A British Expat Wedding in Dubai
A British Expat Wedding in Dubai
When Bride Club ME vendor club members Goldfish Photography & Video sent us this real wedding submission earlier in the month, and mentioned that the bride loved Take That and incorporated the famous 90s’ boy band into her wedding, we knew we had to feature it! For those of you who don’t know who Take That are, click here
The super-relaxed bride Melissa and her groom Simon are both originally from the UK and married at the gorgeous Montgomerie Hotel Dubai. Below, the newly wedded Mrs Denham talks us through her wedding planning process, the relevance of Take That and buying three, yes, three wedding dresses. Oh, and we must give a huge shout out the best dressed pup in town!!
We had known each other for a few years through mutual friends and, during the summer of 2012, our friendship blossomed. On my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary in May 2013, Simon asked my dad for his blessing. The following month, he took me to the Al Qasr for a weekend away and popped the question.
He booked the culinary flight dining experience at the Burj al Arab and, before we set out on our ‘flight’ around the restaurants, told me I had to wear something. Out popped a beautiful ring. Obviously I said YES, then three seconds later it went viral – Simon is partial to a Facebook status. We agreed within a few weeks that we wanted to get married that year and didn’t have to look too hard for a venue. We knew we wanted it to be outside and settled on our second home, The Montgomerie, Dubai.
I bought three dresses. I’d seen one a few years ago and had said to my mum at the time, “That’s my wedding dress”. I managed to track the dress down and, as luck would have it, one of my Dubai-based bridesmaids was on a UK visit and was able to bring the dress back for me to try on over Skype with my mum. Unfortunately, it didn’t look how I’d visualised it, so I opted for my second choice.
I wanted something very simple – a dress I could wear with flip flops. Bohemian, floaty dresses are few and far between in Dubai, but I found one, paid for it and was awaiting the final fitting. Then I had a weekend in the UK with my mum and did the obligatory mother-daughter wedding dress shopping day, only to put on a similar dress with a little bit more detail to it that we agreed was THE ONE. I’m now selling the others on eBay.
I can honestly say I didn’t visit one wedding fair and was forced to scan a few magazines, but nothing caught my eye. I was a relaxed bride and opted for simple colors – white (obviously) and grey for the groom and wedding party.
Due to my deep love for the band Take That (yes, I’ve put it out there!), I decided to name our guests’ dinner tables after my favourite Take That songs!
Most enjoyable part of the planning process…
I enjoyed working closely with the event manager at the venue to coordinate the timings for the day, the table layout, BBQ menu and so on. The Montgomerie was great; they allowed our Cavalier King Charles doggie to carry the rings, and let Pizza Express deliver dough balls for the evening guests. Everything else – the dresses, accessories, wedding band, DJ, photographers and wedding favours – was handled by Simon, the bridesmaids and myself.
I really enjoyed working with our photographers too. I booked my photographer based on recommendations. One lazy evening I was on Facebook and came across Goldfish’s page. I instantly took a liking to their style of photography and noticed that they were showcasing a friend’s wedding portfolio, which inspired me to contact them.
Claire Riley and I hit it off so well and I just knew that her and her team would fit in on the wedding day like guests themselves. I had a few bridezilla moments on the day (because I was allowed!) and Becky the photographer instantly put me at ease; they were so easy to be around.
Most testing part of the wedding planning process as an expat bride…
Every bride is unique; everyone has their own dream and a different theme. There isn’t anything I would have done differently as everything went to plan. Our DJ was a friend from the UK who we flew in, since he knew me, the crowd and the music we wanted. We’d heard the band at a wedding in the UK, so again, we flew them over.
All our friends said it was one of the best weddings they’d been to; the music was brilliant, the dance floor was packed, the BBQ was amazing and it was all so relaxed.
Top three tips for expat brides-to-be…
- My best tip is to not be afraid to ask the venue any weird and wonderful requests. You never know, they could say yes.If you can’t find what you need in the UAE, source favours from the UK and bring them in yourself. Create a Shop and Ship account. Amazon and eBay were great sites and extremely reliable.It’s very easy to go over budget and get carried away, but why not? It’s your special day – enjoy it! Also, keep a memory box and maybe shop around for a wedding dress. A girl can always have more than one!
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Photographer: Goldfish Photography and Video // Wedding venue: The Address, Montgomerie, Dubai // The Dress: Mori lee, by Madeline Gardner // Flowers: Flower Boutique – DIFC // Bridesmaids Make-up Artist: Eloise Hardy // Brides Make-up Artist: The bride herself
Looking for more real wedding inspiration? Click here.