It always gives me a thrill to see South Africans who’ve made their way in the world abroad come home to celebrate their weddings in our beautiful country – I guess there’s nothing quite like home soil! SA-born bride Gretchen, and her Canadian beau, Gabe, not only chose the gorgeous winelands for their celebration, but opted to have an intimate outdoor celebration showing it off to their dear friends, many of whom travelled from Canada to be with them. Imagine an elegant open air ceremony, followed by dining and dancing under the stars, in the shadow of a Cape Dutch homestead and under a festoon of fairy lights, and you’ll be starting to picture the sheer romance of this wedding, which was designed to perfection by SBB faves, Wedding Concepts! And I can’t not mention Gretchen’s insanely swoony Inbal Dror gown, with its figure-hugging silhouette and intricate beading, or the groom’s super personal boutonniere (fishing lures he created especially for his best men). All of it is captured with love here by the fab Kikitography (who even managed to keep their cool behind the camera in 40 degree heat!)
You know, some of my favourite stories about weddings are about the way that a community (even in our modern age) responds to a bride and groom – for example, the way all the neighbours came out to wave my friend Lee off to her ceremony, for example, or the spontaneous applause that can greet a couple during a city photo shoot. It reminds me of the way that in a European village wedding, the bride and groom might walk from church to reception with their guests following behind and strangers cheering them on – a happy and triumphant parade. Today’s wedding reminds me of that spirit a lot – you can almost feel the sense of community at Sarah and Kyle’s wedding in these lovely pictures by Marli Koen, as well as the couple’s togetherness as they see each other for the first look and couple shoot, greet their guests, collect their waiting retinue, and walk down the aisle together. Their friends and family surround them, leaning in to hear their words of love, and afterwards, under the leafy shade on South Africa’s oldest wine estate, there’s the fluttering of fans, the drinking of wine, and the joy of a love story long in the making come to fruition. I also have to mention how much I love the lasercut pincushion proteas in coloured bottles on each table – such a sweet and fun South African detail!Read More
Good morning friends! Today I’m transporting you to one of my very favourite places on earth – the South African bushveld. I’ve spoken before about just how much I love the bush, but whatever, I am going to wax lyrical again. I’ve been going to game reserves since I can remember, and although my dad is also a fan, the impulse runs even stronger in my mom’s side of the family. I’ll never forget driving around with my grandpa and having him tell me about animals and birds, or the time my mom and I staked out a kill at Hluhluwe when all the tourists had cleared off, and were rewarded with the most magnificent lion sighting I’ve had yet. I feel like the bushveld is my happy place – in fact, when I once brought home a boyfriend who didn’t take well to it, my dad questioned whether I could spend my life with someone who didn’t understand this great love of mine (quite right, too). I’m passionate about encouraging visitors and South Africans to spend more time there (in a responsible way) and supporting the heroic conservation efforts that are taking place in our country. Which is a long way of saying, today’s wedding is a bush wedding, and hell’s teeth am I excited! When I saw Janlyn and Grant’s Zulu Nyala big day over on the insanely talented Jacki Bruniquel’s blog, I feel head over heels in love with it. I mean, it’s a true wedding under the African stars, in a quarry (!!). But what I really loved is that they took all the best, most romantic elements of an elegant ballroom bash, and just took ’em on outside. It’s like the Ritz, but with a herd of impala looking on. It’s one of those South African weddings that makes me wonder why anyone would get married anywhere else. (Sorry, world, we’re just better. True story.) Oh, and PS – this wedding took place on the night of the supermoon. How amazing is that?Read More
Here’s Part 3 of our World Cup semi-finalist inspiration boards. Germany has a lot of heritage and inspiration to offer, but I’m a bit of a sucker for an outdoor wedding, so I decided to see if I could make the concept of a sophisticated beer garden wedding work. Less drunken Oktoberfest, more relaxed summer afternoon in Munich. I just love the idea of long tables under the trees, good beer on tap, family and friends, great food. I’d use soft, wild flowers in mismatched containers, and hang lebkuchen hearts which can double up as table assignments and favours. And, of course, you’d have to have the traditional Baumkuchen – an amazing cake baked on a rotisserie in layers, so that it looks like the cross-section of a tree when cut.
Top row (l-r): Long tables; beer; garden ceremony; beer garden sign
Row 2: Daisy bouquet; bride with flower in her hair; lebkuchen hearts; mismatched bridesmaid dresses
Row 3: Dress; lavender; baumkuchen; evening reception with lights.