He went down on one knee, she said yes, and now there’s a wedding to be planned! While flowers and décor may not last forever, memories captured in photographs are yours to keep for a lifetime. When it comes to the pre-wedding shoot, what can be more romantic and memorable than whisking off to a foreign land with your lover in hand?
If you’re ready to embark on an adventure with your soon-to-be life partner, pack your gown and suits because these beautiful landscapes will set your heart fluttering.
Hoi An, Vietnam: Of vintage warehouses and quaint streets
Drift along the Thu Bon River with colourful lanterns hovering above your heads. Picturesque buildings lined up on both sides and the moonlight gently falling on the calm waters, Hoi An is one of the most romantic cities in Asia and it’s clear why.
Stroll down Hoi An’s famous Ancient Town hand in hand
Did you know, the Ancient Town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
From the Japanese Covered Bridge to the Ancient Town, Hoi An exudes an unmistakable old-town charm with its architecture. Even though the city has gained popularity over the years, many parts remain unexplored. So, don’t be afraid to wander off your pre-determined photoshoot locations — you may just stumble upon a hidden gem or two for a whole new set of photographs along its quaint streets.
While you’re there, why not do a little wedding shopping? Tailor-made suits and dresses are a huge thing in Hoi An — it’s affordable, quick and you get to oversee the entire process from start to end. There are a few famous ones that are pricier like Kimmy Tailor, but you can also easily find decent tailor shops at lower prices along the streets like Ha Na Tailor or Ba Ri Tailor. Just remember to check out more than one shop before deciding and go with the one you’re most comfortable with!
Taiwan: Of mountain mysteries and majestic landscapes
We know Taiwanese dramas have some of the most poignant storylines, so where better to act out your dramatic love story in photos than here? Specifically, up in the mountains.
Climbing a mountain is no feat, but we promise the view is worth the hike. Photo credit: Synchronal Photography
Standing at the top of the world against the splendour of lush foliage and natural of Taiwan’s mountains can be truly liberating; wind in your hair, not a care in the world. Whether you choose to hike up the vast He Huan Shan (合歡山) in Central Taiwan, or the classic Alishan (阿里山) near Chiayi (a town in southwestern Taiwan), the greenery all around makes for an album of nature-themed engagement photos that will induce a wanderlust amongst your guests.
Especially for the brides-to-be: If you’re planning to wear your favourite heels for a mountain photoshoot, make sure to pack a pair of comfortable trekking shoes for the hikes in-between. Alternatively, skip the fancy gowns and let your engagement photos showcase the rugged, adventurous side of you and your partner!
Shanghai: Of night lights and oriental city vibes
Uptown girl meets uptown boy and they lived happily ever after. If that’s your love story, then Shanghai is just the city to encapsulate your romance.
If you’ve heard the song, ‘夜上海’ (translated to ‘a night in Shanghai’), you’ll find a new appreciation for the oriental city. Photo credit: SPOTTED Studio
Where city lights shine late into the night, and streets are ever-vibrant with life; this is the land where glamour, fashion and romance once ruled. Modern architecture adorned with an oriental flair, strolling down iconic streets like Nanjing Road and Tian Zi Fang magically transports you into Shanghai circa 1900s — not to mention make for quintessential backdrops.
Have a little fun and go retro with qipaos (traditional Chinese dress) and fedoras! Your best bet would be to go with a photographer from Singapore, or a studio based in Shanghai that offers a complete package — including a variety of modern chic oriental costumes for you and your partner. With a native photographer, you may even score more unique shots at hidden gems only locals know of.
Dubai Desert: Of sand dunes, camels and sunsets
When we think of photoshoot-worthy spots in Dubai, its vast desert lands come to mind.
If you’re planning your own trip, the easiest way to navigate the desert is to book a Desert Safari tour locally
Like a breath of fresh air from its futuristic city, Dubai’s Arabian Desert is where the skies come alive at night with millions of twinkling stars; where you can ride on camels as you watch the sun set beneath the many sand dunes. Whether you don a casual white dress or a head-turning red gown, the Dubai Desert makes for ‘a whole new world’ to capture memories for a lifetime — cue Aladdin!
Check into a desert resort for a couple of nights to reduce travelling time to and fro the city. A place like Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, for instance, provides a romantic hideout where you can sit back, relax, and take in the never-ending desert all around when you’re not taking photos.
Sydney: Of faith, trust and pixie dust
One of the most beautiful places in Australia, Sydney brings to mind pristine oceans and white sand. While it does boast many beaches, a more unconventional kind of pre-wedding photoshoot you can hold here comes in a fun-filled package — in none other than its amusement parks.
Tip: Make sure your photographer requests for permission to shoot in the park’s premises beforehand! Photo credit: Luna Park Weddings
The Luna Park, for instance, is one of Sydney’s largest and most popular theme parks. Amidst its iconic Ferris wheel and fairytale-like carousel, twirl around in a classic white gown and unleash your inner child. And when night falls and the neon lights go on, turn your playdate into a dreamy adventure. Best part is, you actually get to have tons of fun while your photographer captures these precious moments forever!
The atmosphere changes as the sun sets and night falls — but both times of the day provide great opportunities for different kinds of shoots. By day, go for a casual look in a playful dress for the ladies and shorts for the men. At night, swop your outfits for an elegant gown and three-piece suit to accentuate the magical wonderland vibe.
All in all, overseas pre-wedding photoshoots are not just great fun, it provides an opportunity for you and your partner to take some time off from the (sometimes stressful) wedding planning and unwind for a few days. With all-in-one photography studios like OneThreeOneFour and Dream Wedding, you don’t even have to worry about your itinerary and outfits! However, these packages tend to be more expensive as you have to cover the photographer’s return airfare from Singapore and accommodation, on top of professional fees.
Alternatively, you can reach out to photographers based overseas. A quick Google search turns up a variety of local photographer portfolios for you to pick from — which can be more affordable but might also require more planning and coordination leading up to the trip.
Whichever studio or destination you choose, the most important thing is that your photos encapsulate who you are as a couple — casual, spontaneous or simply fun-loving!
If you’re looking for mini-moon getaways for after the big wedding, you can find inspiration here too.
Useful Travel Information
Best time to visit
The dry season from February to May provides just the right amount of sunshine and is the best time to visit. September to January is their rainy season.
The official currency of Hoi An, Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), but most places also accept United States Dollar (USD).
Get to Da Nang, Vietnam in 2hr 40min via direct flights from Singapore, then take a 30min car ride or 45min bus ride to Hoi An. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.
Best time to visit
Fall is the best time to visit, in particular from October to November. It has the least rainfall and the temperature is coolest. May and June are the periods with most rain and might make hiking a bit difficult.
The official currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD).
Fly to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, in 4hr 25min via direct flights from Singapore. From there, you can conveniently access different regions of Taiwan via the High-Speed Rail (HSR) train. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.
Best time to visit
October to November has the most comfortable temperature — not as chilly as winter and not as hot as summer. It’s also a lull period for tourism so there may be lesser crowds, making it easier to get shots without hordes of people in them.
The official currency of Shanghai is the Renminbi (RMB), also known as the Chinese Yuan (CNY).
Get to Shanghai in 5hr 20min via direct flights from Singapore. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.
Best time to visit
Dubai is sunny all year round, but November to March tend to be less hot compared to April to October.
The official currency of Dubai is the Arab Emirate Dirham (AED).
You can get to Dubai in 7hr 15min via direct flights from Singapore. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.
Best time to visit
October, November, February and March are relatively cooler compared to the rest of the months, and have lesser crowds.
The official currency of Sydney, Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
You can get to Sydney, Australia in 7hr 35min via direct flights from Singapore. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.