Sun, 03 Aug 2003

Hotels become preferred venues for wedding parties

Sudibyo M. Wiradji The Jakarta Post Jakarta

Jakarta's top, star-rated hotels have become increasingly a preferred venue for wedding parties because, in addition to strategic and convenient location, the luxury accommodation offers excellent and superb facilities, a wide selection of quality food and professional and personalized services within a pleasant ambience.

Even though the holding of a wedding party at a luxury hotel is relatively expensive, the demand for holding a reception from a husband-and-wife-to-be has been increasing over the last several years. On weekends, hotel ballrooms at most luxury hotels are usually reserved for wedding parties. In popular wedding months such as September, certain hotels have their ballrooms in use for these special events at least three times a week.

Hotels like Hotel Mulia Senayan and Hotel Bumikarsa Bidakara Jakarta offer a one-stop shopping concept, providing total solutions for wedding needs. Bumikarsa, for instance, also offers wedding consultations free of charge and a makeup service, which many others do not offer.

When a husband-and-wife-to-be have decided to hold a wedding party in a hotel, their families will be freed from hassle because the hotel can facilitate wedding arrangements tailored to the individual tastes of the bridal couple.

The wedding's theme is among the major concerns to which a hotel pays avid attention because for the hotel, it is directly related to its responsibility for preparing the setting for the wedding party, while for a husband-and-wife-to-be, it is closely linked to their desire to make their once-in-a-lifetime event unforgettable and memorable.

Therefore, particular hotels work in cooperation with a decorator responsible for transforming the hotel room into a wedding room catered to the individual taste of the couples.

The hotels will usually provide a list of themes and show the would-be bridal couple a wide selection of themes that previous wedding parties have used, to give a prospective married couple an idea of what wedding theme it will take, whether Western, oriental or traditional Indonesian. When a theme has been chosen, all of the setting-related elements on the day of the wedding party will refer to the theme, such as the backdrop, interior, wedding chairs, decor, flowers, wedding cake, musical accompaniment, waitresses' costumes and even the food.

"Every husband-and-wife-to-be usually wants something different. They don't want themes that previous couples have used," said the Hotel Mulia Senayan's director of marketing Valentia Agustadi.

"Once a couple wanted a Venetian theme and the decorator produced it in such as way that the room was transformed into an impression of real Venice," she said.

Not all hotels work in cooperation with a decorator. But they can assist the would be bridal couple in selecting which decorator to hire.

Catering is another major concern that hotels treat seriously to satisfy their clients' needs. Therefore, they provide a wide selection of excellent food, ranging from Indonesian and American-European to oriental food. Food available at the hotels will usually ensure clients' satisfaction because dedicated, experienced, highly skilled and professional chefs are involved in preparing it.

With complete facilities available, such as restaurant, health club and accommodation in one area, a hotel will allow couples and their families living outside the city to stay at the hotel on the day of the event.

Hotels vary in the facilities and service included in wedding packages but normally, the standard package includes a one-night stay at the hotel for the couple and their parents, flower arrangement in the bridal couple's room, wedding cake, dressing room for the couple and parents of the couple and complimentary ice carving and guest books. Certain hotels also provide a wedding car and hand bouquets.

If you are eager to hold a wedding party at a hotel, there are many options available, depending on the taste, budget and number of guests you wish to invite. Located in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, The Dharmawangsa offers different wedding packages for minimum buffet orders of 500 or 1,500 people.

The Dharmawangsa's packages include the use of its Bentley limousine and a one-night stay for the bridal couple in its uniquely designed Rosewood Suite. "Bridal couples are also entitled to savor a delightful spa experience in our private suite," he said.

JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta, located on Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan, Jakarta, boasts its Dua Mutiara Ballroom, the most ideal place to turn your wedding dreams into reality. The luxurious and elegant ballroom can accommodate up to 1,500 people for a stand-up reception and 600 for a sit-down dinner.

The hotel offers two Pearl wedding packages, with minimum buffet orders for 600 or 1,000 people. Mariott's prices are based on the number of guests attending the party.

Its Diamond package is offered for a minimum order of 250 persons. "The newly wed couple is entitled to a first wedding anniversary dinner voucher for two at Pearl Chinese restaurant," said Marriott's public relations manager Mellani Solagratia.

The Grand Ballroom at Hotel Mulia Senayan, on Jl. Asia Africa, Jakarta, is very popular because it can accommodate up to 4,000 persons, with no drop in service quality.

Hotel Bumi Karsa Bidakara Jakarta, Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto, has several rooms specially used for wedding receptions with differing capacities. Its Bima Room is ideal for a party of 100 but its Birawa Assembly Hall can accommodate between 1,000 and 4,000 people.

With rooms having high ceilings and luxurious and elegant decor, the hotel was an ideal place for a wedding party, said Bumikarsa's public relations officer Nuke Prabandari.

It also boasts a spacious parking lot in the first, second and third basement levels, which can accommodate 1,350 cars.

The hotel offers a variety of prices for its packages. The Dharmawangsa's packages, for instance, range from Rp 54 million to Rp 106 million. Certain hotels set their prices based on the number of guests and the menu. Marriott's prices range from Rp 135,000 to Rp 173,000 per person. Hotel Bumi Karsa Bidakara Jakarta's prices range from Rp 55,000 to Rp 75,000 per person.