Luxury Safari Wedding Inspiration by Oh Happy Day & Bright Girl

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m obsessed with bushveld weddings, and nothing has made my heart happier over the last couple of years is to see a new, luxury, fine art approach to safari weddings starting to emerge and become part of the portfolio of gorgeous South African wedding experiences. I mean, when you have a background like our wild landscape, the last thing you want to do is compete with it, but you do want to provide an experience for your guests that’s almost sensual, in that it’s about engaging every single sense. Rich, warm textures like leather and wood mixed with soft ones like silk, tulle and lace – a feast for sight and touch. Delicious cuisine served on and in five star linens, crockery and crystal. Palettes of muted pastels and soft neutrals that let those textures and natural beauty shine through. And when it comes to pulling off this look, I can’t think of a better team in KZN than the one I’m showcasing here today. These folks are some of my fave wedding pros of all time, including Joe of Oh Happy Day and Eileen of Bright Girl – they’re consistently creating some of the most beautiful wedding inspiration around and also happen to be the loveliest people to hang with on your big day. You can see why, when I knew this shoot was going down at Cheetah Ridge, I was glued to Instagram for updates, and when I saw the images they were even better than I imagined. So naturally, I picked a zillion of them to share with you. You’re welcome.

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Scandinavian Gothic Wedding by Vanilla Photography

Where do I even start with this wedding, you guys? Maybe the concept, kind of a Gothic romance meets Viking feast meets meets Hollywood glamour (especially thanks to the bride and groom, Jessica and Renier, looking like a pair of Tinseltown starlets!). Or maybe the bridesmaids’ dresses, which would have to make my list of top ten faves of all time. Or the flowers (oh my WORD the flowers), dripping from top to bottom of the beautiful Midlands reception space and bringing to life the palette of black (LOVE the way it’s used here), blush and burgundy. Or maybe I should just start with the suppliers, because really, the credits read like a who’s who of my fave Natalians – Michigan Behn for Vanilla Photography, Joe from Oh Happy Day (love how every single OHD wedding is so different!), the supremely talented Carolyn from Adore Weddings, and more. It’s the kind of wedding that makes my heart glow, and not just because of the cozy wintery vibe! So let’s dive in, shall we?

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The Whole World Is A Garden

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!

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North Coast Tropical Chic Wedding at Burndale by Oh Happy Day

Durban North Coast Tropical Chic Wedding | Credit: Oh Happy Day & Dane Peterson

Sometimes I see a wedding and I immediately not only fall in love with everything about it, but with the couple as well. This is one of those. Maybe because I love Durban so, along with everything tropical, maybe because Dominique and Josh managed to not only pull off a totally unique, totally stylish, totally them (AND proudly South African) theme, and maybe because they chose to work with one of my favourite wedding pros ever, Joelene of Oh Happy Day. Whatever it is, I have a great big crush on this wedding and the couple who dreamed it up, and I have been absolutely dying to show it to you ever since I first spotted  it on Jo’s Instagram feed. Basically, if you turned all the best things about the North Coast into a wedding, this would be it. Tropical print bridesmaid separates… strelizia bouquets… plenty of light and white and rustic texture. And the tropical greenery wall is everything. So get your pinning fingers at the ready coastal brides, because this is a special one!

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Festival Chic Wedding Inspiration (Wanderlust Forever After)

This totally wasn’t planned, but there’s a couple of reasons why today’s shoot from the very fabulous Oh Happy Day, Summertown Pictures and their talented team (including the fab Hanrie Lues Bridal) is perfect timing. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s set in the beautiful Natal Midlands, where I happen to be heading for my own mini adventure today. Just me and Mr Darcy the springer spaniel, and the open road. It’s that same spirit of wanderlust and adventure that inspired this Coachella-esque shoot, which has an air of spontaneity borne of the way it was designed as well as its subject. Boho brides will adore all the jewel-toned touches, from the teal, copper and magenta table to the gorgeous feather-decked cake. And let’s not get started on the boho chic dresses or the macrame backdrop (no seriously, or I’ll never get on the road!). It’s the perfect way to kick off another week of wild beauty, so enjoy!

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Hanrie Lues Fleur de Ballet Collection

If you follow us on Instagram (and if you don’t, you totally should!), you may have seen that some exciting mail arrived at SBB HQ the other day, specifically the brand new lookbook from Hanrie Lues Bridal. Durban-based designer Hanrie is part of our sponsor family, and while we’ve always loved her beautiful bespoke gowns, she’s just launched a demi-couture collection which will be available both from her studio and from Calegra Bridal House in Cape Town and Joburg, and I couldn’t wait to see it! Called ‘Fleur de Ballet’, it was inspired by the ballet, which I absolutely love, and it has the same combination of structure and sheer femininity that makes ballerinas’ gowns the stuff that dreams are made of. With the most gorgeous fabrics and an inspiration straight from the ballet, these dresses are perfect for the modern South African bride, employing breathtaking illusion elements and elegant shapes and details that make each gown special and unique, and will make each woman who wears them feel like a prima ballerina on her own opening night.

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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