African Monochrome Styled Shoot by Maxeen Kim

You know, if I hadn’t actually given blood the other day and seen it for myself, I would swear sometimes that glitter flowed through my veins. Show me something sparkly, and I am SOLD. And one of the things I love best is gold glitter against a stark monochrome background. But what do I like even better than all that? A touch of home, of course. Which is why I absolutely adore this styled shoot from the very lovely Maxeen Kim, a South African based in London who not only takes beautiful piccies, but is all about inspiring budget-conscious brides, which makes this shoot not just beautiful but achievable too. Maxeen channeled her love for all things South African into a bridal look and table that has a clean black and white base with a glamorous, blingy sheen – perfect for the modern South African bride. I love the stunning model’s guinea fowl headpiece, the foiled stationery, as well as the sparkly runner, the beaded cattle, and of course, the beautiful chevron cake. This is a look I would love to see in a real wedding one day soon!Read More

Real Wedding at Olive Rock {Mari & Morné}

Hello lovelies, are you ready for your daily portion of wedding gorgeousness? Well, we’re serving it up hot, with awesome on the side. Today’s wedding is a mixture between fun and elegant, with a cheeky nod to the bride and groom’s M&M initials with M&M favours and cute monogram details throughout. Lush white flowers, cute cartoon stationery, soft stripes, grey bridesmaids dresses with billowy baby’s breath bouquets and adorable personalised cake toppers continue to walk the line between classic and light hearted. It’s a combination that really appeals, especially since the gorgeous wedding pics were taken by none other than SBB fave Nastassja Harvey. Tash’s clean, bright style is just perfect for this wedding – enjoy!Read More

Inspiration Board: Olive & Stripe

Happy Monday friends! There’s been a lot going on here at SBB headquarters, which I may or may not get around to sharing with you all. But it’s a new week, and that always means a fresh start and fresh inspiration. Today’s is one that sort of just came together, but I think if I had married, this might be what my wedding could have looked like. I love everything Italian (especially since I have been doing some writing jobs that are making me long to spend some time there again!) but while a rustic Tuscan farmhouse look is fab, I also love the idea of updating it a bit with a bit of a chic modern, black and white, Kate Spade look – the perfect combination of Mediterranean and contemporary graphic. Do you love it as much as I do?

Colours: Black, white and green

Top row (l-r): Place setting {Viera Photographics/The Stylish Soiree}; bridesmaids in black dresses {Ladybug Photography}; heels {Lacie Hansen}; olive leaf bouquet {M&J Photography/Weddings In Italy}
Row 2: Dress with sash {SimplyBloom Photography}; olive grove {Jose Villa}; striped straws {Caplan Miller}; groom {Judy Pak/Dreamlite Photography}
Row 3: Couple {Lacie Hansen}; wine bottle table numbers; olive leaf heart {Camille Soulayrol}; outdoor table {Kaella Lynn Events/Nirav Photography}; bride and groom in Positano {Forever Photography}.


Inspiration Board: Copper & Ostrich Egg

Monday means inspiration board time, and today I’ve decided to do one of my own. I wanted to create a look that was truly South African, but at the same time contemporary, elegant and understated. Neutrals were the way to go, and I love the ostrich shell offwhite combined with black and sage, with copper metallics as a trendy little twist. Another current trend that works well here is the fashion for prints, here using the gorgeous Skinny LaMinx range with their gorgeous pincushion proteas (an ideal complement to the white king proteas in the bouquet and table arrangement pictured here). Add neutral bridesmaids dresses, copper foil stamped stationery and some other shiny copper touches, and you have the perfect fusion of classic black and white, down-to-earth South African-ness and fresh 2013 style. So usable – what do you think?

Colours: Black, ecru, sage and copper

Top row (l-r): Bouquet {I Heart Weddings/flower talk}; copper shoes {Anthropologie}; protea under bell jar {Just Jack/Cari Eksteen}; table setting {Skinny laMinx}; marquee setting {Kym Ventola Photography/Some Like It Classic}
Row 2: Neutral bridesmaids {Kym Ventola Photography/Some Like It Classic}; succulent in copper vase {Kym Ventola Photography/Some Like It Classic}; pincushion protea wall art; copper foil stamped invitation {Jolie Jolie}
Row 3: Bride & groom {rylee hitchner/abany bauer}; print napkin {Skinny laMinx}; copper wrapped boutonniere {Wedding Artists Collective/Gloria Wong Design}; hanging copper tins {Dave Lapham/Laura Helm at Ashton Events}; cake on copper cake stand {A Fabulous Fete on Etsy}.


Inspiration Board: Mellow Yellow

Sometimes I get the COOLEST requests for inspiration boards, and I have been looking forward to this one for a while. Reader Leigh-Anne mailed to tell me about her trendy urban meets country chic summer wedding, with bold black and white stripes and punches of yellow. The relaxed but elegant celebration will feature a number of fun touches to reflect their hip personalities, including black Converses, a braai menu, orchids, peonies and a Vespa! Wow. The board kind of created itself! First stop was a great table setting (check out this wedding for more) – I love the striped table runners and the yellow chargers, and bringing in an organic yellow (lemons) is a fun nod to the country chic aspect. I love the soft flowers, especially this yellow orchid bouquet, and the white painted mason jars are the coolest. Stripes of course are a big motif – as well as the table runners and invitations (how stylish are those envelope liners?), I have fallen in LOVE with these striped Bruno Frisonis, but alternatively you could pair a yellow shoe with a striped sash (I know Leigh-Anne is planning some Louboutins). Bridesmaids could also do stripes, but I love these black belted yellow numbers (especially if paired with soft white bouquets) and stylish heels. I love the idea of the groom in a yellow bowtie and suspenders (reflecting the stripes) – and they go perfectly with the Converse look. I love the sound of a braai menu, and it made me think of what photographer Christine Meintjes told me about her sister’s wedding, where they had a braai station with all sorts of mini braai treats during cocktail hour. So cute. Finally, for equally stylish guests (and fun photos), give cheap shades as a favour, and then ride off into the sunset on a yellow Vespa. Just one last tip for Leigh-Anne, not pictured here, is to grab some black and white striped washi tape – there will be a zillion fun last-minute uses for it. Good luck with the rest of your planning Leigh-Anne, can’t wait to see your wedding!

Colours: Black, white and yellow

Top row (l-r): Place setting {Stephanie Saul Photography/Jessica Frey Photography/House of Flowers}; flowers in white mason jars; escort cards {Erin Hearts Court/La Partie Events}; yellow orchid bouquet
Row 2: Dress with striped sash {Erin Hearts Court/La Partie Events}; striped envelope liner invitation {Cheree Berry Paper/Edyta Szyszlo}; yellow bridesmaids dresses {Krissy Allori Photography + Courtney Jade Photography/Double Take Event Styling}; groom in Converse {Marianne Taylor}
Row 3: Bride and groom {Aaron Shintaku/JL Designs}; shoes {Bruno Frisoni}; sunglasses favour {Marianne Wilson Photography}; yellow Vespa {Carla Mendes}; braai station {Catherine Mac}.


Inspiration Board: Hollywood Masquerade

Inspiration board time, lovelies! I’m back with another reader request, and this one was so much fun to put together! Reader Shiree wrote to tell me about her wedding, describing it as “Old Hollywood meets Phantom of the Opera”. How. Cool. Is. That? She and her fiance have chosen silver, black and white as their colours, and are looking for “over the top elegance” and “masked ball opulance”. Oh my goodness, I have always wanted to go to a proper masked ball, and I just love the way that Shiree is planning to combine the glamour of Hollywood with the mystique of a masquerade. Usually when I’m putting concepts together for a board I’m aware of not including too many big ideas, but this theme is ALL about drama and statement and luxe. Shiree didn’t have a venue planned, but if possible, choose one with a dramatic staircase for the ultimate entrance! Otherwise, you can create that same sense of drama in just about any surrounding (although a high ceiling is a big plus) – I’ve even seen an amazing wedding where a parachute was used draped from the ceiling. Think big. I love the marquee pictured below, with what’s almost an installation of lanterns above the dancefloor – there’s that drama we’re talking about, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth – you can use relatively inexpensive materials, but think big and more (this one’s actually a DIY – see the image credits for the link). Fairy lights are another way to add visual interest – again the more, the better! I also love the idea of other luxurious focal points: bling on the bride’s dress, a cake mirroring that design, a brooch bouquet (the ultimately opulent bouquet, surely?) and a champagne tower (so old Hollywood!). Filigree masks are just my best, and I adore the invitation pictured here, which would then be reflected by a mask at each guest’s place setting (or pinned to a large board instead of escort cards). A good lasercut stationer like Doodles in Cape Town might be able to recreate this look for you. They’re not only the perfect favour, but ensure that when you all hit the dancefloor, it’ll look like a Venetian ballroom. Or just a very fancy party at Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s house. Hope you love your board Shiree, and I can’t wait to see the final results!

Colours: Black, white & silver

Top row: Staircase; ring; Old Hollywood cake {P: Kristen Weaver}; brooch bouquet {Brooch Bouquets on Etsy}; filigree silver mask
Row 2: Letterpress mask invitation {Chic Ink}; bride {Lazaro}; mask favour at place setting {P: T.H. Jackson Huang}; fairy light curtain {}
Row 3: Dancefloor with light installation; champagne tower {Martha Stewart}; masquerade ball {Vogue US December 1997; P: Steven Meisel; S: Paul Cavaco}.


Inspiration Board: Gucci Green

Good morning friends! I felt like doing something a bit different today – a stylish city wedding inspired by the latest catwalk trends. I adore the idea of a rooftop wedding (not enough couples trying this in SA to my mind – just think of the views from the Grand Daddy in Cape Town, for example, or the bar at the Hyde Park Hotel in Johannesburg, and check out two of my favourite Cape Town weddings with city views here and here). This time I’ve looked to Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection and created a bold palette of emerald green, gold and black (with a touch of geometrical art deco) that would really blow your guests away in the style stakes. It’s so striking. And OMG check out this bride wearing a green Gucci dress – one of the most elegant alternatives to the traditional white dress I have seen. Perfect for swanning around a terrace with your new husband, greeting your guests and drinking Emerald Isle cocktails, no?

Colours: Emerald green, black, gold


Top row (l-r): Rooftop table with gold sequin runner {S: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations/P: Scott Lawrence}; Art Deco cake {D: Lael Cakes; P:Jen Huang Photography}; chevron manicure; green Gucci wedding dress {P: Q Weddings}
Row 2: Emerald Isle martini; gold chevron tray; emerald and diamond Art Deco ring; green and gold place setting {S: Sweet Emilia Jane; P: Captured by Aimee}
Row 3: Gucci spring/summer 2012; Gucci shoes; green flowers; gold bottles.


Real Wedding at Mofam River Lodge {Luisa & Ashton}

What do you get when you mix together a beautiful outdoor setting (Mofam in Elgin), simple but covetable rustic-DIY decor, and two of the most attractive people ever to put on a dress and a suit? This wedding, is what. And you guys, it is a cracker. Luisa in her floaty dream of a dress (loving the sash and rosette detail), bridesmaids in lace and groomsmen in panamas (loving the Gatsby-esque styling here), a surfer-boy groom in a killer suit – and that’s just what they wore. Let’s not forget the simple (but very chic) rustic styling (I am loving the idea of the tree centrepieces instead of flowers, especially combined with the chalkboard details) and twinkly fairy lights under a Bedouin tent. Oh my word, and the couple shoot – you could eat the light with a spoon. This here is Catherine Mac showing us why she’s one of Cape Town’s rising stars, and I can’t help it, the word ‘swoon-worthy’ begins to come to mind. So before I start bringing out the wedding blogger cliches, you’d better get on with falling in love with it for yourselves.Read More

Inspiration Board: Together in Perfect Harmony

Happy Monday, folks! Hope you had a lovely weekend! Today’s inspiration board is a reader request from Robin, who is planning a black, white and silver garden/farm wedding for April next year. Robin had already chosen her colour scheme and bought many of her decorations, but couldn’t find a suitable venue in her area, so in the end decided to host the reception at her in-law’s farm, where there is a beautiful garden. I’m not sure what sort of decor Robin has already purchased, so in creating the board, I focused on how you might translate an elegant, slightly formal wedding to an outdoor setting. In fact, the two work perfectly together! Robin already told me she wanted long tables (love this idea, especially with strings of lights in the trees – what could be more romantic) and was considering a collection of glass containers with white flowers in them, which I also think is a great idea. The key then is to balance out the rustic (as a nod to the farm) with the formal. One great idea is to hire at least one beautiful chandelier, and hang it from a tree as a focal piece of decor, which really sets the tone. Stationery can be quite traditional, and calligraphy makes a really lovely detail, especially at each place setting as with the menu cards below. I was going to suggest either white dresses or black ones for the bridesmaids until I saw the pic below – what a great idea to let them wear a combination! The bride can also wear a black or silver sash, depending on the style of her dress. Silver touches come from mercury glass (which you can easily DIY) and just LOOK at this silver cake – isn’t it gorgeous! On the rustic side, consider hessian/burlap table cloths or runners, twine-wrapped bouquets, and wooden or chalkboard details. Make use of pretty features of the garden, like a gate that doubles as a place to hang escort cards. Just because the venue has changed, doesn’t mean that your style has to – in fact, in this case, I think the indoor and outdoor elements work perfectly together. Good luck, Robin – hope the rest of your planning goes brilliantly!

Colours: Black, white, silver


Top row (l-r): Bride & groom {P: Jemma Keech Photography}; chandelier in tree {P: Leo Patrone Photography}; silver and white cake {Yummy Cupcakes & Cakes}; place setting
Row 2: Flowers in varied glass containers; mercury glass votives; invitation suite on burlap {D: JK Design; P:Karen McNeil Photography}; black and white bridesmaids’ dresses {P: Alyse French Photography}; twine-wrapped bouquet {F: Gild the Lily Too; P:Alison Mayfield for Christian Oth}
Row 3: Long tables {C: Meredith Commender; P: Stephen Karlisch}; framed chalkboard sign {P: Alyse French Photography}; gate escort card detail {P: Lisa Lefkowitz}; chair back calligraphy signs {C: Amy Kaneko Events P: Jose Villa}.


Real Wedding at Glen Carlou {Rochelle & Henry-John}

So a couple of weeks ago, I got behind the idea of a brunch wedding, and you guys have been loving it. I think one of the reasons is that it offers an alternative to a full scale canapes-cocktails-sit-down-meal-dance-all-night reception (much as I love them), and that can be a great thing not just for budget reasons, but also for brides and grooms who are hosting on a Sunday and don’t want to send their guests home drunk on a school night, or want to make use of a venue that wouldn’t cater to an evening crowd, or just want a different sort of vibe. Brunch is one option, but today’s bride and groom got creative and decided to host a high tea reception for their party. Not only did the two chocoholics get to serve their favourite kind of food (and just check out the spread here), but they also achieved a laid-back daytime vibe at pretty Glen Carlou wine estate. Guests didn’t have to worry about formal table settings, but could sit and chat with their goodies at a number of smaller tables and other seating areas. It’s all so civilised. And it doesn’t hurt that Rochelle and Henry-John played up the pretty high tea inspiration using details like a ‘tree’ of hanging teacups to complement their black and white colour scheme. I’m all about making it your day, your way, and this is one couple who lived that philosophy completely. The lovely Taryn Ward was there to take pictures.Read More