For A Perfect Wedding
A certified course to make someone’s dream wedding come true...
As one of the top wedding destinations in the world, Bali needs to step up their game in the wedding industry. There are a lot of wedding organizers and planners on the island, but not many of them embrace the values and high-standards of the business. This inspired Ria Kentjono (RK) to open a certified course for wedding planners in Bali and Jakarta, naming it The Wedding Academy. Bali & Beyond (BB) talks to the woman who was in charge of hundreds of weddings at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali before opening her own business, and asks her about the new course and the challenges of handling a wedding event.
BB: Why should a wedding planner join The Wedding Academy?
RK: My main goal is to create a minimum standard for wedding practitioners in Indonesia. I believe every profession needs an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), and so far wedding planners in Indonesia don’t have that. Most of us are just learning by doing. Many start a wedding organizer business after volunteering at a wedding once or twice, without really knowing how to actually handle the clients.
BB: What does a wedding planner need to do to create an out-of-thebox celebration?
RK: They really have to understand the client. They have to research the client even before their first meeting. We can check out the client’s social media account and see the things they post online – from their timeline we can see what they like and don’t like and whether they’re introverts or extroverts. This is important so that we can prepare the information we need to provide during our meeting. We can also visit the client’s house to get the feeling of their home. It is about getting personal with the client. Maybe there’s a wall in their house that can be an inspiration for the party’s decoration.
BB: What is the curriculum in this course and what will the students learn?
RK: Our graduates will be certified with Weddings Beautiful, a curriculum from the USA that was founded in 1968. The students will learn all about weddings as a business, like making a business plan, understanding the clients’ needs, developing a theme, as well as the wedding procedures of the five different religions in Indonesia, and the wedding traditions of Java, Batak, and Gorontalo. They study almost everything, as they need to master how to deal not just with the clients but also the vendors. We also invite experts from the wedding industry as guest speakers. This academy is open to anyone, from a fresh graduate to those who are looking for a business opportunity in the wedding industry. Each class is limited to 15 students.
BB: What are the most important values to have as a wedding planner?
RK: Confidence, creativity, and patience, as we will be handling a lot of different characteristics – especially in Indonesia where weddings are more like a family affair. A wedding planner is a mediator – that’s the toughest challenge of all. We need to be able to help solve any problem occurring between the vendors and clients, or between members of the clients’ family. A wedding planner needs to be a good listener as well – this is pretty basic but seems to be forgotten most of the time.
BB: What made you fall in love with the wedding industry?
RK: It’s challenging, dynamic, and so much fun! Every couple has different characteristics. A wedding needs to be personalized and that challenges our creativity and patience. And a wedding is once in a lifetime for that couple. Everything has to be perfect because if there’s a glitch, we can’t say, “We’ll do better next time.” There is no next time.
BB: What other things do you think the wedding industry in Indonesia, particularly Bali, should improve?
RK: I think wedding organizers and planners in Bali need to be able to compete. I am concerned by the fact that international couples are flying in a wedding organizer or planner from their own country to manage their wedding here in Bali. Even couples from Jakarta also bring their own team. Why? There are a lot of wedding organizers in Bali, so why don’t the clients hire a team from the island? That’s why wedding organizers and planners in Bali should develop. One of the most important investments is a website, so that people outside Bali can reach out to you.
BB: Do you have other projects?
RK: I am opening The Luxury Weddings Indonesia, a full-service wedding planner that helps couples to design their wedding day from scratch. As for The Wedding Academy, we also have a graduate program where students can learn to work in wedding destinations. They can do a part time job or become an intern at my or other wedding organizers and planners that have worked with us. Our guest speakers will always welcome our graduates as part of their team.
The Wedding Academy
2nd floor Benoa Square
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai No. 21A, Jimbaran
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