Planned to perfection

Updated: 2011-10-02 08:22

By Guo Shuhan (China Daily)

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Planned to perfection

Unlike most traditional wedding ceremonies packed with hundreds of relatives and friends, He Xuan organizes ceremonies attended by just the bride and the groom.

The wedding planner organizes events for couples at chapels in Bali, Indonesia.

Though it's just a 30-minute ceremony, He's preparations usually start half a year in advance.

This enables him to shop around for cheaper flight tickets and reservations at the hotel and chapel.

He takes his time to ensure that couples understand their vows, which he believes is the essence of a Western chapel wedding. He also makes sure the bride's favorite flowers adorn the chapel.

As couples usually request wedding photos and a wedding video as well, He needs to understand the style they want and communicate the idea to the photographer and cameraman in Bali.

To do this, couples pick the style they like most from sample clips.

"People spend more money on overseas trips, so they have higher expectations," says He, who has organized weddings in Bali since 2006, and established his company, Wedding Tours International, in Beijing, in 2008.

"Having an overseas wedding is still a relatively new concept for most Chinese people, so the creativity in my job, at this stage, is to offer nice surprises to couples."

In pursuit of a perfect service, the planner is familiar with every wedding chapel and all the scenic spots around the island. He also has personal experience of nearly 40 hotels and resorts.

The 28-year-old recalls that he searched for direct flights for a wine shop owner in Beijing who wanted a wedding in Bali but did not want his guests to travel on an indirect route.

He arranged three different travel itineraries for the man's 19 guests, which included a farm investigation trip for his bosses, surfing for youngsters and a sightseeing tour for seniors.

He also made sure there were a couple of nice surprises for the newlyweds, such as a chocolate-flavor cake with the couples' names on it, and a heart-shaped pattern made of rose petals on the bed in the honeymoon suite.

The busy wedding planner arranged a simple wedding in Bali for himself three years ago, and is considering holding a grand beach wedding ceremony for his wife again in the near future.

"People often ask me why Chinese people need to have a wedding abroad," He says. "But when they learn that there are interesting stories to share behind every picture and second of the video, rather than just being exhausted after a traditional Chinese wedding banquet, they will understand."