Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Real Dubai Engagement Party: Dina & Ahmed

I am so excited to share our first real event on BrideByYourSide! Today we have Dina & Ahmed's intimate engagement party at Raffles Hotel in Dubai. Keep reading to see Dina's advice on planning for future brides.
"Raffles Hotel in Dubai has a gorgeous view of the Dubai skyline from their pool deck. I think the important part of picking a location is if you can see your magical moment happening right then and there, then that’s the place for you. I venue hunted all over Dubai and nothing made me feel more sure than standing up on that pool deck months before. The lighting was exactly what I had hoped for.
I worked with the hotel to choose the cake design and flavor (vanilla caramel) which turned out absolutely delicious. The pastry chef at the hotel is very well known for his cakes and pastries, and with a good price, I went with the hotel chef on this one. Initially we wanted 50 guests but the number went up by the time the engagement party came around. Advice in this aspect: always expect no-shows.  And remember to review your guest list more than once.
Originally we were going to put together a playlist of songs and keep it playing throughout, since the event was more of a dinner. But in the middle of getting things ready, there was no time to approve an entire list of music so we hired a DJ. Live entertainment can be pricey, and the last thing you want to do in the middle of constant preparations is sit down and pick out four or five hours worth of music for your special day. Get someone to do it for you to make sure there isn’t a silent moment.Flowers at hotels can be crazy expensive, so I went to a local vendor in Sharjah (Note to those planning events in the UAE: Sharjah vendors are always cheaper and more than willing to come to Dubai. Don’t underestimate them). They had a sample centerpiece done for me from ideas I got online and voila! I had my flowers! Beautiful blue hydrangeas with purple roses, spotted with baby’s breath.
My advice to future bride is, research, keep your eyes open, ask a lot of questions, and go after exactly what you want. It's your special day and you have the right to do everything you want with it. I'm picky and was ready to do what it takes to bring the image in my head to life. It was stressful, but it was worth every minute. I wanted to feel like a Disney princess on my day and I can truly say that after all these years, Cinderella finally had nothing on me." -Dina

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Venue: Raffles Hotel Pool Deck
Guest Count: 60 people
Florist: May Flowers
Photography: Olivier Gallaud
Cake: Raffles Hotel Pastry Chef
Dress: Jovani

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