Close your eyes and imagine standing in a forest clearing, light falling dappled through the trees, and the quiet whisper of branches harmonising with the crunch of leaves and pine needles underfoot. Imagine garlands of crochet ‘dreamcatchers’ moving gently in the summer breeze, as a bride makes her way down the wooded path, attended by bridesmaids in forest fairy flower crowns and smiling at her groom in a suit as blue as the sky. Which might sound like a dream or a fairytale, but for Dylan and Lara, it was their wedding day reality. Following their magical forest ceremony, the couple and their guests headed to a marquee decked out for classic elegance, and danced the night away by the glow of hundreds of twinkle lights and candles. And capturing it all, was photographer Kobus Tollig.
Man alive, I can’t get enough of this wedding you guys! It starts with a TO DIE FOR Kobus Dippenaar dress, blush hydrangea bouquets (mixed in with roses on the tables for maximum pretty), lace bunting, a boho flower crown, a cheese cake, and of course the incredible forest ceremony area for which Beloftebos is rightfully famous. But I have to admit, I keep going back to that dress, because it’s the embodiment of everything I love about Chloe and Gus’ wedding design – and I especially love how the petal detailing reflects those gorgeous hydrangeas. Of course, a wedding is so much more than the design, and that’s where photography talent Charlene Schreuder comes in. She has an incredible eye not just for beautiful images, but for those special moments that make a big day memorable – not just the lovely little details we plan and pin for, but life’s lovely little details too. Today we don’t have info from the bride to share, but I’ve made up for it with a bumper crop of images!Read More
A few years ago, when I started this blog, farm weddings were fast taking over from vineyard weddings and beach weddings as the big new trend. Well, this has definitely been the season of the forest wedding. And I couldn’t be happier – there’s something so intimate and natural about a forest setting, not to mention the mix between fairytale and boho influences. Today’s lovely wedding is all of this and more – an absolutely gorgeous woodland ceremony and a reception full of twinkling lights and fynbos flowers, followed by a huge party (a given, since the groom is the owner of Silk Music, one of Cape Town’s top DJ services). Lar Leslie was there to capture every perfect, golden moment.Read More
Every wedding we feature here on SouthBound Bride is special, but some are absolute heart-melters, like this gorgeous boho forest fairytale from the lovely Jo-Ann Stokes, which includes the most spectacular couple shoot images! You won’t believe this, but it was pulled together in SIX WEEKS. As in, total. Which is pretty incredible by anyone’s standards. Of course, the only way to accomplish such a feat of wedding planning is to get friends and family involved, and that’s exactly what Chris and Christine did, right down to Christine’s amazing dress made my her mother-in-law and crown of flowers made by her sister-to-be. These two have such a lovely, earthy vibe, right down to the words Christine used to describe their big day: “Love. Bliss. Petrichor.” Even I had to look that last one up, and it’s my new favourite word – it means the smell of rain on dry earth. Which, I thought to myself, in some ways is exactly what love is. The coming of rain – a blessing, a miracle. And the perfect way to sum up the boho perfection of these childhood sweethearts’ big day.Read More
I’ve tried to write this intro a bunch of times, to describe an amazing couple who embody the joy and wisdom of ‘seize the day’ and whose ceremony was so heartwarming that their photographer, Charlene Schreuder, admitted it brought a tear to her eye. But the truth is, Charlene’s incredible pictures tell the story better than I can – and they moved me to happy tears too. This is one wedding you should read every word of, and soak in. It teaches something. Because it’s pretty, but it’s also the reason weddings were invented: a celebration of the strength and wonder of love.Read More
For our final wedding this week, Doctor Gaby has prescribed a dose of sheer prettiness. Floaty pink dresses and OMGiwantthose shoes, pink roses, a monogrammed handkerchief, homemade ginger beer, two excited flowergirls, and what has to be one of my favourite cakes of the year. It’s just delightful, and it makes me want to use words like blythe and jolly, although I suspect it’ll make me sound more like I’m auditioning for Downton than enthusing over a wedding. But enthusing I am, from the awesome venue (we so love Beloftebos, don’t we?) to the Elizabeth Stockenstrom dress, to the gorgeous pictures by Wesley Vorster. Take once today with food (preferably cupcakes) and call me in the morning.Read More
Location, location, location. That’s what they say, right? Well, when it comes to weddings, I have to agree. It’s not that a spectacular venue is the ONLY way to have a memorable wedding, just that half the work is done for you. Best example: probably my secret favourite wedding of all time (head to 06:31 on the video to see what I mean). Yes, it’s from an Australian soap opera. Yes, it is cheese deluxe. But look at that VIEW. There’s not a single piece of decor, and yet that would be a dream wedding ceremony, in an unforgettable location. Anyway, location is one thing that today’s couple had on their side – Beloftebos, a farm venue with a forest roof so thick that it counts as a natural ‘church’ under South African law. Very cool. Even cooler is that Shané and Francois didn’t stop there – they created a handmade festival of awesome, including stunning bouquets, cute DIY rustic decor, and an amazing attention to detail (look, for example, at the ribbon on the flower girls’ feet, the button motif, the paint splashed glass bottles). Photies are by the fabulous Stephan Marais.Read More
When I started looking around for weddings to celebrate my one year blogiversary with, I must admit, I wasn’t sure which way to go. I mean, frankly, every single wedding I feature has an ooh moment for me, a special something that takes my breath away. Which is why, after all, I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog over the last year. And every single wedding is joyful and special and celebratory. And there are sooooo many fabulous photographers whose work I love to showcase. Then, one afternoon, I got a heads up from one of those fabulous photographers about a very special wedding on a colleague’s blog. I was on a train, and the internet loading the page on my phone was maddeningly slow (seriously, what is that, satellites? Can you not beam back to earth fast enough for me?). MADDENING, because as soon as I saw one picture I wanted to devour them all. This really was something ranking very high in the awesome department – a wedding based on a carnival theme, with rock ‘n roll details and a dress (oh, that dress!) that had me zipping straight over to my inbox and begging for a feature. And then, when it all started coming together, realising that it would be perfect for today. And here we are. Ta Da! People, I’m EXCITED. So I’ll let you get to it, with a big thank you to the bride (Melissa Van Zyl, who is also an awesome photographer!) and groom, and the fabulous Carmen Visser who nailed every one of these shots, and the fab Jaco of Just Jack, who co-ordinated this shindig. You are all rockstars. Now, it’s after 5pm, so break out the champers and start the party. I know I will be!
Morning lovelies! If you popped in yesterday looking for your real wedding fix, apologies that it wasn’t there as usual – Chez Gaby is full of visitors at the moment. Which is lovely, but does make it difficult for me to find time to blog. But I was too excited to share today’s colourful, sunny wedding with you to wait any longer! And what a perfect day for it – the sun is shining in London and it looks like it’ll be a beautiful day!! (Erm, I realise this means summer is over for you lot in the Southern Hemisphere, so sorry about that, but on this side of the world we are very happy to see blue skies again!) ANYWAY. As I said, today’s wedding is full of colour, including the gorgeous sunflowers, which are the bride’s favourite flowers. I think they set such a great tone, don’t they immediately make you cheerful?! Alexandra and Rob chose one of my favourite venues for their big day – the gorgeous Beloftebos – and I love how it looks completely different with every wedding. Its country vibe was ideal for what they had in mind, and Bernard Bravenboer was there to capture all the goodness with his camera.
A lot of brides and grooms these days want something different for their weddings. To stand out from the crowd, and give their friends and family something to talk about. Some really go out of their way to achieve this – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But being different doesn’t always mean you have to do something wild and crazy. It can be a whole host of small touches that add up to an overall experience. (Aha, you knew I was going to start talking about details again, didn’t you?) That’s what today’s couple did. They wanted something a little out of the ordinary, and so they booked a beautiful and unique venue – Beloftebos (one of my personal favourites) is set in a forest with an oak canopy so thick it actually fulfils South Africa’s indoor marriage regulations! Then they chose gorgeous, indigenous flowers (some of which I’ve never seen in a wedding before) and decked their tables with topiaries instead of bouquets. They complemented these with elegant charcoal bridesmaid dresses, hanging hearts and pretty stationery, and served yummy rustic food. And then they topped it all off with a rock band. When you put all that together, it’s really special, and I bet their guests felt really special being there. All of this loveliness is brought to life through the lens of the wonderful Nikki Meyer, a big Cap Classique favourite! Welcome back, Nikki!
Zelda sent over some background on the day – I just love how her enthusiasm shines through in everything she says!
One lazy summer evening during a braai at our friends’ place, I noticed the only guy there who wasn’t wearing shoes and was immediately intrigued. I made my move and told him he had gorgeous feet, taking photos of them. By 11pm the meat was in the oven and we were starving… Well, they always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and that was true in this case! We ended up sitting on our haunches on the kitchen floor with me feeding him chops. Then, like Cinderella I jumped in my 4×4 and drove off into the night. I didn’t lose a slipper but I made a big impression! About a month later friends invited me for a weekend away and to my surprise, in the little fisherman’s town of Velddrif, there he was, the man who won my heart and the beginning of my life as a wife and his as a husband.
One cold windy Friday, Giulio rocked up at home with so much energy, suggesting we should go take photos on the beach. I looked at him thinking he was crazy, but went along with it. We stopped at Blouberg Beach to take photos of the shipwreck and were there for quite a while and just as the sun set, with me capturing the shot and him standing behind me with his arms around me, I looked down and there it was. A royal blue box with a beautiful diamond! My word, I always said “I’m not a bling person” but I must admit, I LOOOOOOVEE my ring! Oh, but let me get back to my story, I was so shocked that no words came to mind. The excitement got the better of me and I just could not stop laughing! Giulio actually had to calm me down and ask me what my answer was. And of course it was yes, yes, yes!
We wanted our wedding to be a celebration and to be different from other traditional weddings. We were first going to get married on the West Coast and drove up one Saturday, but nothing appealed to us and we stopped for a quick bite with friends. One of them suggested Beloftebos and we immediately jumped in our car and drove all the way to Stanford. When we got to the venue, we just knew: ‘this is it’.
I must admit, almost until the very end, I had no idea of what colour scheme I wanted. The only colour I had was the bridesmaids’ dresses and that was charcoal. Our invites were printed on cream paper and we used charcoal there as well. I love trees and used an old oak tree to symbolize our wedding as we were going to get married under oak trees.
My mother is so special to me, and I was lucky enough to have her do most of the decorating herself (with a bit of guidance from me! ;) ). We used my dining room table as inspiration and except for the crystals and hearts (which are so my mom!) everything was similar to the way I have it at home. I wanted to keep everything natural with a bit of French flair and so we only used topiary trees on the tables and local fynbos (indigenous flora) for bouquets – mine was sewejaartjies (helichrysum). These indigenous trees and flowers, unique to South Africa and our environment, were one of the elements that made our wedding special.
Highlights of the wedding? My husband was the best thing, of course! And although the venue created great ambiance, it was my friends and family that completed the celebration of our promise to each other. We also loved having a live band (Crimson) – not many people have a rock band at their wedding for entertainment!
In the end, it definitely wasn’t the usual beach or wine farm wedding. Just as we wanted, it was different, and as unique as our relationship.
CONGRATULATIONS, Zelda and Giulio!! Wishing you both a wonderful life together! And a big thank you as always to Nikki Meyer – you can catch more of this lovely wedding over on her blog.