Luxury Safari Wedding Inspiration by Oh Happy Day & Bright Girl

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m obsessed with bushveld weddings, and nothing has made my heart happier over the last couple of years is to see a new, luxury, fine art approach to safari weddings starting to emerge and become part of the portfolio of gorgeous South African wedding experiences. I mean, when you have a background like our wild landscape, the last thing you want to do is compete with it, but you do want to provide an experience for your guests that’s almost sensual, in that it’s about engaging every single sense. Rich, warm textures like leather and wood mixed with soft ones like silk, tulle and lace – a feast for sight and touch. Delicious cuisine served on and in five star linens, crockery and crystal. Palettes of muted pastels and soft neutrals that let those textures and natural beauty shine through. And when it comes to pulling off this look, I can’t think of a better team in KZN than the one I’m showcasing here today. These folks are some of my fave wedding pros of all time, including Joe of Oh Happy Day and Eileen of Bright Girl – they’re consistently creating some of the most beautiful wedding inspiration around and also happen to be the loveliest people to hang with on your big day. You can see why, when I knew this shoot was going down at Cheetah Ridge, I was glued to Instagram for updates, and when I saw the images they were even better than I imagined. So naturally, I picked a zillion of them to share with you. You’re welcome.

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How to Rock a Long Haul Destination Wedding or Honeymoon (And Why Sandals Jamaica is Totally Worth It)

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!

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2018 Wedding Trends

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.)



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How to Choose Your Wedding Style & Colours

How to Choose Your Wedding Style & Colours | SouthBound Bride

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.

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Wedding Planning: Where to Start

Where to Start with Wedding Planning | SouthBound Bride

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…

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Welcome to SouthBound Bride!

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Welcome!

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!

First steps

Practical planning

Bridesmaids

Grooms & Groomsmen

Fashion & Beauty

Flowers

Cakes & Catering

Showers, hens & bachelorettes

Other

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!

 

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20 Best Ceremony Setups of 2017

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.

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20 Best Wedding Dresses of 2017

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.

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20 Best Bridesmaid Lineups of 2017

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.)

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20 Best Wedding Cakes of 2017

Today we’re counting down our favourite cakes and I have to say, this is one wedding detail that I always love! Not just because cakes are yum (and I’ll bet every one of these was delicious beyond!) but because they often encapsulate the style or spirit of a wedding in one gorgeous element. No pressure or anything :) Fortunately, the talented cake designers of South Africa and beyond are well up to the task, and this year we’ve featured some absolute beauties! So here we’re counting down our faves from both real weddings and styled shoots, and whether your style is simple semi-naked or full on metallic glamour, you’ll find something to inspire here!

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