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Akanksha and Robert both live in Dubai. She heads Socialize, a digital communications agency, and Robert, is a talented cameraman who loves travel & adventure. Interestingly, they met in an elevator. "He gave me unwarranted travel advice and challenged me to a dance-off. We've spent every evening together ever since. For the record, I won the dance off", says Akanksha. She tells us more about their destination wedding at The Cove Rotana in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Wedding Venue

We wanted to have a 'destination wedding' without having to leave the country. Running a business means that even for our wedding, I couldn't afford to take more than three or four days off work. Besides that, we wanted a resort that could provide our guests the best of the beach and the desert. Since people would be travelling from various locations, we wanted a venue that offered a variety of experiences with minimum travel between events.

Keeping these factors in mind, we decided on Ras Al Khaimah, an Emirate close to Dubai where we could have a beach wedding without the Dubai price tag. The Cove Rotana was our first choice. We looked at a few other resorts in the area, but the Cove was the classiest of them all, and showed greater enthusiasm to host our wedding than the others.

Wedding Functions

The wedding was held over 2 days with over 100 guests.

We hosted the Sangeet function on the first evening to welcome guests to the Emirates, and show them a bit of the culture of the land. The Sangeet was held on a private desert camp in true Arabian glory, complete with Arabic grills, falcon shows and belly dancers. The decor followed the Arabic theme with dates and Arabic coffee on every table, and even the DJ played a mix of Arabic tunes to match the theme.

The next day, we had an intimate Tel Baan ceremony in the morning, which was followed by lunch for the guests and then our wedding ceremony on the beach, with a beautiful sunset as the backdrop. The decor involved setting the mood with lots of white flowers and candles.

Wedding Planning

I think every bride wants to play an active role in planning the wedding with lots of ideas on events, themes, guest lists etc. However a good wedding planner is needed to make it all come to life, so we hired one, less for 'planning', and more for 'coordinating'.

The planning process was fun yet stressful. I loved working on the decor ideas and we enjoyed our numerous family sessions to discuss DIY items for favors and the guest rooms. Many mood boards later, it was amazing to see our ideas and the wedding setup come together.

The most stressful part of planning however was staying within the budget and finalizing the guest-list. It's really easy to say you'll go over budget in one area and make it up somewhere else, but that didn't happen, atleast for me.

Advice for to-be-weds

- Don't stress about the little things while planning. When I think back, I stressed over small, minor details, which really did not matter. Enjoy the process. People are at your wedding because they love you and your spouse. I can assure you they won't even notice it if the ribbon at one event is tied funny.

- Hire a good photographer- it's the best investment you'll make! After the wedding is over, it's the memories that count and you'll find yourself going through the pictures over and over again. We got quite lucky with Ramit. The pictures were beautiful and exactly what we were looking for. And he got along fabulously well with all our guests, which made capturing candid wedding moments easier.

Photos courtesy- Ramit Batra

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