Tropical Heat Bridal Shower by Oh Happy Day, Kelly Daniels & The Shank Tank

A few months ago, I got to spend my afternoon in the best way possible, with some of the loveliest ladies (and one gent!) in the local wedding industry, as a guest of the delightful Joelene of Oh Happy Day. Joelene has burst onto the scene full of ideas and enthusiasm and sassiness, and on this particular day, she’d pulled together the talents of some seriously amazing people to help her create a tropical themed bridal shower styled shoot. It was so fun to see them at work, and even more fun sifting through the gorgeous results, thanks to the rockstar photographers, Kelly Daniels and The Shank Tank team. I was already a big fan of tropsy showers (see this post on how to plan one of your own) and now I’m even more so – think gold pineapples, floral print dresses, fruity cocktails (and watermelon on a stick, love), and even a little hula girl cake topper (which I somehow managed to resist slipping into my pocket and stealing away). I also have to make a special mention of the adorable stationery by Ruby + Swallow, as well as the fantastic cakes and sweets by Smith’s Bake Shop, with flavours just as delicious as they were pretty. So here we go – let’s head for the tropics! (PS If you love this ideas as much as I do, pop back this afternoon for some fun buys)Read More

20 Perfectly Pretty Printable Bridal Shower Invitations

Afternoon, lovelies! For those of you planning a shower at the moment, one of the details that can really be a pain in the pachanga (unless you’re actually a designer) is the invitations. The last shower I organised, I spent DAYS making them from scratch, complete with fabric envelopes (nobody even commented on them, gah). Frankly, I would have been better off going with one of the gorgeous printable invitations you can get these days – Etsy in particular is full of these lovelies. The best part is, that printables are either an immediate download, or are sent to you once customised, so they’re quick, reasonably priced and can be bought from anywhere in the world. All you do is take them to your local printshop or even send the file via email (for extra eco points) and you’re sorted! There’s loads of choice too – in fact, so much choice, that it can be time consuming to sift through all the options. That’s where today’s post comes in, because we’ve picked out 20 of our absolute favourite shower invites for you to choose from. Just click on the links (or any of the images) below, and you’ll be taken straight to Etsy to get more information and make your purchase. Yay!Read More

Gatsby Bridal Shower by Suzanne Swart

Morning lovelies! To start off our Friday, I’m sharing some pics from reader Marli of her kitchen tea, which was fun and colourful with a touch of the Great Gatsby. This one hits the balance perfectly for a daytime do – like an elegant 1920s tea party with a champagne tower, feather boas for all the girls, and even a view over Kelvin Grove’s croquet pitch!Read More

15 Free Printables for Hen Nights & Kitchen Teas

Image: Be Inspired PR/Intertwined Events/J Wiley Photography via Inspired by This

The web is an amazing place – so many creative people sharing their expertise and ideas, and so often for free. It seems a pity not to make use of their generous gifts, especially when planning something like a bridal shower slash kitchen tea slash bachelorette slash hen night (can I just call it a henkitch showerette from now on?). I often come across gorgeous printable stationery elements that would fit into a variety of decor schemes, so I thought today I would gather some of my favourites into one place, for easy reference. Here you’ll find everything from games to invitations, from recipe cards and gift tags to decor items. Where relevant, the designer as well as the original source is listed – if you like their work and you’re looking for something customised, why not click through to see more of their portfolio?Read More

SouthBound Guide: How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower {Plus Printable Timeline}

If you follow SBB on Facebook you may have seen that I was invited back this last Tuesday to chat to the lovely Yolanda Martens at OFM, a radio station based in Bloem, as part of her wedding planner series. This time, we were talking all about bridal showers, hen dos, kitchen teas, bachelorettes – whatever you want to call them, I shared lots of info and ideas. (You can hear the podcasts here.) To tie in with my interview, I thought this afternoon I would post the complete SBB guide to throwing a successful kitchen tea/bridal shower (that is, the more sedate day-time party!). If you scroll to the end, you’ll even find a very handy timeline and checklist that your Maid of Honour or bridesmaids can print out to help them in their planning, so don’t forget to pin it! I’ve thrown quite a few showers in my time (both bridal and baby), and organisation is the key to make it as stress-free for the planner as well as for the bride and guests as possible. It’s such a special gift to give one of your best friends – an afternoon with her favourite people, celebrating their relationships with her – but it doesn’t happen by magic. So here’s everything you need to know to organise an amazing kitchen tea.Read More

Hen Party Theme: Glitter & Glam

Source: Paige Winn via Ultimate Bridesmaid

It’s been a sparkly week, you guys. From a glitzy gold wedding, to a glam rock shoot this morning, we’re on a sequin strewn roll. Yay. Who’s complaining, right? Anyway, I have been seeing quite a few lovely sparkly bridal showers recently, and what I love about it is that if this is something you like but don’t necessarily want to incorporate into your wedding, it gives you the chance to do that. Plus, it’s the kind of theme that your girls will be more than happy to dress up for, and it’s surprisingly easy (and can be inexpensive) to decorate. The key thing is to mix textures, so a little sparkle goes a long, long way. Here’s how I would go about pulling all the details together for the perfect glittery hen party.Read More

Bridal Showers & Hen Nights: Who Pays?

Happy Friday, lovelies! This post comes out of an email I received from a mother of the bride asking for a bit of etiquette advice in planning her daughter’s shower. Having come across some sticky situations with regard to the financial side of bridal showers and hen parties over the years, I thought it would be a good one to discuss. Because, let’s be honest, none of us like to talk about money, but it can cause all kinds of unpleasantness.

In talking etiquette, I find it really helpful to go back to the principles on which the rules are based. The key ones here are:

  • Hosting: The rule is that if you host an event, you pay for it.
  • Gifts: Generally, guests attending an event where they are expected to give a gift should not have to pay for themselves as well.
  • Consideration: In situations where guests are expected to pay, the organiser should always take their budget into account. Aim towards the lower end of the scale, not the highest. Let people know costs upfront, and allow them the opportunity to withdraw. When the costs are shared, you need to be democratic.

Hen Parties/Bachelorette Nights:
In general these days, costs for hen parties are broken up per head. Guests contribute the cost of their activities, their dinners, their drinks and, if it’s a weekend, accommodation and travel costs. It isn’t a hosted activity (although it may be organised by the bridal party) so this is generally acceptable. Gifts shouldn’t be expected. If there are decorations and goodie bags, the bridal party will usually cover these.Read More

Hen Party Theme: Gold Cup

Sources: Corbin Gurkin Photography via Style Me Pretty (left); Kurt Boomer/Stephan Pappas via Southern Weddings/Sugar & Charm (centre); Cambria Grace Photography/Lauren Wells Events via Style Me Pretty (right)

It’s been a while since I did a hen party/bridal shower theme roundup, but with Ascot in the UK and the Durban July in South Africa last month, I started dreaming up a horse racing themed shower that would give us girls a chance to dress up. Which we love, obviously. Plus, like all my favourite themes, this one’s versatile enough that it can be done in a sedate way, or with a little more alcohol involved for a hen/bachelorette. For inspiration, I turned to our American cousins, who have been throwing Kentucky Derby-themed parties for a good while now, and boy did they have a lot of prettiness to share! So here’s how I would go about throwing a fabulous Ladies Day bridal shower that will get your bride to the marriage finish line in style!Read More

Create an Alice in Wonderland Bridal Shower

We regularly feature ideas for bridal showers and hen nights on SouthBound Bride, and one of the most popular since its publication last year was this real Alice in Wonderland kitchen tea, complete with printable downloads. I’m not surprised that this is such a popular theme – it’s sweet, whimsical, not too difficult to decorate, and ties in perfectly if you’re hosting a tea or afternoon event. You can add really fun crazy touches – after all, as the Cheshire Cat says of Wonderland: “We’re all mad here”! Ask guests to dress in mad hats for mad hatters, or just in something colourful, and be sure to include some of the key motifs from the novel (rabbits, clocks, keys, flamingos, playing cards and teacups) in the decor. To help you, I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite buys and DIYs for an Alice in Wonderland bridal shower.Read More

Real Bridal Shower: Downton Abbey

Good morning, friends! Did you enjoy our Sparkle & Blush fest yesterday? Today we’re back to real life inspiration courtesy of one of our real life brides, the lovely Candice. You’ll remember Candice was our Marie Antoinette bride, and so far we’ve followed her through her whole planning process right up to her Versailles-themed rehearsal dinner (loved that!). Today we’re getting a peek at another pre-wedding event, the bridal shower, and one of the most adorable themes I’ve yet seen! Candice is a huge fan of Downton Abbey (aren’t we all?) – in fact, in her first email to me she joked that she avoided the sun in an attempt to acquire skin as pale as Lady Mary’s – so it was the perfect theme for her bridesmaids to pick, and much fun (I feel I should be saying ‘japes’ here) ensued! There are so many lovely ideas here – and I love that the gifts were so personal and creative. All images are from Louis John van Rooyen of {Moment}ography.Read More