Happy December, lovelies! After a few days away working on another project, I’m back, and I have some gorgeous inspiration to share with you this month before we start dipping back into our annual ‘best of’ series. We’re kicking the advent countdown off today with a styled shoot that I have been looking forward to sharing with you for a while, but the colours were so Christmassy that I just had to wait until today. First off, the palette is amazing – rich emerald and burgundy have that beautiful mixture of warmth and depth, but it’s when copper is added to the mix that some modern magic really happens! Add in some beautiful bridesmaid gowns from SBB Directory member Jacoba Clothing. And don’t even get me started on the florals, because OMG they are amazing! Whether you’re planning a Christmas wedding, a holiday table, or just a wedding that makes great use of beautiful colours and flowers (at any time of year, but especially in winter, when jewel tones are particularly appropriate), then this is your palette! Thanks so much to photographer Nadia Basson and her team for bringing us this loveliness today.
Sorry I’m a bit scarce this week, lovelies, but I’m working like a demon on a super important project here at SBB HQ. But I thought in the midst of all the shopping and holiday craziness today, it would be fun to have an oasis of prettiness in the form of 20 ethereal wedding dresses from two of our favourite Etsy designers, Cathy Telle and Carousel Fashion, all of which just make me all swoony. If you weren’t convinced by coloured dresses before, you will be, and even if you’re after something more traditional, but with a gorgeous, high fashion edge, you won’t be disappointed. So, so beautiful! Let’s get started!
Links in bold denote affiliate links. SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.
Today’s wedding is one of those that I spotted on the photographer, Vizion Photography‘s, social feed and immediately asked for a feature. Because seriously, how can you not love SW and Gerhard’s glamorous, opulent, bright and beautiful celebration? It’s floral but masculine, colourful but elegant, and has so much love and personality, which I’m guessing is a tribute to the smitten grooms at the centre of it all. The couple wanted to create a formal but intimate atmosphere, a sense of occasion but with the dinner party atmosphere that long tables and family style dining provide. Which might be one reason why the guests look like they’re having so much fun! Another is perhaps that uber planner, Aleit, created one of his signature experiences, where each part of the day and decor felt different. From the clean, modern look of the ceremony with an incredible display of orchids and candles lining the aisle, to the lush floral chandeliers at cocktail hour, to the breathtaking reception decor, each part of the day was a treat on its own, and part of a beautiful whole. But my favourite detail? The cake, which is all formal elegance on the outside, with a mardi gras surprise!
You all know how much I love the details at a wedding, but when I’m putting a feature together and curating the images, I have to tell you, it’s the faces that stick with me. The moments of pure elation written all over the faces of brides and grooms and families and friends witnessing the ceremony, and pure love between the couple in those quiet moments out of the storm when they’re having their photos taken… that’s what gets me every time. And there were SO many of those moments in Nonto and Lebo’s wedding! I think the image of the bride as she reaches the top of the aisle, so full of emotion, is one of my all-time favourite pictures. It’s clear what an awesome couple these two are, and their grand romance deserved nothing less than a grand occasion to celebrate it, complete with opulent luxe florals in shades of blush and champagne, rich fabrics, twinkle lights, and a touch of on-trend copper (love this colour combo by the way). But like I say, as fabulous as the wedding is, it’s the expressions of love and joy that will stay with you, beautifully captured on film by Thunder & Love Wedding Photography.
I always wanted to be a horse person, and spend my afternoons galloping through the countryside with the wind in my hair, but sadly, my horse riding experience is limited to just a couple of rides with these gorgeous animals. (To be fair, the last time was on a beach in New Zealand, which was pretty romantic, so don’t feel too sorry for me.) But I love the idea of a touch of equestrian inspiration, especially tied in with a boho feel and gorgeous winter palette that combines soft pastels with a beautiful dark denim blue. That’s what today’s styled shoot incorporates, and it features not just a whimsical picnic-style table and a deliciously ruffled cake, but a beautiful bride and her bridesmaids in their bohemian wedding finery. From the romantic floral crowns to the strings of clear glass bulbs hanging over the table, the details are sweetly casual, and the whole thing has been beautifully captured and created by Anica of MORE Than Just Photography and her styling team!
I have a special place in my wedding-loving heart for elopements. There’s something so utterly romantic about the idea of two people taking this moment away from the rest of the world for just them, to promise their forevers wrapped up in one another with no distractions, and bask in the glow of the moment, seeing it reflected in each other’s eyes. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but a beautiful wedding à deux always makes me smile. And I know someone else who loves these kinds of weddings as much as I do – the lovely Rebecca of Runaway Romance, who has made it her mission as a wedding planner to focus on more intimate celebrations and bring them a special kind of magic through her love of detail and styling. After all, just because it’s only the two of you, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look amazing! Today’s wedding is just that. Theuns and Ewalda chose to infuse their elopement with their love of literature in general and Alice in Wonderland in particular, and the result is a wonderfully whimsical celebration with the sweetest of details, from paper flowers (mixed in with red roses, of course!), to Scrabble tile elements, to a custom ceremony backdrop that proclaimed ‘It was always you’. Told you elopements were romantic! Andries Combrink was there to capture the whole thing on film.
Can you feel it? It’s getting to that time of year again, where it becomes all about summer and holidays and parties and celebrations and the end of another year and the start of new things and new diaries and new dreams and goals and ideas. I don’t know about you all, but I spend most of my year wishing it would go more slowly and then get to November and wish it would go more quickly (because Christmas!). But one thing I’m always sad to say goodbye to this time of year is the Pantone colour of the year because while yes, I often start out lukewarm about it to begin with, by the end of the year I feel like it’s really come into its own as stylists and real brides have played with it and found a hundred new ways to make it beautiful. Of course, gone doesn’t mean forgotten, because even though the wedding and fashion industry move on to the next COY, that last one is still going to be making real weddings beautiful for months and years to come. That’s maybe never more true than with this year, when we got two colours, and both were wedding ready from Day 1. Serenity and Rose Quartz have been like a spring breeze or a summer sunset. I’ve loved them separately, and I’ve loved them together. So it only seems appropriate to celebrate them one more time with this gorgeous modern meets vintage styled shoot. Even better, it showcases the amazing talents of so many of our favourite service providers, including Blue Olive Events, Jack & Jane Photography, Janita Toerien (dress SWOON!) & Candi Makeup. These folks are not just great at what they do, they’re some of the nicest people in the industry, and together with the rest of their wonderful team, they’ve pulled off something truly inspirational. Enjoy!
I’m so delighted to be sharing today’s wedding with you all, I feel like I might break into song (I won’t, don’t worry). Zoë & Mike’s big day is the quintessential country wedding, filled with bunting and lace and proteas and hundreds of origami cranes. It has the sweetest love story, the prettiest blush palette, and a dreamy Robyn Roberts lace gown. It’s relaxed and rustic, and full of love and laughter. It’s all these wonderful things. But it’s also a chance for me to show off one of my absolute favourite venues, Cranford Country Lodge. Cranford is part of the SBB Collection – our growing collection of the venues we recommend because they each have something truly special. For Cranford, that something special is a feeling of authentic country charm, the warmest of farm welcomes, genuine hospitality. With a mix of spectacular rural scenery and rustic chic ceremony and reception spaces, it’s also gorgeous, which makes it pretty much the perfect Natal Midlands wedding venue. The kind of place that feels like a home. For a couple like Zoë & Mike, who wanted their guests to share in their laid back, intimate vibe, it was perfect. And with Kate Martens there to shoot these lovely images… well. Take a peek for yourself.
Who doesn’t love a long distance love story? We all know how difficult these can be, and how much patience and hard work goes into a union where you have to rely on alternate forms of communication, and limited time in person, to get to know one another. So I think it takes a really special connection to make its way past that, and Janine and Francois clearly have just such a connection. Together at last, they celebrated their wedding with a beautiful, jewel toned, festival atmosphere wedding at the stunning Conservatory in Franschhoek, filling the reception with DIY details (including Japanese moss balls called kokedamas), and mixing rustic style with a touch of opulence in both palette and details (I especially love the cake and the maroon bridesmaids’ gowns including a couple by our newest directory members, Jacoba). So pretty, you guys! Karina Conradie took these beautiful pictures.
Outside of South Africa, if there’s one location in the world that’s my happy place, it has to be Italy. Hands down. Which isn’t really a surprise, since I’m half Italian, and I’ve lived there and travelled extensively. But it never gets tired or old or been there done that. And when it’s been a while (which it has for me right now), I get this palpable longing to visit again and breathe it in. Happily, that longing just got a little bit satisfied for me with today’s bridal inspiration, which is like a slice of Italian wedding heaven. First off, it’s shot on the most gorgeous Italian estate you can imagine. Add in exquisite Claire Pettibone gowns on the models (who look like mythological sisters), headpieces from Enchanted Atelier, and lush, elegant florals in classic shades of white and green. A touch of romantic calligraphy? Check. Susie Saltzman rings? That too. And with beautiful images by Magnolia & Magpie Photography to round things out, it’s pretty much the most perfect way to start a week I can imagine. Sigh…