Let’s face it, there’s a lot that comes before “I do”. There’s budgetary restrictions to work around, time restraints to consider, logistical issues to tackle, families on both sides to satiate, and about a billion minuscule details to work through. So, naturally, a bride-to-be will slip up somewhere along the way. After all, to err is human, right?
With Savoir Flair in attendance at the recent edition of BRIDE Dubai, we tapped an expert by the name of Hannah Matthews to delve deeper into this subject. After working with everything from luxury hotels to vineyards and private estates in Europe, she is now General Manager of Dubai-based event management company Couture Events, which boasts 15 years worth of experience in both weddings and social celebrations – one more luxurious than the next. Here, Matthews reveals the five mistakes that brides-to-be are most likely to make and why to avoid them.
Following a Trend Rather Than Developing a Theme
In this day and age, with what feels like a zillion social platforms, we have access to décor inspiration from all over the world. In many ways, this will help you develop a theme and be a little more creative than you may have been some years ago. However, with the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, it’s very easy to be attracted to a number of different trends and ideas, which makes the starting point much more difficult – and can make the end result look totally out of place.
To develop the right theme, make a board with all of your favorite images and color combinations. Also, use your venue as inspiration; this will help you get a taste of how the wedding is going to feel. You don’t have to follow what is trending. You have to create a theme that complements you both as a couple, and the rest will fall into place.
Choosing a Dress Based on How It Looks on Someone Else
It’s very important that you feel comfortable on your wedding day, and your dress plays a huge part in that. Once again, we are all guilty of following fashion bloggers, dress designers, and bridal stores, following the most gorgeous dresses they post on a daily basis. It is so easy to fall in love with a gown that looks amazing on the screen, but don’t let social media play a part in the gown you choose. Try on a variety of dresses. Try on dresses that didn’t inspire you when you saw them online – you may surprise yourself.
Make sure the dress reflects your personality. This is your day; the guests are coming to see you and they are going to take a lot of photos. If you are 100 percent satisfied with your dress, all of those photos will portray a happy, comfortable, and relaxed bride, which will ultimately make you even more beautiful.
Failing to Set a Budget
Overspending is arguably one of the most common mistakes in wedding planning because the world is your oyster. Nothing is out of reach and inspiration images are bigger and bolder than ever. Managing your own expectations can be difficult because, if you are looking at lavish wedding décor inspiration, take into consideration that such lavish weddings come with lavish price tags.
Give yourself boundaries when planning your wedding. Divide the event in to categories: wedding dress, venue, stage, flowers, hair and makeup, entertainment etc. Choose your priorities, know what you really want, and be prepared to compromise. For example, if you spend more on your venue, you know you will have to spend less on some other category. It’s much easier to stick to a budget if you have guidelines – or you can hire a planner and they can take on this responsibility for you.
Starting Too Late and Losing the ‘Golden Hour’
We do not have the luxury of the long sunny days and light nights in the Middle East. In 2018, the latest sunset in the cooler months was 7 p.m. This is essential information to work with when considering an outdoor wedding. Have you ever heard of the ‘golden hour’ for photographers? This is the time just before sunset, when daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.
Because the contrast is less, shadows are less dark, and highlights are less likely to be exposed. This means the warmth of the color of the sun is often considered to enhance the colors of the scene, making this the best light for any wedding photos. When planning your wedding in the UAE, always take into account when sunset is, working your way backwards to ensure that you have some time with the photographer during the ‘golden hour’. Also consider that you may be late – as brides are allowed to be! You won’t regret it. This is the light during which the most magical photos are captured.
Underestimating the Importance of a Wedding Planner
It’s perfectly understandable that you want your wedding to be perfect, and that can make it very difficult to hand over any control to a planner. But let me tell you, your wedding day
literally passes in the blink of an eye. I always say this is the fastest day of your life and, that moment you wake up the day after, you want to do it all over again. In my eight years of experience, there is always something that goes wrong during an event.
The most recent example I can think of was a bride walking through a tiny speckle of chocolate ice cream during her photoshoot, even before the reveal! Her dress was made of a very delicate silk that couldn’t get wet, and it absorbed the ice cream like you wouldn’t believe. She didn’t need to panic because we were there. They say planning a wedding is one of the most stressful milestones in your life and, believe me, it’s true. Let a planner take control of the demanding parts, so that you can really sit back and enjoy the day. After all, what you take away are memories – let those memories be good ones.