Some of us are born with the gift of bringing order and organisation to enterprises and events. “Organising things is in my blood,” says Tiara Josodirdjo. “As a teenager, I was actively involved in lots of groups, from marching bands, basketball teams, and student groups to the Girl Scouts. I was influenced as a girl by my mom. She is involved in Dian Karya, [a foundation that funds scholarships for underprivileged children]. She would take me to their fundraising bazaars. I started helping out at events like these, before moving on to organising them. You could say that I discovered my passion at a very early age.”
The founder of Tiara Josodirdjo & Associates, an events planning and production firm in Jakarta, gained her Bachelor of Science degree in Administration at Menlo College in California. She went on to earn a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University. “Living in the US really helped me sharpen my organising skills,” says Tiara. “I was International Student Director at college. I represented not only Indonesians, but students from all over the world. One of the most important things I did was to help organise fund raisers for charitable causes.”
After her years in United States, Tiara brought the knowledge, experience, and professional expertise she had acquired back to Indonesia. She established her firm in 1997, “with a strong passion and commitment to give couples the weddings that they had been dreaming of having.” Tiara is deeply sincere about her commitment to her clients. “For me, a wedding is a precious moment of loving,” she writes on her firm’s website. Her clients’ dreams of “a remarkable wedding… I believe can become absolutely true. I know it’s not easy, but it can happen beautifully through a collaboration with the right intentions, great preparation, perfect direction and, of course, driven by a strong passion. And it’s always satisfying when I see thousands of smiles from the bride, the groom, their families and the guests.”
Her clients leave everything to Tiara and her colleagues, because planning an entire event from concept to actuality is the company’s forte. “We provide you with a complete production team that can cater to your every need,” she promises. “Thanks to our solid, creative and vigorous team, we have produced numerous glamorous weddings in Indonesia and have been blessed with many happy clients. Our strong network of loyal clients includes Jakarta’s business and social elites.” The mother-of-two’s executive team includes Iie, who joined the firm in 2000. A wedding, Iie says, “should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, so every single thing about the wedding should be perfect.” Yeni, who has been working with Tiara for over eight years, says she “loves to help make clients’ dreams come true.” Asked about the milestones in her career to date, Tiara makes special mention of her collaborations with US-based Preston Bailey. This legendary figure has been named as one of the best wedding designers in the world by Vogue. His client roster includes celebrities, royal families, CEOs, and athletes. He has created a number of art installations across the world with showcases in New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Taiwan, and London. He is also the author of seven books.
“The biggest project we’ve ever worked on with Preston on was a wedding in Leduk, East Java,” says Tiara. “That was incredible, a great learning experience. We were so lucky to have the opportunity. It took more than 40 days for our production team to do it, supported by about 600 workers in three villages. It was held in the mountains, and we had to transport all the décor and equipment up there. I remember the evening when the guests were seated and the music started. I stood in the middle of the black-and-white checkered dance floor we had created, stunned at the whole set-up. I was very proud because the result was wonderful.”
“Everyone was smiling and in awe. What an amazing experience! It was Preston’s concept, to be sure, but I’m proud that my team was able to pull it off.” What Tiara finds most fulfilling about her job is when she can create precious moments for her clients and their guests. “When the guests and our clients smile and thank us, all the tiredness and commotion just disappear and they’re replaced with a heart-warming feeling, knowing that you’ve given someone a moment that they will remember forever,” she says. “We sit down our clients frequently to plan events. After a while, they become our friends. I’m truly happy when they’re happy. When I’m developing a concept, first I ask my client what they want their guests to feel at the party. Then I can get ideas for the ambiance, the decor, the music, the event rundown and the food. Although the concept is important, for me the key ingredient for an unforgettable party is the people who attend it. If people aren’t kind to each other, no matter how beautiful the party is it’s not going to be a success because it has no warmth or soul. Over the course of planning a wedding, I can see the love between a couple grow and mature. When you are going to marry, you have to be ready to compromise to please each other, your parents and your in-laws. Love is shown in so many ways, through acceptance, support for each other, and wanting to see your loved one happy, and being there for them no matter what happens.”
“When a couple has faith, hope, and respect for each other, that tells me their love will last.” What are Tiara’s top tips for brides? “First, you have to realise that your budget is of the utmost importance. It makes or breaks a wedding. If you want the best, you need to be willing to go for it, and not to try to cut corners. Second, remember that the way you behave on your wedding day sets the foundation for your entire marriage. Be ready to compromise and not to be selfish about everything, as a wedding is about the families as well as the bride and groom. Listen to the expectations of your in-laws, your own family and of your spouse, and try where possible to compromise. Third, you have to find professionals that you feel a connection with to help you to plan your wedding day. The most important aspect of hiring a vendor is to make sure you have chemistry and understand each other. Word of mouth, backed up by a reputable portfolio, this is the best way to connect with the professional help you need. “Fourth, have a clear vision for your wedding. You wedding is unique and it should reflect your tastes, ideas and vision. It’s important to know what you want your wedding to be like. Should it be elegant or informal, a large reception or an intimate affair?”
“Your wedding is your day. Make sure it has your mark on it to ensure a one-of-a-kind experience. Fifth, it is vital to know where you need to stand and what you need to do. The actual day can be very overwhelming, so it is important to know beforehand what you need to do by rehearsing. Sixth, give yourself enough time. You will need between eight months and one year to plan your wedding day. This will give you enough time to consider and reconsider each detail. The better you plan your day, the more memorable your wedding will be. Lastly, if you do things right, on the day of your wedding all you will need to do is to smile, eat and enjoy the occasion. No event is ever guaranteed to run smoothly from start to finish. But in the comfortable hands of your wedding planner, luckily any problems that occur will not be yours to solve.”