A Blissful, Beachy Real Wedding at Zaya Nurai Island!

Bride and Groom: Sarah & Dirk
Length of engagement: 7 Months
Wedding Date: 29th Jan, 2021
Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

We met…

At university in the UK. The timing was not great though as a year into the relationship Dirk got the opportunity to come out to the UAE to work. What followed was two and a half years of long-distance which was difficult but made us stronger as a couple. This was also what brought me over to the UAE and in turn, gave us the opportunity to have our wedding at Zaya Nurai Island.

Our proposal…

Occurred during Covid, but back when there was the official lockdown in place. We spoke quite a lot about getting married to the point that I knew it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore when it finally happened. I had just come home from work and Dirk was waiting at the door for me. He seemed a little nervous but I thought nothing of it. As I went into the house, there on the counter was a Forever Rose box. Now this was a surprise as I generally never get bought flowers but had mentioned I would love a Forever Rose. I assumed it was just a surprise gesture and I wasn’t going to complain as like I mentioned I never usually get flowers. As I opened the box I saw a lovely red Forever Rose, but what caught my eye more was the twinkling of something gold. There on one of the petals was a ring. When I turned to Dirk he was on one knee and he asked me the question I had been so excited to hear…will you marry me! Of course I said yes. Funnily enough, we decided to celebrate our engagement at Zaya Nurai Island, the same place we would get married the following year.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

Our wedding theme/colours…

We decided on a rustic theme of siege greens and dusty blues very fitting to the beach theme. I wanted to add some personal touches so I made name placements out of wood slices and created a mirrored welcome sign. Evelyn, Head of Sales Groups & Events, and her team were amazing with arranging the décor and the overall aesthetics of the day. I had no idea what the venue would look like until I was walking in to get ready for the ceremony. And honestly I have to say I was blown away. Everything was perfect to the point that I was sure she must have somehow seen my wedding Pinterest boards. In that second when I walked through the doors of the venue I knew I had made the best decision in having my wedding at Zaya Nurai Island, there was no doubt about it.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

My dress…

As our families were unable to attend our wedding due to the Covid restrictions in place I made a promise with my mum that I would not get my dress from a Bridal shop. She wanted to have that experience with me and so did I. We had agreed that when things calmed down we would get the families together for a vow renewal and then we could do the mother-daughter wedding dress shop. I wasn’t complaining I mean how many people have the chance to wear three wedding dresses, yes three. With this in mind I had to start looking for alternatives and what I found was surprisingly really nice. The high street has a huge range of wedding dresses that tailor to different shapes and preferences not to mention very reasonably priced. I found my dress on ASOS. It was a kimono style white embroidered dress which was so perfect for the setting of a beach wedding. Not to mention by the end of the night after much dancing the dress was not quite its pearly white it had been, I didn’t feel too bad.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

My hair and makeup…

As daunting as this may sound to some of you reading this I actually did my own Hair and Makeup. No I’m not a Makeup artist or anything like that and I was fully sane when I decided this if not a little rushed for time. I did do my research and found a brand that did make up suitable for my skin and that would hold up in an outdoor environment. I had a lovely hour and a half session with a makeup artist at Charlotte Tilbury, much to the Husband’s dismay as I said it would only take half an hour. That session allowed me to see how best to apply, what would work best with my skin, and actually feel good about how my makeup would look on the day. I always wear my make-up very natural and I knew I wanted that for the wedding day too. Match that with a simple blow dry (the power of a Dyson hairdryer definitely helped) and I was ready to get married. This took the stress out of finding someone at short notice and not being sure if I would like the end result. I still don’t regret it and would definitely do it again.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

His suit…

Much like my dress, we decided to get the suits from the many High Street options that are available. We decided on Moss Bros as they had a great range of styles and colours of suits available depending on the type of wedding you were having. Dirk ended up with a blue linen three-piece suit which I have to say he looked very dashing in.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

What our bridal party wore…

As our wedding was very intimate we didn’t actually have any bridal party as such. The Venue had four bedrooms upstairs that I and my friends utilised to get ready and Dirk had the one-bedroom villa that he and the guys used to relax and get ready for the ceremony. We never gave much thought in the way of a dress code but somehow everyone seemed to wear matching colours.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

Our ceremony and/or celebrant…

Our Nurai event was a blessing ceremony as we had already done the legal ceremony at the beginning of the year at St Andrew’s church. We wanted to do something that felt like a ceremony but that wasn’t the whole ceremony again. We decided on a sand blessing ceremony. We had the help of HS Celebrant, Jasmin who arranged everything. She was very lovely and friendly.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon
Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

We chose our photographer because…

Much like with the makeup and hair we didn’t really have much time to thoroughly investigate which photographer we wanted but our contact at Zaya Nurai, Evelyn, was on hand to advise us with a photographer. They were amazing, so friendly and professional and fit in perfectly with what we wanted. It also took out a lot of the pre-wedding stress knowing that the photographers had experience on the island and the particular venue.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

We chose our venue because…

I cannot express enough our gratitude to Evelyn, Norman and their team through the months leading up to the wedding with the countless emails and messages to the actual day making sure everything was perfect. I have been lucky enough to work with the team on prior events so I knew they would be able to help me with whatever I needed. But honestly, they blew me away with just how amazing they were. Nothing was too big or small of an ask, I even have a photo of Evelyn trying to help get my dress ready for a photo. They really did put their all into making this day special and I don’t think anywhere else would have even compared. For anyone who is thinking to get married in the beautiful setting on Nurai Island you really will be in great hands and know that you will have every dream brought to life.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon
Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

We had been lucky enough to have experienced Zaya Nurai Island on a couple of occasions for beach days with friends and had already fallen in love with the atmosphere of the place. Through our many trips to Nurai we had also had the opportunity to get to know the team and honestly that played a huge part in why we chose the venue. They really made you feel as though you were their only guests and it made all the difference. Our venue was a Water Villa overlooking the rest of the island and the sea. Our ceremony was conducted outside on the deck and then we came inside for a set menu of a three-course dinner.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

Our menu…

Had to be one of the memorable moments of the event. The food was delicious and went down very well with our guests. The chef and his team at Nurai worked on something special for the day and they didn’t disappoint. I still have dreams about the Beef Carpaccio to this day.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

Our honeymoon…

Luckily we still have this part of the wedding experience to look forward to. We didn’t want to rush it and only have the choice of a few places due to Covid travel restrictions. I think the plan is we will wait until things open up more and then plan where we really want to go.

My favourite part of the wedding day…

The day was full of so many memorable moments, but for me seeing Dirk waiting at the floral arch with a smile on his face was the most memorable for me.

Wedding Location: Zaya Nurai Island
Photographer: Cre8tiveartworks / Maricor Geonzon

My piece of advice for other brides…

Don’t stress about the small things. Do what is best for you every bride is different but honestly having a wedding where the only stress is please don’t trip on the way to meet the groom really was a breath of fresh air.

To plan your elopement at Zaya Nurai, visit their profile page or email Evelyn and the team at weddings@nurai.com. Happy Planning!

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The girls at weddingsonline

The girls from the UAE's newest wedding community with real weddings and lots of gorgeous inspiration!

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