Wedding March down the supermarket aisle

Mr Smith Leong, 30, and his fiancee Chris Goh, 29, pictured during their wedding shoot with photographer Ma Xianrong (left), 30, at the FairPrice outlet in City Square Mall yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mr Smith Leong, 30, and his fiancee Chris Goh, 29, pictured during their wedding shoot with photographer Ma Xianrong (left), 30, at the FairPrice outlet in City Square Mall yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Botanic Gardens, Sentosa, Changi Beach and the Flyer are typical spots for couples to take their wedding shoots. Now add FairPrice supermarkets to the list.

A growing number of couples are giving a new twist to what it means to walk down the aisle, by adding pictures of themselves alongside fruits, vegetables and cans into their wedding album.

The supermarket chain said it received more then 30 requests for wedding photo sessions last year, double the number in 2012.

Yesterday morning, it was 30-year-old social media manager Smith Leong and teacher Chris Goh, 29, who took their turn posing in wedding finery in a FairPrice outlet at City Square Mall.

As teenagers in Temasek Polytechnic, they had frequented a nearby outlet to buy tidbits for movie dates.

When they started living together two years ago, they started going to supermarkets in City Square Mall and Punggol Plaza for groceries.

They will be holding their wedding celebrations in October.

Mr Leong said: "Sometimes we see elderly couples holding hands and walking along the supermarket aisles, doing things together happily. That will be us as we go through different stages of our lives."

The 41-year-old supermarket chain, which first had such a request in 2008, does not charge a fee for the use of its premises for photography sessions. But it does take between one and four weeks for approval to be granted.

The couples have a maximum of three hours in the supermarket and must follow certain guidelines such as no sitting in trolleys.

The most popular store for wedding shoots last year was the FairPrice Finest in the shopping mall 100AM in Tras Street.

Wedding photography companies have noticed the growing popularity of supermarkets for shoots.

In 2008, One Eye Click did just one wedding photo shoot in a supermarket. But over the last two years, the company received about 20 requests annually. Said owner Terry Ng: "It's about couples going around to normal everyday places where they hang out and the pictures become more about them than just scenery."

Last June, project manager Clarence Chang, 28, and his wife, account manager Cynthia Chua, who is in her 30s, took their pre-wedding photographs in the FairPrice Finest outlet in Tras Street.

The pictures were a big hit with their friends and family.

Mr Chang said: "We went to places like Sentosa and HortPark, but out of the over 200 pictures, the ones in the supermarket looked the best."

Cheryl Faith Wee