Wedding Destination: Dubai (Part 1)

Saturday morning, 9:00am and not a single hint of a cloud in the Cobalt blue sky. The picture window view of the downtown Birmingham cityscape elicits a calming effect. We’re fully dug in on the L-shaped sectional sofa thumbing through our smartphones in search of Castle based wedding venues. On the flat screen is Tiffany Cross methodically unleashing her political commentary along with her usual panel of political pundits.

“You know what? We should have a destination wedding.” Jay says. Like a Warner Brothers cartoon dollar signs start floating around in my mind. “A good friend of mine is a travel agent. She could put an all inclusive package together for us. Wouldn’t it be great?” She says with stellar glee. Cogwheels are already turning in my head. So, instead of one centralized venue we can not only travel to an exotic location we’ve never been before we can have an impromptu ceremony at one of the sites on the itinerary and have the destination wedding serve as the honeymoon all rolled into one. “Sure,” I said in utter excitement. “We should pick 3 different destinations to choose from.”

Immediately we dive face first into our smartphones scanning every square mile of the globe. “I’ve always wanted to get married in formal Irish Highland attire,” I quipped. “Complete with a green plaid kilt.” Jay pondered for a moment. “That would be nice.” she replied. “Ireland would be awesome!” I yelled while hopping up and down like a 4-year-old boy. “I could wear a Celtic dress,” Jay said as she started thumbing madly through the windows of her smartphone. “And there are many rustic castles along the countryside.” I added as my eyes opened wider. We thumbed our way from one website to the next and texted each other links to pictures and websites showcasing Irish-themed wedding attire and vacation destinations across the United Kingdom.

“How about Greece?” I proposed. “We could have a ceremony on one of the Greek Isles and spend the rest of our time boating from one island to the next.” Jay’s eyes lit up with the thought of sailing from island to island. “Ooooh yes, that would be wonderful.” She said. “You know what would really be nice?” Jay pondered. “Having a ceremony in Dubai!”

Several weeks, dozen of phone calls and emails around the world, and gigabytes worth of Google research later the decision is made. Greece would be a nice location but not quite exotic enough. Ireland is more intriguing as I have a close friend who has loved ones there. Having a ceremony in a country where we already have contacts would be ideal, as we wouldn’t need to have a tour guide. Nevertheless, still not quite exotic enough. As fate would have it, we both decided on Dubai. Extremely exotic, remote, and as far from being westernized as its location is from the United States. However, planning such a trip is not a piece of cake.

Our checklist:

  • Make sure our passports are up-to-date
  • Checking for health advisories such as COVID restrictions and which form of proof of vaccination is acceptable
  • Deciding on which method of payment to use while abroad
  • Buying travel insurance

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