Elham And Saman: A Beautiful Wedding At Burj Al Arab Mixing Persian And Western Inspirations
Elham and Saman met with the snow-capped slopes of Switzerland setting a romantic backdrop for the start of their journey together, which culminated several years later with an intimate wedding in Dubai, at one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the Burj Al Arab.
While both Elham and Saman are from Iran, Saman was brought up in Switzerland and Elham has been living in the UAE for 20 years. The beautiful bride Elham wowed guests in the wedding dress of her dreams, a white mermaid gown with a flowing train and delicate floral details which complemented the cherry blossom trees that arched over the couple as they said their vows, while the Arabian sea sparkled behind. With the sun setting over the twinkling waters, the blessing ceremony was a scene of pure romance. The evening ceremony of delicious food, laughter and dancing was held in the sweeping white and gold mezzanine ballroom of the Burj Al Arab for an elegant and unforgettable end to their perfect day. Read on to hear from the bride Saman, revealing the details of the planning and prep, the theme for their wedding day, and essential tips for brides-to-be.
We met in Switzerland and we were in a long-distance relationship, between Switzerland where I was studying, and Dubai, where Saman was living, for more than five years. It was hard and we missed each other a lot but we both knew it would be worth it. After I finished my studies I moved to Dubai, and Saman proposed to me on Valentine’s Day while we stayed at a resort. At first, I thought we were just going there to celebrate Valentine’s Day but he obviously had other plans! Our room was a spacious chalet with a private pool and a stunning view. When I walked into the room I could see rose petals scattered everywhere but I thought these were the decorations for Valentine’s Day. Little did I know this was done by my husband for the proposal. As I walked towards the pool area I realised I was standing inside a big heart shape decorated with candles and flowers. Then the next thing I saw was Saman kneeling in front of me. I was so surprised, and it was magical.
The wedding venue…
We wanted to get married in a location where we could hold our blessing ceremony outdoors with a view of the sea behind us, and later have our evening ceremony in an indoor ballroom that would feel quite unique. We visited many hotels in Dubai and finally decided to get married in the iconic Burj Al Arab. Holding the crown as the only seven-star hotel in the world, we knew we would be guaranteed world-class service.
The design of the ballroom at the Burj Al Arab is similar to an Austrian opera house of the 18th century with plenty of gold details, which meant that the two-tiered ballroom did not require much decorating. The existing décor of the ballroom already matched my desire for a classy wedding.
The wedding theme…
We wanted our wedding to be a mix of both Persian and Western traditions. While not everyone could make it on the day, our families are spread all around the world, from Iran to the USA, and in many countries in Europe including Switzerland, England, Germany and France.
For the blessing ceremony we included the ‘Sofreh-aghd’, which is a Persian tradition where a table is decorated with specific items that symbolise various things. And we also had the Western style of the father walking the bride walk down the aisle to give her away to the groom.
The way we had envisioned our wedding was to first have our blessing ceremony by the sea during sunset, with our guests enjoying sparkling grapes and various delicious canapés served while a violin played ambient music. For the décor theme, our goal was to have an elegantly styled venue and nothing too over the top, so we decided to have a palette of white with a few touches of gold to match the venue. We also used decorative cherry blossom trees to form a wedding arch, which made it more unique with a refreshing look. The pink colour of the blossoms gave the arch and the venue décor the extra splash of colour that I wanted. The photos of this capture the evening perfectly!
Since I was a little girl (even though Cinderella was my favourite princess!) I always knew I wanted to get married in a mermaid dress. I just feel more myself in a mermaid dress. Despite this, the first dress I bought was an A-Line dress designed by Giovanna Alessandro, and I soon realised that although everyone loved the dress I did not feel truly ‘me’ wearing it. So, I decided to change it and go for my dream wedding dress in a mermaid style with a long train and details designed by the amazing and talented Giovanna Alessandro. The first time I tried on this dress I was in love with it — you just know when you have found the dress.
Most enjoyable part of the planning process…
The most enjoyable part of the wedding planning process was the food and beverage tasting as well as the decision-making regarding the flowers, chairs, and the overall look of the wedding. It’s so exciting to decide and choose exactly what your dream wedding will look like.
The most testing part of the planning process…
The most testing part of the wedding planning process is learning that it will not always go as planned no matter how hard you try. In our case, my husband went through two complicated and unexpected surgeries. The first surgery was 10 days before the wedding and the second one was two days before the wedding. Right before going into surgery for the second operation, he told me not to cancel any of the bookings made and that he was going to make it to the wedding no matter what the doctor said. His doctor allowed him to leave the hospital for a few hours on our wedding day and we had to go back to the hospital later that night. So, the last few days were really challenging and we were not mentally focused on the wedding day, but we managed it well and everything ended up great.
Top five tips for brides and grooms…
♡ First, you need to look at some pictures of weddings and discuss what you really like and don’t like about the decorations, the food, the theme, the flowers, etc.
♡ Second, book a wedding planner. A good wedding planner will make your life so much easier. I cannot imagine how we would have organised all the details of our wedding day without our amazing wedding planner.
♡ Third, choose a very good photographer and videographer. Your pictures and videos are going to last forever and they are what you’re going to show your children, family and friends, so make sure you choose wisely.
♡ This tip is especially for brides-to-be: get the dress that you like and the one that you feel comfortable in, sexy, and like the perfect bride in, otherwise you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.
♡ Finally — and it might sound obvious — on your wedding day enjoy every second of it! Live in the moment and don’t worry about what might go wrong. Do not stress over the things that don’t matter, because it’s your one and only wedding day, so enjoy it! And remember, guests are there to have a good time with you. They don’t care about the small details and they won’t notice if something is not as it is supposed to be.
Did you use Bride Club ME in the planning process?
Unfortunately, we did not know about this amazing website when we planned our wedding! We wish we’d known of Bride Club ME sooner, as it would have made our lives so much easier. All the items a couple needs to start the wedding planning process are nicely categorised in this website, which would have been very useful to us.
Watch Elham and Saman’s wedding day video to see their big day unfold at Burj Al Arab.
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Videography — Denee Motion / Photography — Christophe Viseux / Wedding Planner — Fabulous Day Wedding & Events / Wedding Dress Designer — Giovanna Alessandro / Wedding Cake — The Cake Loft / Bridal-wear boutique — Vanila Wedding Boutique / Makeup Artist — Leila Makeup Artist / Sofreh Aghd — Sofreh aghd heera by Zahra Kazemi / Violinist — Elena Thedvall
If you’re a bride-to-be looking for inspiration check out more real weddings only on Bride Club ME. Happy planning!