Colin Cowie’s As Good As Gold, JHB 3 May 2017

I always say that South Africans are secretly running the world because you always find South Africans in the most awesome (and sometimes unexpected) places, doing awesome things. When I first started in the wedding industry and came across celeb planner Colin Cowie, I had one of those moments, discovering that he was actually one of our own. But it’s only now that local industry folks are having the opportunity to really engage with our boy-done-good, celebrate him on our own soil and learn from his experiences. On 3 May, the SA School of Weddings is hosting a fabulous day event (followed by an even more fabulous cocktail party) so they can do just that. And with just a few more days to grab your tickets, it’s definitely a can’t-miss opportunity. (Except for me, since I’m missing it, so that’s the sound of me sobbing in the corner you’re hearing in the background.) Head to the website for tickets and more details!

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


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

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.


Candlelight Cellar Wedding at Groenrivier by Riekert Cloete {Karli & Divan}

I know photographers are going to hate me for saying this (because to be fair, they are a nightmare to photograph), but candlelight ceremonies like the one in today’s sweet DIY farm-style wedding are just dreamy! And even more so in a wine cellar (after all, what good thing does NOT come out of a wine cellar?). Just imagine it – exposed wooden beams, wrought iron chandeliers, stray leaves crunching underfoot and a cool Cape summer breeze just peeking under the door. It’s rustic romance at its finest. Of course, you don’t actually have to imagine it, because Riekert Cloete (one of our very own SBB Directory members) has captured Karli and Divan’s wedding for you in all its lace and burlap finery, including the most adorable little windmill motif that’s perfectly (and subtly) woven throughout.Read More

Bohemian Glamour Wedding at The Glades by Fiona Clair {Jean & Brett}

Hot damn, am I ever excited to share this wedding with you! The first time I saw it, I pretty much mailed photographer Fiona Clair straight away saying: “no seriously, that’s a styled shoot, right?” And she laughed and reassured me that it was, in fact, a real wedding full of real (albeit ridiculously beautiful) people, and that the couple were awesome and head over heels in love, and the whole day was filled with the kind of feeling and joy that you just can’t fake in a photo shoot. Look beyond the incredible wedding dress (OMG that dress!) and the fashion forward forest fairy bridesmaids and the ombre aisle and the forest fairytale decor, and you’ll see that it’s true. This is a wedding that’s beautiful on both the inside and the outside – captured to perfection by Fiona’s breathtaking pictures. A special huge thank you shout-out to the lovely Jean for finding time to answer our questions as a new mum – and congrats on your little one!Read More