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.
So I’m guessing that for those of you who just got engaged, unless you’re in a design or creative field, you may never have heard the term ‘inspiration board’ or even ‘mood board’ before. And suddenly, you’re a bride, and it’s everywhere, right? To be fair, inspiration boards are a little less all over the wedding blog landscape than they were a couple of years ago, but they’re still very much part of the planning experience. Here on SBB, I’ve been creating inspiration boards for many years now (and several for styled shoots that put those ideas into practice as well) and I love doing them, but if you’re a newly minted bride-to-be, it can seem a little intimidating. Well, worry not. Today we’ll cover everything you need to know, step by step. And I’m sharing some of our prettiest boards from the archive. Read on!
Choosing your bridesmaids! Easy, right? Um, not so much. For some brides, it’s a simple decision, but for many, the whole bridal party selection process can be a huge source of stress. It’s supposed to be fun, but you only have to watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids to see evidence of how easily tensions can creep their way in. And that’s when you also throw in who’s going to be maid of honour and what you’re going to dress them in. For me, your bridal party are a HUGE part of the day (in fact, it’s the only part of my hypothetical wedding that I’ve ever really thought about – forget the dream dress or decor, if George Clooney proposed tomorrow, I just know who I’d want standing up with me). They’re your special witnesses, the people you’ve chosen to go through your life-changing experience with a front row seat. It’s an affirmation of friendship or family bonds, and a chance to make new memories. Those are all good things. So how do you get past the tricky bits? Here are my top tips for picking an all star supporting cast.Read More
The French are said to die for love, they delight in fighting duels. But I prefer a man who lives and gives… expensive jewels. So sang Marilyn Monroe, and so I agree (plus, isn’t that a fabulous lyric?) and that’s why year after year, alongside all the pretty dresses and details, I find myself sighing at the sparklers on our brides’ elegant hands. And while I’m a sucker for a classic round solitaire, I love the variety that modern brides have in their choices – different settings, different metals, and for many, non-traditional stones (because diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but I also love hanging with morganite, sapphire, etc.) Another area of choice if you’re on the engagement ring hunt right now is shape (sometimes called cut, but not the cut referred to in the Big 4: Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat, which is rather the reflective quality of a diamond). There are actually a huge range of diamond shapes or cuts that you can choose. And, while the ones best suited for sparkle are the old classics (round, cushion), the fancy cuts, as they’re called, can make up for it in uniqueness (after all, how many of your friends are rocking a trillion?) We’ve rounded up some of the more popular shapes, along with lots of pretty, pretty rings from Etsy to show them off at a range of price points. (Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.)
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.
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…
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, we only mail you once a week, so there’s no spamming of your inbox. Plus, there’s a special monthly edition packed full of useful stuff, 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 very exciting Insta-ideas for 2017!
- 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!
- A SouthBound Guide to Engagement Ring-Speak
- How to Choose a Venue
- How to Choose a Venue: Downloadable Worksheet
- 10 Questions to Ask Before a Venue Visit
- How to Choose Your Bridesmaids
- How to Choose Your Wedding Style & Colours
- How to Create a Wedding Inspiration Board
- How to Write Your Guest List in 10 Simple Steps
- Planning an Engagement Party
- Planning Your Wedding with Pinterest
- 10 Reasons to Get Married in South Africa
- Budget Tips from SouthBound Brides
- Entrance Music
- DJ-recommended Wedding Songs
- How to Cut Your Guest List
- How to Pick the Perfect First Dance Song
- How to Plan for a Rainy Wedding Day
- Making the Most of Your Wedding Photos
- Ten Tips for Planning an Autumn Wedding
- Top Tips for DIY Brides
- Top Tips for Spring Engagement Shoots
- Top 10 Chic Eco-friendly Wedding Ideas
- Top 10 Tips for Planning an Intimate Wedding
- Unassigned Seating: Is it Right for You?
- Wedding Invitations & Stationery Timeline
- Why Have a Smaller Wedding?
- Why Have a Winelands Wedding?
Grooms & Groomsmen
Fashion & Beauty
- A SouthBound Guide to Veil-speak
- Bridal Beauty Timeline
- How to Choose a Wedding Hair & Makeup Artist
- How to Find a Maternity Wedding Dress
- How to Style Your Engagement Shoot
- How to Wear Statement Bridal Jewellery
- Rocking Your Hair & Makeup Trial
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Column
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Neat Hourglass
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Pear
- Wedding Dresses for Your Body Type: Strawberry
- A SouthBound Guide to Bouquet Types
- A SouthBound Guide to Flower Meanings
- Flowers in Season: Autumn
- Flowers in Season: Spring
- Flowers in Season: Winter
Cakes & Catering
- A SouthBound Guide to Wedding Cake Terminology
- How to: Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes
- Vegetarian Wedding Menus
Showers, hens & bachelorettes
- Bridal Showers & Hen Nights: Who Pays?
- How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower (with Printable Timeline)
- The Hen Commandments
- Changing Your Surname?
- Charity Wedding Favours
- Five Ways to Cultivate Real Love Every Day
- The Newlywed Shoe Game
- Top Tips for Boudoir Photo Sessions
- Wedding Day Remembrances
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!
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!
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! Links in bold denote sponsored affiliate links. SouthBound Bride may earn a commission if a sale is made.
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.