Bali Weddings International, the first and most experienced
Wedding Organizer on the island, is owned and operated by
Australian Katrina Simorangkir and her Indonesian husband.
The company organized 48 weddings its first year but nowadays
works full time with three Australian wedding consultants
to organize weddings and other types of events for hundreds
of couples or clients annually.
What is so special about getting married on Bali?
Everyone marrying in Bali has their own reasons for doing
so. However, it is perceived as a very spiritual, peaceful
and romantic tropical island. Clients can include many more
items and experiences in their Bali wedding, including Balinese
spiritual components, which simply through lack of availability
or affordability would simply not be available to them back
Who are your “typical” clients?
Some of our couples met in Bali. Others were engaged here
and they obviously feel it very romantic and appropriate to
return then for their wedding. Also, many couples these days
are having a second and even a third wedding. They want it
small and intimate without friends and family involved and
find Bali ideal for this purpose. They often don't tell those
back home until they return to show off their shiny new rings
and wedding photographs!
The world is a much smaller place these days and many couples
are living away from home. For example, an English man and
Canadian woman living in Hong Kong may decide to wed. Where
do they do so? In UK or Canada? Wherever they choose, one
side of the union will be disappointed so in this situation
they may decide to go to another popular and practical place
like Bali and invite everyone there. This is a common scenario.
Can you give an example of an unusual event that you have
What we call our “Spectacular Seclusion” is one
of the best examples of this. It is a full day-out wedding
taking in much of the sights and culture of Bali along the
way. It takes place in a very special, private place surrounded
by nature with a number of the local village people present
providing services such as welcoming rindik, flute music and
locally cooked Balinese fare which is served to our guests
during their stay. This location is exclusive to Bali Weddings
International and no other wedding company may organize weddings
there. I never tell anyone exactly where it is but will say
that it's in the island's western regions.
What is the most difficult client you’ve ever worked
A pregnant woman, who had never been to Bali before. She didn't
like the smell of the place, the taxi drivers calling out
to them, the car horns blowing, the way people were always
asking them to buy things, the way people looked at her...in
fact, didn't like anything at all and was convinced that as
a result of her trip to Bali her child would be born deformed.
She and her partner stayed at two different properties
during their stay on the island and the wedding was ultimately
cancelled. Her three pages of complaints written to me about
Bali and everything about the island was responded to in great
detail and we did not hear from her ever again.
What was the most extravagant wedding you’ve ever organized?
For a wedding with only two in attendance I’d say the
most expensive and elaborate was a middle-aged American couple
who stayed in Amandari Ubud, were flown by helicopter to the
Elephant Park, and met by a huge number of villagers playing
gamelan. They were then carried on bridal chairs around the
park’s winding garden paths while a solo saxophonist
played their favorite tunes. After the ceremony they cracked
champagne, rode around on elephant back, then watched local
children dance for them before being returning by helicopter
to the Amandari where 16 Balinese boys and girls accompanied
them to the property’s most expensive and elaborate
suite where they were greeted by a performance of gamelan
music and dance. As darkness fell, with their backs to the
Ayung River, 400 bamboo torches were planted throughout four
properties on the other side of the valley. With a solo keyboardist
and female vocalist singing in the background, the chef of
the resort cooked a beautiful meal on site. They spent $7,000
on this incredible day and went back to the USA and redesigned
their house to look just like their Amandari Suite Room. The
couple wanted to take two Balinese staff members to work for
them. Unfortunately, although we interviewed for them and
selected two ideal young men, the bomb went off in Bali and
Indonesians could no longer obtain a visa for the USA.
What is the most challenging wedding you’ve ever organized
or catered for?
The most complex wedding that comes to mind was Annie Roach’s
and Brett Kazakoff’s. The wedding itself was a breeze;
it was all arrangements that were so complex! Dinners, wine
orders, personalized T-shirts and sarongs, shopping trips,
hen's and buck's days, transport, etc. We organized bridal
couples accommodation in Sanur and Ubud and also organized
accommodation in both places for 60 guests attending from
all over the world with varying arrival dates, times and durations
of stay! But it all culminated in a wonderful wedding at the
Maya Ubud with a cocktail party with guests entertained by
Balinese dancers, a sumptuous dinner and an acoustic quartet
to dance the night away. I was only worried at one point when
the groom and his troops were off playing golf till approximately
45 minutes prior to the wedding.
Katrina can be contacted via the Bali Weddings International’s
websites: www.baliweddingsinternational.com and www.balivillaweddings.com.
For anyone interested in being interviewed for Siapa, please
send CV to : email@example.com
Copyright@2004 Al Hickey
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