The wedding day is undoubtedly the biggest event in a person's life. Most people plan it for months and years. City Times catches up with the wedding planner Joanna and her team at JW Marriott hotel to find out what it takes to make the day truly unforgettable

By Lubna Al Midfa

Published: Sat 31 Jan 2004, 4:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:45 AM

The wedding day is an unforgettable one, especially for the bride, because it is perhaps she alone who understands the most, the time and effort it takes to plan and orchestrate a wedding for the large number of guests. The dream of a perfect match has come true, but the dream of a perfect wedding is still on its way.

In reality, one can agree that the task of planning and arranging a wedding really does fall on the bride. Many would think it is as simple as just booking a ballroom, inviting the family and friends, getting some tables and chairs, and of course, the food. Usually, it's the groom who thinks it's that simple.

For the bride, it's a whole different matter, as many would agree. For her it is about gathering the people dearest to her and making sure they have an enjoyable time, listening to the music, talking with old friends and wishing for a bright future.

But it's also about creating the day she has envisioned in her mind for as long as she can remember. Everything from, the whole design and look of the ballroom, the lighting, the kosha seat, the flowers, the wedding dress, the bridesmaids. To her everything has to complement each other. Not only does she have to make sure the end look is what she hoped for, but for many, it is also about pleasing the in-laws. One of her biggest fear and worry is that something might go wrong, that even the smallest detail would be noticed by all. That is why many today meet with a wedding planner, to assist in orchestrating the whole event.

Wedding planner Joanna, at the JW Marriott hotel, works with a team consisting of the catering sales manager, Hesham Gouda, director of events management, Hector Mendoca, and wedding supervisor Jeronima. They all work together to provide a unique, tailor-made wedding celebration. They coordinate the hall layout, table set up, menu, beverages, flowers and overall theme, all in keeping with the wishes of the bride and the budget.

There are so many aspects and details to plan and design for, as a wedding planner how do you start planning the scheme, and alleviate the fears of the couple?

"After receiving the brief of what the couple envisions the wedding to be like, we start researching the ways in which we can make the dream a reality," says Hector. "I pull out all possible kosha designers, table set-ups, menu packages, service packages and entertainment, and present them as potentials. It is up to the couple to choose what they want."

When a couple makes an appointment, what can they expect to be on the list?

Hector says: "It all depends on the budget of the couple. We can plan everything from the kosha seat design, flowers, food and beverage and advise them on current ideas being used at other events. Mostly we show them what we have done for previous weddings and then they tell us what they would like for theirs."

On the big day, Joanna assists the bride to her complimentary wedding suit for the evening preparations, making sure the bride is over those wedding jitters by the time she comes, and escorts her down the private elevator for her grand entrance.

For local weddings, Joanna and Jeronima escort the bride through the back of the hotel, to make sure she is not seen by men on her way. Joanna even calls ahead to make sure that only female employees will be in the corridors at the time. It is a very well coordinated event.

What is the common mistake that couples make here in their choices?

There are no big mistakes to be made. Our team always makes sure that, no matter what the choices, the overall effect is stunning. The only problems that sometimes occur are when two families cannot agree on a theme, or when there is lack of communication between them.

Director of events management, Hector Mendoca says, "It is our job to make sure we check everything with the families, especially the bride. We usually show her the set of previous events, and from there it is simple a case of mixing and matching what she wants."

What is popular today in the design schemes, of planning weddings?

Hector says, "Our most popular colour schemes over the past couple of years have been gold and silver. Sometimes the bride will want a colour scheme that matches the kosha seat, and on those occasions it is not unusual for me to be seen going round the souks getting samples of fabrics I feel would best suit the client. From this we make custom-make table dressings to suit the colour scheme the bride has in mind. Some people want something different, and it is up to us to go the extra mile to provide this.

"For the venue, ballrooms have always been classical venues for weddings in Dubai and are now proving to be more popular than ever. They are excellent for accommodating the larger weddings and most importantly, can be transformed in to themes from the wildest of imaginations. At JW Marriott Dubai these become effortless yet meticulous guarantees, with our popular Amal Grand Ballroom capable of accommodating a maximum of 750 people at a time and the Deira Ballroom a comfortable 400 guests.

"Our town square is another extraordinary venue. Lying beneath the largest glass dome in the Middle East, framed with wonderful greenery and waterfalls on one side and overlooking the rest of the new wing property, the Town Square proves a versatile venue by day - allowing through natural sunlight - and by night - under starry skies.

For more intimate ceremonies, the JW Marriott offers a wide selection of venues, such as Lover's corner in Market Place, to exchange nuptials, or you can take your vows on a bridge beside the waterfalls at Bamboo Lagoon. Our selection of restaurants can accommodate up to 250 guests.

Do you follow certain international trends when it comes to choosing the kosha seat, flower arrangements and table set-up in terms of colours, fabrics and styles? Or do you refer to a designer?

"Usually the bride has already chosen her kosha designer before she comes to us. If not, we have some kosha designers we work with on a regular basis and we can refer her to them. At the end of the day it is what the bride wants that matters, and how she envisions the event in her head. Our job is to make that a reality," says Hector.

What is the key to a perfect wedding?

"From our side, asking for lots of details and making sure we follow up," says Hector.

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