Alex & Amina’s Stunning Real Wedding | Zaya Nurai Island

Bride and Groom: Alex & Amina

Length of Engagement:  2 years

Wedding Date: 3rd November 2018

Wedding Venue:  Zaya Nurai Island

Photographer: The Art Part Production & Trandafilm Videographers

Wedding Planner: Firenze Flora & Rock Your Wedding

We met…

Alex is an injury rehab specialist and I required some extensive treatment to get back into competitive hockey.  To cut a long story short … I was his client!  He signed me off, however my Mum required some treatment, and after seeing him and his business partner on the news for transforming a wheelchair bound lady for over 12 years, to be able to walk and run, my Mum knew they had the specialism required.  After multiple sessions with Alex, she played cupid and hooked us up, now 7 years on, we’re married.

Our proposal…

Spain is a country close to both of our hearts.  I lived there as part of my degree and it is where Alex asked me to be his girlfriend 4 years before proposing. We go back every year for a holiday, but this time we visited a different area, took a boat out for the day and then went to a hotel for dinner that evening.  After spilling his mango daiquiri all over himself, and then unable to finish his meal, I did find it rather odd as Alex is usually a human dustbin!  I still had no inclination he was going to propose that evening. We walked around the grounds of the garden that evening, and Alex wanted to sit in an area signed ‘The Romantic Corner’.

We sat down on the sun loungers and he started being soppy telling me how much he loved me and complimenting all of my good qualities (a rarity, as we are not that kind of couple)!  He then unbuttoned his trousers and I was very confused, stating ‘What are you doing!!!’ He took out the box from in-between his boxers and trousers and got down on one knee. This box had been sat in this uncomfortable position for several hours over drinks, dinner, our walk and the beginning of the proposal. He wanted to propose with a box and not just a ring, but I would have sussed the box had he not hidden it.  I said Yes instantly and then cried. We then Facetimed all of our family, and I continued to cry, unsure of why I was crying!

Our personalised wedding favours…

Unbeknown to family and friends, I had started my own company from putting together all of my savings, in the January before our wedding in November.  I wanted to keep it quiet until I had the finished products, my website ready and launch date close by.  I thought the wedding would be the perfect opportunity to announce my new business by gifting each female as their wedding favour, given I was launching online the week after returning home from the wedding.  It also provides a sentimental meaning, as my first batch from my first order was given to family and close friends. My business Anklita, offers luxury-affordable ankle bracelets and charms made from sterling silver and micron plated in 18 carat yellow and rose gold.

The USP is in the design of the ankle bracelets as well as the charms being interchangeable, allowing for each anklet to be personalised and unique; there is nothing currently in the market like this.  This means each female guest has a luxury gift as their favour, and can personalise it over time with meaningful charms from our collections, always leading back to the memories made at our wedding. Given men tend to lose things like favours, we had some match boxes personalised with ‘The Perfect Match’ and bottle opener/magnets with a beach setting image and the date and place of our wedding written on it.

My dress…

I have always loved anything backless. I saw in a magazine years ago a backless wedding dress, however the designer was not included in the article.  A few years later I was showing a friend my dream dress and she guessed the name of the designer – Galia Lahav, as her wedding was a year previous.  I searched for the nearest bridal showroom that stocked this designer, however it was in London – Browns Bride.  I was fortunate enough to attend the Galia Lahav Trunk Show, which meant the designer would be present, Sharon Sever Faibish. I felt like I was in a fairy tale after being fitted by the designer himself, being sketched in my dress, and also gifted my beautiful bespoke veil.

My hair and make-up…

We flew over Chelsey from Chelsey Leigh Beauty to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and make-up from the UK. My three bridesmaids all had their hair half up, half down, and I had mine in a low, modern chignon. Our make-up was natural and bronzed, given we were on the island and had a glowy tan.

His suit…

Alex wore a tailored Emporio Armani Exclusive suit, Eton white shirt and dark brown suede loafers from Hugs & Co, accessorised with a dark brown suede belt which his groomsmen also wore to match.

We chose our photographer because…

Our photographer was chosen as we had seen her previous work and her company’s portfolio, Sylvia from The Art Part Production.  Sylvia and 2 other girls from The Art Part worked alongside our main videographer, Ionut, and his team Trandafilm who we flew in from Romania. We have a large selection of photos, a 4 minute video of our wedding (showing the best bits) and a 2 hour condensed video of our full wedding. The 4 hour video was being edited throughout the night, while still filming the night to capture every last moment and detail. A 1 minute version of this was displayed at the end of the night to give all of our guests a teaser for the 4 minute video arrival at a later date. It was a very special moment to share with our family and friends, watching a snippet of our day as it was coming to an end. We cannot recommend Silvia and her team or Ionut and his team enough.

Our wedding theme, flowers and coordinator…

Sanjay Bahuguna from Firenze Flora had been highly recommended by Zaya Nurai for our wedding flowers. We met with him and got along instantly.  He could see our vision from day one; beautiful white flowers giving a luxury yet minimalistic feel in order to keep the beautiful island setting as the focal point.  After discussing other ideas we had, and seeing some of their promotional videos of previous work, we learned they can also offer other services such as; candles, arranging the cake, lighting, music, sound etc.  Given this was a destination wedding (as we live in the UK), we thought using the least amount of suppliers as possible would be the easiest way.  Through purely using Sanjay and his team, along with Evelyn from the island, we were able to see our dream wedding come to life.  Evelyn was like an angel from the clouds, making any request we had possible, and also liaising with Sanjay to alleviate any potential stress or worry from us.  We arrived in Dubai a week before our wedding to tie everything together, taking a visit to the island the day after we landed.

After a meeting with Sanjay’s team and Evelyn’s team on the island (including our delicious food tasting), we decided to bring on board Liesel from Rock Your Wedding, to pull everything together.  Her precision and specialism is something I cannot describe.  She managed to work alongside Sanjay and Evelyn to execute every last detail at such short notice, and was present on the evening to take care of the schedule and ensure all guests were catered for to the highest standard, alongside Sanjay and his team. We honestly cannot recommend the island, Firenze Flora or Rock Your Wedding enough. If you want a personalised wedding, however simple or extravagant, they are able to work together and cater for your every need, making anything possible.

We chose our venue because…

We visited the island on multiple occasions when visiting my brother in Dubai.  We totally fell in love with the island and all of the people on Zaya Nurai Island; they go above and beyond to ensure your stay is the most relaxing, providing an unbeatable luxurious experience. The vibe of the island is just like a dream; an ambience meeting the expectation of a typical island vibe, with an extra dose of luxury and fun, accommodating your every need.

Our menu…

The delicious menu from Zaya Nurai had our guests talking until now;  from the cocktails and canapes, to the exquisite dinner menu, to our ‘Late night snacks’!

My favourite part of the wedding day…

Sharing the whole day and the days either side of our wedding with all of our family and friends who we accommodated at the St Regis Saadiyat Island hotel (10 minutes off the island).

My piece of advice for other brides…

It can be a  stressful time, particularly if you are having a destination wedding, however if you are fortunate enough to have the right team in place like we did, you have no need to worry.  Alex and I were very fortunate having Evelyn and Jenny from the island to help execute any of our wishes, and work alongside Sanjay and Liesel’s teams to provide us and our guests with a magical and dreamy wedding.

If you are looking for the ideal female favour for a destination wedding, then Anklita has you covered! Personalise a luxury anklet from our range of chain styles, to give your nearest and dearest a truly unique and memorable gift.

Suppliers:

Stationary Ditsy Chic     Favours Anklita @anklitaofficial

All Decorations & Flowers Firenze Flora   Wedding Planner Liesel from Rock Your Wedding

Celebrant Yasmin from HS Celebrants    Dress  Galia Lahav

Photographer: The Art Part Production & Trandafilm Videographers

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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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