Sunena and Joel (#suoelmates) tied the knot on 1st September 2022 in the iconic setting of Hampton Court House in London. The bridal hair and makeup was styled by Izabella Bordignon and her team. In this article, Sunena shares her experiences and offers some great tips for future brides.
Planning the Hair & Makeup for Sunena’s Wedding
“I first talked to Sunena in April 2022 and we started planning straight away. We arranged two hair & makeup trials for the wedding, the first in May and the second in August, just before the ‘pre wedding’ dress rehearsal.
“I and my team were also going to look after the hair and makeup for the mother of the bride, the bridesmaids and maid of honour, so we needed military-style planning for the morning, especially as they were getting ready and home before going to the venue.
“At Hampton Court, we helped Sunena with the change of dress and the accessories, then with the Dupatta and touch-ups to hair and make-up throughout the day.”
So, Sunena, what was it like as a bride? Tell us about your experience!
We had a 5 day celebration ahead of the Wedding Day so we were full of excitement in the lead up to the morning. I remember being so nervous in the morning of the big day, probably the most nervous I’ve ever been. I’m so grateful to my bridesmaids and family who kept me positive and excited. I had a really nice moment at home with my family and bridesmaids, we played music and had a lovely champagne toast before we made our way to the wedding venue.
Walking down the aisle was a blur- it felt as though I was walking on a cloud. I remember my Dad holding my dress because it was very heavy, like 25 kilos. When I looked up and saw Joel at the end of the aisle, I felt so relaxed and couldn’t wait to get down there. We gave each other a wink and it was such a fun moment.
I was lucky to have people flying in from all over the world to the wedding- from Kenya, Australia, Barbados, Romania and Turkey – It was so special to have them there and cherish that moment.
And then the dancing! I just had the best time. I’ve never danced so much. I was the last person standing! You know you are having a blast at your wedding when you don’t leave the dance floor!
There were lots!
I absolutely loved seeing all the decorations. I hadn’t seen them all before, and every time I walked in I was like “Oh my God, it looks amazing”. That was really nice.
Then, obviously, walking down the aisle. It’s a bit cheesy, but when I saw my husband at the end, I just felt relaxed. I felt like I was on cloud 9. The ceremony itself was so fun, our Registrar was great, there were lots of laughs and we finished the ceremony with a high five and a cheer of excitement.
The speeches were really lovely and so much fun and there were so many other little moments of the day that I remember.
The functions leading up to the wedding were also incredible. We had a mix of Indian wedding traditions, amazing food, dancing and even Karaoke. Memories I will cherish forever.
We met at work, and initially, we didn’t see eye to eye, but we slowly became friends, and the rest is now history.
He surprised me with a trip and whisked me away to the Amalfi Coast. He planned the whole trip, and it was so beautiful. He proposed in Sorrento.
We planned all the Indian functions before the wedding ourselves, and my mum did the catering. She has owned Indian restaurants in Kenya, so we were lucky to be treated to her food.
We had a mini-moon in Sardinia, which was incredible. We are now planning our main honeymoon and I cannot wait.
The Iconic & Wedding Venue Hampton Court House
We originally wanted to get married in Italy, but lockdown and work commitments meant that we didn’t have the time, and we couldn’t rely on being able to fly back and forth. So, for convenience and to be flexible around work, we chose London.
We wanted somewhere in the south west, close to where we live, and ideally somewhere that felt like you were not in the big city. That’s why we chose the venue that we did, Hampton Court House. It was amazing, such a great space and we even had passing deers in the backdrop of our wedding ceremony which was incredible. Definitely one of the most iconic venues anywhere for a wedding!
There are some really nice hidden gems in London. I think the city is a bit underrated. It doesn’t have to be Central London, there’s some really nice areas that don’t look like or feel like you’re there.
What order did you plan the wedding? What are your recommendations?
We started with hiring the Wedding Planner, then choosing the venue, and then the DJ and caterers. All the little details followed through after that. But I found that once you have a wedding planner and the venue, it’s easy to find the right suppliers.
While all that was going on, I also needed to plan with Izabella, not only for her arrangements on the day but the hair trials that we needed to do months in advance.
What about the wedding photoshoot? How did you organise that?
We know photos can be challenging to fit in, when you want to relax, enjoy the day and have fun. Stopping mid way to take photos can take out of the flow so we were really specific on what moment we would choose to take photos.
We split it, some while we were getting ready and then after the ceremony we had a dedicated time to do family photos and some portraits. And, of course, photos of our first dance.
Then we fitted in more photos during dinner. We actually couldn’t eat, as we were so full of energy, but we really tried. A lot of brides I’ve spoken to say they experienced the same thing, this weird adrenaline where you just can’t eat because you’re just so excited.
So we took advantage of a little moment where everyone was in between courses. We basically snuck out and did our photos. When we came back, no one had realised we’d left. And then after our first dance, just more candid photos rather than anything staged.
“Have your photos, but make sure you enjoy the moment as well.”
Tell us about your wedding outfit change
When I did an outfit change, me, Izabella and her team all had a glass of Champagne together, and that was a way for me to relax away from the crowd as well. It was just really nice to just have that little moment with them, because they were such a big part of the day.
How was your experience with the wedding suppliers you chose?
First and foremost, Izabella was the best. So accommodating, positive and I was so grateful to have her as part of my day.
Hampton Court House was really great as well, the venue is incredible.
Then, Steven Duggan Events. He was there throughout the entire event.
Aashni + Co, which is where I got my Indian dress from. The designer I selected was @seemagujraldesign. I wanted an Indian white wedding dress with a custom veil to bring both our cultures together and I that’s exactly what they created for me.
And Emma Soulsby who did our florals. She’s a magician! She made my vision come to life.
Izabella and her team are ones that I’d love to stay in touch with. I had an amazing experience and I’d love to continue building this relationship and staying connected.
A little champagne moment in the morning is great and relaxes you for the day ahead. It doesn’t need to be an Instagram pose – I’ve seen brides that curate that and it becomes really stressful.
Things will go wrong in every wedding- it’s inevitable and every bride I have spoken to has said the same. The thing is no one will notice and even know. When they do, just think “not my problem”, and let someone else deal with that. Go with the flow. If the bride and groom are having fun, everyone will have fun. My favourite quote that I stand by ‘’People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’’ Maya Angelou.
Don’t stop special moments for photos. Be in the moment. You don’t want to look back and regret not spending time with all your loved ones in one place. It’s important to look back and be able to say you actually enjoyed your wedding and you were there for all of it.
Don’t stress out about your first dance. I know so many brides who do weekly choreographing practice. We did not do that. We danced around the kitchen! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy to be fun and memorable.
Whatever you do throughout the day, don’t stress out. You don’t want those really intimate and lovely moments when you’re finally married to be stressful. You can’t ever get that back.
I think the way to describe it would be “amazing”. Izabella just has a way to make you feel just really confident, comfortable and very relaxed. I think a lot of people couldn’t believe that it was my real hair. The way it was styled, everything in fact – and it just lasted through the whole event. Izabella took care of me for three wedding events, all very long, full days and parties, and I didn’t have to worry about my hair at all. It just stayed looking great. An incredible experience.
Wedding Planners: @Stevendugganevents
Venue: @hch.events Hampton Court House