Sun, 20 Feb 2000

Relive your wedding with memorable photos after the fact

By I. Christianto

JAKARTA (JP): Do you want to re-marry your beloved spouse for a second, third or more times? Go to a photo studio offering "honeymoon packages".

Dozens of newly-weds and married couples -- with or without children -- everyday crowd into "Tarzan Photo, Bridal and Salon" at Roxy Mas business complex in Central Jakarta, waiting for their turn for a "honeymoon" photo session.

It could be tiring, but also amusing, watching so many people in international (western) wedding gowns and suits saying "cheese" with smiling faces. It seems, happiness is always in the air.

The owner of Tarzan, Jimmy Iskandar, says that up to 30 couples come each day to his studio which was opened in 1948.

"Forty percent chose the honeymoon package," he says, adding that Tarzan started its wedding services in 1992.

The so-called honeymoon package is designed for those who want to have memorable wedding pictures, especially if they do not hold a party, reception or other celebration. The package includes an indoor photo session for a set of pictures and the negatives, complete with bride's gown, make-up, hair-dressing, (artificial) hand bouquet and other accessories (such as crown, necklaces, errings and bracelets) as well as the groom's suit, tie, gloves and plastic boutonniere.

There are other studios in Jakarta offering such services. Eva Bun, a one-stop wedding service, began to offer a honeymoon package late last year. About five couples take the package every day, says attendant Tina Silaen. Luvashel, which also provides wedding facilities, including a honeymoon package, plans to expand its studio as there is increasing demand.

Such studios usually offer several settings like ceremony room and bridal room. Dummy bridal cakes are also available.

Prices ranges between hundreds of thousands of rupiah and millions of rupiah, depending on type of gown and selection of accessories.

"We have a stock of gowns for the honeymoon package. Most of them have been worn several times by other brides. Prices are higher for couples who prefer to use the latest models," said Jimmy, the second generation running Tarzan.

"It's already popular in other Asian nations, for couples to renew their wedding photos with some new touches," he said.

He said customers do not have to book for the honeymoon package at his studio.

"They can come at anytime, especially as we open everyday," he said, adding that the photo session including preparations usually takes about two hours.

The Tarzan team, which serves the honeymoon package, includes make-up artists, hairdressers, fashion specialists, photographers, art directors, lighting men and related business managers.

Jimmy said that the number of people choosing the honeymoon package has increased in the last two years after bloody riots hit several parts of Indonesia, particularly Jakarta.

"I understand there were some couples who had planned their wedding day for months, even one year in advance. And some had to cancel their dream only one day before the honeymoon, due to the violence that hit the capital," he recalled.

Occasionally, couples have to cancel their wedding party because a family member unexpectedly passes away, he said.

In such circumstances, when everything has been arranged but must be postponed or even canceled, some couples still want to feel a bit of merriment. So they take the so-called honeymoon package at a photo studio.

Many bridal photo studios also offer more than just photography to cater to the needs of the bride and groom to be.

Nowadays people want efficiency. Time is precious, especially for career couples. People need to plan their wedding perfectly. Take a look at their checklist: invitations, bride's gown/dress/suit, groom's suit, flowers, clothing for parents/grandparents and other close relatives, wedding ceremony, reception, catering, cake, music, caterer, photography/video, rings, honeymoon, bridal party gifts, hairstyling, transportation, guest book, tips and gratuities.

Those interested in honeymoon packages also want efficiency. They do not want to have the matters handled separately by several parties. They want a one-stop service.

That's why many photo studios upgraded to provide full bridal and wedding services. There are also collaborations among photo studios, beauty salons, florists, caterers and hotels to provide this service.

"Photography and brides can't be separated. Wedding couples need photography and they are a good target for photographers," said Jimmy.

The studios act like wedding coordinators, assisting people with as much or as little as necessary.

The honeymoon package can also be a nice gift.

Reny said that the package was a pleasant surprise for her parents, who had just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

"My parents live in Bangka (South Sumatra). They came here for the anniversary as most of the children now live in Jakarta. I asked them to take the honeymoon package here, and here are the results," said Reny, proudly showing a set of pictures of her parents in modern wedding gown and suit. The photos were good and the honeymooners looked quite happy.