Venue Spotlight: The Venue Fontana

It’s a strange kind of magic, how there are some corners of the world that the minute you set foot in them (or in this case, start down their lush, tropical drive), you know they’re going to settle on your heart. That’s what The Venue Fontana is like. Maybe it’s because it’s built with so much love – built FOR love, in fact – or the way that it’s infused with family, or that it has its own chic and unique sense of style, but it’s the kind of venue that makes a bride or groom think: “Here. This is our place.”

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Fynbos & Gold Foodbarn Wedding by Illuminate Photography

Sometimes I sit and think how lucky we are, and how lucky I am, to be a wedding blogger at this time in South Africa. It’s not that long ago that we were fractured into groups, but it’s easy to forget that when you see our many rich cultures coming together in the best place possible – a wedding. Like today’s couple – Vincent and Rochelle come from Zulu and Afrikaans backgrounds respectively, and here they are with their jubilant families, bringing those two backgrounds together in a celebration rich with proteas and fynbos and touches of gold (just like South Africa, now that I think of it). It’s enough to make me seriously patriotic, but the main point here of course, as always, is the love and these two have it written all over them. Tabitha from Illuminate Photography took these gorgeous, romantic pics of their big day.

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Coming soon… The SBB Collection

SBB Collection logo

Just stopping in for a little (okay big!) announcement this rainy afternoon. There’s a lot going on at SBB HQ at the moment (a LOT, actually). 2016 is going to be quite the year, and I feel like in some ways, everything is just starting to fall into place from the way I’ve pictured running this business for quite some time. It’s always been my passion to promote the South African wedding industry – it’s why, even when I could make more money by taking a general, international focus for the blog, I’ve always tried to keep things local in terms of the real weddings I showcase and the talents I promote. I want this to be a place that inspires anyone who visits, but gives real, practical access to the best of the SA industry for local brides. Since the very beginning, venues have been a big part of that vision, but I haven’t found the exact right way of partnering with them (and in the meantime, so many AMAZING venues have sprung up, it’s unbelievable!). Until now, that is. Towards the end of last year, I felt the time was right and started to curate my own collection of the best of the best. The venues that give you that feeling of wow. The ones that make me think when I visit: ‘I would totally book this venue on the spot’. They’re all over the country, and they represent a huge range of styles, but what they have in common is that they’re each special in their own unique way, and absolutely gorgeous of course! And very soon, I’m going to be introducing you to them all.

Over the next few days and weeks, you’ll see the launch of our venue directory, with more new and wonderful venues added every day. You’ll also be seeing spotlights of these venues on the blog and on our social channels, along with roundups of different venue types and styles, to inspire you as you get planning – and of course, breathtaking real weddings! Some will be familiar names. Some are newer (and making waves in a big way!) To top it all off, we’ll be publishing a beautiful digital magazine for you to download and keep. An information source, sure. But more than that, pages of love and light-filled images to inspire your most romantic wedding dreams, and maybe spark some ideas you may not have thought of before. I’m so thrilled to be working with the amazing, handpicked venues who are part of the Collection, and to show you that what’s out there in our beautiful country is better than your wildest wedding dreams. So watch this space… the SBB Collection is almost here!

Gaby xox


Elegant Day Wedding at Molenvliet by ZaraZoo Photography

Stylish Molenvliet Wedding

Real weddings. They’re our bread and butter here on SouthBound Bride, and this year we have plans to share more than ever before. So it’s always a happy moment when I get to kick off a new year of real weddings, and I can’t think of a lovelier one to start with than Kiki & Duma’s. Like all our favourite weddings, it combines beautiful decor and a fantastic South African setting with heartfelt emotion that jumps off the page and gives you that giddy kind of smile that only true love can. Kiki and Duma chose the wonderful Molenvliet for their day wedding, and used a palette of mint and peach brightened up with gold and pops of tangerine to make it extra lovely. My favourite thing about this one – beautifully captured by ZaraZoo – is the exuberant joy shared by the couple with their guests (that moment where Duma’s groomsmen do a victory dance after the wedding? One of my all-time faves). We don’t have full info from the bride and groom to share with you today, but everything you need to know is written all over their glowing faces.

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Silver Sparkle Bridesmaid Dresses

Hello lovelies! This time of year, we always do a whole heap ‘o bridesmaid posts, to inspire all you new brides as you start out on the journey of colour scheme choosing and bridesmaid asking and dress shopping. The good news? There are SO SO many gorgeous looks to choose for your girls. The bad news? Picking one! Sequins and sparkle have been a huge trend over the past couple of years, but most of the time we’re talking gold or rose gold when it comes to bridesmaids. But now we’re seeing more cool silvers, and I personally love this elegant twist on bling. Tell me you don’t feel the same after seeing these beauties!

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Wedding Trends for 2016

Hello friends! I can’t believe it’s time again for our annual trend roundup – I love this post, because it always gets me so excited about the new weddings coming in the following season, and reflecting on the beautiful trends still in flow from last year. Because that’s the thing about wedding trends – they don’t work like fashion, in and out, here today and gone tomorrow. They’re more like waves, and one builds on the other. And the great thing about that is that you can incorporate some of the current ideas and themes in your big day, but in your own way, with the result being something personal and classic, but also of the moment. A wedding that will wow your guests, but still feel like you. So here are my top ten predictions for the coming year – pin them, love them, and then make ’em your own.

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Pantone Colours of the Year 2016

PANTONE header

Hello friends! I’m not gonna lie – it’s been a stressful couple of days getting the site up and dealing with a very poorly fur-baby, so I can’t tell you how glad I am to finally be able to get going with 2016’s exciting content! And… exhale. We’re kicking things off in the prettiest way possible, by introducing Pantone’s colours of the year for 2016 (yes, colours, not just colour – in an unprecedented move, they picked two!). For those of you new to wedding planning, let’s just say that you’ll be seeing a lot of these shades in the year to come, and I couldn’t be happier, because serenity blue and rose quartz blush are just incredibly soft and calming and lovely – the perfect pastels for any kind of wedding. Of course you don’t need to use both together, but I really love the combination, so I’ve put together four different looks to show you how pretty it can be, whatever your wedding style. Which is your fave?

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Best of 2015: Moments

We’ve come to the end of our Best of 2015 series, and as of Monday, we have some super exciting things happening here on SBB. But first, I wanted to look back at some of the moments – the images that made me smile or laugh or just get that feeling of joy you feel when you witness the love and happiness of two people who belong together on the happiest day of their lives. Beyond the details and the dresses and the bouts and the bouquets, this is what really makes my job worthwhile. It’s the moments and the love stories, and sharing them with you every day. So here’s to more of these wonderful moments in 2016, and to all the talented photographers who capture them so beautifully.

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Best of 2015: Showcase

Hello lovelies! Can you believe we’ve hit the last day of 2015? It’s been a funny old year for many people, I know, but as we look back at the year that was and look forward to the days to come (and break out the champers to celebrate both), I thought it was a good time to put together an album of beautiful images – images full of love and laughter and light, and everything that makes a wedding so extra specially beautiful. I put the word out with some of our photographer friends and asked them to pick a few of their own favourite pics, and they sent me such incredible ones, I was really spoilt for choice. But here’s a little collection – be sure to click through and see more of their work, because they’re all talented and wonderful! We’ll be back tomorrow sharing the last of our Best of 2015 posts, and then next week… well, exciting things are happening! But in the meantime, be safe and be happy this new year’s eve, and here’s to 2016 :)

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Best of 2015: Details & Ideas

Hello lovelies! I’ve been so loving sharing our wedding faves from 2015 with you over the last week, and today we’re focusing on one of my favourite things – details! Details for me are one of those places where you can get creative and tell your own story, and for me as a blogger, they’re the things I notice when I’m scrolling through a submission that make me go “OOH!” Whether it’s decor, flowers, a twist on tradition or something else, these are the things that make wedding media so awesome, because maybe one of them will inspire something special for your big day. So as always, in no particular order, let’s take a look at the Top 20!

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