Well, it’s been a week… I’ll bet I’m not the only one who wants to throw up my hands and cry “is Friday over yet?” Well, it isn’t, not quite, and just as well because we’re ending it off here on SBB with something sleek and glam and deliciously sophisticated. Think of it as the cocktail you deserve, but without the cost of an Uber home. To create this chic setting, the team at Bells & Whistles Event Styling were inspired by the incredible setting, the ballroom at Fine Living by David Muirhead. It has silver embossed pressed ceilings, decor in dramatic charcoal, grey and white tones, and I’m absolutely loving the bold botanical artwork which gives it a tropical, African touch. Add in a bride in gorgeous gowns (including separates – LOVE!), stunning orchids (which I should just declare our flower of the week!), candlelight, glitzy gold touches, and modern black ghost chairs (hello new chair crush!), and let us not forget, that cake! Because metallic and ruffles… well. This girl is in stylish wedding heaven. If anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here sipping my martini and poring over the pretty.
These last several seasons, it has been allllll about the floral crown in wedding lala land, and I couldn’t have been happier, because flower crowns combine two of my favourites – gorgeous bridal style and fresh flowers! But this season there’s been another emerging trend – a little more subtle but no less pretty, and I am loving it. Brides have been rocking fresh flowers – in arrangements at the tuck of a chignon, as single blooms pinned behind one ear, tucked into their veil, or even woven into a braid. SO pretty. And with this being our month dedicated to secret garden prettiness, I just had to round up twenty of my faves. Now hands up, ladies – which is your fave?
I’ve got my travel bug at the moment, with the 2017 Aisle Society retreat less than a month away, but looking at these photos I want to grab my passport and never look back until I reach Italy again. Oh, Italy. It’s not just the delicious light that photographers Magnolia & Magpie have captured in these truly gorgeous images, the beautiful gardens, or the feeling of classic, ancient beauty. It’s that feeling of pure beauty, expressed in delicate lace gowns, and delicately organic table decor, and a chapel filled with candles. The same feeling I get in Italy, when I’m surrounded by its incredible beauty, both natural and man-made. But you don’t actually have to get on a plane to capture that spirit, because not only can you dive into these images like a pool of clear water, but Cameo and Joey’s fine art aesthetic can be part of your big day too, since they’re part-based in Cape Town and, happily, part of the SBB Directory. Be sure to check them out – once you’re done swooning, of course!
We can’t let Valentine’s end without some heart shaped happiness, can we? No. No we can’t. A couple of years ago, I wrote this post highlighting all the pretty and unexpected ways you could use hearts in your wedding and it’s been a popular feature ever since, proving that this universal symbol of love is still as popular as ever for all things wedding! So this year I thought I would head over to Etsy and find some brand new heart shaped favourites and ideas and boy, did I ever! Some of these ideas are just TOO adorable! Let’s find some new faves, shall we? (Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.)
Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! Totally one of my favourite days of the year. And to celebrate, I have a dreamy styled engagement shoot to share with you today that is truly South African! Kyle and Lindsay love the bushveld, so for their couple sesh, they settled on a glamorous safari shoot. They chose Glen Afric as their location – a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation centre with an outstanding reputation for animal care, which was also the filming location for the BBC series Wild at Heart. They took a walk in the bush in their finery (including that iconic Silver Swallow gown!) and came across the facility’s elephant family, who let’s be honest, totally steal the show! Marissa of Studio40Six was on scene to capture the magic.
It’s Monday and that means another week of inspiration here on SBB! YAY. We’re starting it off with some more secret garden-style loveliness, this time from Nelani Van Zyl and her clever team! Inspired by the lush gardens and secret enclosures of their venue, Bellingham Homstead, they pulled together not one but two mini celebrations in one shoot – a whimsical afternoon tea party that Alice herself would be proud of, and an elegant candlelit reception overflowing with pastel blooms. I can just imagine this translating into a real wedding – your guests would love the fun of their own little garden tea party, and then you can take some of that garden prettiness indoors for a classic dinner. This is vintage done oh-so-right! I also have to give a special mention of the blush and beautiful bridesmaid dresses by Jacoba Clothing (who you’ll also find it our directory) – a PERFECT complement to the model bride’s stunning lace Cindy Bam gown. And let’s not forget the groom either, because he’s rocking a floral bow tie, which is one of my favourite current trends (more about that later this week!) Let’s dip a toe into the pretty pool shall we?
When it comes to wedding ideas and design in general, the things that always really get me are just… whimsical. The post office that sends out teeny tiny letters. Donut walls. Dogs in floral collars. And this, my favourite of all whimsical wedding ideas – the door in the air. We first started seeing ‘outdoor chapels’ a few years ago, and the charm of a freestanding door being used as the entrance to an outdoor ceremony has only increased as time’s gone by. I mean, it’s adorable. And it’s also a great way to make an entrance, because you get to do that fling-the-church-doors-wide-as-the-bride-appears thing, even if you’re saying your vows in the middle of the forest or on a beach. Some couples have switched things around and used the doors as an actual altar, and that’s great too. All I know is, every time I see a vintage door being upcycled as ceremony decor, especially if it’s draped in flowers, my heart beats just a little bit faster. If you’re planning a secret garden wedding this is a must-have, but even if you’re not, this is one way to bring some sheer delight to your ceremony, even before the vows are spoken.
If there’s one recent wedding trend that has thoroughly resonated with South African brides, it has to be boho, and over the last season it’s been so fun to see so many gorgeous boho brides grace our pages. But before that, the great love was vintage round these parts. So imagine my pleasure when this pretty pretty shoot that incorporates both those elements crossed my desk? Especially when the combination is fresh, pretty and oh-so-perfect for a summer soiree. Created by photographer Sonje Ludwick and a team of talents, I’m loving the neutral palette with a floral twist, the picnic style spread under the trees, and the gorgeous dresses incorporating some of my fave looks, from crochet lace to two-piece gowns. Not to mention plenty of blushing bride proteas, which always make me very happy (including one on the yummy-looking semi naked cake) :) So if you’ve been drawn to either vintage or boho (or both), why not be inspired by this combination for your own happy day?
Our theme this month, Secret Garden, is one really close to my heart because The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favourite books (and one of the few I read in school that didn’t suck). I’ll never forget reading it for the first time and just feeling wrapped up in it, and that feeling has never really gone away, although I’m no kind of gardener as an adult. I still adore the idea of a walled garden (not to self for when have mansion), and I really can’t think of a prettier theme for a wedding. I’ve tried to recreate that for today’s inspiration board – whimsical, organic, lush, but actually quite simple and natural. I’m a little in love with it. What do you think? (Links in bold denote affiliate links; the cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission on any sales)
Top row (l-r): Bride at gate (Elizabeth Messina/Ginny Branch/Claire Pettibone) | Centrepiece (Jose Villa Photography/Flowerwild/Coastside Couture) | Swing with flowers ( )
Row 2: Invitation suite (Oak and Orchid) | Key necklace (Mony Art) | Cake with flower topper (Corbin Gurkin/WED: Wedding Event Design/Kathy Allen Fine Cakes) | Claire Pettibone dress (Lucy Munoz)
Row 3: Bouquet (Rory Wylie) | Floral juliet cap veil (Marisol Aparicio/Lara Lam Photography) | Table in garden (Caroline Lima Photography)
It’s a brand new week, full of possibility, and the first good thing to happen on my Monday is definitely this gorgeous styled shoot by Roxanne Davison and our friends at Oh Happy Day. I have been dying to share it with you for months, and now that February has rolled round with our ‘Secret Garden’ theme, it’s finally time to share this Secret Garden-themed shoot! Inspired by a quote from the novel which I love – “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden” – these talented ladies and their team created a little garden hideaway punctuated by beautiful florals and fine vintage china, the dreamiest of dresses and the most delicate of jewels, gorgeous brides and beautiful calligraphy. It. Is. Swoony. So grab a cuppa and get settled in for some very Pin-worthy inspiration!