If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been planning your wedding for months and months. You’ve probably got the venue, THE dress, you’re sorting out the guest list and whether to have a three-tier cake or go all-out for a seven-foot-high masterpiece. As photographers, we’re used to having loads of time to prepare and plan the day with the happy couple.
So, when we were asked by Qatar royalty to shoot one of their weddings, we were shocked. A royal wedding? What a privilege! But there was a catch – it was in four days’ time. That’s right, in just under one hundred hours we were expected to be at the venue in Doha! After a few chats with the bride – who happened to be a daughter of Qatari Sheikh no less – we had our visas sorted and boarded a flight to Doha.
You’ll see from the photos there was no expense spared on the day. According to religious customs, there are actually two weddings; one for the women to attend, and another for the men. You’ll also notice there are no photos of the bride, groom or guests. This is again, according to tradition, and something we were only too happy to observe. It was great learning so much about the culture and really getting immersed in the day.
We’re always more than happy to take part in a destination wedding, but this celebration really was something else – we’ll never, ever forget it. The bride was stunning, and one of the most polite, humble people we’d ever met which, given the wealth on display, was so wonderful.
Pauline spent about four hours taking shot after shot of the bride getting ready. Looking back, they are some of the best pictures she’s ever taken. The bride was comfortable, happy and laughing. It was truly amazing to be able to capture such an intimate setting and was wonderful that there was so much trust.
The venue was a mini palace, built by her father as a wedding gift which was just astounding. The bride wore a custom-made Christian Dior dress, with white satin Louboutins. There were around 700 female guests in attendance, all decked in designer clothes, gorgeous jewels and looking as pristine and beautiful as could be. In the background, an army of waitresses prepared and served a banquet fit for the royalty that was eating it!
After the party had feasted on the delicious food, it was all about dancing, having fun and congratulating the happy bride. Everyone was just enjoying the day, and we managed to capture such a wonderful atmosphere. When the three-metre-high cake was brought in by six waitresses there was much cheering, which was wonderful. After the bride had thrown the bouquet, we hopped into a car to take more photos of the bride and groom at their own private residence.