffel Tower at the background
/2/ More of Eiffel Tower
/3/ Metro - École Militaire
/4/ Cherry Blossoms at Notre Dame
/5/ Random street shots
/6/ Odette Paris (77 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, France)
Okay, let's do the calculation:
Photographer €350 (±MYR1500)
Make up Artist €150 + €20 (±MYR850)
Hairstylist €80 (±MYR400)
Wedding Attire RM1500
TOTAL = ± RM4250
(Memory gained = priceless)
We make a thorough calculation of every aspect, not because we think wedding is something measurable monetarily (in fact, the opposite), but it's because we truly think the real obstruction that deters us from pursuing what we want is usually ourselves. Once you make it a decision, you will notice how things fall in place so naturally. It's your wedding, it should happen the way you wish.