Steeped In Tradition

Deepa Khamar and Sachin Ahluwalia wed amidst friends and family in a traditional ceremony
  • Previous
  • 1 / 6
Steeped In Tradition

The reception: The religious ceremony took place at The Address, Marina and the reception was held at Al Murooj Rotana.

Other functions: Deepa's close friend Nerissa suprised her by planning a hen party for her with 12 other girls. The celebrations started with dinner at Malecon, followed by a full night of dancing at Boudoir. A sunset boat party with shisha, music and food, was where she celebrated her engagement. The henna ceremony – the mehendi – was held at the bride's home and an Arabic music themed-night – the sangeet – took place at The Sheraton by The Creek.

The approximate budget: Excluding the jewellery, the budget was approximately Dhs300,000.

The wedding Planner: The bride and the groom did most of the work themselves. And Novelty Items organised the photographer and a DJ for the sangeet.

The ceremony: Was traditionally Hindu.

The flowers: Were from Interflora and Wud and consisted of red, orange and yellow flowers. White roses, the bride's favourite, were placed in little glass vases as centre pieces on the tables.

The cake: The three-tier white and red chocolate wedding cake was made by The Address Hotel.

The favours:
Al Riwai was the one-stop shop for their wedding favours, including assorted dates, Turkish delight, gold coated almonds and cards.

The Rings: Deepa wore a sparkling diamond solitare while Sachin was given a platinum band dotted with a single diamond.

The invitations: Deepa chose a gold and white card while Sachin's family went with the traditional colours of red and gold.

The wedding dress: Deepa's sangeet outfit was purchased at Kachins in Dubai, whereas her wedding and reception outfits were from Manish Arora and Manish Malhotra respectively.

The bride's accessories: Deepa's jewellery was from Damas and Joy Alukkas in Dubai.

The bride's hair and make-up:
Katia Andrejev did the make-up for all three events for Dhs6,000 (050 912 6742 or

The groom's outfits Were from Diwan Saheb and Ted Baker.

The groomsmen's suits: Were from Ted Baker.

The photography:Was by Rebecca Hobday for Dhs3,000 (050 881 0038 or rebecca.hobday@gmail. com)

Tips for the UAE bride

? If you are the type of girl who is not really into wearing a sari, try to do a dress rehearsal before the big day. Dancing with heavy jewellery and a heavier sari is very tough.

? Make an agreement with your suppliers to pay them pre or post the wedding functions. The last thing you want is your entertainment manager asking you for money on the day.

? Do a trial run for the hair and the make-up for each function to avoid any confusion and last minute surprises. Remember, hair types and skin tones differ and not all shades suit Indian skin, so don't be afraid to change things at the last minute.

? Avoid facials for two weeks before the wedding, in case you break out.

? Ask the groom to arrive one hour before he is required so you're not panicking.

? Start preparing a favourites-list on your I-Phone for your all-time favourite songs to give to the DJ.

? Pre-book all your relaxation massage sessions and stick to them at the risk of turning into Bridezilla as your big day approaches!

? Finally, eat well, sleep well and drink plenty of lemon water... it does wonders for the skin. And don't forget to smile and enjoy yourself!

Glitches to look out for

? When searching for suppliers, select a well-reputed company and request for a client list or pictures of what they have done previously. A lot of vendors will claim to 'get the job done' for a fraction of the cost price but the final product will be sub-standard.

? Get a wedding planner to help you coordinate your functions. Family and close friends need to be well aware of even the most minor details so they can help too. Also, delegate responsibility of each thing to one person – we forgot to organise the 'wedding couple' on the cake because there was so much going on at the time.

? Our religious wedding ceremony was supposed to last only one hour, but the priest stretched it to three hours – so definitely specify exactly what you want to the priest.

? Like at most Indian weddings, your guests will want to greet you on stage, give you gifts and take pictures. But remember, standing for three hours, is the last thing you want to do! Try to arrange an itinerary so you get some time to eat, greet and relax for a while.

Best part of the wedding

My favourite memory...
Well, aside from getting married to the man of my dreams, of course, I especially enjoyed all the dancing, the fun performances our friends put on and the amazing speeches given by my family.

What I loved...
There were several moments to chose from – Sachin carrying me out of the wedding hall in time for the farewell, the smiles and tears of joy on my Grandfather's face during the wedding ceremony, having all my friends and family from London and across the globe at the same place and lastly, the belly dancer entertaining the old uncles during the Arabic-themed evening!

What I may have done differently...
I would have picked a better season to get married in. May through September is an exceptionally hot time in Dubai and it is very difficult for international guests to adjust to it. I would have also set aside more time for off-location shots on the wedding day, as that's when you are most likely to look your best.