Gorgeous gowns are one of the things I have come to love most about my job and year after year I’m stunned by the sheer beauty of our brides and their choices in bridal fashion, whether classic or daring. Each one comes with its own story, of how it came to be THE dress, and like finding a partner, finding the perfect dress can be a struggle. But every one of our brides tells us when you know, you know! The evidence is clear for all to see, and in between all the exciting talents emerging in the SA bridal fashion scene right now, it is SO hard to pick! But pick we did, with special reference to the dresses that YOU loved on social media in 2017. Each one of these is as special and unique as the woman who wears it, a reflection of the many hours of care that goes into creating a bridal masterpiece. That’s the hard work and talent of the designers we’re honouring here. But slaying it IN your dress? Well ladies, that’s all you.
Magnolia Minimalist Wedding Dress by Lilu Bridal
Some brides are all about extra-ness – enchanting embellishment, beautiful bling, statement lace, or frothy tulle skirts that wouldn’t look out of place at an embassy ball. But for some brides, less is more. Think clean lines, ’90s-style silhouettes, and minimal embellishment. For a sophisticated minimalist bride, it’s all about gorgeous fabrics, stunning cuts, and fresh, pared-back styling, and designers are LOVING the look right now. So if you’re planning a modern minimalist wedding or just want to rock elegantly simple chic on your big day, I have the perfect roundup of gowns, which also happen to be fairly minimalist on the ol’ pocketbook – forget high end designers; every one of these beauties comes from either Etsy or the high street! Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
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.
It’s Fashion Friday, you guys, so not only are we bringing you the best in wedding gowns for 2017, but I have some brilliant local fashion inspiration to share with you today, courtesy of our talented friends at Jacoba Clothing. This shoot was inspired by the bright colours and bold movements of flamenco dancers, and it’s full of the most beautiful bright florals and table decor, which just serve to highlight how pretty Jacoba’s dresses are. A stunning combination of comfort and detail, whether you’re wearing one as a bride or bridesmaid, you’re going to feel like a million pesetas (well, Euro, but whatever) and be ready to click those castanets and dance the night away (flamenco dance moves not guaranteed).
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…
Earlier this year, we took a moment to focus on short wedding dresses. Because: total chic. Since then, it’s been so cool to see the amount of hits and pins that post has generated, and know that maybe short gowns are having their day in the sun. I mean, full length gowns will always be awesome, but just like a wedding dress doesn’t have to be white, you can pick a length that suits you too. So! Where to start? Well, you know we love finding new designers on Etsy, and this is the category where these designers really shine. There’s a wealth of pretty, flirty, fabulous gowns on the site, and we’ve picked 20 of our absolute faves! As always, click through on the links or images to see more of each dress.Read More
Hey hey it’s Friday! And since weekends always get me dreaming about travel and far flung destinations, the perfect way to kick this one off is with a little virtual trip to a whitewashed village in the south of Spain, where we’re revisiting the gorgeous Truvelle 2016 Collection that we first brought you a couple of weeks ago. As you’ve probably gathered by now, I adore inspirational bridal fashion editorials, not just because they’re so pretty (and this one is PRETTY), but because they give you a chance to see the gowns ‘in action’ – and in the case of this brand new Truvelle lookbook, that means whispering lace, dreamy draping, and the kind of soft, flowing skirts that make you want to spin round and round like a little girl. So romantic. Once again, Blush Wedding Photography did the gorgeous photographic honours.Read More
Last year, I was super excited to share the collection of dresses from Canadian label Truvelle, who burst on the scene with their rose gold dipped sequin dresses that had us all sighing our little hearts out. I was even more excited to announce then that Truvelle were (and still are, yay!) available at LOCA Vintage Bridal Lounge in PE, and that they also ship around South Africa. Knowing that my local brides can get their hands on the loveliness always makes it that much sweeter! So of course I am super thrilled to share Truvelle’s brand new collection, eight lovely new dresses that are a step away from the warm hues of the previous gowns, but even more romantic. There’s also the same effortless feel, the same elegant mismatch of fabrics (including a hint of silvery sparkle), and more dreamy images from Blush Wedding Photography. Get ready to fall in love all over again. Read More
Earlier this year, I published a roundup of off-the-shoulder wedding gowns that has had you all pinning like crazy – it’s certainly one trend that is back in a big way, and I love the inventive and romantic ways that designers have interpreted the style, from boho to ballgown. So I thought it was high time I rounded up some spectacular Etsy finds. If you’re looking for something a little different from the lace sleeves and portrait backs that are so beloved by brides at the moment, this is the perfect, classic, dare I say timeless choice? Let’s see what those clever Etsy designers have to inspire us…Read More
We talk wedding dresses a lot here on SBB, but there’s one type that we’ve never really covered before, and that’s maternity wedding gowns, aka gowns for pregnant brides. Now I think a bride never looks more beautiful than when she has that gorgeous mama-t0-be glow, but at the same time, I imagine it’s a bit of a challenge to find the perfect dress when you’re not a hundred percent sure what your body is going to be doing between that first try-on, and the big day. You’re dealing with a whole new body shape, basically, and it’s hard enough for us to flatter the one we normally have, right? It’s your wedding day, and you want to look amazing, not like you’ve been swaddled in a big white mumu, or squeezed into something that shows every lump and bump either. Choosing a maternity wedding dress is definitely a unique challenge, but fortunately help is at hand. We’ve teamed up with our friends at GF Bridal Couture in Johannesburg (whose impressive bridal range includes a specialised section of beautiful maternity dresses) to answer all your questions on finding the gown of your dreams when you’re dressing for two.Read More