One Fine Day
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.