Hooray! It’s that time of year again! And I don’t mean Christmas (although yay Christmas!), I mean time for us to do our countdown of all our favourite details and pretties from the year that’s almost done. It’s something I look forward to, revisiting all the beautiful real weddings and styled shoots, although trust me, narrowing down a Top 20 in every category is hard! This year was no exception. Nevertheless, we’re kicking off with a roundup of the most breathtaking bouquets. These are the florals that made a big impression on us, and then made you go crazy on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. And while they come in all shapes, sizes and colours, I’d definitely say that rich jewel tones made a big splash in 2016 (watch out for more of them next year!). I also loved seeing our native flowers – proteas, strelizias, fynbos, etc. – making a bouquet splash in new and exciting ways this year, and hope to see much more of that creativity going into the new year! So here we go – in no particular order, our top 20 bouquets!
I really am such an old softie, you guys. Over the years I must have read thousands of real love stories and you’d think by now I’d be immune, but then I come across a gorgeous couple like Lena and Filip, who are clearly besotted and meant for each other, and read their story and see them full of emotion as they exchange vows and I’m gone again. Ain’t love grand? Although to be fair, grand isn’t a word I’d use to describe this wedding, which is earthy and natural and laid-back and fun in all the best ways possible. It took place in Lena’s father’s garden in Botswana, with the river as a backdrop, and the beautiful African wilderness surrounding them (those sunsets!). Lena rocked the most stunning bridal two-piece ensemble and a boho floral crown, while Filip was super handsome in his suit, and the two of them said their ‘I do’s under a beautiful floral and greenery arch, before a jazzy cocktail hour and an outdoor reception that went on all through the night, surrounded by family and friends from literally around the world. Sigh. And as if all of that wasn’t romantic enough on its own, Maryke Albertyn absolutely killed it with the photography, capturing all the joy and loveliness forever.
Cornel & Caronien’s wedding day was filled with colour, love, fun and beauty… and rain. Because that’s how it goes, doesn’t it? The unexpected shows up with the things you planned. But I’ll let you in on a secret: rainy day weddings are some of my favourites. It’s like everyone takes a deep breath, lets go of expectations, and just has fun right there in the moment. And come rain or come shine, that’s just what this sweet couple did, bringing their colourful wedding to life for their guests in a country reception that was bursting with fun touches, from fortune cookie favours to a live caricature artist to late night waffles to fireworks. That was one half of the equation, but the other was sheer elegance and romance, and this element is especially beautifully brought to life by Genevieve Fundaro‘s gorgeous pics. Look out for an extra post-wedding couple shoot reshoot when the sun came out again – an awesome idea if rain does show up to bless your big day!
When it comes to styled shoots, I’m definitely of the school of making models smile – I mean, who wants to see a moody bride or groom? But even if a model’s skills are Kate Moss-level awesome, there’s just no faking the real thing. And Nathan and Brendan’s big day is full of the real thing – smiles as wide as the sky, true happiness, and love. This adorable couple not only held their nuptials in fabulous Cape Town (LOVE me a city wedding!) but followed the natural ambience of an outdoor ceremony with the fun of a quirky modern reception space, which they filled to the brim with proteas and greenery. The best of both worlds, truly. And speaking of both worlds, I also loved how the couple managed to honour Indian wedding traditions, like mehndi and varmala garlands, making this a truly multicultural celebration. SBB faves Thunder and Love Photography captured all the love (and all the pretty) from this special day!
Nature meets luxury in this beautiful forest wedding at Die Woud, which is ending off our week in the prettiest way possible! Paul and Chloë wated an outdoorsy feel to their Cape wedding, and fell in love with Die Woud (who could blame them?). Natural elements like wooden tables and beautiful proteas, contrast with romantic twists like chandeliers and twinkle lights (oh, the lights!) and Chloë’s incredible Cindy Bam dress. Music was another super important part of the wedding, from the fun song choices for vital moments, to the bride’s dad serenading her (awwww!) to SBB DJ faves Silkmusic pulling out all the stops to get the dancefloor pumping all night long! Let’s get up close and personal with all the pretty captured by Jani B. Photography!
Where do I even start with this wedding, you guys? Maybe the concept, kind of a Gothic romance meets Viking feast meets meets Hollywood glamour (especially thanks to the bride and groom, Jessica and Renier, looking like a pair of Tinseltown starlets!). Or maybe the bridesmaids’ dresses, which would have to make my list of top ten faves of all time. Or the flowers (oh my WORD the flowers), dripping from top to bottom of the beautiful Midlands reception space and bringing to life the palette of black (LOVE the way it’s used here), blush and burgundy. Or maybe I should just start with the suppliers, because really, the credits read like a who’s who of my fave Natalians – Michigan Behn for Vanilla Photography, Joe from Oh Happy Day (love how every single OHD wedding is so different!), the supremely talented Carolyn from Adore Weddings, and more. It’s the kind of wedding that makes my heart glow, and not just because of the cozy wintery vibe! So let’s dive in, shall we?
If I think of a countryside wedding, and imagine the most perfect place to exchange vows, I always picture the chapel at Cranford Country Lodge (one of SBB’s preferred venues and a member of the SBB Collection). With an ivy covered doorway and views over the spectacular little England that is the Natal Midlands, it’s pure rural romance, and a perfect example of why the phrase ‘country wedding’ immediately puts a smile on any wedding lover’s face. Today’s wedding shows Cranford off in all its pretty glory – Charl & Kim are an adorable couple who wanted to infuse their intimate celebration with their personalities and the things they love, and did it by DIYing their way to a celebration that was oh so charming (and budget savvy too!). From the colourful bunting to Kim’s wreath bouquet, to her bridesmaids’ peachy two-pieces and the groomsmen’s cork bow ties, from the sparkly linens to the origami flowers, you can see that every detail has been selected and created with love, and caught on camera beautifully by Tanya Jacobs!
Aldine & Ruan’s country classic wedding is really what brides’ daydreams are made of. Beautiful white tulips, a lace sleeve gown, bridesmaids rocking blush, and a reception that’s a little bit rustic, a little bit contemporary, a little bit glam, and a whole lot of light, bright and airy. And with fairy lights everywhere reflecting off the sequin runners and statement chandeliers, it has a truly magical feeling about it. With the lovely Lana Human behind the lens, you’re sure to fall in love with every bit of this celebration!
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things Italian (I mean, I’m half Italian myself, and proudly so). But in the absence of a plane ticket to Tuscany, if I were to receive an invitation to a beautiful, intimate, Italian-inspired soiree like this one? I’d be there faster than you could say “I do”. Ilna and Neil created something really special for their big day – a sophisticated, jewel-toned celebration that manages to fuse the best of the South African winelands with a touch of La Bella Vita. The flowers, for one, are ridiculously beautiful – peonies and hydreangeas and orchids in shades of mauve and plum and burgundy. And contrasting with that abundance is Ilna’s breathtakingly elegant gown and Neil’s classic black suit. Sleek sophistication meets organic. And talking about sophistication, I love that the couple opened the dancefloor with a tango! These beautiful pics by the lovely Tasha Seccombe capture every bit of their big day, and will stick in your memory for a long time to come!
As an Oud Matie I’m more than a little bit biased, but I think that the view over Stellenbosch is the most beautiful view in the world. Those mountains against a summer sky just take my breath away every single time! Which is what makes it the most breathtaking backdrop for a wedding, and one of the reasons why Katherine and Rupert chose Landtscap as their venue. This adorable pair, who met and legally wed in London and headed to South Africa for their wedding celebration, had a simple plan for their big day – classic colours, gorgeous textures, and a light and romantic feel. With the help of some very talented vendors (right down to our fave catering supremos, Two Chefs), they pulled that off. I especially love Okasie‘s beautiful florals – the shelves of greenery and blooms behind the bridal table, the flower arch, the bright bouquet. And with the bride rocking a stunning lace Anna Georgina gown and the groom in Hugo Boss, it was unfussy but glamorous style all the way. The lovely Stephanie Veldman took these happy pics.