Monday, May 3, 2010

Dubai Wedding Cake

Our 2009 wedding season ended with one of our most memorable and exciting wedding cakes yet, a delivery to the Park Hyatt Dubai!

Images courtesy of Park Hyatt Dubai

We had been looking forward to this delivery for months, since Zainab and Leena, high-end wedding and event planners in Dubai, first sent us an inquiry.

The staff at the Park Hyatt Dubai gave us a warm welcome upon our arrival. After a nice talk, Events Manager Ana guided us to the pastry kitchen and introduced us to the staff.

No two pastry chefs in the kitchen were from the same country, but they all took a lot of pride in their work and bent over backwards to help us. Chefs Jocelyn and Amit and their staff keep a very upbeat, productive atmosphere that made us feel right at home. With less than 3 days to put together a very complex custom designed wedding cake, we had to get right to work.

Ana had designed the wedding cake well before our trip, working closely with Reem and Marwan (the bride and groom) through Zainab and Leena. Based on a wealth of information about the other elements of the wedding, Ana sketched a variety of wedding cake designs, and, with Reem’s feedback, the design evolved over several generations. The final design featured fondant drapes inspired by Reem’s Manuel Mota Couture dress, royal icing piping to match Reem’s and Marwan’s invitation, and lots of sugar flowers to match the wedding flowers, with all the design elements and colors tying together to fit the theme of the reception, “Old Hollywood Glamour.”

Photography by Sue Johnston

Once the wedding cake design was finalized, Ana and her staff spent weeks hand-crafting the hundreds of gumpaste sugar flowers. We were relieved and very grateful when Emirates, the airline, showed great flexibility and let us carry all the flowers into the cabin with us (it takes special handling to transport Ana’s paper-thin sugar flowers 6,000 miles overseas).

We’d flown lots of different airlines between 5 continents, but the food, the entertainment, and especially the truly amazing service made this the most enjoyable flight we’d ever experienced.

Between marathon sessions in the kitchen putting the cake together, we were spoiled by incredible meals in the Park Hyatt’s restaurants.

The wedding reception was very upbeat and lively; a mix of Arabic and western traditions.

The tables were named after famous movie stars, in a perfect match with the Vintage Hollywood Glamour theme.

Zainab and Leena did a beautiful job transforming the ballroom, adding crystal chandeliers, custom mirrors, and elegant furniture, along with hundreds of candles, lavender silk linens, and lace backdrops, all illuminated in shades of gold and pink.

Thanks to Julie Gibson of Studio Grace for taking the trouble to send us all the stationery, which was a great help in designing Reem’s cake. Thanks also to Sue Johnston, a New Zealand photographer living in Dubai, for all her great photos.
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