LONG HAUL. What a terrible term – it immediately sounds like a schlep: waiting around in airports for connecting flights, jetlag, airplane food… ugh. But when I think of long flights, I get excited, because at the other end of that journey? It’s destination: awesome. Think about it – no matter where in the world you live, if it takes you a while to get somewhere, it’s going to be amazing. And that’s why, when I had the chance to head to the Caribbean to spend some time with my Aisle Society sisters at Sandals South Coast last year, I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to SAA, the flight was a breeze (more on that later), and I arrived in Jamaica full of energy and excitement. And what I found was that a few extra hours of travel were 1000% worth it. When you see not only the gorgeousness that is Jamaica (a place so lovely that everyone welcomes you home from the minute you step off the plane, even if it’s your first time there) but the incredible destination weddings that Sandals has created as part of their new Aisle to Isle experience, you’ll understand exactly what I mean! Whether you’re gathering a crew of family and friends, eloping just the two of you, or making it your dream honeymoon locale, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s check out the highlights of my trip, and keep scrolling for my top tips and necessities for long-haul flights!
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 Love Photography. Take it away, Marisa!
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)!
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!
Image: Andre M Photography
I always think you can tell a lot about someone by the way other people speak about them, and if that’s the case, then the talented wedding pro at the centre of today’s spotlight must be pretty darn amazing! Meet Zenobia of Blue Olive Events – I’m always hearing great things about this lovely lady from people in the industry, and we’ve had the pleasure of featuring some of Blue Olive’s gorgeous work right here on SBB. Today we’re finding out a bit more about this Johannesburg-based events company, and even hearing from one of Zenobia’s real life brides!
It’s a sunny afternoon when I drive up to The White House in Morningside, Durban, a little oasis for brides, bustling with wedding-related businesses. My destination is Sposabella Bridal Gowns, an exclusive bridal boutique, and I find it at one end of the corridor – its light, modern showroom awash in sunshine and smiles from owner Gayle Erasmus and her team. From behind a mirrorball desk, they welcome guests like old friends. But the real star of the show is, of course, the dresses. With elegant silhouettes of lace, tulle and sparkle lining the shelves and draped on a host of mannequins, it’s hard not to get a little giddy, and I imagine many real brides do. And that’s where the Sposabella team comes in again, with their reassuring presence and extensive knowledge of what brides want (and need!). The boutique is home to the Enzoani Beautiful range, which is even more gorgeous in person than on screen, and for KZN brides, Sposabella is the perfect place to spend an afternoon trying on gowns and undoubtedly falling in love with ‘The One’. I asked Gayle a few questions about what makes her salon unique, and Michigan Behn was on hand to take these lovely images.
When it comes to wedding planning, I’m a big fan of choosing a style that best reflects you and your husband- or wife-to-be before making any big decisions (see my step-by-step guide to figuring out your wedding style & colours). From venue to decor to attire, that style weaves its way through your whole day, right down to the smaller details like stationery. Smaller but definitely no less important! A good suite of paper can really bring everything together, which is another reason why its so important you pick the right one. Today I’m super stoked to introduce you to the new collection from Wedding Paper Divas. This clever invitation brand has a user friendly site that allows you to search by style, theme and colour and more, as well as plenty of cool matching details from coasters to address labels. But I especially LOVE that Wedding Paper Divas does a free sample kit option, because there’s just nothing quite like holding the actual paper in your hand to confirm you’ve made the right decision. Here are a few of my favourites from the collection, as well as all the info you need to get those samples!
You know those days when everything is so completely perfect and surreal that you just have to pinch yourself and say “how is this my life?” Well, I had one (or rather, several) of those pinch-me moments earlier this year, when I found myself on a beach in the Caribbean alongside some of my favourite wedding bloggers from around the world, as guests at the fabulous Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. Long flights be damned, it was one hundred percent worth every minute of travel from the moment I touched down in Nassau and (after a personal escort through the airport that made me feel like royalty!) got my first whiff of the warm sea air. It was everything I’d ever imagined this sun-drenched corner of the world would be – if I didn’t have these gorgeous images from our trip taken by Alexis June Weddings to prove it, I might believe it was really just a beautiful dream!
Maybe it’s from watching too many movies, but when I think about wedding dress shopping, I picture a charming little shop full of soft light and plush chairs and flowers and champagne – a place where dreams are made, and where somewhere in amongst the silk, tulle and lace, that perfect wedding dress is just waiting for you to try it on and fall crazy in love, and share that amazing moment with your mum or best friend. Sadly, reality sometimes falls short of the fantasy. So you can imagine how thrilled I was last year to discover the most wonderful little boutique right here in Durban, tucked in amongst the leafy streets of Westville that I know so well. Toujours Wedding House is an absolute gem – a light, bright studio nestled off a sunny courtyard, with just the right amount of chic understated detail to let the gowns, veils and accessories take centre stage. Guiding her brides through their experience is owner Tracey Laubscher, who you immediately warm to like she’s an extra bridesmaid, and who knows and cherishes each dress in her collection like a favourite song. I couldn’t wait to go back to the boutique to do a special little tour, together with the talented Eileen Laubscher of Bright Girl Photography. We spent our morning drinking tea, shooting these beautiful images, and chatting to Tracey about what makes Toujours such a special place…