"Once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale"; the strapline to Karl and Sam's big day and I don't think that anyone could argue having THREE wedding day celebrations is anything less than a fairytale! Photography in Dubai by Brian Carl Campos.
When Sam got in touch during late summer last year to ask about bespoke wedding stationery I had no idea she and Karl were actually resident in Dubai let alone the story that would unfold as their wedding drew closer and I'm thrilled to share it with you here.
Sam was already working at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi when Karl joined the team and the pair enjoyed a friendship until they finally got together in August 2012. Fast forward to March 2015 and the couple began to plan their dream wedding back home in the UK.
Except things weren't to be that straightforward and long after Sam and Karl had booked and paid for their wedding in Rochdale, they were to discover that a change in our law meant they could no longer be married 'at home' unless they had been back and resident for three months prior to the date of the wedding. Keeping the news under wraps, the couple were forced to actually tie the knot in Dubai almost 4 weeks ahead of their UK celebrations.
In order to be married in Dubai, Karl and Sam met with the British Embassy there to obtain a Marriage Affidavit. Their ceremony was conducted by The Reverend Timothy Heaney at Christ Church Jebel Ali and as a part of the service, their hands were bound in cloth (called hand fasting) as a symbolic representation of their union as a married couple.
As a wedding treat, Karl had bought Sam some Christian Louboutin Evoluta shoes which were a perfect match for her tailor made Kevan Jon dress that was as yet unworn. Simple yet stunning, Sam chose this black and red colour combination for her wedding ceremony outfit and this set the theme for the whole day. Black suits were made for the men which were worn with bright red ties and the flower girls wore pretty black dresses with red shoes and belts.
The girls are Sam's nieces, Henrietta and Matilda. Sam met their Australian Dad, Dave at work shortly after moving to Dubai in 2008 and as she explains, when you are that far away from home, you create your own 'Dubai' family and so she easily became Aunty Sam, Uncle Karl followed and soon became the favourite!
Dave and his wife, Adele; their girls; close friend, AJ and Sam's Mum and Dad were the only people that knew of the last minute legal wedding in Dubai and the only people to attend. Sam's parents flew in for the weekend and Mum Lesley made all the bouquets and buttonholes.
Following the ceremony, photographs were taken back near to their home before a small reception and dinner at the couple's favourite restaurant, Prime 68 Dubai. Sam describes it as a simple but perfect day.
Then little more than 3 weeks later, Karl and Sam were back 'home' in the UK leaving the warmth and sunshine of Dubai behind and preparing for their winter wonderland wedding, where guests were unaware that the bride and groom were already married. UK photography by Summer Johnston Photography.
In contrast to her flowing locks in Dubai, Sam chose an elegant up-do for her UK wedding blessing to Karl and was given her tiara and other jewellery from her Mum.
Teaming the hair with beautiful smoky make-up and red lips, perfect for a winter wedding. Sam's make-up artist Gaynor was with the wedding party from 7am, sipping fizz!
And then those head turning boots!!! Sam found the gorgeous ivory calf length Victorian style boots on Amazon (full supplier details below) to wear under her wedding dress, I really hope she hitched that dress up and showed them off to their guests!
Finally, Sam arrives for the wedding blessing and as well as the boots to keep her warm, she chose this fur trimmed full length cape.
Keen for Karl to play a big part in the planning of their big day, they jointly decided that his favourite colour blue, would be the palette for their UK wedding blessing and once again, it really suited the time of year.
Mum Lesley once again provided the bouquets and buttonholes, I love how each bridesmaid has a different colour selected from Sam's full colourful posy.
The blue colour scheme was also used in the winter wonderland, Disney styled wedding table plan we created for Sam and Karl entitled Cheeky Monkey and Little Princess, since they are the couple's names for each other.
It featured a backdrop of snowflakes behind the all important Disney characters that headed up each table.
The look was also carried through to their table name cards. For their top table, Sam and Karl had two characters: King Louie and Princess Ariel. The characters also featured on their bespoke wedding cake, created by Rebecca at Sweet Things - Cakes by Rebecca.
With Sam and Karl both being engineers building theme parks, their cake brought this to life featuring a wooden style 'coaster track. Rebecca tied in too the blue colour scheme together with the Cheeky Monkey and Little Princess characters. The couple were amazed at the result, since everything had been done via email from 3,000 miles away in Dubai.
So that was it! Well, not quite.. despite being two wedding celebrations down, a third was still to come in January and this one was back in Dubai.
At the stunning Meyden Hotel Dubai (also the home of the Dubai World Cup), Karl and Sam held a Dubai Reception Brunch, for friends made there. Sam explains they were fortunate to have people also fly in from Oman and the UK. Although not race day, they chose the stunning venue for its views and entertainment.
At the time of writing, Sam and Karl still have the last leg of their celebration to go and are currently packing their bags ready to travel on honeymoon next week! The couple will travel to the Maldives for relaxation and reflection on a whirlwind few weeks. A perfect end to their fairytale story.
If you are planning to get married abroad, or are living abroad and want marry in another country, you can find more details via Gov.uk here.
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The finer details:
Photography in Dubai by Brian Carl Campos Dubai Dress by Kevan Jon made to measure by Kelly at http://www.25tenboutique.com/ Suits tailor made in Dubai http://www.kachinsdubai.com/home.html Hairdresser and nails for the Dubai ceremony - http://www.tipsandtoes.com/ Cake by Rebecca http://www.sweetthingscakes.co.uk/ Photography by Summer Johnston Photography https://www.facebook.com/Summer-Johnston-Photography-238497542996241/ Table Plan & Cards by The Pretty in Print Company http://theprettyinprintcompany.co.uk Wedding Car http://www.lancashireweddingcars.com/ UK ivory embellished wedding dress by Debenhams Debut http://www.debenhams.com/ Cape from http://www.dhgate.com Boots from Amazon Hair: Bride and Mother of the Bride by Jo at Amour Love of Hair - Cleethorpes - http://www.amourloveofhair.co.uk/ 3 Bridesmaids by Donna at Hair by Donna - Whitworth - https://www.facebook.com/homehair13/?pnref=story 1 Bridesmaid & the flower girls by Avon at Avon Hair & Beauty - Waterfoot - https://www.facebook.com/AvonPartingtonhairstylist/?fref=ts Make Up by Gaynor at Make Up by Gaynor - Whitworth - https://www.facebook.com/Make-up-by-Gaynor-341358972730764/timeline/ Bridesmaids dresses from http://dress.vponsale.co.uk/ Flower girl dresses from http://www.candygirldress.com All the wraps from http://www.topwedding.co.uk Groomsmen suits from http://www.next.co.uk/ The cravats from http://www.slaters.co.uk/ Pageboys full suits from https://www.sirri.co.uk/
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