Charlie & Jono ♥ Dubai, UAE
Photographer: BlueCicada Photography
If you’re going to do a trash the dress session, this is how it should be done! The warm waters of Dubai look so inviting, you can see why Charlie and Jono were keen to dive right in.
Charlie manages to look every bit the beautiful bride when she’s been climbing over oil slicked boats in the crazy temperatures of the Dubai summer and even after diving headfirst into the Arabian Sea!
Her gown looks just as gorgeous floating in the surf as it would have done on her wedding day, especially the twisted strap detailing on the back. **Dashing off to check out the designer of Charlie’s dress – Nicole Miller**
“In true Dubai-style, Jono proposed to me post-brunch, which means post-all-you-can-drink-champagne, so we weren’t in the best state! Luckily he’d been prepared for a couple of months with a ring that he’d had made to include a diamond that was in my Grandmother’s engagement ring – good boy! Not sure how him and my Mum managed to keep that one secret from nosy me though!”
“As soon as I told my friend Caroline (who is a photographer – BlueCicada Photography) that we were engaged, she immediately offered to do an engagement shoot for us.”
“We wanted our wedding to be as relaxed and inclusive as possible, so we got married in London, where we first met 4 years beforehand. Our mum’s did the flowers and everything was a family affair, from the favours to the artwork. We used one of Caroline’s engagement snaps for our order of service leaflet – everyone loved it.”
“I ordered my wedding dress online without even trying it on – in fact, I didn’t even try on any others! It was from an American designer called Nicole Miller, but the complication is that they don’t ship dresses. I had a friend who luckily was able to pick it up in NYC and bring it when she visited. It turned into a bit of a saga, as when I took it to the tailor here to have the straps adjusted by about 2cm, they misunderstood and cut off the train! Dress number 2 was luckier and made it up the aisle!”
“We were gutted that Caroline and her husband James couldn’t be there at our big day in London, but I knew that I wanted to do another shoot, as the first one – our engagement shoot – was so fun. I hadn’t heard of the ‘trash the dress’ concept until I saw a photo on a friend’s Facebook page that showed her in the sea with her wedding dress, and thought it looked great fun! When I asked Caroline to do the shoot, that was all I was hoping for – little did I realise that her plans were much grander than just a shot of me in the sea….!”
“Charlie knew before she got married that she wanted to do a trash the dress shoot and she also knew she wanted something quirky on her own (with me and her wedding dress!) and then something a little more romantic but still fun with Jono.”
“I approached the shoot the same way I approach all my other shoots. I get to know the people first and adapt to their personality and connections. In this case, it was easier as I already knew Charlie and Jono and I know they are up for fun stuff, so I could ‘push’ the boundaries a little more than I usually would, although I know now that anyone is up for a little something different after they get comfortable during the shoot.”
“We chose the older part of Dubai – Bur Dubai – by the creek because it’s not a part of Dubai that you visit often when you live there. Expats tend to stick to the shiny new part and rarely venture to that part of town. So we were set to go and spend a couple of hours there.”
“We did the trash the dress shoot late May, and anyone who has been to this part of the world at that time of year knows that the thermometer reaches very high temperatures then! That did not scare us at all, armed with water and sun team, we braved the hot pavement of the harbour. I didn’t have a plan really, I just wanted for us to have a stroll and as different aspects of the harbour were unfolding, I was telling Charlie, ‘Right, I want you to walk there, and you are going to aim to stand your back facing that way.”
“I do remember when we saw the crane lifting the big net, as we were walking in that direction, we both looked at each other and said ‘You are thinking what I am thinking?’ and Charlie said ‘Oh yes!’ She walked over there, climbed on the net and sat on it, to the absolute delight of the men working!”
“The dress needed a bit more trashing so we met Jono at the “secret” beach in Jumeirah, in good time for the much loved golden hour and I let them have a little fun, dancing over the dunes, and slowly, slowly directing them to the water until the big moment when Charlie took a fabulous dive into the warm sea. Although Jono ‘s first words were ‘I just won’t dive into the water,’ I was excited to see him take the first plunge!”
What fantastic locations Caroline from BlueCicada Photography chose for the shoot. The vibrant and colourful Bur Dubai with the looks of confusion and fascination on the faces of onlookers as Charlie sauntered by in her wedding dress, the scenic Dubai sand dunes and the beach at Jumeriah as the sun started to set. This creative portrait session is full of energy – resulting in these powerful images, bursting with personality.
Has this tempted you to do a trash the dress session? If you can’t decide whether to take the plunge or not, just remember when in doubt, dive in head first!