Fall of 2016, someone told he wanted to marry me. Two years after, we got married. ❤️
Being married to another nationality was challenging. With our differences, we had considered many things before tying the knot – the travel expenses, the vacation days, the accessibility of the suppliers, our close friends who are living in Dubai, among others. These all made sense; hence the decision to get hitched in Dubai was finalized.
The decision; however, entailed a cost. Dubai is about gold and glamour and every vision screamed a price tag. But with careful and frugal planning, a year of preparation and intense prayers, we were able to pull off the wedding of our dreams without breaking the bank!
Simple, intimate, straight forward and heartfelt – the Christian wedding ceremony was solemnized at Christ Church. It was something I envisioned when I was little. Likewise, my husband desired the same. It was a small church, we had our closest friends as guests, the event was private and fervent.
The hotels rang thousands of dirhams when we dropped the magic word “wedding”. Quotations doubled with crazy charges for any add-ons. Good thing, my husband was able to find a unique way of hosting the reception – dhow cruise! Why not?
Alexandra Dhow Cruise covered all our needs. With a maximum capacity of a hundred people, the 3-hour cruise with a live Tanoura dancer entertained our guests. Through the entire program, the guests delighted themselves with selfies and sightseeing along the iconic Dubai Marina.
Darrell by Design is a college classmate and a good friend. He is underrated, I should say. With only minimal instructions and virtual communication, he was able to create a beautiful gown for my special day. The beadworks are intricate and the gown fits like a glove. It’s worth every penny. Thanks to my mother, who gifted the gown as a birthday present.
Not to mention, Darrell also made my wedding kimono and accessorized my shoes.
LESSONS WE LEARNED
- Feed your entourage and staff during the Wedding Day preparations. We got so occupied that we forgot that our people were starving. They should be fed for an early call time, a hectic photo shoot and a very looong day!
- Join social media groups. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram groups gave loads of information we needed for the wedding. We also found pre-loved items, a bunch of suppliers and hundreds of ideas for the big day.
- Call on the hotel beforehand. Some plans did not work even though such things were already settled months before. Make sure to call the hotel before checking in and prepare a Plan B in case things don’t work out.
- Some people won’t show up. It happens. For a hefty list of guests you had expected, some of them won’t come for a reason. Whatever that is, it is normal. You just have to accept, be okay and move on.
- You are not obliged to invite everyone. With the culture coming in, we sometimes feel guilty not inviting expectant acquaintances. Not to fret, it’s your way, your budget, your reason, your day. It’s nonetheless compulsory 🙂
- No wedding is perfect. Even with a year of practice, some parts didn’t occur as expected. The reception program was slightly messed up, favours and children’s colouring papers were not distributed, the wedding cake was ruined – they were all part of the story! Unless it’s a disaster, all you can do is accept, smile and move forward 🙂
- Hire separate suppliers when possible. When packages seemed convenient, bundled services may have a catch. When things go beyond control, some services may be missed or may be delivered half-baked. While having multiple suppliers, pressures of each can be tackled by its own.
- Unexpected expenses. Pops out like popcorn! It’s a wedding! In Dubai! There will always be surprises. Just learn to pause, say NO politely and stay on track.
- It’s just one day! Savour it! After all, it is THE moment! Shake the tensions off and enjoy THE day!
- A wedding is just a day. Marriage is a lifetime!