New Blogger Portraits + Posing Tips!

This afternoon I’m sharing something a little different (and I feel a bit shy about it, since the subject is me!). As a blogger, I sometimes get asked to contribute to other online or print media, so it’s important to have some professional pics to hand, and I thought it was about time I updated the ones I use (since, for example, I have actually been brunette again for a while). As I am in Durban for the summer, I took the opportunity to work with the fabulous Fiona Clair, whose work I have been stalking for ages, and capture a bit of my own SouthBound style. We had such a fun time! I tracked down some sequins (of course) and proteas (ditto) and we headed for the Durban beachfront (after a bit of hair & makeup pampering from the talented Laura Halgreen – thanks Laura!). It was stinking hot and more than a little windy, but we had such a giggle playing and posing that I almost forgot that the camera was there. Fiona is just that kind of photographer – she’s super relaxed and nice, and so it’s a bit easier to lose that initial awkwardness that so many of us feel!Read More

SBB on Wedding Chicks

Hooray, I can finally let you all in on what has been making me feel butterflies of excitement all day! You may remember a while ago (a long while ago, like, last year – okay, you probably don’t remember) that I mentioned I was styling a shoot with Anneli Marinovich and a really wonderful team of UK suppliers at Gaynes Park, and today it all gets shared online (we’ve been lucky enough to already have a couple of magazine features, and even a cover!). And I couldn’t be happier than to have it on one of my absolute favourite wedding blogs, only one of the Top 3 in the world, Wedding Chicks! How. Cool. Is. That?

I’ll be sharing the shoot here in a few weeks’ time, but why wait when you can head over and enjoy the full feature (Pinterest fingers at the ready!) right now. Huge thanks to everyone who made this shoot so awesome (and so much fun).

The Peach Shoot Rockstars:Photography: Anneli Marinovich | Styling: SouthBound Bride | Venue: Gaynes Park| Flowers: Boutique Blooms | Cake: French Made | Macarons: Anges de Sucre | Stationery: The Invitation Gallery | Hair & Make up: Lara Rorich | Handkerchiefs: Benign Objects | Bridesmaids dresses: Maids to Measure | Bridal gowns: Blackburn Bridal | Photography assistant: Liezel Fourie | Models: Katja, Leila & Rose from MOT Models

SouthBound Bride in Fairlady Bride

I’m just going to take a minute this Sunday morning to share something I’m super SUPER excited about. I try not to be all boasty about stuff (after all, I grew up in Port Elizabeth) but sometimes I think you have to celebrate good things and milestones. And for me, this is an SBB milestone. We’re in Fairlady Bride, you guys.

Now, if I tell you that I’ve been reading Fairlady Bride since FOREVER, you might think I’m just saying that. I’m not. And I can prove it.

Look at that. I still have issues from before it even WAS Fairlady Bride, when it was still just an annual issue of the main magazine that focused on weddings. When halternecks and giant bows were IN, and Claudia Schiffer and Anne Vine-Morris were the cover girls. Okes, that hairstyle on the left is the very same one I wore to my matric dance – as in, took this issue to the hairdresser and asked him to copy it. (Yep, I’m old. But in 1995 that hairstyle was awesome.) Before wedding magazines were even a thing, let alone blogs. And let me tell you, the wedding issue was a highlight of my year. I was never a girl who fantasized about my own wedding day (thank goodness, or I’d be a little disappointed right now) but I’ve always been fascinated by all the planning and details and loveliness that surround weddings. It took the internet to figure out that I was by far not the only one. And I never would have imagined then that I’d be doing what I do now, that the industry would explode as it has done, and that I would get to spend every day inspired by all of those details and loveliness.

It makes me happy to look back at that little girl, so in love with magazines, and know that today I’m part of this next generation of women’s lifestyle journalism. I’ve worked hard to make SouthBound Bride a place of quality content – the sort of blog that, if I was a bride, I would love to read. I’m always worrying about how to make it more, make it better. So when the lovely Liesl, editor of FLB (and whose gorgeous own wedding you can actually see in this issue), approached me to do this year’s Blogger’s Wishlist, I couldn’t even pretend to be cool and nonchalant. I was thrilled. I am thrilled. And I had so much fun putting together my list of the trends that are inspiring me right now, that I hope will inspire you too.

So there it is. Go get your issue (not just to look at me, obvs – there’s tons of cool stuff inside). A huge thank you to Liesl and the Fairlady team for including me, and an equally huge thank you to all my wonderful photographer friends who allowed me to include their images in my feature: Monica Dart, Rensche Mari, Julie Wilhite, Moira West, Vivid Blue, Yolande Snyders, Chanelle Segerius Bruce, Veronique Photography and Cheryl McEwan. Here’s to the next milestone! ;)

 

Personal Post: Holly Golightly, Travelling

Let me tell you a story about me. When I was a small child, the day came (as it does for everyone) when my parents decided I was too old for a dummy. They announced this to me, and told me that my upcoming birthday would be the day when I would throw it away and be a big girl. Now, I should preface this by telling you that was not a child who embraced change. I once cried for hours when my mother took away the lamp in my bedroom, even though she was exchanging a large, heavy, ugly brown thing for a dinky one with polka dots. So the folks were understandably not convinced that their little plan was going to work. I was upset, but when the morning came, I solemnly got up and threw my dummy in the bin. And that was that.

Change happens. And not just the kind of change you plan on – the end of school or university, the new job, the much-anticipated baby. There are all those curveballs that show up just when the dust settles – the boyfriend who dumps you, the unidentified lump, the landlady who decides she wants her house back and serves you notice. That last one is what happened to me a couple of months ago. For the last few years, I’ve been sharing a lovely house on the London borders with an awesome couple and their two cats – I work at home during the day in my little upstairs office, then retire to my downstairs ‘suite’; when they want alone time at night, we have a second lounge. It’s pretty much perfect. Especially because I fell completely in love with the cats. And after some turbulent years, I was just settling into a routine – the house was my home; the centre of my world. And then we got our two months’ notice.

So I had a choice. I could cry about the lamp, or I could throw away my dummy. I decided to do the latter. I embraced change, because change was a-coming, so I might as well get on board. And instead of trying to find a new home here in London, I decided to take a break. Enjoy my freedom, and the flexibility that comes with being a freelance writer and being able to work from anywhere.

Of course, once I made that decision, it all got a lot easier. I told my parents to get ready for a house guest through the South African summer – a chance to spend time with them that I am grateful for, having lived overseas since I was 21. Then I decided to take a month off before heading south. I’d been dreaming of Tuscany, so that’s where I decided to go. I found an organic vineyard that needs housesitting and a bit of help for a few weeks and I bought my ticket. Three weeks in Italy, a stop-off in Dubai, and then South Africa until the new year. And after that? Probably London again, but who knows. I’m not planning. After all, we plan and God laughs.

I’m kind of excited about it all. We South Africans, we like to know where to put each other and ourselves. Are you married? What do you do? Where did you go to school? What sport do you play? But sometimes it’s okay to just carry on and see where life takes you. I think of myself at the moment in the same way as Truman Capote described Holly Golightly in the novella version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “I noticed that the mailbox belonging to Apt 2 had a name-slot fitted with a curious card. Printed, rather Cartier-formal, it read: Miss Holiday Golightly; and underneath, in the corner, Travelling.”

Anyway, here’s the deal. I’m here until the end of July. It’ll still be business as usual for you all in August, as I am lining up a huge variety of lovely posts, including all the usual features. You won’t even know I’m gone (seriously). Unless you email me, because I won’t reply. Three weeks without social media will be strange, but good. And then, I’ll be in South Africa. For industry and PR people, that means I am available for opportunities, meet-ups, greet-ups, consultancy, networking and, of course, fancy pants parties with champagne. Feel free to invite me. For everyone else, it means getting a refresher on South African venues, suppliers, on-the-ground problems and solutions, as well as working on a big project I have behind the scenes. And sunshine. Always the sunshine.

So that’s my story. Gaby Frescura, travelling. South Africa, I’ll see you soon.

 

The End of 2012: A Personal Post

Hello friends! Hope you’re having a lovely new year’s eve. It’s actually my birthday today (happy birthday, me!) so I’ll be taking a break (because nobody should work on their birthdays, ever). You’ll still find another of our top wedding style guides for 2012 coming up soon, and more fun stuff tomorrow, but we’ll be properly back to our blog schedule on Wednesday, and boy am I excited to welcome a crowd of new friends (helloooo, new friends!). But first, I thought I would write something a bit more personal.

This birthday is a milestone (if you count everything ending in 0 or 5 as a milestone, which I do) and to be honest with you, I have mixed feelings about it. My life certainly isn’t what I expected it would be at this age. Most of the time, I think that’s a good thing (what did 18 year old me know, right?) but milestones always make you look around you at your peers and reflect on whether you’ve been heading in the right direction after all. Preferably with a very deep glass of wine.

I was in the middle of doing just that, when I looked up at something I have framed on my bedroom wall. You may have seen them before, but it’s a personalised bus blind print, personalised with places that mean something to me. I bought one of these for a friend’s wedding gift this year, and I couldn’t help putting one of my own together too. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of moments and memories, or things and people I love. New York – where I lived for six months (*cough* twelve years ago) and where one of my best friends now lives (must get to NY again in 2013!). Paris and Rome – two of my favourite cities. Stellenbosch, where I studied; Putney, where I lived for many years in London; the Navigli District in Milan, where I fell properly in love for the first time. More favourite travel destinations: Santa Fe, Cairo, Positano. Hluhluwe and Umdloti – places that are so special to my family. And Ellis Park, where a certain World Cup Rugby final was played in 1995 (I wasn’t there, but yes, it means that much!). These are just some of the signposts along my personal journey, leading goodness knows where, but leading nonetheless.

We all have signposts and milestones along our life paths, and they’re important for making us take stock of where we’ve been, and where we go next. SouthBound Bride is a huge part of that for me, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for helping to make this such a special place for me to work and create and share. There is so much more to come! And here’s wishing all of you a safe and fun new year’s eve, lots of champagne, a little reflection, and good things in 2013.

Gaby xx

 

Wedding Blogger/Wedding Guest {A Personal Note}

The girls and I at the wedding this weekend – how exquisite does my friend Kerenze, the bride, look? And we had SO MUCH FUN!

Hello friends, hope you’re having an awesome weekend! I’m just stopping by to let you know there’ll be no love list this weekend, because I am enjoying some much-needed long weekend down-time, and spending it with some very special friends. Starting with an amazing wedding I attended on Friday and carrying on today with one of my varsity girls out from SA with her hubby.

The wedding on Friday was, in fact, the sixth I’ve attended this year – and before you ask, because everyone does, they’re all friends (sadly this job doesn’t extend to me actually attending your weddings!). Two have been dear friends I met here through my publishing job, and four were at home, mostly with friends from my Stellenbosch days. Without exception, they have been absolutely wonderful. And they’ve also got me thinking about weddings in general.Read More

Making it Personal {Behind the Scenes of the SBB Branding}

New pics of me taken by the awesometastic Anneli Marinovich – thanks so much, Anneli!

Happy Friday SouthBound Brides! A bit of a personal post today… You know how I am always banging on about ‘making it personal’ and using your wedding to express something of who you and your husband-to-be are? Well, today I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I am applying this philosophy in my own business life, and to share a couple of aspects of my new branding that you don’t know about yet. Yep, that’s right, I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk. (Except that right now I’m limping, since I stood on a nail retrieving one of the cats from our back fence. Darn cats. ANYWAY.)Read More

The Cape Luxury Experience

Happy Friday, SouthBound brides! Almost the weekend! One thing I haven’t had much of a chance to do since I relaunched the site is to tell you about what I got up to when I was in South Africa, and today I want to share a particularly awesome day I had last week in Cape Town. (Can it really be JUST last week?) But it didn’t start off awesome. Nooo. I’d got up and glammed up, only to be comprehensively rained on while I packed the boot of my rental car. And I don’t rain on pretty, let me tell you. Frizz deluxe, mascara everywhere, damp, limp cardigan. I looked awesome. I had errands to run, and ended up being super late to meet the wonderful Vicki of I Want That Wedding for coffee (having been rained on AGAIN walking all the way up Kloof Street because OMG-where-is-the-parking-in-Cape-Town?). She took one look at me and burst out laughing, which was the only appropriate response really. So by the time I made it back down the hill to see my friends at Wedding Concepts (who you’ll know from the beautiful weddings they have co-ordinated that I have featured here), I was feeling more cheerful but still pretty frazzled.

But of course, the WC crew are used to frazzled nerves, since they deal with stressed out brides on a daily basis. They took me in and fed me cupcakes and cappuccino, and told me all about their rebrand into the Concepts Collection. Pretty snazzy, I can tell you (just look at the new wedding blog!). This now encompasses weddings, travel and events, and they told me all about how these work together harmoniously for someone planning their South African wedding. Think: plan your wedding, get your guests over at the best travel rates (all part of the service) and then spoil them with some pre- or post-wedding events. How much fun is that? I particularly liked the way they think of all of these as ‘experiences’. Especially for brides and grooms (or their families) who are travelling to SA, there are so many amazing experiences to be had in our gorgeous homeland. And then came the best part: I was lucky enough to be treated to my very own ‘experience’. Yep, I am SPOILT. Be jealous.

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SBB Events

So, friends, how are you liking the new site? I have had so many lovely comments from friends and readers already, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. :)

ANYWAY, there’s another part of SBB that I am launching today, and I wanted you all to be the first to hear about it. As you know, I am based in London most of the year (although right now I’m closing out a three month stint in sunny SA – so awesome). And for the last two years I’ve been doing this, I regularly chat to brides over there who tell me that they really miss being able to do some of that wedding scouting with their friends and bridesmaids, because when they go to wedding shows, most of the suppliers are people who they won’t be able to use when their wedding is on another continent. And then on the other side, they’re sitting trying to plan a whole huge event from a computer, with maybe a super quick trip back to SA to confirm that the venue that looks so good on screen isn’t actually some kind of flea pit. It isn’t always fun, and you know what? It should be fun.

Enter the SBB Events – boutique gatherings of SouthBound brides. London location, South African suppliers. Each one will be different, with different guests from the industry, different venues and themes, etc. But at each one you’ll have the chance to chat with other brides in the same boat as you are, to get advice and ideas from me, to encounter some of the best that is available in the place you’re getting married, and of course to have fun and walk off with a little goodie bag (because what is a party without one, right?).

SBB is working on the details of the first event which, depending on demand, may be as soon as June 2012, so why not register your interest now, and you’ll be the very first to know all about it.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Guest Posting on Lovely Little Details

I’m cooking up something pretty for you later today, but in the meantime, I thought you may like to share in something a bit more personal and Christmassy with me! My lovely friend Jacin of Lovely Little Details has included me as part of her series on blogger holiday traditions and I’ve been telling her readers all about the little village under the tree that my family sets up every year. It fascinates everyone who comes to visit us, and it’s so special for me to be part of a family tradition that goes back to when my father’s family lived in Italy and brought these heirlooms all the way with them to South Africa. What holiday traditions do you follow?Read More