Crafting a Dream Destination Wedding
By: ASJAD NAZIR
LUXE shoe designer Aruna Seth married Thomas Yoichi Adolff in an intimate civil ceremony in Chelsea and followed that up with a lavish destination wedding at Lake Como in Italy.
Like many, the couple was hampered by confinement and faced several challenges, but that did not prevent them from finally getting married in a dream setting. The fashion designer, who has been empowering women since founding her label in 2009, looked very stylish and glamorous on her multicultural big day.
eastern eye caught up with Aruna to discuss her destination wedding, the outfits she chose, and advice for those who want to do the same during the difficult times we live in.
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 straight away that we wanted our white wedding ceremony at this beautiful 19th century villa on the shores of Lake Como. For the Indian ceremony, we chose Villa Bonomni because of the incredible view over the hill. 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 great support system of people who helped bring our vision for the wedding to life. Floral event designer Vincenzo Dascanio, who helped bring both ceremonies to life, was an integral part of it. I think it’s important to remember that even with an organizer, there’s still a lot of work to make a wedding happen.
What helped you?
As a bride, it’s essential to gather as many Pinterest boards before you begin, so you’re clearer on your vision and theme for the special day. I had several boards to help me organize my wedding ideas – from flowers, to dress, to colors, to bridesmaids, to location, to decor.
Tell us about the six-day wedding?
There was a welcome party on the boat, a white ceremony, Mehndi party, Indian ceremony and departure brunch. We had a white and Indian ceremony because they are 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 colorful and vibrant sarees and kurtas.
Tell us about the food and entertainment at the ceremony?
We had a lovely Italian vegan meal; my husband and I eat sustainably and vegan so this was very important to us. We had amazing and dynamic entertainment thanks to Black Rabbit Projects. We had a brilliant magician and 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 the white and Indian wedding receptions, we had a DJ, dancing and entertainment. Everyone particularly enjoyed the Indian wedding festivities as we had ladies applying henna to guests and dancers teaching them Bollywood steps on the dance floor. My husband, Thomas, and I raised a toast to thank our family and friends for being able to attend our wedding reception during these uncertain times.
Tell us about your awesome outfits?
I had 11 beautiful dresses. It was a collection of designers from all over the world. Two of my ultimate favorites were British designer Suzanne Neville’s Flores pink floral tulle dress and my main white formal dress, the Zuhair Murad two-piece tulle and Swarovski wedding dress. I had set my sights on Zuhair Murad as a designer of white wedding dresses and had already fallen in love with a beautiful couture dress on the catwalk a few years ago. I wore a romantic embellished layered tulle gown by the famed Lebanese designer, paired with a gorgeous Chantilly floor-length veil repurposed from my previous limited-edition bridal shoe collections.
And the Indian outfit?
A stylist friend from Mumbai put me in touch with my favorite Indian designer Falguni. I had a dream wedding date and we created a couture piece of art with special individual touches! The design of the bridal outfit was adorned with intricate embroidery of fluttering butterflies combined with the threads of my mother’s wedding sari, perfectly embodying my brand to symbolize the old intertwined with the new. So, creating something lasting by recycling my mother’s wedding outfit.
What about jewelry and shoes?
All my jewelry was vintage Amrapali jewelry. Each bridal look was completed with a pair of Aruna Seth shoes from my new sustainable vegan collection.
What was the most memorable aspect of the wedding for you?
A special moment for Thomas and I were walking down the aisle for the white ceremony at Kiss you by Des’ree. It was made extra special by an Italian opera singer who performed the song that brought the wedding to life. This song was so special to us because it was playing when Thomas dropped me off after our first date. My favorite part was really seeing so many of our family and friends together after so long.
Have there been any unexpected emergencies?
The candles in the aisle were the most nerve-wracking as I had to walk down the stairs to the altar in my wedding dress and save my veil from catching fire. Thank God I’ve reached rock bottom. In the video you can see my relief when my dad 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 that the guests could have an incredible experience and learn more about us as a couple. For us, it was about making our guests feel welcomed, loved and blown away at the same time. I wanted a big party with intimate details, and our closest family and friends in attendance.
Was this the wedding you imagined?
Yes, everything and more!
What advice would you give to couples opting for a destination wedding?
Be prepared to do a lot of the work yourself, even if you have wedding planners. It’s your special day and you 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 you and your partner to enjoy your special day.
Why do you like being married?
Having your rock by your side and knowing that you have a partner for life!
Instagram: @arunaseth and