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Bride Amyna wanted a feel of 'old Dubai' at her wedding as she was born and brought up there. See how that desire translated into choice of beautiful wedding venues, spectacular decor and fun festivities. Here, she shares highlights of the various events.

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

How We Met
“We first met in December 2003 in Dubai as Azwan had come down from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to attend a community camp. I did not attend the camp. However, my sister was one of the camp counselors. At the end of the program, all students were sent to various counselors homes for 2-3 nights. Luckily, Azwan, his younger brother, and two others came to our home, and I met him a few times during his stay there. We stayed in touch intermittently through MSN, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. One Sunday morning, in January 2016, when I was at work, Azwan messaged me again, and we started chatting more frequently. Soon, one thing led to another and eventually we were constantly in touch, sharing every moment of our day. We discussed what we both wanted out of our relationship. Nothing seemed wrong, and everything happening between us felt so right. But we still thought of giving it some time until we met. Days went by, we got closer and closer, spoke about meeting up and then talking to our parents.”

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Proposal
“In March 2016, Azwan came to Dubai to meet my family and me. It was like a dream come true! After spending five wonderful days together, it was time for him to go back to Kuala Lumpur. At the airport, he held my face and asked ‘Is it a yes?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ and we kissed. A week later, his parents called my parents and confirmed the engagement dates.”

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Wedding Venue
“Azwan always wanted a destination wedding, and I wanted a wedding at home. So it was easy to decide on Dubai as our wedding destination. At the time of our engagement, I looked for suitable hotels and decided on Crowne Plaza Hotel Deira which was close to my place. Its ballroom was perfect for our sangeet. For our grand reception venue, I picked Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Having worked for Jumeirah for nine years, I knew one of my wedding venues had to be a luxury property of the Jumeirah Group. I had attended many work events, weddings and social gatherings at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel which happens to be my favorite as it gives guests a feel of 'old Dubai'. This was very important for me as I was born and brought up in Dubai. So I booked a hall here for our nikaah and reception. For our first dual ceremony - the mehendi and 'haldi' (turmeric application - we both wanted an outdoor venue, and after looking at a few options with our wedding planner, we decided on Radisson Blu Deira.”

Wedding Functions

Mehendi and Haldi
The celebrations kick-started with mehendi and haldi ceremonies. “We wanted this function to begin by 4 pm so everyone could enjoy the sunset while relaxing in the outdoor venue. We arranged a setup for ghazals with colorful mattresses and pillows strewn around as seating. The decor theme was planned with an Arabic vibe in mind, so we had a blue and purple color scheme and lighting, an ethnic swing, flowers, lanterns as well as a beautiful entrance arch decorated with beautiful blooms."

Amyna wore a bright yellow ensemble and paired it with floral jewelry to match with the vibrant theme. Azwan wore a blue and white Modi-style kurta and paired it with a waist coat.

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Sangeet
“This function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Deira was an evening full of fun, foot-tapping music, dancing and performances by family and friends. The decor was colorful for this event too and included a photo booth with umbrellas and a motorbike, an orange backdrop, food cart as well as a DJ booth. Pretty umbrellas were placed near the entrance, and colorful cushions added further vibrancy. I wore a gorgeous pink lehenga for this event, and Azwan wore a red sherwani.”

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Nikaah
Elegant, white flowers made for an ideal decor element for this serene ceremony at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which was an intimate occasion with only close family and friends present. For this auspicious ceremony, Amyna wore a white saree with bronze Swarovski crystals, and Azwan wore a custom-made brown suit. The color theme for the bridesmaids and groomsmen matched perfectly with the couple’s ensemble. The bride’s squad wore pink sarees, while Azwan’s groomsmen wore grey suits paired with white shirts and pink ties.

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Reception
The grand reception held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel had a ‘Reflection of Love’ theme. Mirrors, fresh flowers, a white photo booth, chandeliers, candles and a perfect touch of blue light were the key decor highlights for this event. Amyna picked a beautiful grey and silver gown for this elegant event, while Azwan looked handsome in a classic black three-piece suit.

Amyna and Azwan, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Advice for couples
“Know your wedding budget - you can always add or subtract a few thousand here and there, but have an overall figure in your mind and be practical. Do whatever preparations you want before the wedding, but as soon as the wedding festivities commence, delegate some of the responsibilities and enjoy the moments. There will be ups and downs, but try not to panic. Have that pep talk with your partner before the wedding, so if your better half breaks down during the wedding, you are there to support and handle and make him/her smile again!”

Wedding Makers
Wedding Venues: Crowne Plaza Hotel Deira (Sangeet), Radisson Blu Hotel (Mehendi & Haldi), Jumeirah Beach Hotel (Nikah and Reception), Dubai
Wedding Planner: Events by Saniya (Dubai)
Make-up Artist: Noreen Shehryar Khan (Dubai)
Wedding Invitation Designer: Hitman Solutions (Malaysia)
Personalized Jewelry: Piece Of You
Entertainment: Singer Jamil Assani (US), Rooh Official (Dubai) & DJ Midnight (Malaysia)
Emcees: Nipun Chabbra and Ram Lakhan
Bride's Outfit: Bridal - Pakistan (Mehndi and Mayu), Leos – Malaysia (Sangeet), Ghunghat – Dubai (Nikah), Sanskriti – Dubai (Reception)
Groom's Outfit: eStile, Dubai (Mehndi, Mayu, Sangeet)

Photographer: Luminous (Dubai), Ravs Studio (Malaysia), Ishaaq Petiwala

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