BCME Real Bride Contributor Loren’s Elegant Outdoor Dubai Wedding

Loren’s Elegant Outdoor Dubai Wedding

If you’ve been following BCME for the last year or so, you’ll know that our real bride contributor Loren Penney got married in April at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. Loren had envisioned an intimate, elegant outdoor wedding and we are thrilled to be able to share this with you today.

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

Of her dream wedding, Loren says,

I had always dreamed of a small, outdoor wedding with lots of lights and bespoke touches and that’s exactly what I got! Pouring through hundreds of bridal magazines and of course, Pinterest, I sourced inspiration for the types of things we liked and disliked and created a mood board based on these.

We wanted the overall look to be very simple and elegant with the little touches we did have to be unique and memorable. From our cutlery, charger plates and chairs that we outsourced to the custom made ‘order of service’ fans for guests to use in the Dubai heat, each touch brought something different to the wedding.

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We chose to have our wedding at sunset as we loved the multi-use of space that the venue allowed us to have and also the romance of the time of day – there was a bit of panic buying of air-conditioning units the day before however, as the temperature rose steadily in the week of the wedding, something that I think our guests were glad we invested in!

Adding to the personal feel of our wedding, we flew a family vicar over from the UK to perform the service, something that was particularly important for us both. Instead of traditional wedding favours, we decided to make a donation on our guests’ behalf to the Brain Tumour Charity in the UK in memory of Matt’s father. In fact, the banquet team at the venue themselves made a very emotional contribution to the charity at the wedding – something we are so grateful for.

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Although I had planned every single detail myself with the loving patience of my now husband, nothing quite prepared me for the feeling when I saw it all come together. One of my favourite parts of the day was our entrance into the dinner area where we saw all our family and friends seated underneath a canopy of festoon lighting, with our amazing musician singing against the backdrop of the Dubai Marina skyline – it made all the hard work worth it.

Read on to find out more about how Loren’s big day came together, and to see the absolutely beautiful images courtesy of Melrish. Enjoy!

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How did he propose?

Eighteen months into our relationship, Matt whisked me off to one of our favourite hotels, the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, where we had spent many happy times before. He got down on one knee on the beach on our first night there. It was my perfect proposal – just us, in shorts & flip flops and with the sand beneath our toes.

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Did you decide upon a wedding theme? If so, talk us through your choice…

Whilst we didn’t have a particular theme, we knew that we wanted the wedding to be elegant and understated in its design and for it to be outside under the stars. One thing we did know from the start was that we wanted a black tie wedding. Not only did we love how it looks but it gives everyone an excuse to get dressed up, which our wedding party loved. Our colour scheme was gold and white with accents of black to match the black tie.

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Tell us about the wedding cake….

Keeping in line with our black tie, understated theme, we opted for a simple three tier vanilla wedding cake decorated with black cake ribbon which my Mum brought from the UK. The piece de resistance, however, was our gold acrylic cake topper that we commissioned The Party to make along with our chair-backs. This was something that was extremely personal to the two of us.

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Let’s talk wedding gowns. Where did you buy your dream gown?

If any of you have read my ‘Diary of a Real Bride’ entries, you’ll know that my dress journey wasn’t a smooth one! I finally found my dress with six months to go from La Sposa by Pronovias at Esposa Group in Jumeirah. I fell in love with the beautiful Spanish lace of both the dress and the matching cathedral veil and knew it was the one when I first tried it on.

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Most enjoyable part of the planning process…

Getting creative and starting to see your vision come to life. Whilst you can imagine how everything will look in your head in the lead-up, nothing quite prepares you for the first look on the day – the set up took my breath away.

I think it’s easy to get both carried away and overwhelmed with the wedding planning process but it’s important to enjoy every single second as you’ll only do it once!

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Most testing part of the wedding planning process as an expat bride…

Being so far away from friends and family back home and missing out on that part of the experience together was something that I struggled with. However, having such a supportive husband-to-be definitely made this easier.

I also found it near impossible to successfully plan a wedding, even a small one like ours, around a busy, full-time job, which is why I enlisted the help of Liesel from Aghareed Weddings the month before the wedding to help me with the final touches as well as on the day itself. This turned out to be the best decision in the entire wedding planning process and one I would make a hundred times over!

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elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

Top three tips for a bride-to-be…

Hire some help on the day – If you’re far away from family and friends, don’t try and do it all yourself. You won’t get to enjoy the special moments if you’re busy handling the venue and suppliers; I could never have pulled it off so well without Liesel’s invaluable help.

Keep some perspective – At the beginning, it’s easy to obsess over every single thing but as the date nears you’ll realise that they really don’t matter at all.

Keep it intimate if you can – We deliberately wanted a small, intimate wedding and everyone on the day commented on the fact that it made it even more special and much more fun because of that fact. You get to not only spend time with each and every guest but also enjoy the day together as man and wife.

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

Did you use Bride Club ME in the planning process? If so, how?

Yes! In the UAE it can be tricky to find suppliers and vendors by simply googling, and Bride Club Me proved an invaluable resource in helping me find elements for the wedding such as furniture rental (Party Social) and Make Up (MHG Beauty and Louise Monique). Bride Club ME became my wedding bible!

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

elegant outdoor dubai wedding

The Bride’s Little Pink Book

Venue: Ritz-Carlton, Dubai / Photographer: Melrish / On the Day Co-ordinator: Liesel from Aghareed Weddings / Dress: Pronovias at Esposa / Groom’s suit: Knights & Lords / Flowers: The Flowerful Project / Make Up Artist: MHG Beauty and The Louise Monique / Cake: Ritz Carlton Dubai / Cake Topper: The Party / Stationery: Creative Box / Guitarist & Singer: Tim Hassall / DJ: Danny Whitlock / Balloons: Happy Bubble Balloons / Chair backs: The Party / Furniture & Tablescape: Party Social / Lamps: Iluma Lamps

Looking for more real wedding inspiration? Click here.

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