Are you dreaming to have that perfect sunset beach wedding or that fairytale like garden wedding in Dubai? Exchanging I Do’s with the perfect backdrop of Burj Al Arab, Arabian Sea and the sunset? You imagine yourself walking down the aisle on the sandy beach or green grass under your feet. It’s beautiful isn’t it? Only to find out that resort hotel with the prime sunset spot quotes at a minimum spend of 50,000 AED!!!
Knowing Dubai for it’s glamour and extravagance, prime venues always comes in a hefty price tag. If you’re a budget bride like me, it seems impossible to make your dream wedding happen without spending a minimum of 50,000 AED. But hey!! Guess what, I made it! I actually found that perfect spot with the sunset and sandy beach and it costs me only a little less than AED 15,000 for 50 people! Although, something happened unexpectedly…in 365 days, Dubai gets only 3 days of rain. In that 3 days, my wedding day happens to be one of those days. I couldn’t even begin to explain how sad I felt but hey, in the end you’re marrying your best friend and it’s all that matters.
How do I manage to have my dream wedding in Dubai on a budget?! I had the help of Wedding Champs, an online wedding platform in Dubai that provides free assistance in organizing your wedding. They helped me find my perfect venue. I just gave them my budget and the number of guests I have and they actually introduce me to their suppliers, organizers, and vendors. So, Im gonna share with you my wedding details and how I manage to spend less than AED 50,000.
- The Venue. Five Continents Cassells Ghantoot Hotel Beach & Spa is my hidden gem. It’s a four star hotel located in Ghantoot in the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It’s nothing like Ritz Carlton, Jumeirah Beach or Atlantis but what made me fell in love in the hotel is the perfect location for my dream wedding. There lying a garden lined with green trees and that sandy beach where the sun sets. They offer menus from Arabic, Continental, and International with starting price of AED 200. So depending on the number of your guest you can calculate how much you’ll have to pay for the venue and the drinks! It comes with free 3 tier cake as well of your choice.
2. Wedding Dress and Shoes. Ali Express is my go-to for my cheap finds. Yes, I bought my dress from Ali Express and I can assure you, the quality is great. Sure, it’s not Vera Wang or Diane Von Furstenberg but you only wear your dress for maximum of 10 hours, after that you put it back in the box and place it under your bed. You find your design from the wedding store and send them your measurements. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to finish the dress and will be couriered to you in 2 weeks. I bought mine for a only 700AED plus the veil of 100AED. My shoes? I wore my chuck taylor.
3. Flowers and Lighting . Do you know that white small flower you find in a bouquet of roses? Those are Baby’s Breath or Gypsophila. Since I’ve wanted a white, navy blue and silver theme, the baby’s breath for my centerpiece seems perfect for the theme. I found inspirations on Pinterest and guess what? They cost very cheap! I went to flower shops in Karama, for ten vases including delivery and pick up charge, it costed me 2,000 AED. I know, flowers makes the wedding so glam and romantic and all, but you see, flowers die the next day. And voila, your money is gone just like that. If my mom didn’t bring up the old belief of not using fake flowers on your wedding day, I would’ve opt for fake flowers. I found big round flowers for centerpieces for only 20AED each at Dragon Mart. All those flowers used for centerpieces, you can find them there. Even small and big vases are sold at cheap prices.
Since, it was raining on my wedding day, we had to move the ceremony and dinner inside. My arch and lighting went to waste. I rented the fairy lights of 100 meters I think, arch and dance floor of 5×5 meters for a total of 6,800 AED including delivery and installation. I found couple of suppliers online but all of them are priced at a minimum of 5,000 AED for the fairy lights alone and arch cost at 3,500. I still have the contact of the supplier from Sharjah, so in case you want it, just drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to share it to you.
4. DJ, Makeup artist, Coordinator and Photographer. I hired free lancers during my wedding. Except for the makeup artist, all are recommended by Wedding Champs. It cost me 4,500 AED for all of them. Comment below if you want me to share their contact numbers.
5. Wedding Favors and decor. Most of my wedding favors are sponsored by mom. 🙂 She insisted that she’ll do the favors and I happily let her. But one of the favors, I chose and ordered them. Feel free to grab these wedding favor ideas on your wedding day. I chose a magnet with personalized name and date for my main favor. You know why? People who travels get souvenirs such as magnets so I opted for that one. I do not want to go on the usual like mugs, cd’s or even towels with your and your husbands name. It just didn’t feel right for me to give away those since I barely use them whenever I attend wedding. 🙂
See, the magnets are meant to be displayed and placed in the refrigerator together with your travel memoirs. Our magnet will remind our guests that they are once part of an important event. Other favors I had are candles and room fragrance we got at Home Centre. They were on sale that time at 20AED each. It looks classy and very presentable but I wanted the favors to go with the theme as well so we had to wrap each one in silver gift wrapper.
My mom believes in all things symbolic and meaningful. She had to add some chocolates and almonds as wedding favor. She even thought of the kids, the ring bearers and flower girls, activities on the wedding day, she made them a box full of stuff. Coloring book, colors, finger puppet, some chocolates and snacks.
We got those small bottles in Dragon Mart and the chocolates are from Vivel & Patchi. Since, the venue was outdoor and it was on a winter night of December we added Pashmina or shawls for the ladies to keep them warm at night. Some friends give us huge discount on french macaron so we add them as well for favors. We really want our guests to enjoy and take with them a piece from the wedding day.
The ribbons, wrapping paper and small boxes can be bought in Al Ras in Deira, I forgot the name of the store but I still have their number. They sell in bulk and at a very cheap price. You’ll find there all your party needs for favors and give aways. The rest of my decor are handicrafts which are already available in my room so I just had to find inspirations online and make it myself. The photo frames below that I used for table numbers are sold at Daiso for 7 AED. I cut out the number and just frame them. The name tags are chocolates placed in a plastic box I bought in Al Ras. I did the name tags through my Silhouette Cameo.
I hope I helped you somehow in planning your wedding day. Remember, the day is about the union of two people in love with each other and meant to spend every moment together for the rest of their lives. Regardless of any uncontrolable events or unexpected situations, just look at the person you are marrying and everything will be just fine. Planning a wedding is very stressful, that is for sure, but wedding is all about you and your husband. Enjoy it, live it and cherish it for the rest of your lives. The important part in a marriage is the day after the wedding where you start planning about the future. Enjoy your journey towards planning the wedding and stop fretting about how the color of the bridesmaid dresses doesn’t exactly match the theme color, or how bright the pink is in your invitations. I could’ve cancelled the wedding because of the weather but hey, we all had fun in the end and finally, I could say I married my better half. 🙂
Peace and Love,