Beach Bohemian Wedding at De Vette Mossel by Anina Harmse

I’m not exactly known for being at a loss for words (Gaby by name, gabby by nature), but I honestly don’t know where to begin with this wedding. I properly love every single thing about it, from the bride’s stop-you-in-your-tracks AMAZING boho ensemble, to the beach ceremony, complete with Moroccan touches like carpets and lanterns and drapes, to the super laid-back rustic oceanside reception in shades of scarlet and protea, to the gorgeous portraits of Conrad and Lucinda by photographer Anina Harmse on the sand. I kind of had to pinch myself a couple of times when it landed in my inbox, and I have definitely gone a little overboard in the photo selection, but I just couldn’t resist the mix of boho perfection and toes in the sand chill. It’s awesome. And let’s just take another moment to talk about Lucinda’s dress and her sandals, because bride looks like an absolute goddess, which was actually her inspiration (and which, by the way, I loved). So I’ll stop going on, trying and failing to introduce this bohemian loveliness, and let you get an eyeful instead.

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Chic Rustic Farm Wedding by Lilly-Owl Photography

Hello lovelies! I’ve been a bit scarce on the blog this week, but it’s only because I’m working on something HUGE behind the scenes. Actually, not just one huge thing but two – let’s just say I’m excited about January! But I couldn’t let another day go by without sharing this lovely rustic wedding with one of my favourite colour schemes ever (red and shades of blue – so gorgeous!) After all, getting married in a farm-style venue tucked away on the outskirts of rural Zeerust is every bit as romantic as you might imagine – as proven by Anneme and Ruben’s wedding, which included magical details like Moroccan lamps (LOVE THIS), smoky mercury glass and blue goblets on the tables, red berries, string upon string of fairy lights, a ‘bush chapel’ and a customised dancefloor. And with Lilly-Owl Photography there to capture this beautiful day, you won’t have to miss a thing!Read More

Inspiration Board: Moroccan Lemon

Happy Monday, lovelies, and welcome aboard SBB Airlines, where we’ll soon be taking off for gorgeous Morocco with today’s North African-inspired board. It’s been a while since I did a Moroccan board, but as destination influences go, it’s still one of my favourites, and this time I’ve pulled together a fresh palette of turquoise and lemon to keep things interesting. Preserved lemon is actually a traditional Moroccan dish, and would make a great favour, but I also really love the way that actual lemons add that punch of colour and life to cool whites and blues. Hire in your favourite Moroccan pieces – lamps, chairs and cushions, tented breakout areas, tea glasses, and then add some intricate detailing inspired by Moroccan doors and tiles to your stationery and linens. It’s a million miles from feeling like a theme party, but still exotic enough to wrap your guests in a jasmine-scented fantasy.

Colours: Turquoise, white, lemon, brass

Top row (l-r): Beach table setup {Stewart Leishman Photography/Intique & Co}; bride in jewelled hairpiece {Stewart Leishman Photography/Intique & Co}; door {Birgit Hart Fotografie}; seats {Samara Leung/The LANE}
Row 2: Lemons {Christine Dovey/Yazy Jo}; bridesmaids’ lamp {Open Vintage Shutters}; Moroccan stationery suite {Laura Goldenberger/Stacy Paige/Wedding Paper Divas}
Row 3: Lemon preserve jar favours {Thoughtful Day/Karen Mordechai}; tea glass candles; dress with belt detail {Jose Villa/Canvas & Canopy/Bona Drag}; spices {Birgit Hart Fotografie}


La Belle Maroc

Oh hello, beautiful! I have such a lovely styled shoot to share with you all this morning, inspired by the colours and romance of Morocco. I’m a big fan of Moroccan-style decor (see our full feature on Moroccan wedding style here) – it’s such a great theme for bringing colour and texture to your wedding design but in a sophisticated, cosmopolitan way and Moroccan decor is also relatively easy to get hold of. So of course I was thrilled when the team from TopVendor Wedding Awards got in touch to share this gorgeous boho styled shoot. TWA was created to recognise the talented service providers in the growing South African wedding industry, and today’s shoot features some of our favourites, including awesome photographer Vivid Blue and decor and planning specialists Flamboijant. I’m more than a little obsessed with the bougainvillaea bouquet – how pretty is that? – as well as the other beautiful flowers including pincushion proteas and the pancake wedding cake. And how stunning are the models’ boho styles created by the awesome Corlé Barnard? There’s so much creativity in this industry and in this country – thanks so much for promoting it and for sharing this today, TWA ladies!Read More

Inspiration Board: Cleopatra’s Gold

Good morning, lovelies – did you have a fantastic weekend? Get up to any Halloween antics? Today’s board is one of my own inventions – sort of a mix between my recent Moroccan influences and a decadent art deco interpretation of Egyptian style. The colours – black, white and gold – are classic for an evening celebration of course, and paired with pretty luxe details like these beautiful bridesmaid dresses, gold-detailed glasses and those sandals, would make for a really lovely wedding. The bride’s makeup would be dramatic, and she’d wear a stunning mantilla – maybe with a flash of sequins on her dress and a henna tattoo. With so much going on with the table settings (love these print tablecloths, by the way, even if Kim Kardashian did use them), I’d keep the rest of the decor relatively simple – isn’t this tent-like draping a simple and lovely way to do things? The stationery would be a designer’s dream, and I’d combine several rich patterns in the three main colours. I would LOVE to see someone pull this off!

Colours: Gold, black & white

Top row (l-r): Bride in chair {P: Jose Villa}; bridesmaids {P: My Big Day Photos}; rings {P: Michelle Turner Photography; P: Leah Michelle}; glasses {P: Katie Neal Photo; D: Alchemy Fine Events and Invitations}; art deco mural
Row 2: Invitations; makeup {P: My Big Day Photos}; gold sandals {Elie Tahari}; gold beanbag; mantilla veil {P: Picotte Weddings; D: Wedding Nouveau}
Row 3: Table setting in gold, black and white {P: Katie Neal Photo; D: Alchemy Fine Events and Invitations}; henna tattoo {P: Picotte Weddings; D: Wedding Nouveau}; sequins {P: My Big Day Photos}; draped reception {P: Frenzel Photographers; C: Jesi Haack Weddings}.


Real Wedding at Fairhill Lodge {Gina & Ben}

If you caught my ‘Inspiration Board revisited’ post on Saturday, you’ll be as excited as I am to see Gina and Ben’s fabulous Moroccan-style wedding. I absolutely loved how Gina pulled everything together (and talk about handmade – this is what happens when a talented artist does DIY!) in a way that was a classy nod to all things North African, without being completely over-the-top or costume party. If you’re considering a theme for your wedding, you could really take a page out of her book. My absolute favourite detail is the tiles she used (and made!) as runners, with the same motif repeated on her invitations and cake. The white tiles look amazing under the silverware, and the pops of colour in the flowers and candles are just mesmerising. I also adore the colour scheme in general, and Gina’s striking mantilla veil (not to mention her dress – LOVE the texturing!). The venue (Fairhill Lodge) is quite classic, but with low tables, floating candles in the water feature and some hanging lanterns, it’s transformed into a Moroccan fantasyland. What a pleasure to feature it here today, and even more so since I’m sharing Bernard Bravenboer‘s bewitching photographs of Gina and Ben’s big day. Enjoy! Oh, and PS, if you have the same theme in mind, don’t forget to check out our feature on Moroccan-themed wedding details.Read More

Inspiration Board Revisited {Modern Moroccan}

Happy weekend! I have a special little bonus feature for you today, and just a tiny taster of a stunning wedding I’ll be featuring next week. Gina is the first bride I’ll be featuring who requested one of my inspiration boards, and I wanted to show you a bit of how her original ideas developed before you catch the final result. When Gina first emailed me, she was feeling like she had all these ideas but couldn’t quite picture it coming together, and wanted the design of her wedding to look cohesive. First of all, I should say that this is such a common feeling amongst brides – in fact, I hear this from almost everyone who requests a board – so if you have reached that stage then be reassured that it’s completely normal! In fact, creating a board at this stage in the process (or revising one you already have) is a great idea, because it lets you see the bigger picture (and sometimes spot from a distance when one element isn’t working with the others). Anyway, back to Gina, who had her heart set on a Moroccan theme for her and fiance Ben’s big day, but wanted to make sure it didn’t turn out looking like a tacky theme party.

Gina had a couple of colour schemes in mind, and when I created her board, I chose the one that was clean white and green, with a little touch of deep purple (using a white base with little touches of colour moved away from the Arabian Nights party vibe). Gina had access to Moroccan decor items, and I suggested scattering these around, with hanging lanterns as a key piece. For the tables, I suggested either a print tablecloth or a white one with tiles used as a runner. I also suggested low tables and a bedouin-style breakout area, and directed Gina to a few links, including this gorgeous Sunday Suppers take on Moroccan dining. Here’s the inspiration board I made for Gina:

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Moroccan Themed Wedding Details

Source: Jose Villa/Cortnie of Canvas and Canopy for Rue Magazine

Welcome to Part 2 of our Moroccan-themed inspiration Friday! Didn’t you just love the dresses I showcased this morning? Not to mention the gorgeous backdrop… Of course, I’ve never actually been to Morocco (although I have done Tunisia and Egypt) but it is most definitely on the list. There’s just something so romantic and English Patienty about it all, isn’t there? Which is probably why it makes a great wedding theme, and I’ve been seeing full-scale Moroccan style weddings or just weddings with Moroccan touches popping up all over the place. But there’s one big word of warning here. Going overboard will make this theme look like a cheap Christmas party. Do not – I repeat, do NOT – go overboard. Don’t lean towards the obvious, but rather be inspired by the general North African design aesthetic, and then have fun with it.Read More

Stephanie Allin 2013 Night & Day Collection

I do love a bit of designer dress inspiration, and I’ve been dying to share this with you ever since I saw the pics of Stephanie Allin‘s 2013 collection (Night and Day) which debuted at the White Gallery this year (boo, I was in Durban and missed it). Then I read that the collection was being shot in Fez, and had partly been inspired by the soft pinks and blues, amber, and metallics found in Morocco, with a bit of a seventies flare added in, and I knew I had to wait until the official pictures were released. So worth the wait. I absolutely love this soft and feminine collection, with layers of texture, and Morocco makes the perfect exotic backdrop to show it off. It has me yearning for a trip back to North Africa to swan around in souks and rock the riads. Maybe even frequent a couple of gin joints. But until then, here are some of my favourites from the collection – and come back later today when I’ll have lots more Moroccan inspiration!Read More

Inspiration Board: Modern Moroccan

Morning folks! First of all, I want to say a big thank you to all of you for your patience with me while I try to juggle everything this month – it’s been tough keeping up with the blog, Twitter and email when I don’t have much time to myself. I can’t promise we’ll resume normal service 100% this week, but I do have some seriously cool stuff coming your way. First of all, three weddings instead of two. Yayness! Secondly, we’re starting the official countdown to the Royal Wedding (which I will totally be checking out as your London ambassador, so follow me on Twitter if you want all the updates!). And finally, this inspiration board, which I am kind of in love with. What makes it extra special is that it’s a reader request, and I had soooo much fun doing it! (Seriously, send me more!) Gina wrote to me looking for some ideas for her Cape wedding – she wanted to bring in Moroccan details without it looking like a costume party. She also had some great ideas for colour schemes, but my favourite was white, green, grey and silver with just a touch of deep purple.

This would be SUCH a gorgeous look for a summer wedding. Think lots of crisp whites – lovely linens, soft curtains billowing in the breeze… With grey/silver and green, the overall look is light and bright and classic, and definitely steers away from the Arabian Nights party look. Being selective about colour and decor against a background of white means you get all the exotic flavour without going overboard. And I love the idea of a few select purple touches – bridesmaid dresses in a rich plum, a plate of figs on each table perhaps, maybe a few cushions. Guests would sit at long, low tables – either use Moroccan inspired fabrics like the one shown below, or choose white tablecloths with decorative tiles forming a runner. Succulents make a surprising and modern accent – I especially love the one used in the place setting here. Also include pretty tea glasses – fill them with flowers or use as a votive candle holder. And lanterns are a must – as many as possible! How incredible does the ceremony area look below with all of those lanterns hanging at different heights? Bedoin-style breakout areas (and of course a Moroccan menu!) complete the desert chic details. Hope you like this look Gina, and can’t wait to see your wedding!

Colours: White, green, grey/silver and purple

Top row (l-r): Place setting (Jodi Miller Photography); tiles; plum bridesmaid dress; lanterns
Row 2: Figs; bride & groom; cushion; flip flops; ceremony
Row 3: Table setting (Beth Helmstetter & Steve Steinhardt); Moroccan tea glasses; breakout area by Wedding Concepts.