This morning we’re focusing on one of my favourite elements of a fine art wedding – the dreamiest gowns you can imagine! Because of course, you want to look like a masterpiece on your wedding day! So what IS a wedding dress for a fine art bride, exactly? Well, it’s less a specific look than a feeling: ethereal, hand crafted, unique, with beautiful fabrics and intricate details. It’s definitely not your standard wedding salon ivory ballgown, and often it isn’t white or ivory at all – colour is definitely part of the equation. Above all, a fine art dress photographs beautifully, which is another reason why you’ll often see dreamy rivers of tulle in fine art inspiration shoots. But where to find these one-off beauties? Well, there are some local designers who lean in this direction, but you could also take the leap and look to the artisan dressmakers on Etsy, which is what I have rounded up here today. Get ready for full scale swoonage. This might be our prettiest dress roundup EVER. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
It’s Fashion Friday, and this week I’m super excited to be able to share this bridal inspiration, featuring the new collection from one of my favourite up-and-coming SA designers, Elli-Nicole! If you’re not yet familiar with this homegrown haute brand (which extends to both gowns and shoes) – well, you’re in for a treat! Because not only are Elli-Nicole’s shoes BEYOND, but the Elli-Nicole dresses are utterly, breathtakingly fit for a queen too. So basically, bridal heaven. In this lovely lookbook, photographer Jessica Notelo has captured all those incredible textural details – 3D petal bodices, a scattering of pearls like tiny seeds, a lattice of lace. She calls it Jardin de Dentelle, which means ‘Garden of Lace’ in French – and well, that pretty much says it all! So let’s take a stroll down this particularly lovely garden path, shall we?
Jordan Lined Tulle Bridal Skirt by Rebecca Schoneveld
Since this is the month of fairytale inspiration on SBB, I couldn’t let it go by without talking ballgowns! Because when you think of a princess bride, the classic ballgown silhouette is immediately what comes to mind. And yes, some of you might think this is a bit tooooo much dress for you (although hell, if not on your wedding day, when?) but many brides who were initially considering something simpler have ended up with a ‘meringue’ because they were seduced by the magic gorgeous-making powers of this silhouette. With their fitted bodice, flared waistline and full skirt, they’re incredibly flattering to most body types. Ready to be a princess bride yourself? We’ve rounded up 20 of the loveliest Etsy gowns to inspire you! Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
It’s been a week of pretty here on SBB, and we’re ending it off the same way – although pretty doesn’t seem enough of a word for this bridal inspiration from Anandi Photography, which just stopped me in my tracks. It’s full of movement and wild beauty, and the way that the incredible Simoné Couture gown interacts with the backdrop of the Strand beach at twilight is something almost… otherworldly. I’ll let these gorgeous pics can speak for themselves!
It’s a sunny afternoon when I drive up to The White House in Morningside, Durban, a little oasis for brides, bustling with wedding-related businesses. My destination is Sposabella Bridal Gowns, an exclusive bridal boutique, and I find it at one end of the corridor – its light, modern showroom awash in sunshine and smiles from owner Gayle Erasmus and her team. From behind a mirrorball desk, they welcome guests like old friends. But the real star of the show is, of course, the dresses. With elegant silhouettes of lace, tulle and sparkle lining the shelves and draped on a host of mannequins, it’s hard not to get a little giddy, and I imagine many real brides do. And that’s where the Sposabella team comes in again, with their reassuring presence and extensive knowledge of what brides want (and need!). The boutique is home to the Enzoani Beautiful range, which is even more gorgeous in person than on screen, and for KZN brides, Sposabella is the perfect place to spend an afternoon trying on gowns and undoubtedly falling in love with ‘The One’. I asked Gayle a few questions about what makes her salon unique, and Michigan Behn was on hand to take these lovely images.
Hold on tight, beauties, because your afternoon is about to get a whole lot prettier! When photographer Nelani van Zyl sent over this shoot, I couldn’t decide which part I was most excited about. The sweet watercolour stationery? The covetable table decor? The marble cake? How about the flowers – that oversize bouquet that has me dreaming of spring fields? Or how about the drop-dead-gorgeous Cindy Bam wedding gowns, or the ‘Pin this for later’ updos? And let’s not forget Nelani’s images or (and I think after all, this may just be my favourite) the Jacoba bridesmaid dresses in a range of purple and berry hues. It’s all so lovely – dive on in and find your favourite!
De Havilland – Old Hollywood Argento Wedding Gown by Gibson Bespoke (Image: Tamara Lichtenstein)
Well folks, it’s the last day of the last week of our extended beach-themed content, and it’s also Fashion Friday, so there’s really only one thing for it – beach dress bonanza! A beach wedding gown is such a special garment – it should have a mix of casual and elegant, an ease of wear but also a beautiful fit, and ideally some kind of movement, so that it photographs beautifully against the wind and the waves. Whether your style is boho, modern or classic, you’ll find at least one dress in this roundup that makes you go ‘oooh!’. You’ll find all of them over on Etsy. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
Enchanted Barefoot Sandals by Forever Soles
The other day we brought you a whole range of beachy accessories from Etsy, but there was one I left out because I like this lil’ trend so much I thought it deserved its own roundup. Barefoot sandals are something we’ve featured in some of our real weddings, and I can’t get enough of this barely there footwear (or really, more like jewellery for feet!) trend that’s being embraced by both boho and beach brides. It’s barefoot… but prettier. All the freedom and earth childiness, but with an extra something special. From crochet to beading to bling, I found loads of lovely options – these are just 20 of my favourites. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
Most of you are probably chilling out for the Easter weekend already, but I couldn’t resist bringing you some Fashion Friday loveliness today in the form of the new Blush Collection created by SA bridal boutique heavyweights, Bride & Co. I was so sorry to miss the launch of this gorgeous collection while I was on my travels, so I just had to bring you the a sneak peek now that I’m back! The Bride&co team have thought of every type of bride, dividing the collection into a range of ‘personalities’, so there’s something for everyone, no matter your bridal style. I love that there’s also a range of silhouettes, and every body type will find something that fits them beautifully and makes them feel like a million bucks!
Hand Embroidered Wedding Dress by Sumarokova Atelier
How about one last dose of wedding loveliness before we call time on this week? This month we’re crushing on everything floral and garden wedding, and that includes floral wedding dresses – in fact, they’re at the top of our list! From printed fabric to whimsical 3D flower applique and lace, a floral gown is like a little garden all on its own – can you honestly think of a prettier way to walk down the aisle? And as always, when I’m looking for cutting edge, accessible bridal fashion, I’ve turned to the talented makers at Etsy to find twenty floral gowns that will honestly make you swoon. PLUS! For UK readers, Etsy is hosting a popup at West Elm on 17-19 February – we’ve got all the details at the end of this post. Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.