Traveling is a great passion of mine. Interestingly, on every international trip I take, I see at least one, and usually multiple sightings of brides and grooms in various wedding day rituals. Out of curiosity, when I get home, I research the wedding traditions I’ve seen to learn a bit more about what traditions are popular around the world. This is the first in a series of W.O.W. (World Of Weddings) posts I’ll be making every year or so to share what I’ve learned.
I visited Taiwan last year and spent more than a week in the Taipei area with some close friends. This was my first trip to Far East Asia and I found the culture, people, and the food to be absolutely amazing. One very interesting Asian cultural wedding experience is for the bride and groom to do a pre-wedding day photo shoot.
One day, while I was walking across Taipei’s Chiang Kai-Shek Plaza, I spotted two brides on opposite ends of the plaza decked out in full wedding attire taking photos for their weddings. I found out both their weddings were weeks away, but it was important to have the photos done in time for display on wedding day for family and friends.
There are photography companies that specialize in these sessions called “wedding salons”. Taiwan alone has hundreds of these companies. It’s a custom to have these photos taken well before wedding day, sometimes months before wedding day. Many Asian-American couples (like my friend I was traveling with) have flown to Asia before their U.S. weddings to have these photo sessions taken. The best part is the bride and groom don’t even need to bring their own attire.
The salon pricing which can range from $2,000 to $6,000 includes not only the photographer but hair and makeup services, wedding dress rental, props (Chinese imperial costumes, samurai and geisha outfits for Japanese couples), and a variety of formalwear for the grooms. There are usually multiple costume changes during the session. The couple gets an album of framed photos, and a thumb-drive with a slide show complete with music.
Stay tuned for another W.O.W. report in 2019….