• Thursday, October 06, 2022

Arts and Culture

Fashioning a dream destination wedding

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE: Aruna Seth in her white ceremony dress


LUXURY shoe designer Aruna Seth married Thomas Yoichi Adolff at an intimate civil ceremony in Chelsea and followed that up with a lavish destination wedding in Lake Como in Italy.

Like many, the couple were hampered by lockdown and faced several challenges, but that didn’t stop them from finally tying the knot in a dream setting. The fashion designer, who has been empowering women since founding her label in 2009, had plenty of style and glamour on her multi-cultural big day.

Eastern Eye caught up with Aruna to discuss her destination wedding, outfits she opted for and tips for those who want to do the same during difficult times we are living in.

What made you opt for a destination wedding?
I wanted guests to have an experience rather than a few hours. A destination wedding is more of an intimate enjoyable experience for all guests.

with Thomas Yoichi Adolff
with Thomas Yoichi Adolff

Why did you choose Lake Como?
It is breathtakingly beautiful. On one of our trips to Lake Como, we visited Villa Erba and fell in love with the architecture. We knew instantly we wanted our white wedding ceremony at that beautiful 19th century villa on the shores of Lake Como. For the Indian ceremony, we chose Villa Bonomni because of the unbelievable hilltop views. We wanted both ceremonies to be completely unique experiences.

What was the biggest challenge of planning the wedding?
Our wedding planner in Italy made communication difficult at times, but we had a good support system of people who helped bring our wedding vision to life. An integral part was floral event designer Vincenzo Dascanio,360 photo booth for sale  who helped bring both ceremonies to life. I think it’s important to remember that even with a planner there is still a lot of work to make a wedding happen.

What helped you?
As a bride, it is essential to collate as many Pinterest boards before starting, so you are clearer about your vision and theme for the special day. I had several boards to help organise my wedding ideas – from flowers to the dress, colour scheme, bridesmaids, location and decor.

At the Indian wedding ceremony with her husband
at the Indian wedding ceremony with her husband

Tell us about the six-day wedding?
There was a welcome boat party, white ceremony, mehendi party, Indian ceremony and a leaving brunch. We had a white and Indian ceremony as they were such different experiences to share with our family and friends. The white ceremony was an elegant black tie. For the Indian wedding, everyone looked amazing in their colourful vibrant saris and kurtas.

Tell us about the food and entertainment at the ceremony?
We had a beautiful Italian vegan meal; my husband and I both eat sustainably and vegan, so this was very important to us. We had amazing vibrant entertainment courtesy of Black Rabbit Projects. We had a brilliant magician and a wedding illustrator (Aaron), who presented over 37 of our guests with a special portrait of themselves.

Tell us more about the wedding?
My father and brother gave heartfelt speeches. After both the white and Indian wedding receptions, we had DJ, dancing, and entertainment. Everyone enjoyed the Indian wedding festivities in particular, as we had ladies applying henna on guests and dancers teaching them Bollywood steps on the dance floor. My husband, Thomas, and I made a toast thanking our family and friends for being able to attend our wedding function in these uncertain times.

Tell us somthing about your stunning outfits?
I had 11 beautiful dresses. It was a collection of designers from around the world. Two of my ultimate favourites were the Flores pink floral tulle gown from British designer Suzanne Neville and my main white ceremony dress, the Zuhair Murad two-piece tulle and Swarovski bridal gown. I had my heart set on Zuhair Murad as my white ceremony bridal designer and had already fallen in love with a beautiful couture dress on the runway a few years ago. I wore a romantic embellished layered tulle gown by the famous Lebanese designer paired with a gorgeous, repurposed Chantilly floor length veil from my previous limited-edition bridal shoe collections.

while walking down the staircase to the altar
while walking down the
staircase to the altar

What about the Indian outfit?
A stylist friend from Mumbai connected me with my favourite Indian designer Falguni. I had a dream bridal appointment, and we created a piece of couture art with special individual touches! The bridal outfit design was adorned with intricate embroidery of fluttering butterflies combined with the threads from my mother’s wedding sari, perfectly embodying my brand to symbolise the something old intertwining with the something new. Thus, creating something sustainable as we were upcycling my mother’s wedding outfit.

What about the jewelry and shoes?
All my jewellery were vintage Amrapali jewels. Each bridal look was completed with a pair of Aruna Seth Shoes from my new vegan sustainable collection.

What was the most memorable aspect of the wedding for you?
A special moment for Thomas and I was walking down the aisle for the white ceremony to Kissing You by Des’ree. It was made extra special by an Italian opera singer who performed a rendition of the song that brought the wedding to life.This song was so special for us as it was playing when Thomas dropped me home from our first date. My favourite part was truly seeing so many of our family and friends together after so long.

Were there any unexpected emergencies?
The candles down the aisle were the most nerve racking as I had to descend down the staircase to the altar in my bridal gown and had to avoid my veil catching fire. Thank goodness I reached the bottom. In the video, you can see my relief when my father takes my hand.

How did you feel during the wedding?
I wanted to infuse our cultures together for our wedding! We chose a white and Indian ceremony, so guests could have an incredible experience and learn more about us as a couple. For us it was all about making our guests feel welcomed, loved and blown away all at the same time. I wanted a big celebration with intimate details, and our closest family and friends in attendance.

Was it the wedding you imagined?
Yes, everything and more!

What tips would you give couples opting for a destination wedding?
Be prepared to do a lot of work yourself even when you have wedding planners. It’s your special day and you will want it to be perfect. The more information you have the less things will go wrong. Always have a backup plan for any worst-case scenario. Enjoy every moment because before you know it, it’s over. Take a few moments with just you and your partner to enjoy your special day.

Why do you love being married?
Having your rock by your side and knowing you have a partner for life!

Instagram: @arunaseth and

Eastern Eye

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