Timeless, yet trendy; simple, yet extravagant; classic, yet contemporary—the quest for the ‘perfect’ bridal look can be a conundrum, But amid the confusion and uninspired designs, there’s one young designer who appears to be the answer for every modern-day bride.
Encouraging to-be-weds to stay true to themselves, Sunaina Khera strongly believes that one’s wedding ensemble should be a reflection of their true identity.
“The starting point of deciding the outfit is getting to know oneself. Your personal style is the greatest tren, so even if something else ‘in’, if it’s not aligning with your personality, don’t wear it!” And as a recent ‘Sunaina Khera’ bride herself, she speaks from experience!
The designer becomes the muse
“Feminine, strong and eclectic,” is how the Gurugram-based designer and popular social media influencer, describes her personal style—three words that perfectly encapsulated her own bold bridal attire. But designing the dress of one’s own dreams definitely comes with its unique set of challenges.
“It was a bit overwhelming, especially since we’ve dressed so many brides. But I went with the flow and it fell into place. I always knew I wanted to be a red bride. I had a vision and I decided that I’m not going to drown in this pressure,” she says, reminiscing about her monochromatic bridal lehenga.
“I was taking this unnecessary stress of trying to outdo what I’ve done before, but I love what I make for people! As a brand we make traditional silhouettes but what’s on the surface is fairly modern and as a young girl that truly represents who I am—it’s an extension of me.”
Having dressed the likes of Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Malaika Arora Khan and Tara Sutaria, among others, she’s recognised for her traditional silhouettes featuring modern cuts and embroideries. But it’s the understated elegance of her designs that attracts her international clientele.But does her own bridal ensemble reflect her style as a designer?
“One hundred percent. We’re big on tone on tone. We don’t like to go over the top, and we’re big believers in hand-embroidered details.” And this sense of timeless simplicity was not merely confined to the fabric of her attire—it extended to her glowing, minimalistic bridal glam as well.
“Over the last two years, I’ve worn heavy make-up frequently for the brand. But for my wedding I wanted to keep it natural, which is how I like myself in real life. I wanted it to be a closer reflection of who I am. I didn’t do any facials, just what I’ve been doing for years, living on moisturiser, sunscreen and retinol.”
But what makes all her designs—including her own—all the more special, are the concealed personalised elements. For instance, Sunaina’s own veil featured their wedding date and a few inscribed words. Inside the lining, one could find her and her husband’s initials.
“That ends up making it so personal that you never want to part with it, instead you want to preserve it and pass it on. That’s always our intent, so it was important that I do that for myself as well.”
However, the bride was not the only one repping label Sunaina Khera at the wedding—her greatest inspiration, her mom, was as well! Sunaina deems it an honour to dress her mother for her wedding. “She’s been a working woman all her life and also the woman of the house. Now that I’m going to be running my own home, I look to her for inspiration. She’s so loving, she would have worn anything that I made for her but I had to nail this one because it was for my mom. So it was harder for me to design for her than for myself.”
Love, life & Louboutin
When it comes to weddings though, there’s one thing we always want to know: how did the bride and the groom first meet? Sunaina smiles as she recollects the day she met her now husband, Entrepreneur Mridul Gupta, five years ago. “Our friends introduced us and when we met, we didn’t like each other at all! In fact, our entire sangeet performance was the story being told by our friends and family. Every performance represented a phase in our life, interspersed with voice-overs.”
“It’s been a whirlwind because he and I are now moving into our new house, which is something we dreamt of soon after we started dating. But it’s been a wonderful ride so far,” says the happy bride.
While their sangeet was incredibly special, the two cherish their special ‘musical’ pheras the most. “We invited [musician] Ankit Batra to marry us. He explained all our promises to each other in such simple terms. Everybody sat and watched the pheras which is not a common occurrence!”
Speaking of the noteworthy moments, the fashion influencer had her bridal shower thrown by none other than Christian Louboutin! When they proposed the idea, she took some time to think about it but of course, happily ended up accepting the offer. “I mean, how often does Christian Louboutin end up throwing you a bridal shower?”
She was impressed by their attention to detail—from the kind of cake she likes to the kind of drinks her friends like, the flowers, the dress, the music—they thought of everything, making the entire event so personal. “They also gifted me a very special pair of shoes for my wedding day—beautiful gold Swarovski-covered shoes with the most comfortable kitten heels! Because they were so lovely and they helped me kickstart my wedding celebrations with such a bang, I even purchased shoes from Louboutin for my sangeet and haldi ceremonies.”
But while the perks of the influencer lifestyle come in the form of red soles, we wonder what it’s like to share such private moments with her thousands of followers?
“I love talking about the brand—it’s my baby and I’m very proud of it so I do it in full force, but I hardly post a lot of personal things; in fact there are only two-three photos with my husband. I’ve kept our life fairly private and I am trying to find a balance between the two. As it was my wedding, a bit of my personality naturally came through, which is always nice, but I’m not big on oversharing on the ‘gram!”
The bride’s next steps
Beyond the world of design, Sunaina loves travelling with her husband—their favourite destination being Italy.
“Even spending time with your girlfriends and travelling with them is wonderful. I have solid one-on-one friendships and I think that’s great because I have a different relationship with each of them.”
As she looks forward to settling down in her new home and building a life with her husband on the personal front, the young entrepreneur is equally excited about getting back to work and coming up with new designs. (For those who love her label like us, you can expect some lighter festive pieces in the new year!)
Before we concluded the chat, between all the wedding planning, setting up her new house and running a hugely successful brand, we were curious as to what a typical day in Sunaina’s busy life looked like.
“Honestly, every day has been a whirlwind and I have not had a typical day with my husband yet so I don’t know—but I’ll tell you in a month!”
Photos: Iris Films, House On The Clouds And Cinelove; Creative Direction: Pranav Goswamy; Creative Realisation: Anushree Sardesai
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s January 2024 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!