Planning your Wedding with Bride Club ME
If there’s one thing we love here at BCME, it’s hearing from readers who have made use of the site when planning their own weddings, either by getting inspiration from our collection of real weddings, using our trusted vendors, or reading advice from our esteemed experts. Farida Talaat, a senior PR professional and founder of Dubai-based handbags and accessories label, ZORAR, did just that when preparing for her big day, which took place at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, in June 2015.
Below, Farida tells us how she used BCME to plan her dream wedding, which was based on the theme of ‘elegant and regal’. She also describes how she used DIY elements for her big day, and gives her advice to expat brides-to-be. Farida is the perfect example of how you can still use Bride Club to plan your wedding even if you are not having the actual event itself in the UAE.
What drew you to Bride Club ME?
From my line of work in Public Relations, I knew of many local, regional and international wedding sites and blogs long before I got married. Bride Club ME stood out because of the relevance and originality of its content.
Which vendors did you find through Bride Club ME?
I bought my wedding necklace and an exquisite headpiece from Vanila Wedding Boutique (pictured below), and my mother also bought all of her jewelry from there. We must have paid them over 20 visits in three months! I also visited several lovely bridal boutiques across Dubai, including The Bridal Showroom.
Before and even after the wedding, I continue to patronise many BCME vendors, such as Pink Pepper Photography. I had several spa sessions with my mother at Talise Fitness to unwind after the wedding and honeymoon. Clare Ebbs from Aghareed, the world’s first wedding concierge service also helped us by providing us with paper samples for our invitations as well as ideas for the honeymoon.
Whilst the wedding took place in Cairo, many elements were imported or booked from Dubai. I flew in Dubai-based photographer Bassi Hamid to Cairo for the pre-wedding photo shoot. I preferred to have a lady photographer who was also a business contact to take pictures of my bridal regalia and of me while I was getting ready.
Did any of our features inspire you in the planning process?
I especially liked the Do-It-Yourself features. As a designer and DIY enthusiast, I always create things with my hands and wanted to have highly differentiated wedding paraphernalia. I created our wedding invitations and favours as well as bridesmaids’ keepsakes at my bridal shower. I also designed and made my own couture wedding shoes and veil.
Why did you opt for so many DIY items at your wedding?
A couture veil can be easily recreated with a little DIY and sartorial skill, and I prefer personal handmade items over store-bought commercial goods. However, the fact that DIY is budget-friendly was secondary to me; I was keener on creating differentiated wedding ideas than cutting costs. DIY does not mean shabby chic. It can produce couture finishes with attention to detail.
Farida’s advice for brides-to-be
I flew to New York City two months before the wedding and visited a bridal store in Manhattan. It was refreshing to see North American tastes in dresses and weddings.
I believe in professional photography. Expensive lenses and equipment, talented and experienced photographers, and, of course, your smile, are what will get you beautiful wedding pictures.
The wedding day is not the only day to prepare for. There’s also the wedding night, the next day, the parents and in-laws visits, the honeymoon, impromptu dinners, parties in your honour and farewell and welcome back parties. Shop for and prepare your outfits for these events in advance.
When possible, enlist the help of the girls and women in the family. My sister-in-law Sarah was indispensable to me and a great support. She single-handedly managed coordination with the wedding planners, suppliers, guest favours, my own bouquet and the kosha (love seat).
I believe every bride should not get caught up in the wedding prep and totally forget about what her life will be like after the wedding. In addition to preparing for a huge wedding, I was also aware of the fact that I would be leaving my parents’ house, moving in with my future husband and becoming a wife forever.
The engagement period before the wedding is meant to be fun. I left my senior PR job, and spent three months between bridal fittings, photo shoots, hair and make-up consultations, shopping, fitness regimes, spa treatments, meetings with florists, and getting visas for honeymoon destinations.
Beginners can still take a shot at DIY, and you don’t even have to start a project from scratch. Start with an existing or readymade garment and make customisations. For my pre-wedding ceremony, I bought a simple white dress from Ted Baker, stitched accented lace to the sleeves and hem and defined the silhouette with a grosgrain satin sachet adorned with crystal embroidery.
Planning my wedding was tremendously enjoyable. I intend to have an equally fun celebration for our first year anniversary.
Bride’s Little Pink Book
Venue: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza – White Wedding Dress: An embroidered princess-cut off-white gown in French lace and tulle designed by an independent designer based in New York – Shoes & veil: Farida’s design – Hair accessory: Vanila Wedding Boutique – Rings: Dona Jewelry, Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai – Cake: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza – Photography: Bassi Hamid Photography – Bouquet: O’Hara Roses and Peonies imported from Europe and Australia – Wedding Planner: Eventfull – Wedding invitations: Farida’s own design
Looking for more wedding inspiration? Click here.