Jennie and Cezar are Dubai expats who were married in Berlin in May 2013. This is not only a wedding to inspire your decorative and personal ideas but also a wedding to let you know how completely possible it is to plan a wedding from afar.
The grandeur of these venues are so steeped in tradition and magnificence that it makes for some incredible photography, courtesy of Chris Spira, and seriously adds to the feeling of occasion. This, my friends, is a super cool city wedding with the coolest band I’ve ever featured. I do love a good brass band.
We didn’t have a theme or a vision, we just wanted to get married with our friends and family to be there with us, but I think our choice of location, Berlin, ended up naturally creating a certain style for our wedding. We chose Berlin because we had guests coming from all over the world and it seemed to us like a central location. We liked the idea of combining the wedding with a city break, so there were lots of other things our guests could do and see as well as participating in our wedding. I love Berlin and have visited many times as I have very good friends who live there, who kindly agreed to be my Bridesmaids. Berlin is a cosmopolitan, quirky city with so many things to discover, it seemed to sum up our personalities and the kind of wedding we wanted to have.
When we were in Berlin, we went to a cocktail dress section of a big German department store and picked what we liked from the choice that was available. They were really simple strapless navy knee length dresses. I bought pashminas from Dubai. We pinned them on with my Mum’s antique brooches and it all sort of came together.
My Favourite Part
The ceremony. We opted for a “humanist” ceremony and the Celebrant’s text and readings spoke about our our friends and family and how important it was for them to witness our vows, because each one of them has shaped our lives and our personalities, and without them we would not be the people we are today. My father’s partners Richard & Dave wonderfully sang and played guitars as well as kindly agreeing to be our Masters of Ceremony, my cousin Ben, Uncle Gerard and friend Mimmi gave readings, My cousin Matthew and his son Finn were our ushers. Our ceremony was not simply about us, everyone had participated and created this day for us.
Dubai Dress Shopping
My friend Paulina recently got married and she had already researched all the dress shops in Dubai. Her mum was visiting from Poland, so the three of us went on a dress hunt one Saturday afternoon. It was lovely to have Paulina and her Mum to help me, as being an expat, my family are all in the UK and would not be able to be there with me. They were great and gave me confidence, because at first I just felt silly. We were on the verge of giving up (all the sample dresses were too small for me, I had to “envisage” what they would look like at the right size, and they were all so expensive), and at the last minute, Paulina remembered The Bridal Room. We went on a whim, and usually you would not be able to try on without an appointment, but one of the lovely assistants (Maricel) helped me, and I almost instantly found my dress! They had much more of a diverse selection of dresses at much better prices than I had seen that afternoon, and they let me buy the sample dress, so I didn’t have to order a style and then wait 4 months for it to arrive. They altered the dress for me, and made the veil. I can’t believe it all happened in one afternoon! Cezar had a suit made from Sacoor Brothers. I didn’t know what colour he was planning to wear, again it was just luck that it all went together so well!
I found a picture of a wild flower bouquet online, and I took it to the florist in Berlin who made the bouquets for the day. We kept the colours neutral but I asked the florist to put a bit of blue in them, because we now knew what colour the bridesmaids dresses were going to be. She also made the table decorations, which was mainly rented brightly coloured glass vases and candles set on a large mirror with a small selection of coral and pink coloured rhododendrons.
Words from the Wise
We planned a dinner the night before and hired a restaurant so that everyone could get to know each other. It calmed our nerves a bit too, however I still got a nervous giggling fit half way through the ceremony the next day. But we did promise guests a wedding full of love and laughter! Unfortunately some of Cezar’s family got stranded in the UK as a BA flight was grounded causing subsequent delays, but we now realise that if you plan to have an international wedding, it cannot come without a few problems, so really we count our blessings, but this is something to bear in mind if you plan a wedding abroad.
Photography: Chris Spira / Ceremony Venue: Spiegelsaal, Clarchens Ballhaus / Reception Venue: Hotel de Rome / Florist: Marsano / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sotterro from The Bridal Room/ Grooms Suit: Sacoor Brothers / Hair Stylist: Anna Neugebauer from Jacks Beauty Department / Makeup Artist: Anna Neugebauer from Jacks Beauty Department / Band: Fanfara Kalashnikov / Comedienne: Lou Sanders