Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

November 2023

Rachel and Joshua’s Enchanting Pre-Wedding Shoot in the Scenic French Alps

Rachel and Joshua travelled to the French Alps and old town in France for a picturesque pre-wedding shoot.

Rachel Chan, 29, Account Manager, Joshua Ng, 31, Assistant Training Manager, met at a friend’s wedding. She was the bridesmaid while he was the groomsman. Little did they know, they would be attending a wedding together once more, this time, it would be their own wedding. Before the lovebirds walk down the aisle in matrimony, they took off to France to capture their love against the picturesque backdrop of the French Alps in Chamonix and charming old town in Annecy.

What drew you to each other?

Joshua: We met at a party, and she was the only one who laughed at my jokes. I knew I had to keep her around (Just kidding!). As I got to know her better, I realised what drew me to her was her genuine personality. She was straightforward, independent, and unapologetically herself. These are exactly the qualities I look for in a person.

Rachel: I don’t recall laughing at his jokes but, I liked that he was confident, driven goal oriented and he knew clearly what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to be different from his peers. He is a person who will make sure he succeeds in achieving what he sets his mind on. Oh, and he was also pretty generous.

What is it about your partner that you love the most?

Joshua: She has been keeping it real since the dating phase six years ago until now. Straightforward and honest. Nothing about her changed from the start of the relationship and that is a quality not many people possess.

Rachel: He is very patient, which is the complete opposite of me. He hasn’t ever complained whenever we went shopping together in the past six years of our relationship. Even if I spent three hours at a shop, he would patiently follow me around or wait for me with zero complaints. He would never lament that he was bored, and allowed me to take my time shopping. I know not many guys will be able to do this.

What was the proposal like?

Joshua: I really wanted to make the proposal unique and special. At first, I thought about doing it on a yacht, but it seemed like everyone was doing that. So, I had this idea to propose on New Year’s Eve with the fireworks in the background. It had always been a dream of mine to countdown in front of Taipei 101, so I went for it. Long story short, things didn’t go as planned due to the weather, but I’m still glad I did it and made it a memorable moment.

Rachel: I actually knew about it and would openly disturb him about it, but that’s really our dynamic, we basically can’t hide any secrets from each other. So the plan was to propose to me on New Year’s Eve when we were holidaying in Taiwan. He booked a hotel room with a view of Taipei 101 so we could see the fireworks display from our room. The night before he was adjusting his camera settings to ensure he could capture a good image during the proposal moment, I even obliged when he asked me to step in for test shots. However, the plan didn’t go as expected as it was raining that night and half of Taipei 101 was obscured from view. Even though I was fully aware that it was happening, I was still touched and teared up.

Where did you go for your pre-wedding shoot? Why did you choose that destination/location?

Joshua: Annecy and Chamonix were our chosen destinations because we wanted to explore somewhere unique, less heard of and experience the best of both worlds. We were looking forward to discovering the charming old town architecture of France as well as the scenic beauty of the French Alps.

Take us back to your pre-wedding shoot. What was the day like?

Rachel: We had 1.5 days of shoot. We started late in the afternoon on the first day because we had to pick our photographers up from Geneva airport. We spent the day exploring different photo spots in Annecy old town. I remember feeling super nervous about being judged for wearing a wedding gown in the old town, but to my surprise, everyone was so welcoming and friendly – many of them even congratulated and complimented us! That definitely made the experience a lot less nerve-racking.

We spent our second day in Chamonix. My gown was really huge, so I was quite stressed about it, so we booked a hotel room in Chamonix just to change into the gown. We took a cable car up the French Alps. It was really quite a tough day as it was really cold up the mountains and it was difficult to walk in my huge gown and 6-inch heels. I also had a little bit of altitude sickness and was feeling quite weak after the shoot ended in the afternoon, which was probably also because we did the morning shoot on empty stomachs and were super hungry after.

Later, we went back to Annecy for more shots. I was super grateful for the great weather for both days, and for the very welcoming and encouraging locals whom we met. I was worried that we would be a nuisance blocking their way, but they were so understanding and patient with us. Many of them even requested to take photos with us.

Did you meet with any difficulties while planning and/or during the shoot? How did you overcome them?

Joshua: The planning stage was pretty uncertain because we didn’t have any contacts who’d been to Annecy or Chamonix before. Even scouring YouTube didn’t yield much information on these places. Honestly, I was clueless about where to start or what to anticipate until a week before the shoot, when I finally got to visit Chamonix myself. That’s when everything clicked, and we were good to go.

Rachel: For me, it was definitely the difficulty of walking in the wedding gown and in 6-inch high heels. It was really, really tiring, especially up the mountains but I’m thankful everyone tried to help me in one way or another. Other than that, I think the shoot went quite smoothly.

Share with us a memorable/funny moment/incident that took place during your pre-wedding shoot.

Joshua: What stuck with me the most was how friendly the locals were. Almost everyone who walked by us would say “Congratulations” in French, which was something you don’t really experience in Singapore. There were also a few locals who approached us and gave us “tips” on which location in the area is beautiful. This really made us feel at ease as we felt that nobody is “judging” us walking around in a gown and tuxedo.

Rachel: For me, it was definitely that moment when we were shooting in Annecy and we saw a papillon dog. I used to have a papillon dog as a pet for 19 years but she passed away in 2019. It is really quite rare to see papillons in Singapore, hence I was so excited when I saw one during our photoshoot in Annecy. The owner was so nice and even told her dog to sit beside me for a photo but sadly the dog wasn’t willing and ran off.

If you could share three tips with couples who are planning an overseas pre-wedding shoot, what would it be?

Rachel: First, the crew you choose is important. I don’t think I would have enjoyed myself that much if I engaged another photographer or makeup artist. They were really the best crew you could ever ask for. They made the shoot itself so fun, it was as if we were travelling with our friends whom we have known for years.

Secondly, your gown choice and the ease of bringing it overseas. I loved how the two gowns I chose suited the vibes and style of the two locations we shot at, but if I could choose again, maybe I would not have chosen the gown I wore on the mountains. It was really a nightmare to pack, and because it was such a huge gown, it took up a lot of luggage space. It was also quite heavy and difficult to walk in up the mountains, so just consider these aspects when you choose your gown!

Last but not least, always make sure you hand carry your gowns just in case your luggage goes missing!

Joshua: I’m really glad that even with all the uncertainty, everything ended up going smoothly. It’s not just because of us, but also thanks to our amazing makeup artist, Raine, and our awesome photographer, Joe. So, here’s my advice: find a gorgeous spot, a talented photographer, a skilled makeup artist, and just go for it!

The Shoot Location: Annecy and Chamonix, France
The Bride’s Outfit: The Ivory Bridal
The Groom’s Outfit: BOSS
The Engagement Ring: Emperor Jewellery
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Acapella Photography
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Raine Yeo Makeup
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides

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Rachel and Joshua’s Enchanting Pre-Wedding Shoot in the Scenic French Alps