An Unforgettable Outdoor Dubai Desert Wedding

The Couple: Nora Nogradi and Sean Taylor

Length of Engagement:  8 months | Wedding Date: 15th April 2016

Wedding Location:  Dubai Desert

Photographer: Visuals by Abbi

Our proposal…

It was very apparent that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together shortly after meeting – so getting married was inevitable. Sean proposed whilst on vacation in Croatia. I awoke early one morning to find Sean kneeling at the bedside holding out our little red leather-bound notebook that we used daily to leave love notes to each other. In it was a short poem that led to up to the question and to jewellery box drawn around a beautiful ring. So simple and so perfect.

We chose our venue because…

We definitely wanted to get married in Dubai. We wanted to use this opportunity to showcase our “home away from home” to our friends and family members, for most of them, this was going to be the first trip to the UAE. Which made it more imperative that we choose the desert for the reception – to really show off the local experience. We also enjoy camping in the desert on the weekends, so this environment is very natural to us, we both had no second thought and knew the sand was the way to go. A five-star hotel wedding can take place anywhere in the world, but a reception in the middle of the desert, amongst the sand dunes, is exceptional. Also, we wanted a fun, relaxed atmosphere, where people can mingle, eat great food and dance comfortably, not needing to worry about a tie or high heels.

Dubai Desert Wedding Ceremony

Our wedding themes….

simple and tasteful. We didn’t want big decorations; just let the backdrop of the desert to speak for itself. We already had an idea for the style, but we employed the very talented Jess from Lace in the Desert to bring all our ideas to life. The tables and chairs were draped with classic white linen and glass jars filled with candles, cacti and succulents as table decorations. For the seating arrangements, we use small glass jars filled desert sand and labelled with the guest names – this way our guests could take a little piece of desert back home with them as well. The wedding favours were a personalised CD with the most memorable songs of our relationship. String lights provided soft but ample lighting for the dinner and dancing once the sun went down, that was just a great compliment to the starry sky in the desert. Our guest book was a large wooden board that our guests signed and it now hangs in our dining room. We had a selfie stand set up with different props for our guests to take pictures and had some blankets available in case the night got chilly. Overall everything turned out exactly the way we dreamed and was perfect.

My Dress…

Was from a Hungarian wedding dress designer. The measurements were taken just a few months prior to the wedding during a trip back home, and then the final fittings were done here in Dubai. I chose a simple lace, open back creation from Daalarna Couture that was light and airy, perfect in the Dubai heat. I wore it with a shawl to cover my open back and a pair of blue suede Carolina Herrera heels in the church and I went barefoot in the desert. It was simply perfect.

Real Dubai Wedding Abbi KempDubai Wedding Real Bride

His Suit…

Sean and his best man, his son, were wearing dark blue suits with their beloved Converse shoes in white colour, to go along with the casual theme.

My hair and make-up…

Was done by Diana Mauer. I have short hair and really wanted to wear it up, so Diana had to get creative to make that happen. We went with the simple creation and my hair piece was my “something borrowed” from my cousin from Hungary.

My bridesmaids wore…

I had my stepdaughter as a bridesmaid and she wore a lace and satin dress in dark blue colour, with white Converse high tops and of course she went barefoot during the reception in the desert.

Real Dubai Wedding Abbi Kemp

Our ceremony…

Took place at Christ Church Jebel Ali, and since it was already early summer at the time of the wedding and quite warm, we organised a frozen yoghurt stand outside the church for our guests to keep cool, while the pictures were taken.

Our photographer…

We chose Abbi Kemp as our photographer. We have looked at a lot of websites in order to find the right person, and when we stumbled upon Abbi’s site we knew she was the one. Her style was just exactly what we were looking for. She offered an engagement shoot a few weeks prior to the wedding as part of the package and for us to get better acquainted.

If you’re searching for a photographer & inspired by this wedding well you’re in luck! As Visuals By Abbi are offering 15% discount if you book by the end of June 2017.


dubai desert wedding details

Our wedding coordinator…

We did not have a so-called wedding coordinator, the company that organised the location and the food and Jess from Lace in the Desert was great looking after their own areas and we just pulled the whole thing together ourselves. We had a wedding website to connect the guests from all around the world; we sent out electronic invites and asked guests to RSVP online, we put the menu together with the help of Knight Tours, organised transportation for the guests, ordered the cake, flowers and organised the entertainment. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it, as the day turned out to be fantastic.

Our menu…

Included traditional Arabic food, with hot and cold mezze, freshly grilled meat, vegetarian dishes and traditional desserts. The wedding cake was a gluten-free two-tier chocolate orange cake from Galleries of Lafayette.


Real Dubai Wedding Abbi Kemp

Real Dubai Wedding

Our Honeymoon…

We went to Bali for our honeymoon just a few days after the wedding and had the best holiday possible. We were diving with manta rays, white water rafting in the mountains, motor biking around the island, learning to surf and just having an amazing time.

My piece of advice…

For other brides is don’t stress the small stuff, everything anyways will work out at the end. Try to spend time with all your guests throughout the day as it goes by quickly. Make sure the entertainment is exceptional – and an amazing party after dinner will make up for an unforgettable evening for everyone in the wedding party.

Dubai Wedding EntertainmentDubai Photo BoothReal Dubai Wedding Desert

Suppliers: Event company: Knight Tours | Photographer: Visuals by Abbi |Styling: Lace in the Desert | Dress: Daalarna Couture, Budapest | Entertainment: Martin & Jo |Hair and Makeup: Diana Mauer

If you’re searching for a photographer, don’t miss this offer! As Visuals By Abbi are offering 15% discount if you book by the end of June 2017.

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Tsian Koussa

Tsian Koussa

Our editor, Tsian is a fashion girl at heart, but she also loves to write at length about beauty, food and anything celebrity related. She has a trained creative eye, and finds herself drawn to anything a little bohemian, authentic and cool in the world of weddings.

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