I call this part: DON'T FREAKING SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU KNOW HOW MUCH EVERYTHING COSTS!
We have chosen. Dreams have been dashed and tears have been cried and credit cards have been swiped.
From 3-5 dress changes
One black one white suit/tux for the dude
18-26 touched up pictures
one time hair and makeup application
2 mini albums
That's what you get for around a thousand dollars, ranging from the cheapest places to the more expensive ones.
Here's what is not included...that won't be mentioned unless you're savvy enough to ask.
Car Rental: from $3000-8000 NT (taiwan money) ranging from 4-8 hours
Yeah, you want pictures of the city scape, the beach, the mountains or anywhere that's not walking distance you have to rent the car for the photographer and all his crap. So if you want the pictures they showed you in the album, be sure to ask where they were and how long to get there and if you have to pay any entrance fee's (like a private garden) or tolls.
Hair/Makeup lady to come with you and touch you up while you're on the road: $3000-5000 NT
Yeah, I wouldn't want to spend 4 hours in a car with a bride and groom either. But the hell I'm getting to the beach 3 hours away and taking pictures looking like I just spent 3 hours in a car. That lady's not leaving my side. And for that much she's going to be fanning me with palm fronds to keep me looking good.
Dude's ultra classy looking suit: $2000-4000 PER SUIT
They almost got us with this one. In Chi's words the suits that the studio offered free of charge were all "gay." They did have superfluous amounts of shininess and embroidered crap on them but overshadowing the gayness would the lack of a big enough suit.So the stuio works with a tux rental place but for some reason was reluctant to let us go over there (this place was around the corner) and see the styles and even more disturbing the lady wouldn't tell us the exact price.
I'd ask a straightforward question. "How much to rent the nicer 3 piece suit?"
I'd get a kind of an answer, "These suits are free" and she'd show us the brochure with the crappy looking suits, and we went to see their smelly closet of one size doesn't fit all frilly suits that Chi wasn't impressed with.
"No, these suits don't fit. How much to rent the nicer 3 piece suit that fits?"
"Maybe? Is that for one suit or both?"
"Lets sign the paper and then we can call and ask"
Let me take another moment to yet again praise Maggie for her ever so polite yet insistant skills.
Here Maggie insisted she be clear, and go call and ask before we do anything else. And then I insisted. And Chi just sat there probably think 'gay, super gay' in his head. So she called and asked and came back with a number. $3000.
So here we insisted that we go over to the tux rental shop which is around the corner and see what we're getting. She wanted us to sign again. Ain't happening!
So we walk over to the tux rental place after much insisting and sit down and wait for awhile as the photo lady explains to the suit lady who we are and probably says something about how we're the people who have been making her life hell for the past four hours.
So Chi gets fitted and finds some more gay suits, then tries to explain the difference between a suit and a tuxedo and that he doesn't want to look like he works at a bank or like Jiminy Cricket. (They totally had one of those jackets too!)
Both ladies insist he try things on and then decide, again skirting the question of how much everything is going to cost. A few tux's later we finally get the price of $8000 for both.
That's not $2000, that's not even $2000 for one suit. By this time the lady we've been talking to had to go back to the studio and sent one of her dress fitter lackey's to finish up with us.
My jaw sufficiently dropped, Chi's eyes obviously rolled and Maggie so convincingly almost falling out of her seat we not so calmly explained that was out of our price range, not what was offered to us and our reasons for choosing this place were growing smaller and smaller.
After must discussion and whispering and Taiwanese (they started speaking Taiwanese after they found out Chi can speak Chinese) they finally lowered the price to $3500 for both tux's. Still more than what we were told but at least we hadn't signed our life away before we knew what we were getting into.
We have been assured that NOW there aren't any more hidden fee's or extra charges for nail polish or for gas or eyebrow tweezing or white shoes to go with the white tux.
We'll see, its all written down on paper now though.
Next to come, the fitting and dress selection.