The dress from Taobao and pre-wedding photos
Now that I have my wedding dress and one evening dress, and I have sorted out the bridesmaid dresses, I felt much more relaxed because I knew that it was a big cross off my to do list.
And then it occurred to me that we had to take pre-wedding photos in formal attire (wedding dress and tux). hmm.. at this moment in time we still haven't decided where we will be taking them. However, I was adamant about taking them abroad somewhere. I didn't want to take them in HK. Week in and week out I see loved up couples and their crew dotted around central on a Friday evening, taking pre-wedding photos. Either on the steps on Duddell Street or those on Pottinger Street or around Statue Square or a random tram stop, while the mainlanders preferred to pose in front of designer shops like LV.
I wanted to definitely go away somewhere, either some get away exotic beach setting in Asia or some romantic city in Europe. So there was a huge uncertainty about this at the moment. I was worried about my dress. Would it get ruined from grass stains if we chose to be photographed in country parks? Would sand and seawater ruin the bottom if we went to a beach setting? Would i trip and rip the dress? There were so many possibilities. At the same time, I wondered if I even wanted to just have one dress? Don't people hire 1-2 wedding gowns for variety? I thought about renting again, but was nauseated by the thought of rental prices again - throwing money away. Furthermore, if we were to go abroad for the photos - I am pretty sure that I would need to rent more than their package 3 days and 2 nights or 4 days and 3 nights standard. We have also established that we wont be going with local photographers (HK) - have you seen their prices? You basically had to pay for the whole crew to travel with you, flights, hotel and food and travel!! It was a total rip off. Sure they can also provide the dresses in their package and the hair and makeup - but quite rightly they should if they are charging you that much!
So an idea came to me one day. You know how sometimes you can't determine if a dress is nice or not in photos, just like in catalogues, you see a dress that looked nice but in real life, it really isn't. You can hide flaws in photographs. I decided to browse though the wedding dresses on taobao. I discovered that they had such a huge range of dresses available. Yes, many were cheesy and horrible, but there were also enough nicer dresses too. Obviously - just from looking at the photos posted of them online. But they were really cheap, a fraction of the price of a custom made dress in HK or even the rental prices. They can also custom make it to your size - all you had to do was give them your bust, waist and hip measurements, as well as your height. It was easy. And cheap! I decided to test it out and ordered an A-line princess dress - it was supposed to be an exact copy of the Pronovias version. Yes, the chinese are so good at replicating things. There are so many gowns on taobao that copy the latest bridal brand designs. So after a long time, using google translator, I managed to buy this dress from a seller on taoabo. It would take about 1 month to make and be delivered to me.
A month later, a package arrived for me and I excitedly ripped open the package. The dress wasn't that bad actually. Obviously, you can't compare it to the real thing - it wasn't 100% identical, the quality of the material wasn't fine but it was very reasonable considering the price I paid. The shape wasn't at all bad and it looked quite nice when I tired it on. I would actually prefer this dress over some of the boring nasty ones I had seen in some bridal shops in HK. And I could keep this dress, it was so cheap compared to the rental prices, and I wouldn't have to care if i ruined it during photo-taking. It was a brilliant idea. I experimented by taking a few snapshots of myself in it and it didnt look that bad. It could have been any dress from any of the bridal shops and it looked almost identical to the real thing. If it looked ok in photos taken from my iphone, so I was confident that it would look just fine in professional photos taken by photographers. Remember, photos can be so deceiving.
Now I have an option to take my beautiful pronovias wedding dress to my photo shoot and have a backup pretty dress as well - for variety and in case I would be going to anywhere too dirty or potentially dress damaging.
I highly recommend that people should do this more instead of renting dresses from expensive packages for their pre-wedding photos (especially if they go abroad for the photos). Of course, the real wedding dress should be perfect and i wouldn't blame you if you forked out for a custom made or expensive rental for it. But - consider this option, it will save you some money and with saving - every little helps!
(My taobao dress)