One Fine Day

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Make yours a wed­ding to re­mem­ber with our pick of lux­ury ser­vices, world-class de­sign­ers, charm­ing venues and mem­o­rable gifts

Mar­riages may well be made in heaven, but a divine wed­ding cer­e­mony re­quires a more lux­u­ri­ous touch – from the card to the cake, venue to wardrobe, and gifts to jewels, here are the best avail­able ser­vices to help make your spe­cial day truly mem­o­rable. Emma Bart­ley draws up a wishlist

Ev­ery cou­ple wants their wed­ding day to be mem­o­rable – but in the UAE, where lux­ury is a by­word and the aver­age cost of a wed­ding is par­tic­u­larly high, there is the added onus to make that spe­cial oc­ca­sion truly one-of-a-kind. “Our vis­i­tors are look­ing to cre­ate an event that will be talked about; they want to give their guests an ex­pe­ri­ence,” notes Daphne Cota, di­rec­tor of The Bride Show Dubai. Walk around the 8,000-square-me­tre ex­hi­bi­tion, which is on at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre un­til April 5, and it ap­pears that the wed­ding in­dus­try has ev­ery con­ceiv­able de­tail cov­ered, from sixweek pre-wed­ding beauty pack­ages to made-to-or­der ta­bles and chairs.

The dif­fi­culty, then, for those who wish to stand out, is that lux­ury has be­come the norm for a wed­ding in the UAE, so an in­creas­ing amount of per­son­al­i­sa­tion and cre­ativ­ity is re­quired in or­der to make a real im­pres­sion. “The aver­age cost of a wed­ding in the UAE is US$85,000 [over Dh300,000], so huge com­pared with other coun­tries,” Cota points out. Fash­ions have changed con­sid­er­ably over the Bride Show’s 17-year life­span, says Cota, with a move away from bling jew­ellery and crys­tal-en­crusted dresses to­wards more sub­tle, so­phis­ti­cated de­signs. “Ten years ago, it used to be a lot of crys­tals. Now the state­ment is more el­e­gant rather than heav­ily em­broi­dered; vis­i­tors are look­ing for sim­plic­ity and el­e­gance,” she says. Olivier Dolz, the founder of a Dubai-based wed­ding and event-plan­ning com­pany, says that he has or­gan­ised “some of the most spec­tac­u­lar, in­no­va­tive, high-pro­file lux­ury wed­dings and par­ties in the Gulf ”, and ex­pects to see even fur­ther growth at this end of the mar­ket. “We’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing more and more lux­ury re­quests. It seems like the mar­ket is grow­ing in the right di­rec­tion and that cus­tomer de­mands are turn­ing to­wards a sleeker and classier look,” he says. “The chal­lenge is al­ways to en­sure we meet the clients’ ex­pec­ta­tions and make their dream wed­ding’s de­sign a beau­ti­ful re­al­ity.” Ac­cord­ing to Cota, cou­ples in the UAE are dream­ing big­ger and in an in­creas­ing amount of de­tail – ev­ery el­e­ment is now care­fully con­sid­ered, down to the polka dots on table­cloths. The wed­ding in­dus­try is more than happy to meet this grow­ing de­mand for the unique and the lux­u­ri­ous, putting ever-greater em­pha­sis on the be­spoke, whether it comes to the en­gage­ment ring or the hon­ey­moon suite. Here is a se­lec­tion of some of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary op­tions on the mar­ket.

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