We’ve all heard of destination weddings, but would you travel to another country just to have your wedding photos taken? That’s the latest travel trend in Asia as increasing numbers of well-to-do Chinese couples head to South Korea to have their marriage immortalized on film.
Some Chinese feel that South Korea is more sophisticated when it comes to things like fashion, makeup and urban style, and believe that getting their photos taken there will result in a more glamorous finished product — not to mention give them bragging rights among friends and family back home. The idea of South Korea as a chic destination has been growing in China thanks to Korean pop videos, such as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” as well as South Korean TV shows.Newlywed couples take part in glamorous photo shoots in the city’s upscale neighborhoods, hoping to mimic the lifestyles of their favorite South Korean celebrities. However, it’s not just real locales that provide the backdrop for the wedding snaps — interestingly, many Chinese also get their bridal portraits taken in front of facades that resemble the Loire Valley, Bordeaux and other European destinations. Apparently, the Western sets look better when you’re ditching the traditional Chinese wedding attire for a white ball gown.
The whole concept has been a big boon for South Korean photographers, some of whom see 50 to 60 Chinese couples a month. But South Korean glamour photography doesn’t come cheap — wedding travel packages that include transportation, assistants and hotels can set a couple back $2000-$4000.
For many happy couples, a trip is taken to commemorate joyful events, like a marriage or the impending birth of a child. Then there are other couples – the ones who certainly aren’t happy but who aren’t quite ready to rush off to Vegas for their divorce party. For them, there’s “divorce tourism”.
The Daily Mail reports that a company in India, called KV Tours and Travel, is offering packages to destinations like the Maldives aimed at helping couples on the brink of divorce to reconcile. India has typically had a very low divorce rate – only about one out of every 100 marriages end in divorce – but in India’s largest cities, it is becoming more common. The company offers a few different packages, ranging from local stays to more expensive exotic destinations. Vijesh Thakker, the company’s chief executive told the AP, “We’re trying to send them where they have not been before, where there are not many people – and no relatives”. For couples that don’t want to invest in saving their marriage, the company reaches out to family members and asks them to foot the bill on the couple’s behalf. Experienced marriage counselors accompany the couple on their trip and help them work through their issues and determine if they want to stay together or go their separate ways.
Can a seven-day vacation save a marriage? Not likely, which even the concept’s creator admits. “We’re not destiny changers,” Thakker said, but “we want them to treat the trip like a second honeymoon”.
This shot, “Down by the Riverside” by AlphaTangoBravo/ Adam Baker
is filled with mini stories in Toulouse, France
. The dog is looking to horizons elsewhere, perhaps? Is the girl in the foreground thinking that her book is a pleasurable companion, or does she notice that others are in pairs and want someone to share the pleasure of the day with her?
What mini stories have you captured with your lens? Send them our way at Gadling’s Flickr Photo Pool. It might be chosen as a Photo of the Day.
Croatia’s geography lends itself to love. The country is blessed with a scenic coastline along the Adriatic Sea – a stretch of land that is dotted with picturesque rocky islands and scenic beach towns like Dubrovnik and Hvar. Not surprisingly, Croatia has long attracted tourists and couples – during the summer months, it’s the perfect spot for laying on the beach, island-hopping and plenty of outdoor fun.
According to the Daily Mail, Croatia’s coast is also home to another unintentionally romantic destination – a heart-shaped island recently highlighted on Google Maps. Though the island is uninhabited, tourists have recently caught on and have been clamoring for access. The island’s owners, overwhelmed by requests to visit, have renamed the small landmass as “Lover’s Island” to capitalize on the demand. I guess the original name, Galesnjak, didn’t exactly roll off the tongue…
As romantic as it may sound to head off to this remote heart-shaped landmass, take note – the island has no buildings and no access to fresh water. February temperatures are also hovering in the high 30’s. Still for some, access to one of the world’s more remote destinations (and with a theme to boot!) is powerful motivation. I guess when it comes to love, emotion sometimes trumps proper logic.
There is no telling when a photo will show up as a Photo of the Day. Ultraclay! posted this one December 1, 2006. Why now? Why today? These tango dancers, one a blur, but for the clasp of a hand, evokes a romantic dream–the type of shot that can only be captured at the right instant.
Send your captured moments our way at Gadling’s Flickr Photo Pool. Who knows? Next week –, tomorrow, or two years from now, it could show up as a Photo of the Day.