Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Excuse me, We are not your "normal bridal shops" ! ...

ow ! it's been more than a year i have made some update on my wedding blog ...

This written article was inspired by 3 'not-so-potentials', in the last 3 weeks, whom have either send me an email, or met-up, and indicating their own experiences while preparing their wedding and booking bridal packages.

One of the recent story is that he has had almost purchased a bridal package from one of those bridal shops, that offered "all-in-one" packages for less than $4K, and another $1K for wedding day Photo + Video services ( sounds familiar ? )... and He has mentioned about his intention and budget, and hope that he could get a similar or 'better deal' package ( which is of course not possible, if not, we won't be in this 'cut-throat' business for long, in the first place - which i personally loathe it ). I have even wrote an article ( prior to this )talking about "good design and artwork is not a commodity -- and neither is a must-have -- But for those who can appreciate fine creations and the art of professionalism, will seek out those fellas that provide such premiums" -- that is another story, again later.

The reason that he is pausing for any sign-up with the current Bridal shop, is because his 21-year old wife-to-be, was being told to referred to a Singapore Wedding Website by her good friends. And she was immediately impressed with the wedding photos showcased on the site. He rang me up the following day to enquire about the bridal services and details ... ( more details later ).

Like nearly all to-be-wed couples in Singapore, they have visited the usual bridal shops in Tanjong Pagar area and some in the outskirts of the bridal enclave.

After each visitation, they have all the quotations and making comparisons into the details and such. Typically, they would bargains for freebies and 'comparing' quotes with the neighboring bridal shops, and asking for 'better' deals. Interestingly, most bridal shops Sales assistance will try to accommodate the request -- And you know the rest of the story.

Below is an email excerpt taken in replying to the recent mentioned story ... It's an explanation and educational piece that hope to bring across all future interested couples see our points and standing ...

----- Start of Reply Message ----- 7th May, 2008

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email.

We are a premium Designer Boutique(s) and Independent Professional Photo Studio, in Singapore.

We are not the "normal bridal shops" -- whom engaged lesser-known or non-established designers, or fresh-face / lesser experience studio bridal photographers and assistance, or **part-time / freelance actual day photographers to serve you.
( **note: Not their full-time job or career, or their 75% income is the not derived from photography service ).

We are Boutique Owners and Designers, whom designed our own unique original creations from scratch, and crafted our dresses and gowns here locally, with premium grade materials from all over the world.

We don't do copy designs and import cheap and ready-made gowns and dresses from overseas, and then re-make to 'call' our own. We pride in our unique creations, and our signature works and designs, are a cut above the rest. We are recognized by our peers and in the bridal fashion industry, in Singapore.

Our Bridal & Wedding Day Photographers are among the best and well-known in the industry for their works and talents. They have outstanding records and their service is appreciated by married couples both in Singapore and Overseas.

The difference in pricing from the "normal bridal shops" and the "Independent Designers+Photo Studios" package is typically about 150% premium or more, which is relatively cheap by world standards.

For example, the basic entry-level package from the "normal bridal shops" is at $3,288, and you can expect a 150% premium from the "Independent Designer+Photo Studios" entry-level package which is around $4,988. ( 2007 / 08 ).

If you fancy a better package with offerings like custom-made gowns / dresses, including design & layout pages' photo albums, with creative photos and outstanding imagery, then the premium-level packages are for you.

For mid and top-level packages, the "normal bridal shops" will be quoting you from $4,000 ~ $5,000 ( maximum ), and you are expected to spend a premium of $6,000 ~ $7,500 for the "Independent Designers+Photo Studios". ( 2007 / 08 ).

In the same vein, Wedding Day photography ( a.k.a actual day photography ) services from the "normal bridal shops", are typically priced about $600 ~ $800, basic offering like 300 photos + 600 digital shots + Photo-CD for wedding day ceremonial and banquet events. ( Some have bundled it into their bridal package offering, with T & C stated ).

If you are interested in great wedding photography, unforgettable experiences and high-level of service professionalism, you should engaged a specialist or full-time professional, whom typically should be quoting you 150% premium over the lesser counter-parts -- for example, $900 to $1,200, for the higher quantity outputs / deliverables. And for subjectivity issue like quality, you must get to see their hard-copies portfolios to make your own judgment and call.

Being a veteran or top-notch specialists or professionals, the rate isexpected to be at least 200% premium, over the part-timers and full-time freelancers, and a few professionals are even able to value-add like details consultation, wedding planning, and even co-ordination. Usually their professional rate or fee and package is at $2,500 ( 2007 / 08 ) and more.

Some specialist and professionals do offer other wedding products like photo-books and photo journals albums, at different designs and creativity level. And depending on finishing, product's pricing ranged from $1,200 to $5,000 ( or more ). Other related products like 'Wedding Day Photo Highlights' is also popular among the young getting-married couples.

In Brief :
-------------> For couples budgeting between $6,500 to $15,000 upfront for Bridal & Services + Bridal / Wedding Photography packages, should go straight and consider the Premium "Independent Designer+Photo Studios" offerings. ( 2007 / 08 ).[ The keyword here is around $6,500 or more / 150% Premuim or more and Exclusivity ]

> For budgets around or less than $5,000, and looking for Bridal & Services + Bridal / Wedding Photography the all-in-one "normal bridal shops" will be recommended for your requirement. ( 2007 / 08 ).
[ The keyword here is around $5,000 and less / Cheap and economical ]

Caution :
> There are many young couples who have originally budgeted for $3,000 - $5,000, and go for the no-frills economical, all-in-one package offered by the so-called "normal bridal shops", but ended up paying 2 times or more ( $6,000 - $10,000 or more ).

> These are typically in the unforeseen areas for topping-up in the extras like photos, customized items like gowns and dresses, makeup add-ons, flowers, transportation, and other unexpected, desired and necessary items, which may not initially communicated during the sale and decision-making process.

> Advise is that you got to stick to the budget, and resist the temptation of the extras, and spend the remaining of your budget on the rest of other good vendors, for comparable quality service and works.

----- End of Reply Message ----- 7th May, 2008

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