Dubai: Depending on how prepared you are for it, planning a wedding can be a dream or a nightmare.

There are tons of things to consider: from the guest list to picking the venue, the caterer and the dress.

So just how do you navigate your way around this web of decisions and choices? Experts lined up for February's The Wedding Fair at Burj Park share their top tips.

Olga Ezzat of Save the Date on planning a wedding party:

Decide on the number of guests. Produce a guest list and research a favoured venue. Most large hotels charge a fixed fee – so keep in mind a minimum spend.  Keep an eye out for smaller venues that cater to fewer than a hundred people so you can pay per person rather than a big minimum spend. 

Decide what type of venue you are looking for.  Envision where you want your big day to be held - whether by the beach, a glamorous ballroom, a country style wedding, at a golf course or a vibrant part of the city. Having this vision clear will illuminate some options and get you thinking. 

Hire wedding professionals. Ensure you use references and online resources; these will help you to learn more about their style, and read the feedback of the other couples. Hire suppliers in advance. Most of the couples prefer to get married during the peak season from October to April), so keep in mind vendors get busy during this time. 

Have a budget in mind. There are a huge number of options out there; decide what is the most important, be it décor and flowers, food or entertainment. Work around the key elements, and try to minimise costs on services that are not so important for you.

Hire a wedding planner. Good ones are well connected in the market and will help take the burden away from you. Search for discounts and special offers, too. 

Remember three main things while planning your wedding: enjoy the process, trust professionals that you’ve hired and don’t ever be shy to ask for discounts, extra perks or further advice.

Picking the right dress

Diala Abu Issa of Dubai Bridal Showroom says: It is very important to start early, at least nine months before the wedding itself. Searching the internet and social media to look at designs you like and don’t like is crucial. 

Try different silhouettes and fabrics because often brides end up with something totally different while giving yourself enough time allows you to choose and order your dress without time being a constraint. 

Katerina Kazakova of Vanila Studio says: The main thing before you go and do your bridal shopping is that you have to define and clarify for yourself the style you want. Once you have made connection with your bridal consultant, trust her. She does this for living and has already seen thousands of brides with your physical characteristics and she knows well which dress style will suit which body-shape, including your budget limits. 

Barbaranne Heaton of House of Morai Bridal says: Picking the right dress for your special day can be a daunting and a frustrating task. However, it’s important to choose a dress that not only fits your budget but that also suits your body shape, personality and style. If you’re surrounded by friends it is easy to get carried away. Always keep your options open, if you find you are having to compromise due to not finding one to your taste then exploring the bespoke route could be an altogether better choice.

Picking a budget wedding dress

Abu Issa says: Gowns can start as low as Dh5,000. It really all depends on the bride taste. You can find a gown at Dh10,000 to Dh15,000 and still look amazing! 

Kazakova says: Think outside the box, and shop around. There are a lot of ‘less traditional’ bridal options out there that don’t have to break your budget. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for off the rack bargains in designer shops, which can then be altered and modified for a more bridal look. 

Heaton says: Bridal separates are also becoming increasingly more popular for the edgier bride, it gives you the freedom to mix and match for a unique look as well as helping with strict budgets.


Don't miss it

What: The Wedding Fair

When: February 3 (2pm to 9pm) and February 4 (11am to 6pm)

Where: Burj Park, Downtown Dubai