Of all the things the bride- and groom-to-be have to cope with in planning History’s Most Excellent Wedding, the pre-wedding shoot has emerged in recent years as the most testing.
Easing the situation – or complicating it, depending on your point of view – is the fact that, most of the time, it’s the bride who calls the shots on how the shots are handled.
She’ll drag her soon-to-be-husband off to spend a day or two at the photographer’s studio. The man with the camera, a trained professional, will tell them over and over to gaze endearingly into one another’s eyes and please ignore his assistant’s occasional snigger.
The betrothed do their awkward best to look like the model couples in the mail-order catalogues. They’re aware the pictures aren’t going to come out quite right, but they’ll obey every clich้ command and strike every obvious assembly-line pose just so they can end the agony sooner.
And then there’s Coco and Christian. They wanted to do the pre-nup publicity differently and, boy, did they succeed. Their photographer, from the very deliberately named Narakorn Prewedding Studio, shared the pictures on Facebook last week and everyone was agog – in a nice way. Evidently many damsels in event-planning distress are keen to get the same treatment ahead of their weddings.
The photographer reveals only that Christian is a Danish businessman who’s found his true love in Coco, a native of Sisaket in the Northeast. “When we asked them where they wanted to do the shoot, they said they wanted to do it at home. I thought they meant Denmark!”
Hah hah. No, they meant Sisaket, but they did have a different surprise for the cameraman -– no wedding gown or tuxedo, no Barbie and Ken. They wanted to be photographed in costume and settings as Kwan and Riam, the doomed lovers in the classic Thai romantic tragedy “Plae Kao” (“The Scar”).
So Coco put on two pieces of cloth as a chong kraben and popped a flower in her hair. Christian is even more frugal in his attire, clad just in farmer’s short pants and a cotton scarf. His ample tummy is on ample display.
Coco’s family had a rice paddy handy and the day was sunny and hot enough to melt hearts. An albino water buffalo joined them. The pictures seem to come from one of the many movie adaptations of “Plae Kao”. Coco and Christian dip their toes in a pond and cuddle behind a pile of hay. And, yes, they do gaze into each other’s eyes in several frames. But the best shot features Christian “asking for Coco’s hand” in front of a crackling fire as the night turns cool.
Sweet nostalgia! The photos are beautiful to look at and earned rave reviews. “The most darling pre-wedding shoot I’ve ever seen,” one woman gushed.
It’s clear enough that Coco wanted to show Christian a good old-fashioned slice of Isaan rural life. We have to wonder, though, if she wasn’t also giving him a hint about all the hard work that lies ahead once he says his “I do”.