A SouthBound Guide to Wedding Dress Silhouettes

One of the things you take for granted when you’ve been wedding blogging as long as I have, is that the terminology that’s part of your everyday life isn’t necessarily something that all brides know, off the bat, when they get engaged. After all, you ladies have a lifetime of other things to think about! That’s why I love putting these guides together – quick visual references that give you the tools for your planning, whether that’s in choosing a veil, or deciding on the shape of your bouquet, type of cake, etc. A lot of us know dress silhouettes a bit better, but even if you know your ballgown from your mini, do you know your mermaid from your trumpet? So today we’re focusing on the different dress styles, and illustrating each with some of the most gorgeous gowns I could find on Etsy. Win-win!

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A SouthBound Guide to Veil-speak


When it comes to classic and romantic wedding inspiration, there’s nothing more representative than the traditional (or even the traditional-with-a-twist) veil. Long or short, I love these beauties. So I thought it was the perfect time to update one of the most popular posts from deep in the archive, our guide to veils and veil-types. A veil dictionary, if you will. And of course, I just had to update it with lots of beautiful, pinnable images. The best part? You can actually buy any one of the veils featured here for your own wedding – just click on the links in bold. Of course, you may not want to rock a veil at all, but if you’re considering it, read on, because you’re about to discover a whole world of pretty options you didn’t even know existed!

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How to Plan Your Wedding Using Aisle Society

So, earlier today I shared a gorgeous styled shoot celebrating the official launch of the new Aisle Society website, but I wanted to pop back in and give you a better idea of how the site actually works, and more importantly, how you can use it as a bride or groom to plan your dream wedding – not instead of but as well as the tools you already use. We built the site for you, and we want you to love it, and use it, and be inspired by it, and make it part of your planning journey. The day a bride tells me for the first time that Aisle Society is her first stop when she opens her laptop? I’ll be happy as a happy person on Happy Day in Happyville.

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10 Questions to Ask BEFORE A Venue Visit

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Hello lovely ones! I’m super SUPER excited today, because I finally get to start rolling out the brand new, all-singing, all dancing (okay, it doesn’t sing and dance, but it’s still pretty awesome) SBB Collection, our new directory specifically for venues. We’ve been working with the best of SA’s places and spaces over the last few months, and we’ll be adding them in small groups over the next couple of weeks so that you get a chance to ‘meet’ them all properly, before the full directory is in place. At which point you’ll also be able to download it as a pretty (and handy) magazine! Yay! (Be sure to check it out HERE.) And here’s one of the reasons I love our new directory so much – we’ve tried to make sure that the listings are not only pretty but extremely functional – we’ve included all the info you need to know before making an enquiry or heading out for a site visit. After all, we know what it’s like – you get engaged, you see some gorgeous places online, friends are throwing recommendations at you every day… ack! It’s overwhelming! And while there’s the exciting stuff (the style! the features! that adorable place for photos!), it’s the practical aspects you need to keep an eye on because the last thing you want to do is fall in love with a venue that’s too small for your guest list, for example, or isn’t available on that date you’ve already carved out as yours. Because let’s be honest, some things are just going to be a non-negotiable, but those things vary from couple to couple. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled the essential list of questions to ask when researching venues (take a peek at the bottom at how our new listings answer them!).

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Welcome to SouthBound Bride!

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Hooray, it’s finally here!

For the last few months I have been busting out to share with you guys what I have been cooking up – a brand new brand! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the brand we had, especially my little pink and white Zulu love letter, but for a while now I’ve felt that it was time for something new. Something light, and airy, and sophisticated, and romantic – but at the same time, truly South African. I’m so happy to share our new brand (and revamped site) with you today, as I feel like it embodies all of these qualities. And with this being the start of a new year (and a chance to welcome all of you who just got engaged – CONGRAAAATS!), it’s the perfect moment. So… WELCOME!

There are still a few tweaks being made to the site design (so please let me know if you have any issues, especially on mobile!), and a few more additions on their way over the next few days. First there will be the brand new, revised directory pages, so you can browse all those fabulous wedding pros to your little hearts’ content :) Then (and this is SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITING) we have a huge, amazing venue project that I have been working on for months launching – I’ll be sharing lots of details about this soon! A shop is also on its way, full of the things you already love from bridesmaid dresses to handcrafted wedding details. And finally, we have the launch of Aisle Society to look forward to. January is going to ROCK. (Actually, February might rock even harder for me, but I can’t tell you why just yet ;) ) So basically, settle in and especially if you’re new, get ready for this to be your new online home for wedding planning.

Here are all the places to follow us for the full SouthBound Bride experience:

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Why Have a Winelands Wedding?

For a lot of people, when you think ‘South African wedding’, one of the images that immediately springs to mind is the beautiful Cape winelands… a bride and groom walking hand in hand among the vines, great food and wine… you get the picture. After all, our wine route is one of the most beautiful places on earth (not that I’m biased as a Stellenbosch alum or anything, but they so are). And yes, we’ve all been to winelands weddings before, but from time to time, when I hear couples say that they avoided estate venues just to be different, I feel a little bit sad. That’s like saying you went to Italy and avoided Tuscany, just to be different. Not because we don’t have a wealth of other fantastic options, but because there are so many more reasons to consider a wine farm wedding than not. And so, since this month we’re celebrating everything vineyard, I thought it was the perfect time to round up my top ten of ’em.Read More

How to: Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes

Wine farm brides and grooms, rejoice! This October on SBB, our theme is Vineyard Weddings, so we’ll be looking back at some of our favourites from SA’s wealth of wine farm venues, as well as rounding up lots of little details and lovelies that you can include to bring your location to life (or just bring a bit of the vineyard into whichever venue you choose!). When I think about wine (which is a lot), I also think about cheese – the two go together like love and marriage. So an obvious option for a vineyard wedding cake is to go for a cheese wheel tower instead of (or as well as) a traditional sweet cake. It may no longer be a new idea, but it’s always a crowd-pleaser! Because cheese, duh. And sure, you could just plonk a bunch of cheese on a tray or pile a few rounds up and call it a cake, but it’s much more fun to create something pretty with just as much panache as a classic cake. Depending on how you style your cake, it can fit in perfectly with a rustic wedding, a contemporary one – even a romantic or glamorous one! And the best part is that you (or a friend or family member) can do it yourselves, following our handy tips. And, of course, we’ve rounded up lots more gorgeous cheese wedding cakes (many from our own SBB weddings) to inspire you!Read More

Top Tips for Spring Engagement Shoots

It’s that time of year again, when summer brides and grooms book a bit of extra time with their photographers for that all-important engagement shoot (hands down the best way to get yourselves used to being in front of the camera before your Big Day). And let’s be honest, there’s no better time to plan a couple shoot than the spring – think blossoms, greenery, fresh colours, and dreamy light! There are a few things you should take into account, though, so we’ve asked a couple of our favourite local photographers to share their top 10 tips – as well as some of their favourite spring engagement pics. You can also find more e-shoot inspiration in our archives.

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Flowers in Season: Spring

Hello lovelies! It might not look like spring outside my window today, but TECHNICALLY we’re supposed to be all about this fresh new season, so I thought it was the perfect time to take a squizz at some seriously gorgeous spring bouquets. Seasonal flowers are a big thing with me – I really think that whatever time of year you choose to get married in, you’ll get the most beautiful, vibrant blooms when you go seasonal. And spring… well, when it comes to flowers, spring is king. We’ve already covered autumn and winter in this series, matching up some drop-dead amazing bouquets with invitations, and highlighting seasonal blooms, and today we get to play with some of my all-time favourite flowers. Hello, peonies! Let’s have a look, shall we… Read More

SouthBound Guide: DJ-recommended Wedding Songs

One of those things that often gets left until last and then causes an inordinate amount of stress is music. I mean, even for music-loving couples, I’ve seen this lead to despair. And it’s understandable, because doesn’t everyone want the perfect soundtrack to those amazing moments… you know, the one where you lock eyes as the bride walks down the aisle, or where you’re announced for the first time as Mr & Mrs and walk in to the thunderous applause of your nearest and dearest, or (perhaps trickiest of all) that moment where all eyes are on you as you take to the dancefloor and it’s like the words of the song that’s playing are meant to sum up your whole relationship. No pressure, hey. Seriously though, choosing music can be tough, and that’s why today I’ve enlisted the help of Shaun of The Wedding DJ’s to give you his expert’s picks for those all-important moments on the Big Day. They’re a mix of classic and contemporary, and at least one of them is sure to be your JAM. Thanks, Shaun! (PS You can find out more about The Wedding DJ’s in the SBB Directory)Read More