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

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

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

Hen Party Theme: London Calling

Sources: Not on the High Street (left); via RU Craft Blog (right) 

London, baby! Now this one might not seem like an obvious choice for a bridal shower or hen party theme, but as I made the point this morning, London has been a big part of many young South Africans’ lives. So if your bestie used to live/currently lives here, or met her husband-to-be here, or is honeymooning here, or is an anglophile, or even is just someone called Kate or Elizabeth, this makes a really fun (and very easy to decorate) theme. With the royal wedding last year, and the jubilee and olympics just gone, you can find literally dozens of ideas and free printables, and the scope for food and entertainment is huge. It’s also a theme that works well whether you’re doing the sedate day shower, or if you want to make it a little more spicy, and I’ve given suggestions for both below. So all aboard, because next stop, London!Read More

William Clarke Flowers Workshop

Sometimes I get to do the coolest stuff. Like a couple of weeks ago, when I got a certain invitation in my inbox. Did I, it asked, want to go and hang with William Clarke Flowers and a bunch of fabulous wedding bloggers, learning to make a hand-tied bouquet while sipping champagne? Did I? Pff. Stupid question. So the following Saturday, off I went to the William Clarke studio in London. My dear friends Louise of b.loved and Amma of Beyond Beyond were there too, and I also got to meet the lovely Meryl of Homegrown Bride, Michele the Bridal Coach and of course Nicola of Propose PR, not to mention William Clarke himself, the delightful Brian, and associate Deborah Zwetsloot of Wedding Day Hire. (And you know that thing I said yesterday about South Africans secretly taking over the world? Well, William’s in on it. He’s a born and bred Saffa, who started out in hotels and moved into flowers, and now posh people pay him to make their dining room tables always look like they’ve been styled by Homes and Gardens.) So there we were, drinking Pimms and champagne before noon (well, it was five o’clock somewhere) and snacking on breakfasty canapes and generally just feeling impossibly glamorous. Brian and Deborah took us to see their secret stash of awesome in the showroom next door, where brides and grooms can have a full consultation to weigh up their decor options.Read More