Pre-Wedding Shooting: Malaysian Chinese Wedding Planning

The Best Photo in Your Life

What is the difference between a pre-wedding shooting and a real-time photoshoot during the wedding day? Obviously, every pose and attire of you two are perfectly captured during pre-wedding shooting. Hence photos from the pre-wedding shooting are always precious (and expensive as hell).

Having said that, we should be cautious in choosing the pre-wedding shooting package that fulfills our requirements. My number one tip is always to prioritize value over price. We don’t want to end up choosing the cheapest package with a photographer who has a photography skill worse than you and all your wedding photos will end up less than ordinary.

Other than pricing, there are so many things you need to know before choosing the right pre-wedding shooting package. Let’s cut the long talk and dive into them right away.

Research on Pre-wedding Shooting Studio

Most of the time, many gown studios will advertise themselves by showing off their perfect captures on new couples to attract customers. Well, I can understand that’s the most visual thing to capture a customer’s heart. However, we should not choose them solely based on the result only.

Although we always choose the one with better photo quality, the service from them is also important.

There is one friend of mine who booked a package that provides a very worthy package at an affordable price. In the end, she kept on telling me to avoid this team as their service is unbearable. Why? The photographer forgot on the scheduled meeting, communication barrier between the couple and the team, transport to outdoor venues needs extra fee and etc.

Hence, spare some time to do your research on each studio. The time spent on thorough research will reduce your chance of regret on your choice.

To have more clarity, you may follow the summarized list below:

  1. List down all the studios you are interested in. (You can also ask your friends for suggestions)
  2. Check out their photo samples on websites or Facebook Page.
  3. Filter out those which doesn’t pass your requirement.
  4. Check the review from their customers. (Lot of reviews + many positive reviews on their service will be the best)

Understand What’s in a Package

A big teddy bear in a box

You want to book a pre-wedding shooting package, but you have no idea what’s inside? Well, that reminds me of my personal experience.

I still remember my wife and me went to a wedding fair without doing any research. Then we pulled by a salesperson (from the first booth) and she persuades us for like 30 minutes. Surprisingly, she managed to get us paid 50% of the deposit that day to book a pre-wedding shooting package. This happened so fast and we were like “What have we done?”

Thinking back the moment makes me feel stupid. Oh well, there’s no use to argue on the past. Now my only wish is that my readers will not do something reckless like me.

Here is a series of questions that you should ask on a pre-wedding shooting package, along with my own personal experiences.

How many pages and photos are included in the photo album?

Our album includes 10 pages and 30 photos only. Then we found out that 30 photos are not enough to create a story-telling like album and we add up another 10 photos, which costs us an extra RM1,000! Totally not worth it.

To reduce the chance of regret, my advice is to calculate the total photos in their sample album, then you can roughly know how many photos are considered enough for their album design.

“How many 4R size photos (postcards) are included in the package?

We have 120 4R size photos included and left with 50+ photos after our wedding. So I think 60 to 70 photos will be sufficient in a package.

“How many pose can we have for our 4R size photos (postcards)?”

In our package, there are 6 poses to choose for our 4R size photos.

How many softcopy photos do we get from this package? Are all softcopy return will be edited or not?

In our package, we only get the same amount of softcopy photos with the number of photos in our photo album. So it’s only 40 at the end of the day.

Not every studio will provide all softcopy photos back to you. So if you can find a studio that returns all softcopy photos to you, then it is a bonus. You need to ask if those softcopies are edited or original. In most cases, they will return them without edit.

Does photo slideshow included in the package?

We have a photo slideshow along with background music provided by our studio. They even burn it along with our softcopy photos into a CD with our photo as the CD cover. Pretty cool!

How many bridal gowns and groom suits are included in the package?

For our package, it includes 4 bridal gowns and 4 groom suites for 4 types of wearing styles. We are told to bring some extra shirts or jackets that look good so we can have more styles in our wedding photos.

A scene of photo shooting on a new couple

“How many shooting venues will be shot in this package? How many indoor and outdoor venues?

Our package includes 3 indoor and 1 outdoor shooting. My friend and his wife got sick after pre-wedding shooting with 2 indoor and 2 outdoor.

If you don’t have the preference to take photos in outdoor scenes, try to keep your outdoor shooting as few as possible as it will be quite exhausting.

Does the studio provide accessories such as necklaces, hats or other props?

Most of the time, accessories or props will not be provided and you need to bring them on our own. But there is no harm asking them.

How many make-up styles included for the bride and groom in the package? Do we need to find a makeup artist on our own?

My wife gets 4 make up while I only have one make up. (More rest time for me, yay!) The studio we signed package with has a big team and they have their own makeup artist. So no fret for us.

“How much extra fee for ampoule and eyelashes? Can we bring our own ampoule and eyelashes?

If you have these accessories, you can save up some money. So remember to ask these questions.

For us, we did not have ampoule and fake eyelashes. So we just pay the extra fee charged by the studio. RM40 for ampoule, RM40 for eyelashes, each person RM80, total up is RM160. Although is expensive but it saves us the hassle.

Does the studio include lunch for us or we need to pay on our own? How do we settle lunch that day?

Usually, lunch is not included, at least in our package. If the studio includes your lunch in the package, then it is another bonus.

A mini size cameraman with a mini camera for pre-wedding shooting

Can we choose the photographer we prefer? Does it need any extra charge for it?

In our package, we chose the photographer that we want without any charge for it. Remember to ask them so you won’t get any surprise of hidden fees.

Do we have a session to discuss with the photographer about our photography style and venue preference?

The package we have here is quite organized. They explained to us clearly on each stage which we need to meet up with them. There is a total of 6 days we need to visit them.

  • Day 1: Choose our gowns for pre-wedding shooting (Guys suits are chosen by them during shooting day).
  • Day 2: Meet with the photographer to discuss where to shoot and the photography style we prefer, decide our shooting day and fully pay our package. They give us some advice on what to bring during shooting day and things to note before shooting day.
  • Day 3: Our pre-wedding shooting day.
  • Day 4: Choose our photos for the album, 24 inches photo frame (for bedroom) and two 10 inches photo frames. We also choose the frame design.
  • Day 5: Review the album design and framed photos.
  • Day 6: Collect all our items (album, framed photos, DVD with all softcopy photos and photo slideshow).

How many couples do the photography team serve in that shooting day?

This is a must-ask question. You don’t want to end up sharing the same photographer with another couple on the same shooting day. It will result in a lot of delays and waitings during your shooting day. Besides, accepting more than one couple on the same day shows how greedy they are. So don’t hesitate to say no to them.

For outdoor shooting, do we need to have our own transport or provided by the photography team? Parking and toll fee included?

Our package has included all of these, with the photographer drives his own car and fetch us to the outdoor shooting venue. No extra fee whatsoever, so you can have your shooting with peace of mind.

Do we have a time limit for the shooting? Is there an extra charge if time is exceeded?

In our case, we do not have a time limit during our shooting day. Basically it started at 10am and ends at 6pm. If any unexpected thing happened, it might delay to 7pm or 8pm, but they mentioned there will be no extra fee on this.

“What happens if it is raining day or bad weather during the shooting day? Any extra charge for postponed shooting?

The photographer team mentioned to us that they will reschedule the shooting day for the outdoor venue, which probably take half-day only without any extra charge. That’s why it is wise to choose only 1 outdoor venue for your shooting. It saves us from hassles.

A beautiful gown lying on the sofa with a bouquet on table

“How many gowns and suits can we rent for wedding actual day?

Most packages will include the rental of wedding actual day (2 or 3) gowns and (2) suits for you. I highly recommend that you get this included in your package because you will save a lot of money with this.

In our case, our studio is located in Johor Bahru while my wedding is held at Melaka. They did offer us the option to rent their gowns & suits for the actual day with additional RM800, along with flower bouquet and car decorations. Thinking of the trouble we need to bring them from JB to Melaka, we decided to skip it and find another studio in Melaka for convenience’s sake.

In the end, we immediately regret our decision. The gowns & suits rental for the actual day costs us RM2,200! We could have saved so much by renting from the same studio.

“How long can we rent the gowns and suits for wedding actual day?

For most studios, they allow us to rent for 3 days to 7 days. You have to ask this question to avoid extra charges when you rent their gowns and suits for too long.

You can ask them if they can include another suit for your father as well. My friends did that and they save the cost of renting suits from other vendors. Sometimes taking initiative will save you some money.

Does this package include flower bouquet and car decoration for wedding actual day?

Since we skip the additional package, we have to order a mock bouquet and car decorations from Taobao. It is very time-consuming to find the best Taobao item to order and decorate the wedding car on our own. Sometimes saving little money will end up costing us more money and time.

Thus it is wise to include them in the package. You will definitely save a lot of time and money.

“How much do we need to pay for the deposit? When is the last day for full payment?

Asking this question helps you to plan well and know when you need to prepare money for full payment. Normally, we will pay on the day before shooting.

Little Things Matter

A wedding ring on the middle of the book creating a shadow that looks like a love shape

Here are the little (but important) things you should take note for pre-wedding shooting:

Before pre-wedding shooting:

  • For ladies, go for a manicure one week earlier.
  • For guys, have a nice haircut two weeks earlier.
  • Buy all the necessary clothes (white long sleeve and black slacks for guys, Nubra for ladies) two weeks earlier.
  • Make a to-bring-list with your photographer so you will not miss out on anything during the shooting day.
  • Buy ampoule and eyelashes beforehand so you can save some bucks.
  • For ladies, keep your hair long for more variety of hair-do. (optional)

One day before shooting:

  • Sleep early so you can have enough sleep and look energetic.
  • Do not drink too much water as your face may look puffy the next day.
  • Avoid oily, salty and spicy foods to protect you from stomachache.
  • Set an alarm on that day so you won’t oversleep on this important day.
  • Bring extra sandals or slippers, as wearing heels all day makes your feet cry.
  • Bring extra clothes, sunglasses or hats in case it is suitable to be included in your shooting scenes.


Pre-wedding shooting might seem stressful while preparing for it, but it actually quite enjoyable and fun during the shooting day. The photographer team will try their very best to make jokes with you so you can smile and laugh naturally, given the fact that they know how to make jokes. I must admit, it’s not an easy job.

With all the summarized points above, I hope it will be useful for you to prepare your pre-wedding shooting and probably save you some money as well.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the pre-wedding shooting. I will try my best to answer you.

The list below shows all chapters for “Malaysian Chinese Wedding Planning” series:

2 thoughts on “Pre-Wedding Shooting: Malaysian Chinese Wedding Planning”

  1. Can I know how much and what was your budget for Pre-wedding shoot, and if My Dream Wedding was on your list before?


    1. Before we look for a wedding shooting, our budget is around RM3k to RM4k. But end up paying more than that haha!
      Yes, My Dream Wedding is quite famous for pre-wedding shooting.
      Too bad we are being brainwashed by Spozami during the wedding fair in JB, so end up with their wedding package.

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