Interview | Get To Know The Wedding Pro: Desert Palm
Get To Know The Wedding Pro: Desert Palm
Each week, we shine the spotlight on Bride Club ME vendor club members, allowing you, our reader, to get up close and personal with some of the best wedding vendors in town. Here, you can learn more about the people behind some of the businesses you may be using to make your wedding day perfect!
This week we have the privilege of showcasing Lucinda Rodrigues, who is the Wedding Planner at Desert Palm. Desert Palm is particularly special to BCME, as both Rio (BCME’s founder) and Rachael (BCME’s Assistant Editor) celebrated their special days there! Rio’s wedding took place in November 2013 whilst Rachael’s was held in April 2015.
Below, Lucinda tells us all about this beautiful, unique venue and how they can help you to have the perfect wedding day.
How long has Desert Palm been established, and what makes your venue different when it comes to hosting weddings?
We are now in our tenth year here at Desert Palm Dubai! The hotel has evolved over this time to become one of the best and most exclusive wedding venues in the UAE. Our main offerings are our outdoor locations; The Olive Garden, which is a purpose built venue spanning 2,160 sqm with imported 300-year-old Tuscan Olive Trees, can host weddings and events for up to 1,200 guests. We also have a venue we call the “Museum” which is a combination of three beautiful areas: the lawn area itself, which can host 250 – 300 guests, the Courtyard which is a beautiful area flanked by our owner’s private stables, and the Green Veranda which is what we use for very private intimate dinners and receptions. This venue has a very traditional Spanish/Mediterranean feel to it and once you arrive you feel like you’ve left Dubai and entered another world!
There are also many other little “nooks and crannies” on the 160-acre estate. Once here the bride to be, groom and family can enjoy the full estate for their photographs, entering the private stables or the riding school, having pictures in front of some beautiful backdrops and if you’re lucky you will be able to capture some of the rare birds that live at the estate as well as the Peacocks and Peahens that live here!
During the winter months, once the polo season has started, we can also arrange for a match to be played on the field so as to have a fantastic backdrop for a cocktail reception before the evening festivities begin. We also have a fabulous indoor space, “The Polo Rooms” which is a very modern contemporary space that can host weddings and events for up to 300 guests.
What made you decide to work in the events and hospitality industry?
The events and hospitality industry has to be one of the best careers in the world! It has so many exciting moments, challenges and new experiences that no other industry has. You’re able to work with and meet so many different and talented people from all parts of the world and all different cultures, work on some really fantastic events from the very small and intimate to the very large and lavish! Every event is different and not knowing what the “catering gods” will throw at you on any given day is all I need to come to work every day!
What do you love most about your job?
Weddings; planning, styling, running, working! This is the best job in the world. From following and even implementing new trends in the industry, sourcing suppliers and decorations to meeting so many wonderful people as well, seeing a bride and groom getting married in their dream venue is what makes this job special. I also love the challenge! Every inquiry we receive is different, some of the requests are really extravagant and this is where this job starts getting interesting, having to design a wedding from a blank sheet of paper every single time.
Do you have any exciting weddings happening at Desert Palm soon? What are you most looking forward to about the new season?
Every wedding we do is exciting. We have so many different styles and types of weddings coming up this season and I really cannot wait. I am also looking forward to meeting a new group of brides and grooms. Meeting them and fulfilling their dreams is what I am looking forward to.
Describe the experience a bride-to-be will have when hiring Desert Palm for her wedding…
I believe that Desert Palm Dubai offers one of the best experiences from start to finish for a bride-to-be. From the outset, they have a devoted wedding planner to help, guide and assist them. Desert Palm tends not to work from the standard “wedding packages” that you find at other venues. Every wedding we arrange is bespoke; we work with the couple to create their dream wedding. We have a very small team here in the event department and the bride-to-be gets to meet everyone through the process so that she feels comfortable and knows the team before the day.
We offer reassurance that they are being looked after. Whatever the request, we will meet with them as many times as they need and will arrange our working day around their schedule. We try to make what can become a very stressful part of a person’s life as relaxed and smooth as possible. We include complimentary menu tastings, discussing the menu with our Chef, creating dishes from an old family recipe or using our in-house bar team to create cocktails or mocktails that match the couple’s personality and heritage. A new touch that we have added to the experience is our Bridal Room located in the Olive Garden. There is a purpose built vanity room and lounge with complimentary soft beverages in the mini bar, on call food service from our restaurant, TV, Wi-Fi, hairdressing salon, showers etc. This is perfect for the bride and groom to relax in before, during and after their wedding and the dedicated personal buggy will be waiting for them to take them back to their suite or villa whenever they want.
How do you manage trust from your clients? After all, it is the most important day of their lives…
As mentioned before, we build a personal relationship with our clients. We become friends with them and support them when they need. Even if they require something that is not part of our remit we will assist them as that’s the service we are offering. To create the perfect wedding for a couple you have to get to know them first as once you know them and understand them you can create their dream wedding for them. It is because of this that we cater for over 40 weddings a year here at Desert Palm.
What budgets do you cater for?
We cater for all weddings, and budgets will depend on the time of year and requirements. In the past, we have catered for weddings costing AED 50k up to AED 400k
Lastly, why did you choose to list with www.brideclubme.com?
Bride Club ME is a leader in this particular field with a huge following and client base. Although we get fully booked for weddings I feel there are so many more prospective couples out there that Desert Palm could help either here at a Desert Palm venue or if they would like us to plan and cater somewhere else. We love to plan and cater for weddings and we would like to help the next couple have the wedding of their dreams!