After three and a half years together, Sarah-Jane and Sonny Duggal got married in April 2019 at Northampton Cathedral. Their big day was chic and modern, with lots of cultural nods to Sonny’s Indian and Sarah-Jane’s Iraqi heritage.
The couple met on a night out at a club in London. Two years later, Sonny popped the question in Cyprus on Sarah-Jane’s birthday in a hotel suite filled with candles and rose petals with the words “Will you marry me?” written on the bed. The couple spent the rest of that magical night sipping champagne and swimming in the hotel’s private pool.
Sonny and Sarah-Jane brought their friends and family together from all over the world for a magnificent cathedral ceremony and a stunning reception at the picturesque Rushton Hall. They went all out on the details, including an Indian drummer entrance and a white Rolls Royce to deliver them to the venue. With a colour scheme of golds, peaches and pinks, this was an unforgettable day.
Photography by Nataly J Photography
The Wedding Dress
Sarah-Jane wore a fitted, fishtail dress with a sweetheart neckline, finished in a crisp, matte, ivory silk with lace embellishments and a lace train. Her veil was beaded and cathedral length.
“The designer is Enzoani, which I purchased from Le Sposi Bridal which is the most amazing shop owned by Italian sisters in Wendover. I would recommend everyone go there to find their dress, as they make you feel so special, and comfortable, and are genuinely interested in helping you to find the perfect dress.
“It was the first dress I tried on in Le Sposi, which looked plain on the hanger, but really stood out once it was on. I knew my husband-to-be would love me in that dress, and it also combined everything I was looking for. But I definitely think it was the girls at Le Sposi who made me feel comfortable and ready to make a decision. Plus all of their Enzoani dresses were absolutely stunning, so I knew there was nothing better out there, and that I found my dress.
“I must have been to at least 10 shops and tried on everything in each store. But everything felt old fashioned and not modern.”
Hair and Makeup
Sarah-Jane showcased her beautiful dress by wearing her hair up in a voluminous bun with gentle curls framing her face and topped with a veil. She kept her makeup simple and let the accessories speak for themselves, including a diamond necklace given to her by her Mum.
“My hair was done at John Newman Hairdressing and Beauty in Rothwell which is a salon local to my evening reception. Upstairs they have a bridal floor which was perfect for myself, bridesmaids and family to get ready.
“My makeup and my bridesmaids makeup was done by a girl called Megan Layland who I found on Instagram.
“I actually went for a very natural makeup look as my husband doesn’t like it when I wear too much makeup. For my hair, I wore it up which was different to what I’m used to, but I felt it made me look more bridal.
“I wore gold Jimmy Choo heels, Chanel earrings, a garter, and a new diamond necklace which was a gift from my mum on the day.”
The Bridal Party
Sarah-Jane had six bridesmaids in total. Her best friend and maid of honour flew in from Australia, two cousins made the journey from America, and her husband’s sister and two close friends came from London.
“Their dresses were a silky champagne number, which the girls had a massive input in picking. They were one shoulder, floor length, with a split in the side, and suited all of their body shapes and bust sizes perfectly.
“I purchased them online from a company called Jarlo – who make stunning elegant dresses, perfect for glamorous bridesmaids.
“We chose them together but mainly over the phone as half of the girls live in different countries and three of the girls live over an hour away from me.”
Sonny wore a stylish velvet Hugo Boss tuxedo. Meanwhile, his groomsmen wore hired tuxedos from Ted Baker.
“My husband has a great sense of style, and wanted it to be a surprise for me, so he picked his tux himself. He also wore shoes from Crockett and Jones.
“On the morning of the wedding, before the church service, the boys all took a shot of whiskey together to settle nerves and say cheers to our wedding day.”
The Wedding Day
Sarah-Jane and Sonny’s special day involved a full Catholic service in Northampton Cathedral. Due to her dad being in hospital, Sarah-Jane’s brother stepped up and took on the honour of walking her down the aisle.
They also hired a classic Rolls Royce White Phantom from Deans Wedding Cars for some unbelievably chic photos on their special day.
“As a Catholic bride, I wanted to keep everything very traditional. However I did walk down the aisle to a string quartet playing Michael Jackson’s Human Nature which is a special song to us.
“Sadly my dad was in hospital at the time following brain surgery in Switzerland, so my brother gave me away.”
The Wedding Venue
Sarah-Jane and Sonny found Rushton Hall from searching on Hitched. It ticked all of their boxes.
“I wanted a venue with accommodation on-site as the majority of our guests were from London or overseas. I wanted a ballroom big enough for a dance floor in the middle of the room and space for 150 guests. I wanted a venue that would wow my guests and follow my wedding style which was glamorous but elegant.
“I had seen that they had built a new Orangery, but it was only just open that year and there were no photos of it. So my Mum and I rushed to view it, and instantly fell in love.
“My favourite thing is that the venue looks beautifully classic and antique, but smells so clean and is spotless. The owner, who is French, has a wonderful sense of style and has beautifully renovated the building. It’s just perfect. Also all of the rooms are unique and each have their own charm.
“Our theme was elegant but glamorous, so I wanted everything to be clear or made of glass. We had dusty pink, tall, thin candles on glass candelabras, with glass tealight holders, and gold embellishments. We had gold table numbers, a decorative gold card box, and an ornate gold table holding the cake.
“We wanted to cater to our guests so we gave them the choice of two starters, three mains, and two desserts. It was a lot of hard work to organise, but meant we knew all of our guests would be happy. We also had a vegan menu for our vegan guests, canapes, and little hot bowls of lamb curry and vegetarian noodles which were served in the evening.
“Kerrie at Rushton Hall was fantastic and helped me with bits regarding the menu and hotel things, however, everything else I did myself.”
The Flowers and Cake
Sarah-Jane’s bouquet was small and elegant. She chose soft, white flowers to contrast with the venue’s flower, made up of impressive pink and pastel displays.
“Our venue flowers were very large and very dramatic. The colours we had were pinks, peaches, lilacs, using lots of different types of flowers, weaved with stunning foliage.
“Mathew Dickinson of Dickinson and Doris was an absolute superstar. He brought my floral dream to life. The room was filled with flowers!”
For their wedding cake, the couple chose four tiers, each with a different flavour, which they served on the night.
“We had: salted caramel and white chocolate, lemon drizzle, chocolate orange, and white chocolate and raspberry.
“Iced Delights Cakes are a fabulous mother and daughter team who make the most delicious wedding cakes at really reasonable prices. My mother and I just so happened to stumble across their stall at a wedding fare whilst we were shopping one day in our local shopping centre.
“As soon as I took one bite of their lemon drizzle, I was sold. Instantly. The most delicious wedding cake I’ve tasted. Plus their skill level is really high and they listened to everything I wanted and produced the most beautiful cake.”
Favours and Special Touches
Guests were invited to Sarah-Jane and Sonny’s wedding via beautiful gold, laser-cut, gated invitations created by Cartalia.
Their favours also followed the modern and elegant theme of their big day. “We went for mini clear Perspex boxes, with gold ornate ribbon detailing and three white and pink truffles inside.
“For the table centrepieces, we had a variety of very tall and short floral displays, glass candelabras, tall glass vases, pink candles, and glass tealights.
“We stuck with numbers to make it easier and more minimal on the tables.”
During the evening, Stage One DJ entertained guests while Dhol players made sure everyone was up on the dance floor.
“Our DJ made our party. He arranged our personalised dance floor, production lighting, and personalised DJ booth. He also helped us to lay our room out, and worked with me to create the personalised logo in the centre of our dance floor. He was fantastic and really talented.
“We then also had Indian drummers (Dhol players) as my husband is Indian. I am half Iraqi so we do a similar thing in my culture also. These guys did such a wonderful job bringing fun and life to our party.
“They did two sets, one as we made our entrance, and then a second one later on in the night as the party started to die down. They stood on stools above the crowd and played along to the music. It was a really special moment and kept the party alive.
“We chose them for cultural reasons, but also because we both love the atmosphere the drummers can create.
“We danced to two songs, half of each song for our first dance. We started with John Legend’s All of Me, and then half of SWV’s Right Here (Human Nature Radio Mix), which linked to the song I walked down the aisle to.”
For Sarah-Jane, one of the most special moments of all was the morning after the wedding when the couple came down to breakfast knowing they were Mr and Mrs.
“It just felt amazing to be starting a new chapter together.”
For their honeymoon, they took off to Atlantis Palm, Dubai for four nights and then went onto Ozen by Atmosphere at Maadhoo in the Maldives.
“My husband picked the location of the Maldives, and I picked Dubai as it made sense to stop off on the way. It was wonderful. We loved every moment of it.”
Ceremony Venue: Northampton Cathedral
Reception Venue: Rushton Hall
Photographer: Nataly J Photography and Monopix Weddings
Wedding Dress: Enzoani from Le Sposi Bridal
Hair: John Newman Hairdressing and Beauty
Makeup: Megan Layland
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jarlo
Groomswear: Hugo Boss
Groom’s Shoes: Crockett and Jones
Groomsmen’s Suits: Ted Baker
Wedding Cake: Iced Delights Cakes
Florist: Dickinson & Doris
Entertainment: Stage One DJ
Transport: Deans Wedding Cars
Thank you to both Sarah-Jane and Sonny for allowing us to share their beautiful day.