I love a wedding that speaks to a couple’s personalities, and Pieter and Nanette made sure to do just that when they planned their wedding. The duo, who the bride says “love an adventure” chose to have their big day at a destination that’s an adventure in itself, the incredible Bordeaux Game Farm in Limpopo. Due to the gorgeous bush setting they kept the details relatively simple and natural, like wreaths of greenery on the walls and beautiful foliage runners on the tables. But throughout, there was this touch of drama and sophistication (“to represent my personality a little,” says Nanette!), like bridesmaids in cheeky crop top and flare skirt ensembles, and pops of colour on the tables. But the most dramatic detail of them all was the scenery, like the huge tree under which the couple said their vows, or those vast African skies just before sunset, captured so beautifully by photographers Page & Holmes.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m obsessed with bushveld weddings, and nothing has made my heart happier over the last couple of years is to see a new, luxury, fine art approach to safari weddings starting to emerge and become part of the portfolio of gorgeous South African wedding experiences. I mean, when you have a background like our wild landscape, the last thing you want to do is compete with it, but you do want to provide an experience for your guests that’s almost sensual, in that it’s about engaging every single sense. Rich, warm textures like leather and wood mixed with soft ones like silk, tulle and lace – a feast for sight and touch. Delicious cuisine served on and in five star linens, crockery and crystal. Palettes of muted pastels and soft neutrals that let those textures and natural beauty shine through. And when it comes to pulling off this look, I can’t think of a better team in KZN than the one I’m showcasing here today. These folks are some of my fave wedding pros of all time, including Joe of Oh Happy Day and Eileen of Bright Girl – they’re consistently creating some of the most beautiful wedding inspiration around and also happen to be the loveliest people to hang with on your big day. You can see why, when I knew this shoot was going down at Cheetah Ridge, I was glued to Instagram for updates, and when I saw the images they were even better than I imagined. So naturally, I picked a zillion of them to share with you. You’re welcome.
LONG HAUL. What a terrible term – it immediately sounds like a schlep: waiting around in airports for connecting flights, jetlag, airplane food… ugh. But when I think of long flights, I get excited, because at the other end of that journey? It’s destination: awesome. Think about it – no matter where in the world you live, if it takes you a while to get somewhere, it’s going to be amazing. And that’s why, when I had the chance to head to the Caribbean to spend some time with my Aisle Society sisters at Sandals South Coast last year, I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to SAA, the flight was a breeze (more on that later), and I arrived in Jamaica full of energy and excitement. And what I found was that a few extra hours of travel were 1000% worth it. When you see not only the gorgeousness that is Jamaica (a place so lovely that everyone welcomes you home from the minute you step off the plane, even if it’s your first time there) but the incredible destination weddings that Sandals has created as part of their new Aisle to Isle experience, you’ll understand exactly what I mean! Whether you’re gathering a crew of family and friends, eloping just the two of you, or making it your dream honeymoon locale, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s check out the highlights of my trip, and keep scrolling for my top tips and necessities for long-haul flights!
Most couples meet, fall in love, and if they’re lucky, end up at the altar. But for today’s fun couple, the altar was where it started! That’s where Keristena met Daniel, it’s where he proposed, and of course it’s where they declared their undying, on a beautiful spring day in the Natal Midlands. Which is something to celebrate, and celebrate they did, in a carnival-inspired reception. Coloured candy floss, popcorn, live music and a photobooth were all part of ‘carnival hour’ as they renamed their cocktail hour, and then moved on to a receptio decked out in the perfect pastel palette of coral, mint and serenity blue (complete with matching blooms!). SO FUN! African Bear Photography were on the scene to capture it all!
This time of year I think we’re all missing the beach a bit, so I seriously can’t think of a better real wedding to kick off our 2018 lineup than Chantelle & Ricky-Jon’s (in fact, I’ve been keeping this beauty up my sleeve for that exact reason) – you guys, this is what beach wedding dreams are made of! Think soft, romantic details, watercolour stationery, a gorgeous tropical setting, fine art ocean-style decor by the supremely talented Absolute Perfection, bridesmaid dresses billowing in the sea breeze… sigh. The tables are simple but perfectly styled, right down to the calligraphed rock place holders and the textures of basket and driftwood – a fine art take on rustic beachy chic that I can’t get enough of. And on top of that, there’s an adorable love story and hilarious account of the proposal from the bride and groom – loved these so much I had to call my mom and read them to her! Aw! And let’s not forget the final cherry on this sundae of amazingness – the most romantic images from Grace Studios. Wow. Way to kick off an amazing year, right?
Welcome, friends! It’s back to work for me today, and I’m kicking off our 2018 editorial programme with our traditional post rounding up the Top 10 trends of 2018. In years past, we’ve nailed many of the trends that are now so very familiar, and it’s always fun to look back and see a progression. This year is no exception! There are some really lovely trends coming through from the worlds of fashion, design, and interiors that we’ll be seeing all over the place in weddings. So let’s get started – and let’s get excited! Here are my predictions – find one or two that resonate with you, and then add your own twist to make them all yours. (This post contains some affiliate links, marked in bold. SBB may receive a commission on any sales.)
Ceremony style has been a real focus in weddings this year, from gorgeous arches to stunning scenery, drapes to chandeliers, and everything in between. I’m so thrilled that ceremonies are finally getting the attention they deserve – after all, they should be the focal point of the day, and while extravagant decor must always take second place to the vows being exchanged, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to set the scene for full-blown romance! From boho to luxe, these were the ceremony setups we loved most this year.
Gorgeous gowns are one of the things I have come to love most about my job and year after year I’m stunned by the sheer beauty of our brides and their choices in bridal fashion, whether classic or daring. Each one comes with its own story, of how it came to be THE dress, and like finding a partner, finding the perfect dress can be a struggle. But every one of our brides tells us when you know, you know! The evidence is clear for all to see, and in between all the exciting talents emerging in the SA bridal fashion scene right now, it is SO hard to pick! But pick we did, with special reference to the dresses that YOU loved on social media in 2017. Each one of these is as special and unique as the woman who wears it, a reflection of the many hours of care that goes into creating a bridal masterpiece. That’s the hard work and talent of the designers we’re honouring here. But slaying it IN your dress? Well ladies, that’s all you.
Yay, bridesmaids! As y’all have probably picked up by now, BM fashion is one of my fave parts of wedding design- even after doing this job for so long, I always do a big OOOOOH! at any perfectly styled bridesmaid party! And just when I thought I’d seen it all, this year’s bevvy of bridesquad beauties came in and made everything fresh and pretty and awesome once more. From mismatched lineups to ladies rocking the same gown, every one of these 20 examples is sure to inspire! And not just for bridesmaids, for the love of fashion too! Which makes it extra handy that we’ve included lots of shopping options. (Post includes affilate links – SBB may receive a commission on any sales.)
Today we’re counting down our favourite cakes and I have to say, this is one wedding detail that I always love! Not just because cakes are yum (and I’ll bet every one of these was delicious beyond!) but because they often encapsulate the style or spirit of a wedding in one gorgeous element. No pressure or anything :) Fortunately, the talented cake designers of South Africa and beyond are well up to the task, and this year we’ve featured some absolute beauties! So here we’re counting down our faves from both real weddings and styled shoots, and whether your style is simple semi-naked or full on metallic glamour, you’ll find something to inspire here!