Friday, December 9, 2016

An Emirati Kinda Wedding - 2/2

Read An Emirati Kinda Wedding - 1/2 here

I was once read that going to a local wedding is like going to a Disneyland for the first time which is somehow true. Apparently, they don't do small weddings so expect a big crowd as big as over a thousand guests like this one.

The Invitation Card

These "no phone, no children, no camera' are printed on the invitation card 
So I dared not to take photos because usherettes were ready to confiscate your phones or demands to delete the photos anytime.

The Dresses

It was like the glitziest red carpet in Hollywood, you can imagine the most glamorous sequin or designer evening gowns women wear during the evening wedding banquet at St. Regis Saadiyat. Body-hugging and plunging necklines were plentiful. All that glitters was gold (or diamond and crystal). Seeing the other guests in those dresses made me feel I had underdressed myself.

The Banquet

Held at the hotel's Regal Ballroom, the Ladies reception was obviously grand and opulent. The wedding theme and decoration style was elegant.

Over a thousand guests arrived that night. The seating arrangement was segregated the catwalk elevated part in front of the stage was for the family/relatives, close friends and sheikhas (royal females).There were rows of rectangular tables and their seats were facing the stage as if they were judges to some Got Talent show. I was placed at the round seat for 10 people right after the elevated part of the hall. 

The Music

Arabic songs were played during the whole time. I was expecting there would be a lot of dancing but there were none. The only time they played English songs I can relate was when the groom joined the bride on the stage. Three English songs - Aerosmith's I don't Want To Miss a Thing, Jason Mraz's I'm Yours and John Legend's All of Me.

The Food

Food was served every now and then. I actually lost count of how many times they had served dishes and removed plates, served and removed, served and removed. I have tried a bit of everything, they were very hit-and-miss.

The Bride

The lovely bride arrived around 11-ish looking happy and walked around the catwalk for half an hour or so till she reached the stage, presenting herself to everyone as if she was doing her final walk and the final look as a single lady. It was like Miss Universe's final walk as the reigning titleholder.  

Anyway, not providing an LCD projector (I was told LCD projector is very common in an Emirati wedding) was a good decision as when she did her "final walk" all eyes were turned to her. 

The Groom

After the bride was settled in the stage, an announcement has been made (the arrival of the groom). Most of the guests started covering themselves with their abaya and we positioned ourselves along the catwalk directed the stage. A procession of about five little boys in kandura holding their traditional sticks followed by the Groom and the Father of the Bride. Both men were wearing a thin, gold-trimmed bisht over their kandura - they were looking like sheikhs. The groom was stunning and glowing; he was all smiles.

Then photo op - bride and groom posed with their family/friends for portraits. 

The Giveaway 

The official logo of the bride & groom
It was a CD containing 2 Arabic songs.

I have managed to snapped few photos when I noticed everyone was practically whipping out their phone while the bride/groom/family were busy with their photo op...

-End of Experience-