Mint Rustic Wedding at Eensgezind by Bianca Asher

When two high school sweethearts finally tie the knot, you know it’s going to be something special to begin with! But add in the sweetest rustic details and a mix of mint, Kraft and greenery, plus textures like wood and burlap, and you have a country celebration that’s something really special. You can just see the joy in Darryl and Kim’s faces throughout Bianca Asher’s images, and there are so many touching moments too, from the funny (courtesy of a mini-groomsman!) to the bittersweet (when the couple remembered their loved ones) to the downright awesome (flash mob anyone?) Let’s get started, shall we?

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Handmade Backyard Zimbabwe Wedding by Nicole du Preez {Karleyne & HD}

Morning brideys, how was your weekend? This morning we’re shaking things up a little – instead of starting off the week with an inspiration board (although I do have a lovely board for you this afternoon) we’re launching straight into our first real wedding of the week, and this one was hand made with so much love by SBB reader, Karleyne and her husband. Karley is a chef working in Zim, and married her partner in food and life, HD, on their very own tennis court! Now that’s a venue I haven’t come across before… The couple DIYed every single sweet detail, from hundreds and hundreds of paper cranes to centrepieces made of folded books, linen napkins, stationery, signage, etc etc etc. If the work ethic that they demonstrated in putting it all together in their limited spare time is anything to go by, they’ll have taken over the culinary world in no time. The menu was obviously a big part of the day, with a gourmet take on laid-back comfort food, but Karley’s look was 100% glam in her dress made by Sunday Times fashion editor in chief, Tiaan Nagel. From their vows beneath a mosquito net canopy to eating steak and chips under the African stars, this is one wedding that really reflects the personalities who dreamed it up and made every corner of it from scratch.Read More

Decor Idea: Penguin Books

Today’s post is inspired by my dear friend Shannon, who just so happens to work at Penguin, and just so happens to be getting married next year. I don’t think she’s using Penguin books as part of her decor, but probably because of her I’ve been more aware of a few instances of them coming up in weddings recently. I have to say though, that I wouldn’t call this a trend – it’s certainly not for everyone. But for a certain type of bride and groom (library wedding, love of books, English Lit graduates, writers or editors, etc.) it makes a lovely and personal motif. All books would, of course, but Penguin books marry literature so successfully with iconic design. There are, of course, the original Penguins – those single colour covers that we all instantly recognise. But more recently, there’s been the work of Coralie Bickford-Smith, a senior designer at Penguin who has won awards and acclaim for her beautiful, covetable covers (I own a complete set of the Fitzgerald ones and I’M COMPLETELY IN LOVE with them). Including these in your decor immediately adds an element of great design, and I think that’s why some couples have been using them so successfully. Let’s have a look.

First, the classic Penguin. Truly a British design icon. (The three horizontal band design was created by then office junior Edward Young – orange was for general fiction, green for crime, pink for travel, dark blue for biography, red for drama, yellow for miscellaneous, purple for essays and grey for world affairs.) And, it turns out, they make for a very cute Save the Date or wedding invitation!


Images (L-R): Marty McColgan (top); these glorious days (bottom); Greenwich Letterpress via Word DoodlesMarty McColganRead More

Inspiration Board: Library Love

Oh, I do love me a good book. (Which is not really surprising, since I’ve spent most of my professional life making them.) There’s something super special about cracking open a new spine, or better yet thumbing through an old favourite on a library or antique shop bookshelf. Don’t even get me started about my fantasy library (think minstrel’s gallery, ladders, the works.) Along with other nostalgic objects, books have been riding the crest of the vintage trend. They do make pretty centrepieces stacked and tied with lace, but I love when couples take it to the next level, getting married in an actual library or having other book-themed items like library card escort cards or save the dates. I know they’re out of fashion, but I think letterpress bookplates would make an amazing favour. Or you could choose a book specially for every guest and on the bookplate write a personal note explaining why (you can download a template for this sweet idea here). Even better if all the books are design legends like the Penguin Classics – place a set on each table using bookends marked with table numbers, or fill up a bookshelf and tuck escort card bookmarks into each book. There are so many ways to have fun with this theme (check out this post from our archive for more, or adapt these ideas using discarded books instead of sheet music). But back to the board. I love the old English feel of this one, and the way that rich blues, greens and reds work so well together. And don’t you just love the cake and flowers? All in all, the perfect way to start a new chapter!

Colours: Dark red, green and blue with a touch of pink

Top row (l-r): Bride & groom (Wedding by Two); bookplate; cake (Josh McCullock); library card escort card (You Look Nice Today Photography); table setting (Josh McCullock)
Row 2: Bride (Todd Pellowe); stationery; bunting; bookplate; bookshelf  (Emma Case)
Row 3: Bride holding book (McGowan Images); library catalogue card holder (Josh McCullock Fine Art Weddings and Films); centrepiece (Melissa Oholendt); book bundle (Wesley Vorster)

Real Wedding at De Hollandsche Molen {Michelle & Frans}

Ok, confession. I’ve always kinda had this thing where I wished I was born Southern. As in, Southern American, not from the south of, like, the earth (in which case I did pretty well). For one thing, it’s a beautiful place, and for another I would make a great steel magnolia. Plus, growing up I would have got to kiss boys who sounded like Harry Connick Jnr and called their mothers ma’am. But most of all, I would have got to use expressions like “that dog don’t hunt” and “finer than a frog’s hair split four ways” in my lilting Southern drawl. I’ve tried them in my Saaf Effrikan accent and… well, that dog don’t hunt. But let’s just pretend for today that I AM Southern and that I could say things like that, because y’all, today’s wedding really is finer than a frog’s hair split four ways. Take a beautiful Cape day, add proteas and laughter and pretty vintage details, and you have the epitomy of wedding gorgeousness. Every little part of Frans and Michelle’s day at De Hollandsche Molen seems effortless and graceful and bathed in golden light, and their joy is so beautifully captured by Rebecca Meissner of Love Made Visible, it’s infectious. So grab an ice tea and sit a spell, and enjoy this nugget of Southern (African) goodness.Read More

Bookshop Engagement Shoot

I’m hugely excited to share Louise and Riaan’s engagement shoot with you! One, because it’s the first on this blog, and it’s completely original, gorgeous and inspiring. And two, because I get to introduce you to a pair of very talented designers and a young photographer who I think we’ll be seeing a lot more great things from in future. But first, get ready to do some serious oohing and aahing over the proposal! 

Ahead of time (and unbeknownst to Louise), Riaan asked not only her parents for permission, but also her female friends, because of the major role they play in her life. (Gents take note – we love this!) Then he designed a book cover with the title: The true-life-love story of Louise and Riaan – an on-going fairy tale based on real events – past and present, and had each of the women in Louise’s life write a little letter giving their blessing to the marriage. He put each of these in the book together with photographs and organised for it to be displayed in the window of The Booklounge in Cape Town (their favourite bookshop). As they walked past, Riaan pointed out the display, much to Louise’s puzzlement and surprise. They went inside so she could look at the book and on the back cover it said: Will you marry me Louise? When she  turned round, Riaan was on one knee with the ring. Fortunately the answer was a great big YES. (Who could resist a proposal like that, after all?!)
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By the book

Today I have two fab posts for you, both themed around books. First up, some inspiration from weddings that feature books as a design element. And later, come back for our first ever featured engagement shoot taken in Cape Town’s Booklounge – trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

If you follow the wedding blogs like I do, you will have noticed books popping up in all sorts of places in wedding decor at the moment. For many couples, they’re a way to create a personal touch if books mean something special to them – perhaps if they met at university, or if they’re both teachers. For others who want to create a vintage or homey feel to their wedding, books can be a great design feature. Here are just some ideas to give you some literary inspiration!

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