How to Plan an Engagement Party

How to Plan an Engagement Party

Image: Katie Parra Photography/Clutch Events on SouthBound Bride

As we come to the end of our month of engagement-themed posts, there’s no better way to finish off than with a party! In this case, an engagement party, because if you’re just engaged, this is the first celebration that might be on your mind. Engagement parties are such a lovely tradition (although certainly not something you should feel you HAVE to have, time and budget being major considerations for many) as they give you a chance to celebrate a very exciting moment in any couple’s lives with their nearest and dearest. Here are some guidelines and ideas to get you started.

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How to Create a Wedding Inspiration Board

Credit: Deborah-Ann Photography/Wildeflower on SouthBound Bride

So I’m guessing that for those of you who just got engaged, unless you’re in a design or creative field, you may never have heard the term ‘inspiration board’ or even ‘mood board’ before. And suddenly, you’re a bride, and it’s everywhere, right? To be fair, inspiration boards are a little less all over the wedding blog landscape than they were a couple of years ago, but they’re still very much part of the planning experience. Here on SBB, I’ve been creating inspiration boards for many years now (and several for styled shoots that put those ideas into practice as well) and I love doing them, but if you’re a newly minted bride-to-be, it can seem a little intimidating. Well, worry not. Today we’ll cover everything you need to know, step by step. And I’m sharing some of our prettiest boards from the archive. Read on!

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How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

Choosing your bridesmaids! Easy, right? Um, not so much. For some brides, it’s a simple decision, but for many, the whole bridal party selection process can be a huge source of stress. It’s supposed to be fun, but you only have to watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids to see evidence of how easily tensions can creep their way in. And that’s when you also throw in who’s going to be maid of honour and what you’re going to dress them in. For me, your bridal party are a HUGE part of the day (in fact, it’s the only part of my hypothetical wedding that I’ve ever really thought about – forget the dream dress or decor, if George Clooney proposed tomorrow, I just know who I’d want standing up with me). They’re your special witnesses, the people you’ve chosen to go through your life-changing experience with a front row seat. It’s an affirmation of friendship or family bonds, and a chance to make new memories. Those are all good things. So how do you get past the tricky bits? Here are my top tips for picking an all star supporting cast.Read More

A SouthBound Guide to Diamond Shapes

Image: Alexis June Weddings /Aisle Society/Susie Saltzman on SouthBound Bride

The French are said to die for love, they delight in fighting duels. But I prefer a man who lives and gives… expensive jewels. So sang Marilyn Monroe, and so I agree (plus, isn’t that a fabulous lyric?) and that’s why year after year, alongside all the pretty dresses and details, I find myself sighing at the sparklers on our brides’ elegant hands. And while I’m a sucker for a classic round solitaire, I love the variety that modern brides have in their choices – different settings, different metals, and for many, non-traditional stones (because diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but I also love hanging with morganite, sapphire, etc.) Another area of choice if you’re on the engagement ring hunt right now is shape (sometimes called cut, but not the cut referred to in the Big 4: Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat, which is rather the reflective quality of a diamond). There are actually a huge range of diamond shapes or cuts that you can choose. And, while the ones best suited for sparkle are the old classics (round, cushion), the fancy cuts, as they’re called, can make up for it in uniqueness (after all, how many of your friends are rocking a trillion?) We’ve rounded up some of the more popular shapes, along with lots of pretty, pretty rings from Etsy to show them off at a range of price points. (Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.)

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A SouthBound Guide to Wedding Dress Silhouettes

One of the things you take for granted when you’ve been wedding blogging as long as I have, is that the terminology that’s part of your everyday life isn’t necessarily something that all brides know, off the bat, when they get engaged. After all, you ladies have a lifetime of other things to think about! That’s why I love putting these guides together – quick visual references that give you the tools for your planning, whether that’s in choosing a veil, or deciding on the shape of your bouquet, type of cake, etc. A lot of us know dress silhouettes a bit better, but even if you know your ballgown from your mini, do you know your mermaid from your trumpet? So today we’re focusing on the different dress styles, and illustrating each with some of the most gorgeous gowns I could find on Etsy. Win-win!

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A SouthBound Guide to Veil Types

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Image: Kate Pleasants on SouthBound Bride

When it comes to classic and romantic wedding inspiration, there’s nothing more representative than the traditional (or even the traditional-with-a-twist) wedding veil. Long or short, I love these beauties. So I thought it was the perfect time to update one of the most popular posts from deep in the archive, our guide to bridal veils and types of wedding veils. A veil dictionary, if you will. And of course, I just had to update it with lots of beautiful, pinnable images. The best part? You can actually buy any one of the different veils featured here for your own wedding – just click on the links in bold. Of course, you may not want to rock a veil at all, but if you’re considering it, read on, because you’re about to discover a whole world of pretty options you didn’t even know existed! Links in bold denote sponsored affiliate links. SouthBound Bride may earn a commission if a sale is made.

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How to Plan Your Wedding Using Aisle Society

So, earlier today I shared a gorgeous styled shoot celebrating the official launch of the new Aisle Society website, but I wanted to pop back in and give you a better idea of how the site actually works, and more importantly, how you can use it as a bride or groom to plan your dream wedding – not instead of but as well as the tools you already use. We built the site for you, and we want you to love it, and use it, and be inspired by it, and make it part of your planning journey. The day a bride tells me for the first time that Aisle Society is her first stop when she opens her laptop? I’ll be happy as a happy person on Happy Day in Happyville.

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10 Questions to Ask BEFORE A Venue Visit

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Hello lovely ones! I’m super SUPER excited today, because I finally get to start rolling out the brand new, all-singing, all dancing (okay, it doesn’t sing and dance, but it’s still pretty awesome) SBB Collection, our new directory specifically for venues. We’ve been working with the best of SA’s places and spaces over the last few months, and we’ll be adding them in small groups over the next couple of weeks so that you get a chance to ‘meet’ them all properly, before the full directory is in place. At which point you’ll also be able to download it as a pretty (and handy) magazine! Yay! (Be sure to check it out HERE.) And here’s one of the reasons I love our new directory so much – we’ve tried to make sure that the listings are not only pretty but extremely functional – we’ve included all the info you need to know before making an enquiry or heading out for a site visit. After all, we know what it’s like – you get engaged, you see some gorgeous places online, friends are throwing recommendations at you every day… ack! It’s overwhelming! And while there’s the exciting stuff (the style! the features! that adorable place for photos!), it’s the practical aspects you need to keep an eye on because the last thing you want to do is fall in love with a venue that’s too small for your guest list, for example, or isn’t available on that date you’ve already carved out as yours. Because let’s be honest, some things are just going to be a non-negotiable, but those things vary from couple to couple. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled the essential list of questions to ask when researching venues (take a peek at the bottom at how our new listings answer them!).

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Why Have a Winelands Wedding?

For a lot of people, when you think ‘South African wedding’, one of the images that immediately springs to mind is the beautiful Cape winelands… a bride and groom walking hand in hand among the vines, great food and wine… you get the picture. After all, our wine route is one of the most beautiful places on earth (not that I’m biased as a Stellenbosch alum or anything, but they so are). And yes, we’ve all been to winelands weddings before, but from time to time, when I hear couples say that they avoided estate venues just to be different, I feel a little bit sad. That’s like saying you went to Italy and avoided Tuscany, just to be different. Not because we don’t have a wealth of other fantastic options, but because there are so many more reasons to consider a wine farm wedding than not. And so, since this month we’re celebrating everything vineyard, I thought it was the perfect time to round up my top ten of ’em.Read More

How to Make a Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake

How to Make a Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake | SouthBound Bride

Wine farm brides and grooms, rejoice! This October on SBB, our theme is Vineyard Weddings, so we’ll be looking back at some of our favourites from SA’s wealth of wine farm venues, as well as rounding up lots of little details and lovelies that you can include to bring your location to life (or just bring a bit of the vineyard into whichever venue you choose!). When I think about wine (which is a lot), I also think about cheese – the two go together like love and marriage. So an obvious option for a vineyard wedding cake is to go for a cheese wheel tower instead of (or as well as) a traditional sweet cake. It may no longer be a new idea, but it’s always a crowd-pleaser! Because cheese, duh. And sure, you could just plonk a bunch of cheese on a tray or pile a few rounds up and call it a cake, but it’s much more fun to create something pretty with just as much panache as a classic cake. Depending on how you style your cake, it can fit in perfectly with a rustic wedding, a contemporary one – even a romantic or glamorous one! And the best part is that you (or a friend or family member) can do it yourselves, following our handy tips. And, of course, we’ve rounded up lots more gorgeous cheese wedding cakes (many from our own SBB weddings) to inspire you!Read More