How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

Choosing your bridesmaids! Easy, right? Um, not so much. For some brides, it’s a simple decision, but for many, the whole bridal party selection process can be a huge source of stress. It’s supposed to be fun, but you only have to watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids to see evidence of how easily tensions can creep their way in. And that’s when you also throw in who’s going to be maid of honour and what you’re going to dress them in. For me, your bridal party are a HUGE part of the day (in fact, it’s the only part of my hypothetical wedding that I’ve ever really thought about – forget the dream dress or decor, if George Clooney proposed tomorrow, I just know who I’d want standing up with me). They’re your special witnesses, the people you’ve chosen to go through your life-changing experience with a front row seat. It’s an affirmation of friendship or family bonds, and a chance to make new memories. Those are all good things. So how do you get past the tricky bits? Here are my top tips for picking an all star supporting cast.Read More

Elegant Superhero Wedding at Silver Sixpence by Daniel West

Superhero Surprise Wedding Cake Batman Superman Captain America | Image: Daniel West

Just when I think I’ve seen it all, a superhero themed wedding lands in my inbox! When it comes to fun ideas, this one delivers a real punch (pow!), and was such a playful way for Neill and Alicia to bring in one of the groom’s great loves and a sense of childhood whimsy to their otherwise super classic do. From the cake (business in front, comic book party in the back) to the groomsmen’s accessories, to even the bride’s garter, fun Batman, Superman and Captain America touches were sprinkled throughout the day, and they mixed surprisingly well with the silver and white palette and elegant details. Daniel West was on the scene, putting his own superpowers to work behind the camera.

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Love in Maboneng

Rumour has it that the Maboneng Precinct in Joburg is the place to go for an urban chic city wedding, and if today’s shoot from A Bear Photography is anything to go by, you can sign me up! Leon and Diane’s just married shoot is such a sweet exploration of this vibrant corner of the City of Gold, beautifully captured by A Bear Photography. I love the laid back, intimate feel of these images, even amid the hustle and bustle of the city, and the way that photographers Arno and Annerina included street performers, shop fronts and street signs for some authentic local colour. So fun! And so romantic too.

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Pretty Rustic Wedding at Langkloof Roses by Marli Koen

Pretty Rustic Wedding with a Touch of Delft | Images: Marli Koen

It’s not every bride who’ll take on the challenge of a two month wedding planning schedule, but for Natasha, as soon as she said “I will”, she discovered that her romantic husband-to-be, Stefan, had already booked her favourite venue for the sweetest of winter weddings! I actually love short engagements, because I feel like styling decisions get made from the heart (with a dash of practicality, of course) and Stefan and Natasha’s wedding is the perfect example, as the end result is just so lovely. Gorgeous blooms in Delft vases adorning long wooden tables (not to mention a very swoony peony bouquet!), both the bride and her bridesmaid in elegant lace, cosy touches like homemade blankets and a rice krispie cake second to none – it all comes together beautifully. Add in these images from Marli Koen, and… well. Let’s just say the pretty-ometer is going crazy.

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A SouthBound Guide to Diamond Shapes

Image: Alexis June Weddings /Aisle Society/Susie Saltzman on SouthBound Bride

The French are said to die for love, they delight in fighting duels. But I prefer a man who lives and gives… expensive jewels. So sang Marilyn Monroe, and so I agree (plus, isn’t that a fabulous lyric?) and that’s why year after year, alongside all the pretty dresses and details, I find myself sighing at the sparklers on our brides’ elegant hands. And while I’m a sucker for a classic round solitaire, I love the variety that modern brides have in their choices – different settings, different metals, and for many, non-traditional stones (because diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but I also love hanging with morganite, sapphire, etc.) Another area of choice if you’re on the engagement ring hunt right now is shape (sometimes called cut, but not the cut referred to in the Big 4: Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat, which is rather the reflective quality of a diamond). There are actually a huge range of diamond shapes or cuts that you can choose. And, while the ones best suited for sparkle are the old classics (round, cushion), the fancy cuts, as they’re called, can make up for it in uniqueness (after all, how many of your friends are rocking a trillion?) We’ve rounded up some of the more popular shapes, along with lots of pretty, pretty rings from Etsy to show them off at a range of price points. (Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.)

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Rhapsody in Indigo

When I started SBB (waaay back when, haha), one of my favourite things to do was create moodboards putting together some beautiful and unexpected shades. I still do (although less frequently), but what years of creating those boards gave me was a deep appreciation for colour, and it’s that part of me that stood up and cheered the minute today’s styled shoot hit my inbox. Picture the scene – rustic, woodsy (thanks to the incredible Cabbage & Rose glasshouse venue), a mixture of rough and smooth (the shoot was inspired by the idea of ‘perfect imperfection’). Then infuse all of that with a range of blues and greys, ranging from soft smoke right through to the most beautiful indigo, complemented by soft matte metallics and flecks of gold leaf. Pretty doesn’t even cover it. From the delightfully eclectic table setting to the dresses (Oh! The dresses! What I wouldn’t do to see one of these beauties on a real colour-loving bride!), to the cement-like cake (sounds weird, is actually totally awesome), I just want to wrap myself up in it and sing the blues. In a good way. Dust and Dreams Photography took these dreamy pics.

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20 Fun & Sweet Engagement Cards

‘You Two Weirdos’ Engagement Card by Beccy Kitty Designs

We’re finishing off our week with some fun ideas for engagement cards – after all, if you’re getting engaged, chances are a few of your friends are too! I personally really struggle to find nice cards for weddings and engagements – it seems like they’re always WAY too cheesy for my taste, and I just end up feeling silly giving them to someone who knows that’s not my style, but at the same time, you totally want to show you care (and a card with a wedding gift is essential – nothing worse than being the bride who has to phone round your friends saying “was it you who gave us the breadmaker?”). So this is another time when my fave shop spot Etsy comes into play, because as you can imagine, there are loads of fun engagement cards on the site. I’ve picked my Top 20 – some are downloadable, some are beautifully printed for you, but either way, you’ll be able to give your friends one of these sweet, fun little cards with a smile on your face.
Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.

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Spanish Flamenco Wedding Inspiration by Jacoba Clothing

Lush Colorful Bouquet | Credit: Jacoba Clothing/PhotoKru

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).

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Key Wedding Dress Trends for 2017

Hello friends! As usual, January has been craaaazy, and I didn’t get to post this yesterday, so we’re going to have a jam packed Friday! Let’s get this party started. Last week we looked at all the top trends in weddings for 2017 and today we’re focusing in on bridal fashion because boy, there’s a lot of pretty stuff going on right now! Ever since these designs made their way down the catwalks at New York Bridal Fashion Week in October, I’ve been sighing over my personal faves, and watching to see where the trends are for this year. And as always, what’s new is often an evolution of what’s already established, so you’ll see some familiar shapes coming to the fore, but there’s also lots of cool new stuff to influence your own wedding dress dreams. As I mentioned in my trend report, this year it is ALL about the shoulders, whether that’s off-shoulder, shoulder detailing, or capes. And I have to say, I’ve never loved this neckline more. Add in details like bows, feathers and every kind of sleeve you can imagine, as well as beautiful textures and fabrics, and you have one pretty season!

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Opulent Organic Wedding at Diamant Estate by Nadine Aucamp

You know, I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of weeks talking about wedding trends, and although I adore the whole greenery thing that’s going on at the moment (because what’s not to love about foliage?), I just don’t see flowers going anywhere for so many couples this year – or any year. You just have to look at the bright blooms in Stephanie and Tiaan’s spectacular wedding (which also has plenty of pretty greenery, thank you very much) to see why. Bright blooms in vintagey vases, overflowing organic bouquets, even floral print stationery (so pretty!). I love how this wedding comes together in a range of gorgeous shades, but I especially love how over the moon happy the bride and groom are on this special day, and all the smiles on the faces of their wedding party and guests. Now that‘s a trend that never goes out of fashion. Our fave, Nadine Aucamp, took these absolutely beautiful pics!

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