Lovely Lucy's Wedding on The Palm ♥

Martin and Lucy got married on the 9th March at the very glamorous The One & Only on The Palm. Lucy planned her wedding with the help from her mum and friends in Dubai. Like me, she did lots of DIY, and added lots of personal touches to her wedding day. And she looked just beautiful…

The wedding venue… 
I knew from the first time we had coffee there that I wanted to get married at One & Only The Palm. We also looked at a couple of other options, Martin loved Desert Palm Resort, but for me it just didn’t live up to The One & Only.

How he proposed…
Martin told me he had booked us a night in a ‘new hotel’ in Fujairah called Havana Beach Cabins as they had just opened and his company were offering a good discount. He said they were a little basic and he wasn’t sure if they had electricity but that it would be fun, a bit like camping (not my idea of fun!) So on the way we stopped for lunch at the Banyan Tree in Ras Al Khaimah and it turned out that we were actually staying there . We had a lovely private dinner on our terrace by the pool and between main and dessert he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him which was the best surprise ever.

Our vision for the day…
We really wanted to have an elegant, classy wedding with a romantic feel to it and we both agreed that it should be small and intimate. Aside from that we didn’t really know exactly what we wanted so we began looking at venues and I looked for inspiration from wedding magazines and online to help us build up a picture of what we did and didn’t like.

Planning the wedding…
A lot of my inspiration came from Pinterest and various wedding blogs. Some of my favourites were The Pretty Blog and Stylemepretty.com. I didn’t discover My Lovely Wedding until I was almost at the end of my planning unfortunately, but I’m glad I did as it really helped with ideas for suppliers based in Dubai.
I spent a lot of time making invitations, menus, thank you cards, confetti bags etc which involved many many trips to Satwa to buy ribbons and various craft supplies. My mum was a huge help to me with the planning process and made many phone calls on my behalf (as I hate calling people!) and helped with pretty much everything. We did become slightly addicted to wedding shopping over the year of planning!
Martin wasn’t very involved in the planning, other than choosing his suit and shoes and giving his opinion on the cake and telling me I was spending too much! But I think he was happy with how everything turned out at the end of the day.

The big budget….
My parents kindly offered to pay for the majority of the wedding. Martin and I then paid the remainder. We didn’t really have a set budget as such to begin with, but rather calculated what we thought we would need for each aspect of the wedding. We quickly discovered that weddings are expensive! However, making things myself and using suppliers such as a normal, non-wedding specialist florist did help to cut costs a little.

Finding my dress…
For me, finding a dress in Dubai was a challenge. I had found so many designers online who’s dresses I loved and none of them had stockists in Dubai. After trying on about 20 different dresses in Dubai, I decided I hadn’t found ‘the one’ so I took a trip to the UK with my parents and booked appointments all over the country. However, at the first appointment at Caroline Castigliano in Bath, I found my perfect dress and cancelled all the other appointments.

My dress & acccessories…
Before I began trying on dresses I was in love with fitted, lace dresses, but once I tried a few on I found they didn’t really flatter my figure as much as the fuller dresses. So I went for a Caroline Castigliano gown with a strapless lace top and an organza skirt.
As our wedding was in March, I was lucky enough to be given some lovely wedding related gifts for Christmas. Martin bought me a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet and for my birthday I had some earrings made. As my dress was quite big I waned to keep the accessories simple and delicate.

Groom’s threads…
Martin and the groomsmen all wore black suits from Boggi. Finding their ties was a bit of a mission as every time we found a tie we liked, we found the shop only had one or two available and we needed five. Eventually we decided Martin would wear our first choice of tie and the others would wear a plain beige to match.

Our Readings + Music…
For our readings we chose The Art of Marriage and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as we felt these best represented our relationship. They were read by my Brother and Godmother.
As we only had 40 guests at our wedding, we decided a band/DJ would be a little over powering so we made our own playlist on several CDs for the reception. For the cocktail hour and ceremony we really wanted a string quartet, however they were all a little out of our price range, so we found a lovely violinist and cellist who could play with a backing track to add a little more atmosphere.

My Lovely Bridesmaids…
My two beautiful bridesmaids live on opposite sides of the world to me…one in the UK and the other in South Africa, which made finding dresses a little difficult. In the end we decided it would be easiest to order dresses online which could be made to measure and hope for the best! Luckily they arrived in time and both girls were able to try the dresses and have them fitted here before the big day. My bridesmaids were a huge help on the day of the wedding and spent their morning helping me to set up the reception and then did a great job of stopping me from crying as we walked from our room to the ceremony area!

The Flowers…
For me the flowers were one of the most important parts of the wedding. I had a picture in my mind of exactly what I wanted, which was soft, delicate country-style flowers in peaches and white. However, finding these types of flowers in Dubai proved to be a challenge! Most of the flower places here stock the exact same types and colours of flowers, which didn’t include what I was looking for. I eventually discovered that my only option would be to find a florist who could make a special order from Holland. I bought glasses from ikea to use as small vases and figured out exactly how many of each flower I would need to fill them and then ordered from two separate florists. Black Tulip Flowers then arranged the flowers exactly as I had asked.

The Cake…
I found a photo of a cake on Pinterest which I loved. It was a little different to the traditional white wedding cake, but it was a fun design which I thought would suit our wedding.

The Details + Décor…
I love all the little details at a wedding as they really help to make it unique and personal. I made all the stationary myself as I love craft and DIY. I also became slightly obsessed with Etsy and ordered several things from America, including some beautiful confetti in my wedding colours.
I had seen some lovely name place settings online which I knew I wanted, so I spent hours trawling the internet to find out where I could order some from. It turned out they came from a place called Doodles Laser in Cape Town, which happens to be where Martin’s parents live, so they were able to bring them over for us.
We struggled to think of something unique to give as favours and wanted to add a small Arabic touch, so eventually we came up with the idea of giving each guest a tiny little clay pot which we bought from a pottery shop in Umm Al Quwain and filled each one with either some tiny chocolate hearts from Conti Confetteria or a toffee.

The Honeymoon…
For our honeymoon we stayed at the Viceroy Hotel in the Maldives. The Maldives was our first choice of destination as we really wanted somewhere where we could completely relax and unwind after the busy wedding planning, without having to sit on an aeroplane for too many hours.
We definitely made the right choice and spent our days lazing by our private pool or snorkeling in the sea below our water villa. It really was the perfect honeymoon destination!

Memorable moments…
Our wedding day really did pass by so quickly and I wish we could have it again! For me, the most memorable moment has to be walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Martin at the end with a tear in his eye. He wasn’t really looking forward to the wedding and would have been happy with a small family meal somewhere! So to see him looking so happy really was the best feeling.
In the morning my Mum came down to the hotel to have breakfast with me and bought me a lovely surprise box full of goodies to take on our honeymoon. It was lovely to have an hour or so with her before the wedding madness began.
The speeches were also wonderful and I cried most of the way through all of them!

Advice for other couples…
Make sure your wedding is exactly what you both want. Don’t worry about other peoples opinions too much as it’s your special day and it will all be over so quickly. We had several people saying ‘we hope you’ll be having the traditional fruit cake, or sugared almonds’ etc but that wasn’t what we wanted and it wouldn’t have been our wedding if we had tried to please everyone. At the end of the day, everyone loves a wedding and your guests will love the day, whatever you do.

Credit for suppliers & friends…
Venue – One & Only The Palm
Dress  – Caroline Castigliano
Alterations – Anne Rashid from Montexa
Men’s suits – Boggi
Men’s shirts and ties – Camicissima
Bridesmaids Dresses – www.bridaldreamdress.com
Cake – Jumeirah
Photographer – Celeste Van Rooyen (and my wonderful friend Sarah Clemence of SarahC photography. who was also a guest on my wedding day.)
Videographer – Beth Balde
Florist – Black Tulip Flowers
Hair stylist – Ashleigh King
Make up – Donna Luethi
Big thanks to my lovely Lucy for sharing her big day. If you fancy seeing her wedding on film check this out… * Lucy’s wedding film*
Back alter my lovelies x

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