“Shanghai Wedding Photographer – Bookstore Wedding – Lafite and Bo”

It’s kinda hard to put into words the whole experience of travelling to mainland China and capturing a couple who we initially got to meet in Fiji during their pre wedding OTBP session, which you can checkout here . As you may (or may not) already know, we are intrigued by different cultures and so when the opportunity arose to travel to see another part of the world through the eyes of locals about to tie the knot it was an irresistible draw, and one that has left a warm impression on our hearts. This is Lafite and Bo’s story: Together for 3 years, engaged for 10 months and with nothing but infectious love for each other in-between! These were such a cool and quirky couple who chose an non traditional setting in the form of a bookstore aptly called ‘Long time no read’ for their wedding ceremony location (another first for us) and had their cute fur baby Pug ‘Wasabi’ walk down the isle with Bo, not to mention a first dance that was ‘strictly come dancing’ worthy and an eye opener after party that took place in a Karaoke bar!! Leaving us pleasantly culture shocked. Enjoy

Chapter One: The evening before – introduction to rice wine

You ever get that feeling when you walk into a party and you have no idea where the night is going to lead you but it ends up being the best night ever? This was one of those moments. Pre wedding drinks the night before the wedding where the families got to meet one another to eat and drink and drink some more. We were introduced to both sides of the family and their Uni friends from S.Korea who had come over to celebrate this union. This was an education in rice wine, which is absolutely lethal ha ha But it never stopped coming. If someone wanted to ‘cheers’  the couple, then they would pour out the rice wine into tiny nip size glasses for everyone to drink and partake! With a cheer of “Gānbēi” you downed the shot, and so every guest there was a Gānbēi waiting to be called, and shot ready to be downed. It was a tradition that I could easily have done without but fully embraced it on the day!

Chapter Two: The Wedding day

We’d pre scouted the location the day before just to familiarise ourselves with the layout and its surroundings, although to be fair we had already fallen in love with the location just through it’s name :) Lafite was friends with the bookstore owner which made this story so much more special and they went out of their way to accommodate for Lafite’s dream wedding. Lafite chose a two piece Vera Wang outfit, but as she wasn’t too keen on the top she actually ended up designing the top herself from lace she bought from the local market and had a local tailor do the fitting, all in all it took about half a year to complete after a few refits. And the DIYing didn’t end there, as they did all the styling themselves with the help of their friends at the bookstore, Lafite saying that they didn’t want to leave anything to regret by getting outside vendors or “professionals” to runaway with their vision! And they absolutely killed it in style!

As Lafite was getting ready in the bookstore, somewhere on the other side of town Bo and his entourage were having lunch (dang these guys can eat), leaving enough time for a little nap in-between, the effects of the rice wine I presumed kicking in, unless it was just another wise old Chinese tradition…the quiet before the chaos! ha ha

Needless to say the boys made it to the ceremony in good time.  I suppose our surprise at how amazing the bookstore was styled really showed our ignorance and how little we knew about how advanced and aware the Chinese are. Which is the beauty about traveling, seeing, meeting and tasting the culture first hand. We were blown away.

Chapter Three: Urban OTBP

We took them to the Bund for their post ceremony portraits. It’s always a bit tricky when it comes to different cultures and different places as you never really know what is and what isn’t permissible…for example ‘taking photos of military personnel’ a definite no no ha ha And we found out the hard way that going to the bund for photos was trending and has been since like forever, so we counted about up to 10 other wedding / pre weddings / post wedding sessions taking place, not to mention it was a weekend so the bund was rammed with people from all over which we think made for really interesting photos in showcasing the real essence of urban Shanghai and it’s draw.

Chapter Four: The Reception & Afterparty

The Reception venue much like the Bookstore was such a cool spot. Kathleen’s Waitan Restaurant is one of those places that you’d easily walk straight past, like you would only know ‘if you knew’ that beyond the understated basic entrance and wheelie bins positioned to the left of the building that a few flights up that it would open on to one of the most spectacular views of the Huangpu River looking onto the spectacular skyline of Pudong which has featured in blockbusters like James bond ‘Skyfall’ and even ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ amongst many others, so being the movie buffs that we are we were in awe!

This was a great party involving loads more Rice wine and food…Not that we were complaining!

The afterparty concluded at KTV Karaoke bar by which time everyone had entered beast mode ha ha.

If you’re getting married in Mainland China, let us know we’re already looking froward to going back :)

Thank you Lafite and Bo for having us and we wish you all the best in your adventures together as a married couple x

Shanghai wedding photographer

Wedding Venue: Long Time No Read– A book store in Shanghai

Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Chaumet + tailor-made

Dress: White by Vera Wang (Dress) + Self designed and tailor-made lace top

Veil/headpiece: Shinemoda – Chinese tailor-made brand

Lingerie: Gift from aunt

Shoes: Sophia Webster

Accessories: Pearl necklace and earring gifts from Mum and friend

Hair & Makeup: Moco in Shanghai

Flowers: Made by the bookstore events team

Suit: Tailor-made by Labarca Bespoke Suit

Accessories: watch by Glashuette, shoe by Labarca

Reception Venue: Kathleens Waitan