So what is the cost of a wedding in Dubai?
In Part 2 of our Dubai Wedding Guide, Olga from Dubai boutique wedding planning agency Save the Date, provides a guideline on the cost of a wedding in Dubai and gives some practical advice and budget tips for couples who are interested in having a destination wedding in Dubai.
If you missed Part 1, of the Guide, Olga outlined the legal process for getting married in Dubai and the UAE, the best time of year to marry in Dubai and provided an overview on wedding settings and venue options.
Cost of a Wedding in Dubai – A Guideline
When it comes to estimating the cost of the wedding in Dubai it is quite challenging to give a specific figure, as the cost varies depending on the season, the venue and a number of other factors.
We always suggest to our clients that they provide us with an approximate budget that they plan to spend on their big day. Another important question to consider is what matters most to the couple, whether it’s food and drinks, couture wedding dress, decor, entertainment, so on. Knowing the answer to these questions will make it is easier to offer the best solution in terms of costs without compromising on quality, which we talk about below.
As a starting point an overview of typical supplier costs for a wedding in 2020/21:
- Venue hire & dinner cost per person: on average ranges between 85 – 150 USD per person in 5 star hotels (depending on the venue, and when minimum spend is not applicable)
- Full day photographer services starts from 2,500 USD
- Makeup and hair – 800 USD
- Symbolic Blessing ceremony, celebrant fees – 600 USD
- Basic floral arrangement for 20 guests wedding – starts from 1500 USD
Room for cost cutting:
A wedding is one of the most expensive events in our life, and your priorities define the budget. You can spend a little bit more on the aspects that are most important to you and cut the costs on the less important parts. With some creativity and a bit of research it is possible to save few dollars here and there, without sacrificing on quality.
To save on venue costs
Plan both official ceremony and reception at the same venue, this will eliminate the spend on transportation. Opt for less options on the wedding menu and select them carefully – for example chicken dishes are cheaper than beef of seafood. Go for a buffet, rather than a set menu. The cost of a seated dinner is usually greater than a buffet style.
To save on the entertainment costs
Choose a Dj instead of a live band and ask a friend to be the MC at your wedding.
To save on décor costs
It’s always difficult to provide an estimated cost when it comes to the décor, since the bride is the one to choose how lavish she wants it to be. Décor is basically everything guests see at your wedding: flowers, table ware, furniture items, and so on.
The décor budget can be always worked out based on couple’s budget, and it is easier for your wedding planner or florist to come up with the best solutions. All you need is a creative approach.
Important note, hotels in UAE provide basic banquet furniture and tableware free of cost, however if the couple want their wedding to have a distinguished look, we always suggest to spend extra and hire furniture and table top items. When it comes to flowers – they are quite costly in Dubai, but you can still save on floral arrangement if you use on-season blooms. Always discuss this with your wedding planner.
Discuss the extras offered by the hotel on complimentary basis
Almost all hotels offer some complimentary add-ons as a part of their wedding deal. To reduce the overall cost of a wedding in Dubai make sure you ask about them, if they are not being mentioned. They often include: complimentary 2 tier cake, one-night complimentary stay for the wedding couple, spa treatment, and some others.
Be selective when choosing the date for your wedding
High season in Dubai is considered from October to May. It gets very hot during the summer, but it is still possible to host weddings in a ballroom, at a lower cost. Hotels are very flexible during the low season.
- Avoid big holidays, especially Christmas, New Year, Easter
- Be careful with Islamic Holidays, there is a dry night during some of them, when alcohol is not being served
- Go for a mid-week wedding. Weekend in Middle East is Thursday, and hotels charge more from Thursday to Saturday.
A lot of venues apply minimum spend or venue hire fees. This might not be ideal for a smaller wedding 20-50 people. For some venues it reaches 40,000 USD. However, there are still plenty hotels that are ready to waive or adjust this amount, and others have smaller venues, where minimum spend doesn’t apply.
Alcohol is quiet expensive in UAE and can exceed the food cost. Two main ways to go about this is to have unlimited hourly consumption package or open bar with upon consumption basis. We always suggest to go for the second option, especially if not all guests are going to drink. You can select the list of beverages to be served and set a tab. Once the tab limit has been reached, the waiters will advise you accordingly. You can increase this limit at any point.
Work with professionals
Hire a professional wedding planner, who will not only help you to plan your big day, but also save a lot of money and time for you. Industry professionals avail better deals with vendors and can negotiate a special terms on your behalf, which can actually help save on the overall cost of a wedding in Dubai.
I hope you have found the above information to be a useful starting point for planning your wedding in Dubai and the UAE. If you would like any further information, please contact the team at Save the Date, who will be more than happy to help you or complete the form below.
Find Out More
Looking for fantastic wedding professionals to help you plan your wedding in Dubai or want to learn more about wedding costs in the UAE. To make things a little quicker, fill in the form below providing as much information as possible about your initial ideas and plans (we know you will not know everything at the moment and that’s more than okay). We will then forward your form to the wedding professionals who will get in touch with you…simple and easy!
If you missed Part 1 of the Dubai Wedding Guide, you can read it here.
Find more Insider Tips and Secrets from Wedding Abroad Experts.
Need to know more about planning a Destination Wedding? Our Step by Step Planning Guide is a great place to start.
Save the Date was founded by collaborative team of outgoing, ambitious and creative minds. Based in Dubai they are passionate about crafting chic and unique weddings and events. They have catered to clients from around the world, from Lagos to New York City.
Note: Information & fees subject to change, correct as of April 2016. Image Credits: Save the Date