It’s a sunny afternoon when I drive up to The White House in Morningside, Durban, a little oasis for brides, bustling with wedding-related businesses. My destination is Sposabella Bridal Gowns, an exclusive bridal boutique, and I find it at one end of the corridor – its light, modern showroom awash in sunshine and smiles from owner Gayle Erasmus and her team. From behind a mirrorball desk, they welcome guests like old friends. But the real star of the show is, of course, the dresses. With elegant silhouettes of lace, tulle and sparkle lining the shelves and draped on a host of mannequins, it’s hard not to get a little giddy, and I imagine many real brides do. And that’s where the Sposabella team comes in again, with their reassuring presence and extensive knowledge of what brides want (and need!). The boutique is home to the Enzoani Beautiful range, which is even more gorgeous in person than on screen, and for KZN brides, Sposabella is the perfect place to spend an afternoon trying on gowns and undoubtedly falling in love with ‘The One’. I asked Gayle a few questions about what makes her salon unique, and Michigan Behn was on hand to take these lovely images.
When I put my mind to this month’s theme, Rustic Elegance, there was one current trend that immediately jumped out at me as MADE for this look. Because as much as I have loved featuring naked cakes over the past couple of years, I am even more in love with their more sophisticated cousin, the semi-naked cake. And where naked cakes are ideal for a rustic bash, semi-nakeds have that extra bit of something (well not something, icing actually) that puts them squarely in between classic and avant garde. I love them. And boy are there some pretty ones out there! So let’s look at 20 of my faves, shall we? Oh yes, we shall.
Hold on tight, beauties, because your afternoon is about to get a whole lot prettier! When photographer Nelani van Zyl sent over this shoot, I couldn’t decide which part I was most excited about. The sweet watercolour stationery? The covetable table decor? The marble cake? How about the flowers – that oversize bouquet that has me dreaming of spring fields? Or how about the drop-dead-gorgeous Cindy Bam wedding gowns, or the ‘Pin this for later’ updos? And let’s not forget Nelani’s images or (and I think after all, this may just be my favourite) the Jacoba bridesmaid dresses in a range of purple and berry hues. It’s all so lovely – dive on in and find your favourite!
I’ve actually been amping to get started on the inspiration boards for this month’s editorial theme because rustic + elegant/glam is one of my faaaaavourite looks you guys. It’s that juxtaposition between indoor and outdoor and the mixture of soft, romantic style with more rustic, woodsy elements. And while burlap might be a little bit tired as far as rustic weddings go, there are plenty of other textures that you can incorporate. Wood is the most obvious, and my favourite, because it’s so versatile. Just look at the examples here: wood crates to house soft blush blooms, long wooden tables, wine barrels and wood blocks painted and calligraphed as table numbers. Oh so pretty. Blush is just the most classic of all colours, so it mixes perfectly here, and then a touch of shiny gold adds the final element. This is pretty much the signature look for this style, and you really can’t go wrong with it! (Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.)
Top (l-r): Blush bridesmaids (Elizabeth Fogarty/Jenny Yoo/My Flower Box Events) | Wooden signage (Brian Hatton Photography/Rock Paper Scissors Events) | Blush centrepiece (Michele Beckwith/Bustle Events/Mandolin Flowers)
Row 2: Bride & groom (Elizabeth Messina/Mindy Weiss) | Table numbers (Freestyle Mom) | Wooden crate decor
Row 3: Wine barrels | Blush & gold cake | Tablescape (Michael + Anna Costa Photo/Cameilla Floral Design/Joy De Vivre Event Design Boutique) | Blush & gold invitation (Megan Clouse Photography/Minted)
No rest for the wicked, right? Well, that’s me apparently, because while it’s supposed to be a public holiday, I just couldn’t wait one more moment to get started on this month’s editorial theme, Rustic Elegance, or on the treasure trove of inspiration I have waiting for you all! This couple shoot comes courtesy of Charl van der Merwe and Evoque Events, and although it’s technically an engagement shoot, it is actually so. much. more. A gorgeous palette of dusty blue, white and gold, a spectacular bouquet (and lush table runner to match), so many pretty little table details to inspire your own elegant rustic wedding style – and all this before you even count in sweet-as-can-be lovebirds Mareli and Christo! It’s the contrast between rough and smooth, forest and fancy, that makes this style so compelling visually, but the love between the couple that really makes it so very special.
De Havilland – Old Hollywood Argento Wedding Gown by Gibson Bespoke (Image: Tamara Lichtenstein)
Well folks, it’s the last day of the last week of our extended beach-themed content, and it’s also Fashion Friday, so there’s really only one thing for it – beach dress bonanza! A beach wedding gown is such a special garment – it should have a mix of casual and elegant, an ease of wear but also a beautiful fit, and ideally some kind of movement, so that it photographs beautifully against the wind and the waves. Whether your style is boho, modern or classic, you’ll find at least one dress in this roundup that makes you go ‘oooh!’. You’ll find all of them over on Etsy. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
Enchanted Barefoot Sandals by Forever Soles
The other day we brought you a whole range of beachy accessories from Etsy, but there was one I left out because I like this lil’ trend so much I thought it deserved its own roundup. Barefoot sandals are something we’ve featured in some of our real weddings, and I can’t get enough of this barely there footwear (or really, more like jewellery for feet!) trend that’s being embraced by both boho and beach brides. It’s barefoot… but prettier. All the freedom and earth childiness, but with an extra something special. From crochet to beading to bling, I found loads of lovely options – these are just 20 of my favourites. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
We’re heading back to the beach today (if only that were true, but it’s rainy and mis in Durbs) with a sweet little engagement shoot from SBB fave Nadine Aucamp, featuring a gorgeous gown by Silver Swallow. We don’t feature a lot of engagement shoots on SBB, but this one is so perfectly styled and photographed (and pups!), and Andrea and Christopher have such a unique love story (spoiler: they met on Instagram!) that I couldn’t resist! Enjoy…
It’s been such fun highlighting beach weddings these last weeks, and looking back through the archives, I was reminded how many fun beach inspiration boards I’ve created over the years. And while, yes, many are a play on various shades of blue (because come on, SO lovely!), there are also less traditional combinations, with brights and neutrals and sparkle and texture all playing their part. So I’ve rounded up (and in some cases, spruced up!) ten of my all-time faves. Click on to discover your new favourite! Links in bold denote affiliate links. SouthBound Bride may make a commission if a sale is made.
We have the Monday blues today, but in the best way possible – courtesy of the dreeeeeeeeeamiest of dreamy beach wedding styled shoots. So in love with this one, which comes to us from SBB Directory members Blooming Wonderful, Wildflower Photography and a talented team of local pros. The colour scheme is straight out of coastal wedding heaven, with a range of soft blues and greys and neutrals, and just a tiny touch of gold, and unexpected textures mixed with ocean elements that give a gorgeous shipwrecked effect. The details are magnificent (mussel shell escorts, mermaid-style wire crown for the bride, copper geometric elements, and lush blue and white blooms), and OMG the dresses! Not to mention Blooming Wonderful‘s absolutely gorgeous stationery suite! It’s positively the finest way to kick off a new week I can imagine.