It’s Monday and that means another week of inspiration here on SBB! YAY. We’re starting it off with some more secret garden-style loveliness, this time from Nelani Van Zyl and her clever team! Inspired by the lush gardens and secret enclosures of their venue, Bellingham Homstead, they pulled together not one but two mini celebrations in one shoot – a whimsical afternoon tea party that Alice herself would be proud of, and an elegant candlelit reception overflowing with pastel blooms. I can just imagine this translating into a real wedding – your guests would love the fun of their own little garden tea party, and then you can take some of that garden prettiness indoors for a classic dinner. This is vintage done oh-so-right! I also have to give a special mention of the blush and beautiful bridesmaid dresses by Jacoba Clothing (who you’ll also find it our directory) – a PERFECT complement to the model bride’s stunning lace Cindy Bam gown. And let’s not forget the groom either, because he’s rocking a floral bow tie, which is one of my favourite current trends (more about that later this week!) Let’s dip a toe into the pretty pool shall we?
When it comes to wedding ideas and design in general, the things that always really get me are just… whimsical. The post office that sends out teeny tiny letters. Donut walls. Dogs in floral collars. And this, my favourite of all whimsical wedding ideas – the door in the air. We first started seeing ‘outdoor chapels’ a few years ago, and the charm of a freestanding door being used as the entrance to an outdoor ceremony has only increased as time’s gone by. I mean, it’s adorable. And it’s also a great way to make an entrance, because you get to do that fling-the-church-doors-wide-as-the-bride-appears thing, even if you’re saying your vows in the middle of the forest or on a beach. Some couples have switched things around and used the doors as an actual altar, and that’s great too. All I know is, every time I see a vintage door being upcycled as ceremony decor, especially if it’s draped in flowers, my heart beats just a little bit faster. If you’re planning a secret garden wedding this is a must-have, but even if you’re not, this is one way to bring some sheer delight to your ceremony, even before the vows are spoken.
A personal, genuine wedding is a happy wedding, and a happy wedding is one that has SouthBound Bride written all over it. Today’s wedding really embodies that, and it’s making my little heart so happy right now! Andre and Lynn-Marie didn’t dream of a cookie cutter traditional wedding, or of anything glitzy and glamorous. What they wanted was simple, but awesome in its simplicity. A beautiful setting. Great food. Simple flowers (with the exception of the bridal party’s fabulous crowns and the bride’s bouquet!) Tables set under the trees. And all their favourite people sitting at those tables, laughing and chatting and having a wonderful time together. That’s it – but then again, what more IS there? After a romantic first look, they walked into the forest to exchange vows encircled by their family and friends, then enjoyed a sit-anywhere feast and ended the night with a midnight swim. And if that doesn’t sound like the perfect day, I don’t know what is! Alicia Landman took these lovely images, so let’s dive in, shall we?
If there’s one recent wedding trend that has thoroughly resonated with South African brides, it has to be boho, and over the last season it’s been so fun to see so many gorgeous boho brides grace our pages. But before that, the great love was vintage round these parts. So imagine my pleasure when this pretty pretty shoot that incorporates both those elements crossed my desk? Especially when the combination is fresh, pretty and oh-so-perfect for a summer soiree. Created by photographer Sonje Ludwick and a team of talents, I’m loving the neutral palette with a floral twist, the picnic style spread under the trees, and the gorgeous dresses incorporating some of my fave looks, from crochet lace to two-piece gowns. Not to mention plenty of blushing bride proteas, which always make me very happy (including one on the yummy-looking semi naked cake) :) So if you’ve been drawn to either vintage or boho (or both), why not be inspired by this combination for your own happy day?
I’m all for a classic palette, but I have to admit that colour-happy brides seem to have all the fun! Take, for example, this delight of a wedding on Langloof rose farm, with that incredible winelands backdrop as a setting to an outdoor wedding extraordinaire, punctuated with cheery pops of blue, orange, pink and grapefruit. I mean, doesn’t it just make you want to be there RIGHT NOW? I love the way that Cara and Jared (who by the way, must be one of the most gorgeous couples ever), took a calculated risk for their summer nuptials and celebrated post-ceremony with a meal out in the open under wooden frames decked with crisp linen curtains and floral chandeliers. I love the way they included coloured glassware, touches of glamorous gold, printed fabric and floating candles that must have looked absolutely magical as the evening wore on. And once the meal was over and the dance floor was open, that outdoor wedding really came into its own with a party under the stars. Wow. The fab Moira West captured it all in these lovely pics!
I’m a summer girl, it’s true – despite having lived in the UK for more than a decade, I’ll always choose being too hot over too cold. But there’s something about a winter day – not the grey nothing winter days, but the really seasonal ones – that is so special. When you can curl up under a blanket (or better yet, by an open fire!) and listen to the rain, and drink hot chocolate or mulled wine and just feel cosy and happy. That’s what today’s wedding reminds me of – it’s a PROPER winter wedding, with all the elements that make a winter wedding so special, from those fireplaces and candlelight to gluhwein and blankets for the guests. Add in a great big dose of glamour, of the very elegant, slightly antique kind – think foiled Art Deco menus, candlelight and roses, a bride in a ballgown and bridesmaids in the most fabulous old gold dresses. Coordinated and styled by SBB fave, Neva of Bright & Beautiful, there are so many graceful touches to love, like the hanging frames with gold sprayed branches and fairylights that really made the venue’s high ceilings feel intimate. The end result will make your heart beat a bit faster, especially when you look at it through the lens of photographer Jani B, who took these wonderful images.
Our theme this month, Secret Garden, is one really close to my heart because The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favourite books (and one of the few I read in school that didn’t suck). I’ll never forget reading it for the first time and just feeling wrapped up in it, and that feeling has never really gone away, although I’m no kind of gardener as an adult. I still adore the idea of a walled garden (not to self for when have mansion), and I really can’t think of a prettier theme for a wedding. I’ve tried to recreate that for today’s inspiration board – whimsical, organic, lush, but actually quite simple and natural. I’m a little in love with it. What do you think? (Links in bold denote affiliate links; the cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission on any sales)
Top row (l-r): Bride at gate (Elizabeth Messina/Ginny Branch/Claire Pettibone) | Centrepiece (Jose Villa Photography/Flowerwild/Coastside Couture) | Swing with flowers ( )
Row 2: Invitation suite (Oak and Orchid) | Key necklace (Mony Art) | Cake with flower topper (Corbin Gurkin/WED: Wedding Event Design/Kathy Allen Fine Cakes) | Claire Pettibone dress (Lucy Munoz)
Row 3: Bouquet (Rory Wylie) | Floral juliet cap veil (Marisol Aparicio/Lara Lam Photography) | Table in garden (Caroline Lima Photography)
It’s a brand new week, full of possibility, and the first good thing to happen on my Monday is definitely this gorgeous styled shoot by Roxanne Davison and our friends at Oh Happy Day. I have been dying to share it with you for months, and now that February has rolled round with our ‘Secret Garden’ theme, it’s finally time to share this Secret Garden-themed shoot! Inspired by a quote from the novel which I love – “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden” – these talented ladies and their team created a little garden hideaway punctuated by beautiful florals and fine vintage china, the dreamiest of dresses and the most delicate of jewels, gorgeous brides and beautiful calligraphy. It. Is. Swoony. So grab a cuppa and get settled in for some very Pin-worthy inspiration!
Hand Embroidered Wedding Dress by Sumarokova Atelier
How about one last dose of wedding loveliness before we call time on this week? This month we’re crushing on everything floral and garden wedding, and that includes floral wedding dresses – in fact, they’re at the top of our list! From printed fabric to whimsical 3D flower applique and lace, a floral gown is like a little garden all on its own – can you honestly think of a prettier way to walk down the aisle? And as always, when I’m looking for cutting edge, accessible bridal fashion, I’ve turned to the talented makers at Etsy to find twenty floral gowns that will honestly make you swoon. PLUS! For UK readers, Etsy is hosting a popup at West Elm on 17-19 February – we’ve got all the details at the end of this post. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
My first clue that Andrew and Marie are a couple after my own heart? The fact that the Proudly South African pair went about sourcing every detail of their gorgeous KZN Midlands wedding from local businesses – rings, bridesmaid dresses, decor, everything. All in line with their pretty-as-a-picture garden-style wedding vision, and the result is an affair that will have all you country wedding-loving brides jumping straight out of your seats and cheering for joy! I loved the way that the pair chose a cool blue hue to contrast with the mixed colours of all the flowers – such a lovely touch that really stands out. And the blooms really were everywhere – in floral runners along the tables at the reception (thanks to Marie’s mum’s ‘army of ladies’ and their very own gardens!), in beautiful bouquets, in darling little embroidered wreaths on each napkin, on the wine labels and stationery… even right on down to the bridesmaids’ getting-ready robes. And love was in bloom too, of course, overflowing on the faces of the delighted bride and groom, and those of their family and friends. Michigan Behn was on the scene to capture these precious moments for Vanilla Photography and share them with you today.