3 Gorgeous Summer Bridal Looks from the Catwalk with Sketch & M

Wedding season is upon us again, and while almost all of you summer brides will have your dresses, décor and details down, one thing you may still be undecided on is your hair and makeup aka “your LOOK”. And we get it: you want to look fresh and fabulous and on-trend, but also timeless and classic and most importantly, still like yourself. It’s enough to give a bride sleepless nights (bags under the eyes? NOT cute). So we’ve asked one of our favourite local hair and makeup geniuses to pop by today and share her expertise – super excited to introduce the very lovely Marisa of Sketch & M! Marisa loves creating natural bridal makeup looks – flawless, glowing complexion, earthy eyeshadow shades, bold lashes and neutral lips – but she also appreciates brides that are a little more experimental. Today she’s showing how some of those high fashion catwalk looks can be beautifully interpreted for modern brides, and sharing some images of her at work, captured by Leanne Loves Photography. Take it away, Marisa!

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How to Choose a Safari Wedding Venue with Absolute Perfection

Anyone who knows me will tell you with no hesitation that the South African bushveld is my happy place, the one where I feel most alive. That sense of bushveld magic is something I share with many of you. Maybe that’s why safari weddings have always had such a place in my heart – there really is no more romantic place I can imagine promising your lives to one another! And just because you’re out in the middle of nature, doesn’t mean an ‘Out of Africa’ style wedding has to be low on style – oh no. In fact, it’s just the opposite! Just ask Candace Allan of Absolute Perfection. This high end, fine art wedding consultancy based in Johannesburg specialises in event styling, coordination and floral design, with a special focus on luxury South African safari destination weddings, and has created some absolutely stunning celebrations in the most beautiful locations. In fact, there’s just one problem with safari weddings, and that’s trying to figure out which heartstoppingly lovely venue to choose! We’re spoilt for choice, but with this being such an important choice, you definitely want to find the right one. Luckily for us, Candace is here to share her sage advice, along with dreamy images by Julia Winkler Photography)!

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How To Pick the Perfect First Dance Song

Pop question: what’s ‘your song’? I’ll give you a minute, but chances are that you either know the answer to that one without thinking about it (nailed it!) or you have no idea and you read the title of this post thinking “yes, how DO we pick our first dance song?” If you’re one of the second group (or if you’re one of the first, but ‘your song’ is something wildly inappropriate for a first dance, it happens!) then worry not, because there is a perfect song out there for you, even if the closest you come to Fred and Ginger is standing and swaying. And today we’re teaming up with Ryan Engelbrecht of specialised DJ service Silkmusic to show you how!

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7 Reasons to Have a Destination Beach Wedding (and Exciting News!)

Friends, hello! I know I have been a bit scarce on SBB in March, but it has been a crazy, crazy (seriously, crazy) month and I’m also in the middle of travelling at the moment. I promise that as soon as I’m back in SA we’ll be returning to normal. But in the meantime, I get to share some of the tropical love (appropriate, since I’m heading to Cuba today!), as well as some exciting news! Aisle Society is thrilled to announce we have partnered with Abaco Beach Resort to offer you Aisle Society Weddings. These carefully curated weddings were specially designed for Abaco (a fabulous little gem in the Bahamas) by some of the world’s top wedding editors, and offer an authentically Bahamian vibe and some of the most gorgeous tropical design details. I’m going to be sharing a peek at what Aisle Society Weddings have to offer, alongside my top 7 reasons why a destination beach wedding is basically the best thing ever.

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Top Tips for Beach Weddings

Image: Deborah-Ann Photography/Wildeflower on SouthBound Bride

Hello friends! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, so my apologies for being so scarce on SBB. I’ve been working on a Kickstarter campaign for Aisle Society that is just seven days away from deadline and wow – what an experience! I’d love it if you all would check it out and consider supporting us (even $1 is very much appreciated!). But meanwhile, I’ve been dying to bring you the beachy inspiration I have lined up, especially since I’m heading for the Caribbean tomorrow for the Aisle Society retreat! So beach is very much on my mind ;) Beach weddings, I have to tell you, are a huge favourite of mine – although I’ve yet to actually attend one in person, *sad face*. I just adore the whole feet in the sand, relaxed but elegant vibe. But while planning a beach wedding IS fun, it does have challenges that other weddings do not. There’s a lot to think about to ensure everything goes off smoothly, so here are SBB’ top tips for the perfect beach wedding.

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How to Plan an Engagement Party

Image: Katie Parra Photography/Clutch Events on SouthBound Bride

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.

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How to Create a Wedding Inspiration Board

Credit: Deborah-Ann Photography/Wildeflower on SouthBound Bride

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!

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How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

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

A SouthBound Guide to Diamond Shapes

Image: Alexis June Weddings /Aisle Society/Susie Saltzman on SouthBound Bride

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.)

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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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