Inside Ruth & Conor’s Elegant Wedding At St Regis Al Habtoor Polo Resort
Written by Peta Ireland Al Akawi on March 19, 2019.
Tagged under: Conor, Dubai, Dubai Weddings, Habtoor, Habtoor Polo Resort, Real wedding Dubai, Ruth, friends, honor, honor Conor, st regis al habtoor, wedding
Today we have the pleasure of taking a look inside expats Ruth and Conor’s elegant outdoor wedding that took place at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort on the 15th February 2018. This beautiful couple, who both met and reside in Dubai, chose to hold their ceremony at the Holy Trinity Church followed by a stunning outdoor reception at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort Courtyard.
Read on as Ruth shares with Bride Club ME how her and Conor’s big day came together with the help and love of friends and family…
Ruth, let’s start with the proposal, how did your other half pop the question?
Conor took me away for a staycation over my birthday weekend and popped the question in the hotel room. He had asked me to book a restaurant for dinner, which I did, but we never actually made it there. Conor had arranged a surprise engagement party with all our family and friends for that night, so we spent the rest of the evening surrounded by our loved ones, celebrating all together.
How did you decide on a venue for your wedding?
We looked at so many venues and really struggled to find somewhere appropriate. We had already decided to do the wedding in Dubai, as that’s where we met and that’s where a lot of our mutual friends and close family live, but we wanted a low-key feel for the wedding with a traditional church ceremony, which of course was hard to find compared to the UK. We settled on the Holy Trinity Church as the ceremony venue, a quaint little chapel hidden down a back lane in Oud Metha and shaped like origami. For the reception we ended up booking the Al Habtoor Polo Courtyard, a private space with a connected bar and surrounding rooms for relatives and friends.
Did you have a specific vision for your wedding?
I wanted to incorporate birds as they remind me of my Grandmother. We also wanted to keep it quite traditional and we wanted to honor Conor’s Irish heritage. But other than that, there was no specific theme per se. Originally, we were thinking of a small wedding with only a few close guests, but as we drew up the guest list and thought through the people we wanted to share our special day with, that quickly changed and we ended up with 150 invitees.
How did you decide on the theme for your décor?
We researched online for quite a while for inspiration and luckily Conor and I have similar taste. We liked the clean, simple look, with classic whites and greens. I’ve always preferred gold to silver, so that was a relatively easy decision, and we went with light gold accents throughout the crockery and furniture.
Did you work with a wedding planner?
We didn’t have a wedding planner as such, but we did work with a wedding stylist – The Pretty Pineapple. Jess from Pretty Pineapple was great, and she helped Conor and I bring a lot of our initial ideas together. She was so helpful on the day too. We were obviously busy before the ceremony, so Jess looked after the final bits, organizing the venue whilst we were all at the church etc. We did make a lot of the decorations ourselves though. Conor’s mum, sister and cousin handmade the flower wall, with final support from Conor’s friends to assemble it at the venue the day before the wedding. My sister wrote out the names on all the porcelain birds and the mirrored seating chart. My mother-in-law and aunties-in-law handmade all of the bridesmaid bouquets and the church decorations, so we were lucky and had a lot of great support from family and friends to bring our personal touches to life.
What was your favorite part of planning your wedding?
I liked seeing all the elements come together. Seeing the table settings, the final flower arrangements, the place names etc. Honestly though, planning a wedding is a lot of hard work, and it was very stressful at times. I became very close to Conor’s family throughout the process, my Mother-In-Law especially, who was with me for all my wedding dress fittings. She helped with all the running around, handmade the church decorations and so many other things. So really my favorite part is that the planning process brought me closer to Conor’s family.
What did you find the most testing part of the planning process as an expat bride?
I suppose not having all your friends and family around to support. I was lucky as I had some immediate family here, obviously locally based friends and Conor’s family around. But you miss planning with your childhood friends, and it was a shame to miss that part of the process.
What was your favorite part of the whole day?
Someone asked me before the wedding what I was looking forward to the most, and I said the speeches, although I should have said the actual marriage part! So, learning from that, and quite honestly, the actual ceremonial part was lovely, and I’ll always remember that. I was very nervous about that bit but when you’re there in the moment, nothing else around you matters. We had one funny incident at the reception where one of our friends fell through the flower wall, that would also be up there with the best bits.
What’s your top three tips for brides-to-be currently planning their wedding in Dubai?
♡ Don’t feel shy to ask people for help during the wedding build-up, everyone knows how much there is to do and if they love you, they’ll be happy to support.
♡ Try to make the day last and try to enjoy each moment. It really does go so fast, especially when you spend it trying to see everyone. Think of your partner foremost and just enjoy it.
♡ If you have people traveling over for the big day, try to book another smaller event for afterwards. We did a boat party the day after for close family and friends and it was a fab way to continue the celebrations and thank everyone for coming.
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Please note, this venue was formally known as St Regis Al Habtoor Polo Club and is now known as Al Habtoor Polo Resort.