IMES have changed even when it comes to marriage in Myanmar. In the past it was the norm for couples to plan their weddings with help from family and friends. These days, however, couples in cities like Yangon and Mandalay are opting to hire a wedding planner to organise the whole event. To a few, it’s even important to hire a famous one when money’s not an issue.
However, if you do have a budget, there are many planners and packages you can consider. No matter which you choose, one thing must be kept in mind: Wedding planners need time to put it all together, especially those who are popular. Usually, a couple would need to contact a planner about five months to one year in advance.
According to Thazin Min Khine, CEO of Romantic Wedding Planner Services, “Some would give us only two months’ lead time and we have to rush the arrangements. If you are busy or going away on a trip, it’s best to hire a wedding planner once you have decided your marriage date. With enough lead time, the planner can start reserving a wedding hall and organise things in a more systematic way.”
Wedding bliss comes at a price. Sometimes it takes up to a year to get a reservation at a popular hall for the date requested, she said. She has about four types of packages, and the prices range from over K3.3 million to around K10 million. The more elaborate the wedding, the greater the work required and the more it costs.
The bride and groom can discuss in detail what exactly they want from the planner, from the reception hall all the way through to the emcee, invitation cards, dresses, make-up, hairstyle, jewellery, floral decorations, music, band and photography.
As for locations, most couples choose
wedding halls, but there are some who choose lakesides, gardens and beaches, said Thazin Min Khine.
“In some cases, we need only give our recommendation. For some, we have to give a package deal. The bride and the groom tell us what kind of wedding they want and we then explain the services [we provide and how we can work together],” she said.
Typically, halls are rented for two hours for a wedding ceremony and hotels offer services that include food, floral arrangements and the backdrop, manager Su Myat from Rose Garden Hotel said.
“In some weddings, where they have a planner, we have to negotiate with them on the services we offer and things they can expect from us. It costs a minimum of US$16 per head, including hall rental charges. The total cost would depend on the number of guests invited.
“Couples can make reservations any time, although it would be difficult to
get a booking on the date they request during the season after the Buddhist Lenten period when there are plenty of marriages,” she said.
Hotels offer various wedding packages. For instance, at the Parkroyal Hotel, for a menu of tea and snacks, there are the Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond packages, and this covers at least 300 guests. If Myanmar, Chinese, Indian or Western menus are preferred, the prices would be different.
According to Thazin Min Khine, like in the old days, there are still some couples who plan their own weddings, counting on the assistance of relatives and friends. Those that do pick wedding planners have two reasons: Either they are too busy to make the arrangements themselves, or they don’t want to risk making the wrong choices. Wedding planners’ charges start from as low as K350,000, and certainly cost more the more the couple desires.
Translation by Kyawt Darly Lin