LONG HAUL. What a terrible term – it immediately sounds like a schlep: waiting around in airports for connecting flights, jetlag, airplane food… ugh. But when I think of long flights, I get excited, because at the other end of that journey? It’s destination: awesome. Think about it – no matter where in the world you live, if it takes you a while to get somewhere, it’s going to be amazing. And that’s why, when I had the chance to head to the Caribbean to spend some time with my Aisle Society sisters at Sandals South Coast last year, I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to SAA, the flight was a breeze (more on that later), and I arrived in Jamaica full of energy and excitement. And what I found was that a few extra hours of travel were 1000% worth it. When you see not only the gorgeousness that is Jamaica (a place so lovely that everyone welcomes you home from the minute you step off the plane, even if it’s your first time there) but the incredible destination weddings that Sandals has created as part of their new Aisle to Isle experience, you’ll understand exactly what I mean! Whether you’re gathering a crew of family and friends, eloping just the two of you, or making it your dream honeymoon locale, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s check out the highlights of my trip, and keep scrolling for my top tips and necessities for long-haul flights!
Most couples meet, fall in love, and if they’re lucky, end up at the altar. But for today’s fun couple, the altar was where it started! That’s where Keristena met Daniel, it’s where he proposed, and of course it’s where they declared their undying, on a beautiful spring day in the Natal Midlands. Which is something to celebrate, and celebrate they did, in a carnival-inspired reception. Coloured candy floss, popcorn, live music and a photobooth were all part of ‘carnival hour’ as they renamed their cocktail hour, and then moved on to a receptio decked out in the perfect pastel palette of coral, mint and serenity blue (complete with matching blooms!). SO FUN! African Bear Photography were on the scene to capture it all!
This time of year I think we’re all missing the beach a bit, so I seriously can’t think of a better real wedding to kick off our 2018 lineup than Chantelle & Ricky-Jon’s (in fact, I’ve been keeping this beauty up my sleeve for that exact reason) – you guys, this is what beach wedding dreams are made of! Think soft, romantic details, watercolour stationery, a gorgeous tropical setting, fine art ocean-style decor by the supremely talented Absolute Perfection, bridesmaid dresses billowing in the sea breeze… sigh. The tables are simple but perfectly styled, right down to the calligraphed rock place holders and the textures of basket and driftwood – a fine art take on rustic beachy chic that I can’t get enough of. And on top of that, there’s an adorable love story and hilarious account of the proposal from the bride and groom – loved these so much I had to call my mom and read them to her! Aw! And let’s not forget the final cherry on this sundae of amazingness – the most romantic images from Grace Studios. Wow. Way to kick off an amazing year, right?
Welcome, friends! It’s back to work for me today, and I’m kicking off our 2018 editorial programme with our traditional post rounding up the Top 10 trends of 2018. In years past, we’ve nailed many of the trends that are now so very familiar, and it’s always fun to look back and see a progression. This year is no exception! There are some really lovely trends coming through from the worlds of fashion, design, and interiors that we’ll be seeing all over the place in weddings. So let’s get started – and let’s get excited! Here are my predictions – find one or two that resonate with you, and then add your own twist to make them all yours. (This post contains some affiliate links, marked in bold. SBB may receive a commission on any sales.)
As I mentioned earlier this week, January is the time when lots of new brides join the SBB family, and so we like to tailor our advice content to help you out in those early days of planning, which let’s face it, can be overwhelming. Especially when the first question after “how did he ask?” and “have you set a date?” is “what colours have you chosen?” Or if you’ve ever been on Pinterest, where the sheer volume of styles and colours is terrifying. And sure, some of you will already have your colours figured out. But even if you’ve been in love with Blush & Bashful since high school (actually, ESPECIALLY if you’ve been in love with your palette since high school), there is a process that can help you figure out a basic design template for your wedding – one that is totally you, and that you’ll be able to build on instead of panicking about and (worst case scenario) throwing out and changing a couple of months down the line. So close down Pinterest for a minute, put aside your preconceptions, and follow these five steps to choose your perfect wedding style.
You’re engaged! CONGRATULATIONS! This is such a crazy, exciting time in your life, and an experience that you’ll never forget. But once the ring selfies have been taken and the parents (and the friends, and the distant cousins once removed) have been called, once the Facebook statuses have been changed and the champagne bottles emptied, there’s an inevitable moment of panic. OMGwehavetoplanawedding! Ack! How on earth, you think, do we do this? And more importantly, where do you start? Well brideys (and groomeys), we have you covered. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 until you have read this checklist for the newly engaged – ten things to get you firmly on track with your wedding planning journey. And also… BREATHE…
I love Januaries. A new year, a new engagement season and best of all – new friends joining the SBB community. I’m so thrilled to welcome all the new brides and grooms to SouthBound Bride today, many of whom will have gotten engaged over Christmas and New Year. CONGRATULATIONS! You’re about to embark on the most exciting journey, and I’m so excited to go on it with you. I’m Gaby, editor of SBB, and I’m here to be your virtual bestie and honorary bridesmaid as you navigate the following months of wedding planning, offering inspiration, advice, and the occasional bad joke. Because while it can be stressful, this whole wedding thing should always be fun!
So… How do you make the most of your SouthBound experience?
First off, you’ll want to sign up to our newsletter. That way, you’ll never miss out on our gorgeous real weddings, styled shoots and trend roundups – and don’t worry, there’s no daily spamming of your inbox :). In fact, we’re about to relaunch the newsletter and it really is something special, so you don’t want to miss it! SIGN UP HERE
Next, you’ll want to follow us on social.
- Instagram is our favourite thing – we’re growing fast and we have some serious pretty lined up this year!
- Our Pinterest boards are full of beautiful images both from the blog and from other sources, and an awesome tool for planning your wedding.
- Facebook is a great way to keep up to date with all our latest posts. (Top tip! If you like or comment on posts from time to time, you’ll be more likely to see our daily FB posts in your newsfeed!)
- Tweet tweet… Twitter is another great way to follow SBB. Everything we publish gets tweeted there as well.
- And don’t forget to check us out on Aisle Society – which is another AWESOME source of inspiration for you to follow the best blogs in the business (find out how to plan your wedding with Aisle Society here)
PLANNING! EEK! WHERE DO I START?
We get it. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered! Here’s a step by step guide with links to ALL our fab advice posts – be sure to bookmark this as you’ll want to come back!
- Wedding Planning: Where to Start
- How to Choose Your Wedding Style & Colours
- How to Create a Wedding Inspiration Board
- A SouthBound Guide to Diamond Shapes
- 10 Questions to Ask Before a Venue Visit
- How to Choose a Venue
- How to Choose a Venue: Downloadable Worksheet
- How to Choose a Safari Wedding Venue
- How to Plan an Engagement Party
- How to Choose Your Bridesmaids
- How to Write Your Guest List in 10 Simple Steps
- Planning Your Wedding with Pinterest
- 10 Reasons to Get Married in South Africa
- A SouthBound Guide to Engagement Ring-Speak
- Budget Tips from SouthBound Brides
- Entrance Music
- How to Pick the Perfect First Dance Song
- DJ-recommended Wedding Songs
- How to Cut Your Guest List
- How to Plan for a Rainy Wedding Day
- Making the Most of Your Wedding Photos
- Top Tips for Beach Weddings
- Ten Tips for Planning an Autumn Wedding
- Top Tips for DIY Brides
- Top Tips for Spring Engagement Shoots
- Top 10 Chic Eco-friendly Wedding Ideas
- 7 Reasons to Have a Destination Beach Wedding
- Top 10 Tips for Planning an Intimate Wedding
- Unassigned Seating: Is it Right for You?
- Wedding Invitations & Stationery Timeline
- Why Have a Smaller Wedding?
- Why Have a Winelands Wedding?
Grooms & Groomsmen
Fashion & Beauty
- A SouthBound Guide to Veil Types
- Bridal Beauty Timeline
- How to Choose a Wedding Hair & Makeup Artist
- How to Find a Maternity Wedding Dress
- How to Style Your Engagement Shoot
- 3 Gorgeous Summer Bridal Looks
- How to Wear Statement Bridal Jewellery
- Rocking Your Hair & Makeup Trial
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Column
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Neat Hourglass
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Pear
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Strawberry
- A SouthBound Guide to Bouquet Types
- A SouthBound Guide to Flower Meanings
- Flowers in Season: Autumn
- Flowers in Season: Spring
- Flowers in Season: Winter
Cakes & Catering
- A SouthBound Guide to Wedding Cake Terminology
- How to Make a Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake
- Vegetarian Wedding Menus
Showers, hens & bachelorettes
- Bridal Showers & Hen Nights: Who Pays?
- How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower (with Printable Timeline)
- The Hen Commandments
- Changing Your Surname?
- Charity Wedding Favours
- Five Ways to Cultivate Real Love Every Day
- The Newlywed Shoe Game
- Top Tips for Boudoir Photo Sessions
- Wedding Day Remembrances
BUT WHERE DO I FIND THESE AWESOME VENDORS?
Introducing our brides to the incredible South African wedding pros is our passion and privilege. You can find our favourites in the SBB Directory, and the SBB Venue Collection, and be sure to check out the supplier list at the end of all our real weddings and styled shoots for more talented folks.
Any questions? Drop us a mail. We look forward to helping you plan your big day!
Congrats again – enjoy this very special time!
Ceremony style has been a real focus in weddings this year, from gorgeous arches to stunning scenery, drapes to chandeliers, and everything in between. I’m so thrilled that ceremonies are finally getting the attention they deserve – after all, they should be the focal point of the day, and while extravagant decor must always take second place to the vows being exchanged, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to set the scene for full-blown romance! From boho to luxe, these were the ceremony setups we loved most this year.
Gorgeous gowns are one of the things I have come to love most about my job and year after year I’m stunned by the sheer beauty of our brides and their choices in bridal fashion, whether classic or daring. Each one comes with its own story, of how it came to be THE dress, and like finding a partner, finding the perfect dress can be a struggle. But every one of our brides tells us when you know, you know! The evidence is clear for all to see, and in between all the exciting talents emerging in the SA bridal fashion scene right now, it is SO hard to pick! But pick we did, with special reference to the dresses that YOU loved on social media in 2017. Each one of these is as special and unique as the woman who wears it, a reflection of the many hours of care that goes into creating a bridal masterpiece. That’s the hard work and talent of the designers we’re honouring here. But slaying it IN your dress? Well ladies, that’s all you.
Yay, bridesmaids! As y’all have probably picked up by now, BM fashion is one of my fave parts of wedding design- even after doing this job for so long, I always do a big OOOOOH! at any perfectly styled bridesmaid party! And just when I thought I’d seen it all, this year’s bevvy of bridesquad beauties came in and made everything fresh and pretty and awesome once more. From mismatched lineups to ladies rocking the same gown, every one of these 20 examples is sure to inspire! And not just for bridesmaids, for the love of fashion too! Which makes it extra handy that we’ve included lots of shopping options. (Post includes affilate links – SBB may receive a commission on any sales.)