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!
Hand Embroidered Wedding Dress by Sumarokova Atelier
How about one last dose of wedding loveliness before we call time on this week? This month we’re crushing on everything floral and garden wedding, and that includes floral wedding dresses – in fact, they’re at the top of our list! From printed fabric to whimsical 3D flower applique and lace, a floral gown is like a little garden all on its own – can you honestly think of a prettier way to walk down the aisle? And as always, when I’m looking for cutting edge, accessible bridal fashion, I’ve turned to the talented makers at Etsy to find twenty floral gowns that will honestly make you swoon. PLUS! For UK readers, Etsy is hosting a popup at West Elm on 17-19 February – we’ve got all the details at the end of this post. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
Oh flowers! I’m so excited that this month is about everything floral and green and garden wedding related, because it really gives me a chance to indulge my love of extravagant florals and do I ever have some pretty stuff coming your way. But to kick it off, I just had to round up one of my favourite places to find florals (apart from bouquets and tables) – on wedding cakes. I’ve rounded up floral print cakes in the past (swoon!) but today we’re going 3D. Some of these floral toppers are real, some are sugar, some you can barely tell. But what they all are is stunning. Whether you go for something statement and extravagant like this or something more subtle, even the most plain and classic cake can be completely transformed with a floral makeover.
As we come to the end of our month of engagement-themed posts, there’s no better way to finish off than with a party! In this case, an engagement party, because if you’re just engaged, this is the first celebration that might be on your mind. Engagement parties are such a lovely tradition (although certainly not something you should feel you HAVE to have, time and budget being major considerations for many) as they give you a chance to celebrate a very exciting moment in any couple’s lives with their nearest and dearest. Here are some guidelines and ideas to get you started.
Happy Monday, friends! I know the start of a new week is supposed to be dull and depressing and blah, but today we’re turning Monday on its head with an inspiration shoot full of vibrant acid brights and rich copper – a palette that perfectly shows off the look of the season! For this cutting edge design we turned, as we always do, to Wedding Concepts, whose trendsetting vision always ensures they’re a step ahead. I love how unexpected this palette is, how elegant, and yet how gorgeously African (flash of Skinny laMinx, love!), and the use of shiny acrylics, lasercut, hanging florals, luxe copper touches and the most incredible cakes and desserts. Planning a summer wedding? Take a second look at your colour palette and see if you can infuse it with an unexpected bright or a luxe metallic for extra gorgeousness. Tyme Photography took these lovely pics.