How Fake Wedding Photos Have Become A Lucrative Business in Europe – Forbes

The most romantic wedding? Not really. A couple recreating their romantic fantasy in front of the Eiffel tower last July   Photo:  Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

They are everywhere. In front of the Louvre Museum. Under the Eiffel Tower. In the Luxembourg Gardens. In front of luxury hotels and mansions. Sometimes even in parking lots.

A rage, a trend, a new tradition feeding a lucrative branch of the tourism industry and spreading not only around the most romantic city of the world, but to many other places in France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy and other European countries.

A pre-wedding photography shoot at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, England       Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Traveling from all over Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia, brides and grooms arrive by the hundreds every month to pose in their wedding outfits for romantic photos alongside some of the most famous landmarks – and lately next to less well-known sites.

In Paris, they’re becoming as ubiquitous as street vendors.

A young couple posing for a photographer on the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris, one of the favorite places in Europe for pre-wedding romantic portraits      Photo: Lionel Bonaventura/AFP/Getty Images

Although they look like newlyweds, clad in white wedding dresses, veils, tuxedos, flowers and all the accoutrements, they are, in fact, “pre-wedding” events organized just for the photos. The real wedding takes place back home, sometimes months later, where showing the portraits as slide shows, posters and videos on big screens is an important part of the celebration.

“Most couples take the wedding photos months before the wedding, and it can be a complicated and arduous process that demands days of effort, numerous costume changes, exotic locations and a huge budget, with some shoots costing as much as $15,000,” according to research on the pre-wedding industry by Li Zhaoping at China’s Saimaa University. “As opposed to Western couples who seek wedding pictures that capture real moments, Asian couples want elaborate photos that reflect their romantic fantasies.”

An Asian couple  in wedding attire at Parliament Square in London      Photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP/GettyImages

It’s not a new fad. In reality, affluent Asian couples have been doing it for years. What’s new is that thanks to cheaper travel, their numbers have been steadily growing, creating a prosperous industry that now offers one or multiple photographers, many choices of romantic sites throughout Europe and more than just stylish photos in wedding finery.

Florists, hair dressers, makeup artists, brand party gowns, shoes, limos and vintage cars are part of the packages destined to fulfill couples’ most romantic dreams – at least in pictures.

“A love dream that has a price of about €2,000 to travel to Paris from miles away to take dozens of photos in one day and bring them back home,” explains France 2.

A Chinese couple chooses bouquets as they prepare for their pre-wedding photographs   Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

How Fake Wedding Photos Have Become A Lucrative Business in Europe – Forbes

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