Dubai Wedding Photography – Sarah & Matt
One year ago today, I had the pleasure of capturing the wedding day of Sarah & Matt in the sunny UAE. It was such an incredible day so I thought I’d ask Sarah to share what made it so special, 12 months on.
How’s married life?
Really not that different than before. Matt still doesn’t make the bed or wipe down the kitchen work surfaces but he does do the laundry so I can’t complain! We make sure we have a 20 second hug every day (excellent way to destress after a hard day at work!), kiss and say ‘love you’ before going to sleep and make sure we have at least one date night a week. We both have quite busy stressful jobs but my favourite part of the day is coming home to him.
How did you two meet?
Through diving. I was on garden leave from my last job and decided to do my Rescue Diver course. Matt was one of the instructors at that the dive centre I was doing my training at. He wasn’t around for much of the start of my course but I did get to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation on the very last day (simulated life saving – honest!). We started talking after that and just clicked. A few days later there was a dive social and I think we spent the whole night talking to each other and it all blossomed from there!
How did Matt propose?
We were out on a boat trip, diving in the north of Oman. Matt was finishing off his Tec 50 course and I was guiding a group. He came back from his final dive and I was rather relieved to see him (Tec 50 is pretty serious stuff and a lot could have gone wrong). I was drying off from my dive on the top deck of the boat and he pulled me over to quiet corner and got down on one knee and asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife. I really wasn’t expecting it then and of course I said yes! He still claims that he was narc’ed (nitrogen narcosis from doing a deep dive – makes you go a little delirious) from the 50 m dive and didn’t know what he was doing. He then produced a ring made from an ‘O’ ring (small plastic ring from dive kit) and a hose retainer as my ‘engagement ring’ which he said would do until we could both go and choose a ring together. I still have this dive ring – it’s very special to me.
How did you choose your wedding venue(s)?
Because of the laws in Dubai we ended up having quite a traditional type of wedding in a church as this was going to be easier for legal reasons. We then went to a beach hotel, where we often go diving, and had a big BBQ and party with our Dubai friends and some of our family that had flown in from the UK and Australia. It was a great day and the day after we took a big group of people out diving, some of whom had never been diving before like my brother. I really loved that I could show him my underwater world.
We arranged a second blessing and party back in Northern Ireland in August. We had a lovely big country house all to ourselves and had our close friends and family join us for the fun. One of the strongest memories for that day was looking out in the morning and it was lashing with rain. Then later on in the afternoon the sun came out and was so bright and strong. We all went outside to this beautiful lawn to drink our prosecco in the sun – it was just glorious! I like to think that the sun was my Granny Henry who had passed away a few years earlier, looking down on us and giving us her blessing. She was very special to me and I know she was there watching over it all and joining in the fun.
What was the first thing you planned?
Honestly, the diving trips. Firstly, the diving after the Dubai wedding at Sandy Beach. Then where we were going to go diving for our honeymoon – 10 days diving in the Maldives. If you know us, this will not surprise you one bit….
What was the hardest part about the planning process?
We were fairly chilled and relaxed about the whole thing. For us it wasn’t about having the napkins matching the centre pieces but more about having our friends and family with us and having good food, good wine and fun. We had a lot of help from friends and family which really made things much easier. My friend Shona was an absolute star for recommending where to get the flowers, wedding invites etc in Dubai and really helped me get things organised. Similarly, a massive thanks has to go to my mum and dad who just did so much for the blessing back in Northern Ireland. I really couldn’t thank them enough for all they did. But secretly I know my mum loved doing it – she wanted to be a wedding planner and I think she would make an excellent one!
How did you choose your wedding dress?
When I was home from Dubai for Christmas, my mum had arranged for her, my sister and me to go dress shopping for the day. The first shop we went to I tried a lot of different styles on as I really didn’t know what type I would like. That experience gave me a good idea so I could narrow down what I liked. By the time we got to the third shop, I knew I wanted a lace dress that was more fitted. The first couple of dresses they brought me were like old lady nighties but then she brought out my dress and, what they say is true, as soon as you try it on – you just know! It was everything I wanted. I love my dress and am very lucky that I have had two opportunities to wear it. I only wish I could wear it more often but Matt has told me “no more weddings!”
What is your favourite memory of the day?
I was really quite nervous as I stood at the top of the aisle in the church in Dubai. I was looking down but couldn’t see Matt. Then I started walking and I could see him there at the bottom beside the minister and our best man and I knew everything was going to be OK. I knew the rest of my life was going to be OK. At that moment I didn’t have one shred of doubt about what I was about to do and that no matter what life was going to throw at me, it was all going to be OK cause I knew Matt would be beside me to face it together.
What do you like most about the photos?
I think the most noticeable thing about Judith was that she wasn’t noticeable – by that I mean, we really didn’t see or feel Judith’s presence during the day. Some of my favourite wedding pictures I wasn’t even aware of her taking as she was so unobtrusive. I love the one she took of Matt and I on the beach with Snoopy Island in the back – neither of us knew she had taken. I love it, it’s just stunning and now on the front of our wedding album cover. Judith was very receptive for us suggesting what shots to take etc. Similarly she was great at setting up shots that were relaxed and natural looking which is what we wanted. Judith did a great job and I would highly recommend her for her professionalism, style and class in capturing just what we wanted. Thanks Judith!
And finally, what advice would you give to brides to be?
I guess your wedding is what you want it to be. We wanted friends, family and fun. Don’t lose sight of what you want and don’t sweat the small stuff. Not everything will be perfect but look at the bigger picture. You are marrying the man of your dreams surrounded by your close friends and family. Smile and enjoy your day!