SouthBound Guide: How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower {Plus Printable Timeline}

If you follow SBB on Facebook you may have seen that I was invited back this last Tuesday to chat to the lovely Yolanda Martens at OFM, a radio station based in Bloem, as part of her wedding planner series. This time, we were talking all about bridal showers, hen dos, kitchen teas, bachelorettes – whatever you want to call them, I shared lots of info and ideas. (You can hear the podcasts here.) To tie in with my interview, I thought this afternoon I would post the complete SBB guide to throwing a successful kitchen tea/bridal shower (that is, the more sedate day-time party!). If you scroll to the end, you’ll even find a very handy timeline and checklist that your Maid of Honour or bridesmaids can print out to help them in their planning, so don’t forget to pin it! I’ve thrown quite a few showers in my time (both bridal and baby), and organisation is the key to make it as stress-free for the planner as well as for the bride and guests as possible. It’s such a special gift to give one of your best friends – an afternoon with her favourite people, celebrating their relationships with her – but it doesn’t happen by magic. So here’s everything you need to know to organise an amazing kitchen tea.Read More

Bridal Showers & Hen Nights: Who Pays?

Happy Friday, lovelies! This post comes out of an email I received from a mother of the bride asking for a bit of etiquette advice in planning her daughter’s shower. Having come across some sticky situations with regard to the financial side of bridal showers and hen parties over the years, I thought it would be a good one to discuss. Because, let’s be honest, none of us like to talk about money, but it can cause all kinds of unpleasantness.

In talking etiquette, I find it really helpful to go back to the principles on which the rules are based. The key ones here are:

  • Hosting: The rule is that if you host an event, you pay for it.
  • Gifts: Generally, guests attending an event where they are expected to give a gift should not have to pay for themselves as well.
  • Consideration: In situations where guests are expected to pay, the organiser should always take their budget into account. Aim towards the lower end of the scale, not the highest. Let people know costs upfront, and allow them the opportunity to withdraw. When the costs are shared, you need to be democratic.

Hen Parties/Bachelorette Nights:
In general these days, costs for hen parties are broken up per head. Guests contribute the cost of their activities, their dinners, their drinks and, if it’s a weekend, accommodation and travel costs. It isn’t a hosted activity (although it may be organised by the bridal party) so this is generally acceptable. Gifts shouldn’t be expected. If there are decorations and goodie bags, the bridal party will usually cover these.Read More

Real Bridal Shower: Downton Abbey

Good morning, friends! Did you enjoy our Sparkle & Blush fest yesterday? Today we’re back to real life inspiration courtesy of one of our real life brides, the lovely Candice. You’ll remember Candice was our Marie Antoinette bride, and so far we’ve followed her through her whole planning process right up to her Versailles-themed rehearsal dinner (loved that!). Today we’re getting a peek at another pre-wedding event, the bridal shower, and one of the most adorable themes I’ve yet seen! Candice is a huge fan of Downton Abbey (aren’t we all?) – in fact, in her first email to me she joked that she avoided the sun in an attempt to acquire skin as pale as Lady Mary’s – so it was the perfect theme for her bridesmaids to pick, and much fun (I feel I should be saying ‘japes’ here) ensued! There are so many lovely ideas here – and I love that the gifts were so personal and creative. All images are from Louis John van Rooyen of {Moment}ography.Read More

Real Bridal Shower: Rustic Coral

Happy Friday, friends! Later today we’ll be getting to know one of my favourite wedding peeps, but first, I’m super excited to share a lovely bridal shower sent in by photographer (and bridesmaid supreme) Alana Meyer. And here’s a really fun fact – part of the inspiration came from one of our very own boards! I just love that (and seeing how it evolved), and it shows that you don’t have to be planning a wedding to get ideas from SBB. I also love the way that Alana and co. really used the space they had – turning an outdoor area into the ultimate girly tea party location. It shows that throwing a party at home can be every bit as pretty as booking a fancy restaurant (and is a lot less hassle for set-up, as I know from personal experience!). But what I love most are the framed statements from the groom of what he loves most about his bride-to-be, which is pretty much my favourite shower idea in ages, and so easy to do! But enough from me – over to Alana to tell you all about it, from inspiration to reality. Links in bold denote affiliate links. SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.

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Supplier Spotlight: Bella Chiara Kitchen Teas


The first time I went to a kitchen tea I was about three, dragged along with my mom. The ladies played games and put the bride-to-be in a funny hat, and she got presents like fish platters shaped like fish, and mielie holders shaped like corn, and tomato sauce bottles shaped like tomatoes (what was WITH that in the ’80s?). I thought they were all mad. Fortunately, kitchen teas (bridal showers, whatever you want to call them!) have come a long way since then, but they’re still an opportunity for a bride-to-be to spend some quality time with the women in her life ahead of her big day, and I know you ladies are always looking for great ideas. So I knew I had to share it with you when I stumbled across Bella Chiara, a Cape Town-based accessories label who also host creative kitchen teas where a bride and her entourage can make lovely clay decorative items together. It’s a perfect hen activity as you get to know one another in a chilled out situation, and take something pretty home with you at the end of the day. Here’s a bit more from Claire of Bella Chiara…Read More