updated 20 Aug 2013, 16:30
Login password
Thu, Aug 15, 2013
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Chinese crave Seoul-made pictures

Standing by a French chateau's window, the young bride-to-be glows in the afternoon sun as she gazes into her fiancé's eyes.

This Chinese couple's fairy tale moment, however, isn't unfolding at a Bordeaux estate.

The 20-something Beijing lawyers, who are fans of South Korean pop idol Rain, are actually in Seoul, South Korea.

They are part of a small but growing number of Chinese who are flying to the city for the weekend to have wedding photos taken.

Explained the bride-to-be, Ms Yang Candi: "The style in South Korea is more sophisticated and cuter than what we have in China.

"We came here because South Korea is the leader in fashion and makeup."

The country's growing influence in popular culture is also a factor.

"I always wanted to come here, especially after watching South Korean TV shows," said the groom-to-be, Chen Jingjing, his face gleaming with liquid foundation, his eyebrows carefully contoured.


China is the source of a quarter of all tourists to South Korea, and the more than 2.5 million Chinese visitors spent an average of US$2,150 per person last year, more than any other nationality, said South Korea's tourism ministry.

Some companies in South Korea's US$15 billion (S$18 billion) wedding industry are wooing an image-conscious slice of the Chinese jet set who are happy to spend thousands on a wedding album with a South Korean touch.

That's helping companies such as iWedding, which is the largest of the South Korean wedding planners hosting Chinese tourists, to flourish, AP reported.

Meanwhile, in the studio, after nearly three hours of hair, make-up and frequent amorous glances, Mr Chen and Ms Yang, dressed in wedding white, are chauffeured to a nearby photo studio, where they spend eight hours striking poses before facades resembling cobblestoned streets or Loire Valley (central France) estates.

The European backdrop is a favourite of Chinese visitors and South Koreans.

As they pose, mellow South Korean pop tunes waft from speakers in the ceiling.

Later, the photographs are arranged in a leather-bound album, part of a package that includes transportation, assistants and a hotel option, said Ms Yu Mi Ra, a Chinesespeaking South Korean coordinator at iWedding.

The cost? US$2,000 to US$4,000.

Get The New Paper for more stories.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2013 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.