Caribbean Dream

You know those days when everything is so completely perfect and surreal that you just have to pinch yourself and say “how is this my life?” Well, I had one (or rather, several) of those pinch-me moments earlier this year, when I found myself on a beach in the Caribbean alongside some of my favourite wedding bloggers from around the world, as guests at the fabulous Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. Long flights be damned, it was one hundred percent worth every minute of travel from the moment I touched down in Nassau and (after a personal escort through the airport that made me feel like royalty!) got my first whiff of the warm sea air. It was everything I’d ever imagined this sun-drenched corner of the world would be – if I didn’t have these gorgeous images from our trip taken by Alexis June Weddings to prove it, I might believe it was really just a beautiful dream!

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Are You the Next SouthBound Intern?

You guys, SouthBound Bride is six years old – can you believe that? So much has changed and grown since I published that first little post, and yet in some ways it feels like the time has flown by. This year, things are even more crazy than ever, what with exciting developments like Aisle Society and the SBB Collection, and when I reflect on the successes and lessons of the last six years, one thing always amazes me – just how much I have learned. That’s great for me, but I’m a huge believer in not just learning for yourself, but in developing others – “each one teach one” as Miranda Bailey would put it. Part of being a #girlboss is in giving others opportunities and sharing your knowledge and experience, and also in being open to the fresh ideas and perspective and lessons that working with others brings. It’s been on my heart for a long time now to do something about that, and at some point in all that thinking, the idea for a SouthBound internship program was born.

We’ve hired interns in the past, which was a seriously awesome experience, but this is something a little different. Think of it as a little mini course in blogging – a chance to dip your toes into the behind-the-scenes of an established publication. It’s open to anyone but might be especially suited to communications/journalism/wedding planning students or graduates. Over eight weeks, you’ll learn the basics or develop your existing skills in WordPress, social media, writing, SEO, affiliate and web marketing. You’ll have the chance to get to grips with both the South African and international wedding media landscape, to get an insight into what goes into the creation and curation of strong content, to work one-on-one with me, and to get hands-on experience in different areas of the business. And, while there’s a structure to the things you’ll learn and the tasks you’ll undertake, it will also be what you make of it! The more dynamic and enthusiastic you are, the more you will benefit.

Candidates should be:

  • Motivated, curious, can-do self starters with strong time management and organisational skills and an eye for detail.
  • Confident communicators – especially in written form.
  • Lovers of all things wedding! Whether you’re a bride-to-be/newlywed, someone with industry experience, or just love everything about weddings, you’ll need to be passionate about our subject!
  • Social media savvy – you should at the very least be a regular user of Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, and a regular blog reader (wedding blogs or other).
  • Able to work virtually (with a reliable Wifi connection) and commit 3-5 hours per week to SBB (flexible times) for eight weeks.

Bonus points if you have some familiarity with blogging platforms, graphic design software and photography.

This is an unpaid position, and is open to candidates anywhere in the world, although preference will be given to those with a particular interest in the South African wedding or digital media industries. The position is virtual, so meetings will be conducted on Skype – unless you’re in Durban, in which case the coffee’s on me!

Ready to do this? You can find the APPLICATION FORM HERE.

Tropical Brights Wedding Inspiration

Afternoon, lovelies! We’re continuing our month of tropical inspiration today with a gorgeous shoot by US-based team (led by photographer Krista A. Jones and stylist Bustle Events), incorporating bright colours and cool cocktails – basically everything a tropical celebration should be. I just loved the incorporation of bougainvillea (as you might have noticed, it’s a favourite of mine!), the sunny popsicles, and the neon colours contrasting with black and white graphic stationery. A breakout area strewn with pretty pillows is the perfect place for guests to chill, and let’s not forget the gorgeous bride with her natural hair and wild sprays of tropical blooms. Whether you’re getting married on Hawaiian shores or planning something local, there’s plenty here to inspire the modern bride.

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Oversize Statement Bouquets

I like big bouquets. And I cannot lie. Actually, I don’t know why I would lie, since I’m not alone in my love for the bigger the better the more beautiful the bouquet. Oversize statement bouquets are exploding all over Pinterest and wedding blogs around the world, and I can’t get enough of them. And sure, they’re not going to be for every bride. But for those of you who just can’t get enough blooms, or who want to make a statement (or just show off those muscles from months of weight training), big bouquets are the thing. So here are 20 absolutely breathtaking examples to get you and your florist inspired.

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Coming soon… The SBB Collection

SBB Collection logo

Just stopping in for a little (okay big!) announcement this rainy afternoon. There’s a lot going on at SBB HQ at the moment (a LOT, actually). 2016 is going to be quite the year, and I feel like in some ways, everything is just starting to fall into place from the way I’ve pictured running this business for quite some time. It’s always been my passion to promote the South African wedding industry – it’s why, even when I could make more money by taking a general, international focus for the blog, I’ve always tried to keep things local in terms of the real weddings I showcase and the talents I promote. I want this to be a place that inspires anyone who visits, but gives real, practical access to the best of the SA industry for local brides. Since the very beginning, venues have been a big part of that vision, but I haven’t found the exact right way of partnering with them (and in the meantime, so many AMAZING venues have sprung up, it’s unbelievable!). Until now, that is. Towards the end of last year, I felt the time was right and started to curate my own collection of the best of the best. The venues that give you that feeling of wow. The ones that make me think when I visit: ‘I would totally book this venue on the spot’. They’re all over the country, and they represent a huge range of styles, but what they have in common is that they’re each special in their own unique way, and absolutely gorgeous of course! And very soon, I’m going to be introducing you to them all.

Over the next few days and weeks, you’ll see the launch of our venue directory, with more new and wonderful venues added every day. You’ll also be seeing spotlights of these venues on the blog and on our social channels, along with roundups of different venue types and styles, to inspire you as you get planning – and of course, breathtaking real weddings! Some will be familiar names. Some are newer (and making waves in a big way!) To top it all off, we’ll be publishing a beautiful digital magazine for you to download and keep. An information source, sure. But more than that, pages of love and light-filled images to inspire your most romantic wedding dreams, and maybe spark some ideas you may not have thought of before. I’m so thrilled to be working with the amazing, handpicked venues who are part of the Collection, and to show you that what’s out there in our beautiful country is better than your wildest wedding dreams. So watch this space… the SBB Collection is almost here!

Gaby xox

 

Gift Guide: Groomsmen

As I mentioned, I am feeling WAY more Christmassy as December creeps on (or maybe it’s just that it’s been rainy and dark for days in Durban and it feels more Northern Hemispher-ey than usual). But I must admit I am WAY behind on Christmas shopping. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need some ideas, and that’s why I’ve put together another gift guide – this time it’s for the boys. Each of these would be perfect for a groomsman – or as a stocking filler or smaller gift for the hubs. And as always, keep an eye out for some of our fab South African makers in amongst my picks! (PS You can find these and lots more gift ideas in our dedicated 2015 Christmas Gift Guide Pinterest Board)Read More

CYBER WEEKEND SPECIAL Gift Guide: His ‘n Hers Timepieces

Hello friends! I’m stopping in on a Sunday just to give you some time-sensitive (ha ha) news of the Christmas gift variety. Watches are always a wonderful gift for the man or woman in your life – they’re personal in the sense that they wear them every day, and feel like a real spoil to receive as a gift. But since I know that wedding planning can get expensive, I really sat up when I heard that Ernest Jones were running a 50% sale for Cyber Weekend, which included some gorgeous timepieces from brands like Gucci and Michael Kors. I’ve picked some of my favourites, but you’ll need to get in quick, as they’re selling fast! (PS Don’t forget you can find these and lots more gift ideas in our dedicated 2015 Christmas Gift Guide Pinterest Board)Read More

Gift Guide: Your Wedding Planner

Santa’s comiiiiiiiiing! Yep, it’s true, Christmas is on its merry way, and as well as all things family and food, that means it’s time to start thinking about presents. Finding the perfect thing for my favourite people is something I look forward to all year, and so this year I’m indulging my love for all things gifty with a series of festive guides… with a bit of a wedding twist of course! To kick things off, I thought I would round up some lovely ideas for one of those people who very often start the year as a stranger and end it feeling like you’ve known them all your lives. I’m talking about your wedding planner. And of course there’s no obligation to buy him or her anything – whether it’s over the holiday season or even after the wedding (when all of these gifts would be totally appropriate too!), but sometimes that bond goes beyond the professional – they’ve calmed you down through your ridiculous late night “will the napkins match?” panics, worked out a table plan that has kept old family feuds from kicking off, and best of all, kept you sane, so you can enjoy your wedding planning and this special time with your fiancé. A good planner is basically your best friend, and the holidays are a great time to make them feel appreciated. So! Here are 10 ways I found on Etsy to do just that. For more Christmas gift ideas, have a look at Etsy’s editor’s picks. (PS You can find these and lots more gift ideas in our dedicated 2015 Christmas Gift Guide Pinterest Board)Read More

Karen Tran Workshop Cape Town

It’s funny how every niche has its own celebrities – the names you find yourself whispering with awe at networking events, or that get an automatic click through when they pop up in your newsfeed because if they’re involved, you KNOW it’s going to be beautiful. In wedding world, Karen Tran is definitely one of those names, and since I’m always thrilled when South Africa connects with the wider industry, I was delighted to hear that she was coming to Cape Town to conduct a masterclass this month. I’m so sad that I won’t be able to make it, because no question, it is going to be amazing!Read More

Inspiration Board: The Botanist

Happy Monday, lovelies! When I was putting together last week’s post on the Etsy Wedding Fair, I just fell in love with the gorgeous Liberty print shoes by Hetty Rose, and I thought how amazing they would be for a botanical wedding, which got me all inspired to create a new botanical inspiration board. I really love the unusual colour scheme I’ve ended up with – the soft vintagey peach and off whites, with tiny punches of orange, red, coral and blue. In larger colour blocks, they’d be overpowering, but here they have a lovely, mismatched but pulled together feeling. I’m especially loving the flowers in the image top right and the flower wrapped oversize balloon, and the cutlery escort cards – those little details that catch the eye and spark the imagination. Fun!

Colours: Peach, ivory, emerald, coral, magenta, orange, purple & blue

Top row (l-r): Bride {Hetty Rose}; wreath invitation {Modern Hearts/Katrin Coetzer}; centrepiece {Rustic White/Molly Mckinley}
Row 2: Naked cake {Stephanie Yonce Photography/Amore Events by Cody/Maliha Creations}; cutlery escort cards {Clayton Austin}; cocktail; place setting with fern {Jessica May Photography/Paisley Petals}
Row 3: Balloon with floral tie; peach bridesmaid dresses; botanical wedding shoes {Hetty Rose}

Let’s just take a closer look at those gorgeous shoes, shall we?

They’re created using Liberty botanical print fabric in five different styles, and are made bespoke for you, so you can adapt each style with a heel of your choice and other design features. You’ll find the full range in the Hetty Rose Etsy store.