I’m so sorry this blog is going out so late. I’ve been out of the house all day so just catching up with admin work and emails. I thought this might be a useful blog for anyone who’s recently got engaged, and planning a wedding in Dubai.
Q. I really want a beach wedding, where would you recommend?
A. Venues I would suggest visiting are:
- The One and Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
- The Ritz Carlton, JBR
- Meydan Beach Club, JBR
- Sofitel, The Palm Jumeirah
- Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Just remember that with most beach side venues in Dubai, on the way to your wedding ceremony you may come across hotel guests. It’s also a good idea to visit the venue around the actual time of day you will get married, it will give you a good idea of what to expect on your wedding day.
Q. Every hotel I contact requires a minimum spend… why is that?
A. The dreaded minimum spend… it’s one of the things that shocks most couples when they start planning. No body tells you that you have to spend a whopping 50k or even 80k on F&B for your wedding. For weddings of 100 guests or more it’s easy to spend up to AED 50,000,if not more but for smaller weddings it’s a little harder. Most hotels have wedding packages, they price per person and will give you options of alcohol or non alcoholic drink packages. If you’re feeding and watering your guests (with alcohol) it’s very easy to hit the 50k mark with only the basics. (3 course dinner, canapés and wine and beers) I’d probably budget for AED 500 per person for food and alcohol beverages. 100 x 500… well, you do the math. *Please note that prices vary between venues… 🙂
Q. How much should I pay for photography & video?
A. This really depends on what style photography and video you want. Photographers in the UAE range from around AED 7,000 – AED 25k. I’m pretty sure the average bride would pay around AED 10,000 – 12,000 for a good photographer. This also depends on the number of hours they work and how many images are included in the package.
Q. I’ve been quoted so many different prices for flowers, how do I know what I should be paying?
This is also a tricky one to answer because the price of flowers varies from where the flower is grow, the type of flower and also quantity. I would suggest budgeting around AED 500 for a nice bridal bouquet, and maybe around AED 300 for a bridesmaid’s bouquet. For centerpieces most florists will budget around AED 500 – 700 per table for something nice and full. Of course this really depends on the style of your wedding and the quantity of flowers. Just remember that the price of the flowers also includes labour charges and planning time, you’re not just paying for the flowers.
Q. I’d love to get married outdoors but I have a very small wedding party and the minimum spends are too high… any suggestions?
Think outside the box… go for golf clubs and smaller venues. The Montgomerie has a beautiful terrace at The Academy that overlooks the Dubai Marina skyline. It’s perfect for smaller gatherings, and even baby showers or bridal showers. The Arabian Ranches Golf Club has recently launched a new events venue called ‘Waters Edge’. It fits up to 300 people but would also make for an ideal venue for a smaller wedding too. If you’re looking for something a little more fancy then try the large hotels… maybe they have an outdoor terrace or a private area at a restaurant that can accommodate you and your small wedding party.
Q. Can you legally get married in a hotel?
A. The answer to that is no. Most expat brides I know get married in a church and then have a blessing ceremony at the wedding venue. My friend Amy will be sharing her own experience of ‘getting married in Dubai’ very soon. It’s going to be a must-read blog for any bride in the UAE.
Q. I don’t want to get married at a hotel, and I’m on a tight budget…what can I do?
A. If you’re looking for a less fancy – more “cool” venue then I know just the place.- Tom & Serg. Amazing. Read my latest blog on the venue for the all details. If you want something a little more traditional then check out Platinum Heritage. They have an amazing events area in the desert and can cater for your wedding too. It’s a quirky idea for guests coming from overseas.
If you do have any more questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I’m super busy these days but promise to reply as soon as I can)