Selecting Your Bridal Studio (Checklist On How/What To Bargain For Actual Day Packages)

So now let's move on to what do we want to look out in actual day packages. Do note that this package is aligned with couples who are intending on having a full course wedding... meaning gatecrash, solemnization, wedding banquet.

When bargaining for the ACTUAL DAY PACKAGE with your bridal studio,
  • Number of wedding gown and evening gown (for bride)
    • Do note that for AD, the minimum that you should have is 1 wedding gown (for morning and 1st march in), 1 ROM dress (good for solemnization, usually its a shorter dress) / 1 Qun Kua (chinese traditional wedding dress, good for wearing back to bride's home), 1 evening gown (for use in 2nd march in)
    • Made to measure or Off the Rack? 
    • Include accessories?
    • Note: Bridal studio packages do not include shoes. So you will have to prepare your own. Usually they will recommend silver or pearl coloured shoes to match your wedding gown. For traditional kua, it will usually be matched with a red shoes of a similar colour.
    • For btb who are intending to have their solemnization on a separate day, preempt your studio about it before signing the package and bargain for that ROM dress to be offered to you on a separate day for free. If not, be prepared to top up. 
  • Number of suits (for groom)
    • Made to measure or off the rack?
    • Include accessories?
    • Include the shirt or just suit?
    • Note: Similarly, shoes are not provided for groom.
  • Make up and hair styling on actual day
    • The make up artiste cost (MUA) which is included in your package is usually only for one make up, which is usually during the morning and another make up before your lunch or dinner banquet.
    • Check on the various rates to top up if you want the MUA to also do the following below.
      • Rates for make up touch up and a new hair style for your second march in
      • Rates for MUA to also help your family members with some simple make up and their hair
      • Rates for additional hairstyles and make up (This is espcially for btb who are intending to have multiple outfits and need different styles to match the different gowns.)
      • Rates for hair do and make up (for BTB who wants to do their solemnization of banquet on a separate day)
      • Rates for early surcharge (usually applicable for make up services before 6am but timings may differ for every studio)
    • Ask for free fake eyelashes (if not, how much extra for that?)
    • Ask for free ampoule (if not, how much extra for that?)
    • Ask for free trial make up
    • Type of bridal make up (During your trial make up, you will already be meeting your AD MUA. Therefore, spend some time to communicate with her and be upfront to tell her about your likes and dislikes of the style she arranged for you. Always remember... your actual day is not the day for you to start experimenting with make up styles. If your MUA is someone who is inflexible about the styles of make up, I strongly recommend you to start scouting for an alternative one... or just make do with it.)
  • Actual Day Photography
    • This is usually thrown in to you as an option, advertised as a "cheaper" rate of usually less one thousand dollars. It is usually a 8 hours shoot whereby all soft copies are returned to you.
    • Clarify on the number of soft copies (edited and non edited) you will expecting at the end of the 8 hours shoot.
    • There are some pros and cons for you to consider through before you think about to take up this service for your wedding day.
    • Pros: slightly cheaper compared to other photographers, save the hassle of looking for photographers
    • Cons: you only know your photographer is their in-house photographers (or "in-house" freelance photographers engaged by bridal studios), the photographer's style might not be what you are looking for, you miss out on the photography and videography combo packages with photo studios.
    • My recommendation would be for you to hold this option which is given to you by the bridal studio. Get them to write down the rates which they have offered to you during the bargaining stage on the receipt. Indicate to them that you will only confirm on that service on a later date. Afterwhich, spend some time to scout for some possibly good deals with photo studios before making that absolute choice. As long as you have not committed, you still have the final say.
I hope I didn't miss out anything much with regards to AD related checklist. But then again, I will still continue to add in more as I go along :)

Last but not least, I need to make a few important highlights! Especially when it comes to PAYMENT!
  • Try not to make a full payment of your bridal package. If possible, request for an interest free installment which lasts up to your wedding day. Firstly, just a sales mentality, pay as per needed to ensure they deliver what they promise. Secondly, don't overstretch your expenses as there will be many other expenses that you will need to pay for when it comes to wedding preparation.
  • If you love arty farty and romantic couple photos to keep, brace yourself with a budget for the purchase of photos. Because the bridal studios are all ready to convince you to pay for them. Be prepared to pay a minimum of $60 per additional photo for your pre-wedding shoot. If money is a concern for you, then set that budget aside right from the start.
  • Always get something within your means. We never want to start a wedding with debts all over.

Happy planning once again!
Mrs To-Be OOPS


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