A Wedding Planner-Turned-Bride’s Dreamy Wedding in Abu Dhabi
A Wedding Planner-Turned-Bride’s Dreamy Wedding
We always beam a huge smile when a BCME reader sends us their REAL wedding submission, and you can imagine how our faces lit up when we realised that this wedding was sent in by a wedding planner – the stunning Mennat, over at Cloud Nine Events.
Keep scrolling to see some gorgeous photos (captured by Celeste Van Rooyen Photography) of a fairytale wedding in Abu Dhabi, featuring pale hues and dreamy fabrics draped in an effortlessly elegant manner. The bride looks like a bohemian princess who could easily grace the front cover of Vogue, and the wedding cake is fit for royalty.
But who does a wedding planner call upon when she is the bride-to-be? Below, Mennat (originally from Egypt) talks us through the planning process for her special day and the moment she married Omar, her Emirati Prince Charming. Get yourself a nice cup of tea, sit back and enjoy the visual feast that is about to unfold…
Last summer, Omar and I had a wedding to attend in the UK. Omar decided, months in advance, that we should spend a few days in Paris, my favourite city, on the way back and started making plans. He knew the proposal had to take place somewhere with a clear view of the Eiffel Tower, the thing I love most about Paris.
On the day of the proposal, he carried the ring around for hours, contemplating when to pop the question. It wasn’t until we got to the Antoine Restaurant on Rue de New York that he managed to quickly plan something with the waiters as I was in the bathroom – and I said yes!
The wedding theme was…
Dreamy, effortless and classic. The most important consideration for Omar and I was that our guests did not feel rigid and constrained to their table space.
My wedding vision was for a fairytale affair. I wanted the ballroom to transport guests to another place and time, where everyone was dressed in tuxedos and beautiful evening gowns with conversations flowing. Rather like a modern-day Waltz minus the dancing!
Since we had people from all over the world attending, our intention was to create an intimate affair somehow. As a planner, I wanted all the vendors I knew to pitch in their talent. Luckily, there was room to get creative when it came to entertaining our guests. I drew inspiration from Omar and myself; he loves music so we had a 20-piece live band; there were fabrics inspired by my love of fashion; and I even incorporated a caricaturist to entertain our guests since we both have an appreciation for art.
After the wedding, buses escorted guests to the after party on Yas Island, where there were welcome drinks and props awaiting everyone!
Once I had conceptualised the wedding and created a presentation, I decided to hire someone else to implement my ideas and take them a step further. I set up meetings with Dubai-based planner Olivier Dolz and the wedding coordinator who founded A Perfect Moment.
DIY, personal touches…
I had my personal friend and designer to Cloud Nine, Fouad Hammoud, create all kinds of stationery to suite the dreamy theme. We used pastel and pale shades to create Instagram hashtag sign (the idea of which, I found on www.brideclubme.com) and Arabic quotes (some from poems and others from old songs). He also designed the dessert labels.
In order to incorporate some of Omar’s Emirati traditions, I hired a team to cook live luqaimat sweets and make fresh thyme and cardamom teas and traditional coffee. Everything was passed around so the guests were never left empty handed.
Since I am Egyptian, I had special Egyptian confetti known as Badra brought in from Cairo and handed out to guests. Traditionally, these are thrown on the bride as the Egyptian procession band plays during her entrance with her father.
The wedding cake….
For the cake, I knew I wanted something with more of a minimal design and in the pale blue/grey shade to blend with the overall theme. It took quite some time and research to find something that was not too cutesy and feminine or too Avant-garde. We had a big wedding and I wanted the cake to be the focal point, so I knew it had to be a good five tiers.
I finally realised the best way to find a middle ground was to combine ombre ruffled base with three tiers of smooth cake on top and add a touch of detail. Rather than going with floral detailing, I found a picture of a wedding cake with what looked like tiny embellishments only they were edible! So I asked my baker and she said she could make tiny balls out of gold, silver and very pale grey- I immediately agreed and the result was magnificent!
The dress & headpiece…..
The two-piece design was inspired by a Marchesa gown; I changed and re-designed parts of it with the help of Aden, the founder of Aden Fashion in Beirut.
My headpiece was by Jannie Baltzer, a super talented, Copenhagen-based designer who hand-makes unique headpieces, veils and accessories for fashion-forward brides.
Most enjoyable part of the planning process…
Every part of it really! Putting the mood board together came naturally as I had been collecting images over the years of things that inspired me while planning my brides’ weddings. So for me, the most challenging part was creating the invitations, since most of my brides in Abu Dhabi have their invites sorted out before they approach me. Invitations are probably the next area I’ll expand my business towards.
As a newly wedded bride AND a wedding planner, what are you top three tips for a bride-to-be…
- If you are not going to hire a wedding planner or do not have the budget to do so, try hiring someone just for the day of the wedding. Alternatively, delegate the work among your closest family and friends, according to what they are good at.
- Make the right compromises. Add the features to your wedding that you have always dreamed of as long as they suit you and your husband. Be diplomatic, decisive and direct to those who object.
- Make sure you get a lot of sleep before your wedding day. It is so crucial.
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Photographer: Celeste Van Rooyen Photography // Wedding Invitations: Natoof // Caricaturist: Matt Ryder // Cake: Lilies Restaurant and Café Abu Dhabi // Venue: Fairmont Bab al Bahar Abu Dhabi // Flowers: Olivier Dolz Wedding & Event Organizing // Video: Integrity Gwannian Concept, IGC Dubai // Makeup: Lina’s Makeup // Wedding on the day coordinator: Clare Ebbs, The Perfect Moment, Dubai // Live Band: Abu Dhabi Big Band // DJ: Karim Barkouki aka Dj Stylez // Dress & Veil: Aden Fashion, Lebanon // Headpiece: Jannie Baltzer Headpieces, Copenhagen // Hair: Pace e Luce, Fairmont Bab al Bahar, Abu Dhabi // Stationery: Fouad Hammoud from Camel & Curry Designs.
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