Claire and Tim had their real wedding abroad at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai in October 2007.

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WHERE: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

WHEN: 27th October 2007

PHOTOGRAPHER: Image Oasis

How they met

The couple’s paths crossed many times before they finally got together in 2001. Having known each other as teenagers, they met again at a wedding – despite Claire’s best efforts, Tim was taking his usher’s duties seriously and failed to notice her! After the wedding, he flew back home to Dubai but they finally met again at Christmas in 2000. After spending his birthday together the following March, Claire decided to give up her job and flat in the UK to see how things would work out with him in Dubai – a very good choice!

The proposal

Claire and Tim take part in a pub quiz in Dubai every Monday and he decided it was the ideal setting for his proposal! He got up in front of the whole pub with the microphone and said he had three questions for Claire: “What’s my favourite beer?” “Do you love me?” and “Will you marry me?”.

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The bride’s outfit for her real wedding abroad

Claire tried lots of gowns before finding her dream dress, ‘Brittanya’ from Maggie Sottero. Having first tried it on in the UK, she tracked it down to The Bridal Room boutique in Dubai. The gown was a two-piece design made from ivory taffeta and lace. The strapless corset bodice was embellished with beading and crystals, creating an empire-line effect. The taffeta A-line skirt was caught up in places, creating a glamorous ruffled effect.

“Tim didn’t notice me when we first met, even though I engineered a situation just so I could hold his hand!”

The groom’s outfit

Tim didn’t notice me when we first met, even though I engineered a situation just Tim hired his black tailcoat and dark grey pin-striped trousers from The Wedding Shop in Dubai. He also wore a cream waistcoat and chocolate brown cravat. His groomsmen wore gold patterned waistcoats, also with chocolate cravats, which had been specially made in the same material as the bridesmaids’ dresses .

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The bridesmaids

For her real wedding abroad Claire had eight bridesmaids, who were the couple’s young nieces and the bride’s close friends. The four adult bridesmaids wore full-length chocolate brown satin dresses with a contrasting sash in a light coffee shade, which trailed down the back of their gowns. The three younger bridesmaids wore light coffee-coloured dresses in the same style, but with chocolate sashes, while the flowergirl had an ivory dress with dark brown sash.

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The attendants

The couple’s two pageboys wore chocolate brown suits with coffee – coloured waistcoats and brown cravats, which were specially made.

The flowers

All of the bouquets and floral arrangements were created by Gold Leaf Florists in Dubai. Claire’s bouquet featured cream lilies, Calla lilies, cream roses and brown berries, with gold wire details. Her bridesmaids carried smaller versions of this bouquet and Tim’s buttonhole was a Calla lily.

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The transport

Claire and Tim hired a white stretch limousine from Dubai Exotic Limo, which picked up the wedding party in the morning to take them to the hotel Dubai Exotic Limo. However, the car was unable to drive along the winding road up to the venue, and therefore Claire had to be picked up by the hotel’s own car and brought to the ceremony in that instead!.

The ceremony

Took place outside on the lawns at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where the couple had the fabulous backdrop of the beach and sea for their ceremony. A harpist played Wagner’s Bridal Chorus as Claire’s mum gave her away, and during the signing of the register the harpist played Madness’s It Must Be Love, which she had learnt specially. After the ceremony, as Claire and Tim walked out as newlyweds, Morecambe & Wise’s signature tune, Bring Me Sunshine, rang out!.

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The reception

Was held at the same venue as the ceremony, the Ritz Carlton in Dubai. Tables and chairs were dressed with brown and gold covers to match the wedding’s colour scheme.

“Our wedding night at the Ritz Carlton was so special – they had even prepared a rose petal bath for us”

The decorations

The table centrepieces were arrangements of cream lilies, roses and brown berries, in either tall Martini glasses or low glass vases, which were placed on mirrors.

The cake

Tim’s aunt made their cake as a wedding gift. They chose the style and she created a round three-tier cake, iced in ivory and decorated with gold-dusted flowers and chocolate brown ribbon.

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The Favours

Claire and Tim gave their female guests cocoa wood fans, tied with personalised ribbon. They were placed in baskets and given out before the ceremony so guests could keep cool in the 30°C Dubai heat! Men received personalised packs of playing cards in brown and gold organza bags.

The music

After the harpist, who played during the ceremony and reception, a DJ got the party started later. Their first dance was Nat King Cole’s Let There Be Love, to which they had choreographed their own routine.

The theme

Tables were named after UK TV game shows and the top table was ‘Mr & Mrs’! The couple are well – known for their love of games, as shown in their favour gifts.

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Special touch

The couple created a booklet with the seating plan and a little bit about every guest and their relationship to them. They grouped guests who had never met on each table – a great way to break the ice.

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