Q&A with The Desert Rose Project

Hello friends! First of all, my apologies if you stopped in yesterday and found the site down. The bad news is, it was kind of a stressful day sorting that out. The good news is that the reason it all went pear-shaped is because so many of you have been stopping in to check out SouthBound Bride. You crashed the server, y’all! Which is actually a great problem to have. :) Anyway, I’ve made a few improvements, and the site should actually load a little faster for you now too. Thanks for your patience!

On to today’s feature. I am absolutely thrilled to bring this one to you, because it has everything I love. Friendship, entrepreneurship, art and passion for details, and some good old South African ubuntu. What first caught my eye about the Desert Rose Project was the gorgeous wire hangers that had started popping up in South African brides’ dress pictures, a local cousin to a trend that started across the pond, but with a unique African twist. I loved them, but I had no idea where they came from. Then I started working with Yolande Snyders, a Cape Town photographer and one of SBB’s friends and sponsors. I found out that Desert Rose is a joint initiative by Yolande and her friend Tendai, a local wire artist. Not only do I love what Tendai creates, but I was dying to know more of the story and how this unique partnership came about, so I sent over a set of questions to the pair of them, and I’m sharing their answers with you today. I know you’re going to feel as much enthusiasm for this initiative as I do, not to mention wanting your very own piece of Desert Rose art to add an extra something special to your getting ready pictures!Read More

Q&A with Piteira Photography

Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a crazy but wonderful week at SBB headquarters, as I take a bit of a break to enjoy the Olympics. I’ll tell you more about it on the weekend, but for now, let’s just say that I am super excited and proud for all our gold medal winners! And speaking of South African talent, I have an awesome (part-South African) duo to introduce you to this morning. I first came across Kerry and Luis of Piteira Photography when I featured their adorable engagement shoot right here on the blog, and after that I started following their gorgeous work both in South Africa (where they spend time every year) and in Portugal, and they have really just gone from strength to strength. Somehow we all managed to synch our schedules and catch up in Cape Town in March, and they were just as warm and lovely in person as they’d always seemed online. I love the story of how they met, and I wanted you to meet them too, and to hear a bit of what they’ve learned working in Europe as well as SA. I love the concept of a husband and wife team shooting a wedding – not only do you get two talented photographers and two lens perspectives, but you also get two  creative minds. And I’ll give you an insider tip – Kerry and Luis just happen to still have dates available for December 2012, so drop them an email and let them know I sent you. ;) {Oh, and PS, come back later today for a special SBB announcement!}

Hi guys! Thanks so much for talking to me today! Tell us about how you met?
We met while working as photographers for a cruise-line company and worked together onboard for several years before moving to Portugal.

How did you get started in wedding photography?
Honestly, it was quite by accident. We never really thought about being wedding photographers because we didn’t really identify with the traditional, posed, cliché style that was predominant in the industry… we didn’t even think about it for long enough to consider that wedding photography didn’t have to be like that, until we were asked to photograph a wedding close to where we live. It was a last minute request and a favour for a friend so we took it on and it totally changed our minds about what wedding photography can be. The couple was madly artistic and gave us free reign to shoot whatever, however we wanted, the ceremony and decor was totally original, bohemian and completely non-traditional, we had the best time ever and at the end of the night we decided that if we could shoot weddings the way we shot that one, we could do this forever… and that was the beginning.Read More

Q&A with Francesca Bourke {The Irreverent A-Z Wedding Guide: South Africa}

Good morning! It’s Friday, but I have that Sunday feeling today as I pack up from a week in Cape Town and finally board that flight back to London. Just in time for my housemates to inform me that the summer is probably over, as the sunshine has disappeared. Boo! Hopefully I’ll be able to smuggle some of it into my suitcase! In the meantime, I’m feeling very cheerful about today’s posts, as I have a double dose of fabulous for you! Just a few weeks ago, a friend told me about The Irreverent A-Z Wedding Guide: South Africa, and I was intrigued. Then I got chatting to one of the writers, Francesca Bourke – a real SouthBound Bride who comes from Ireland but married her South African boy here, and got my hands on a copy. You guys, it is awesome. Fran and co-author Martin Heller write in such a combination of hilarious and practical that it’s the perfect antidote to wedding craziness. It has TONS of info especially tailored to South African couples, laugh-out-loud horror stories, tongue-in-cheek bridezilla tips – plus some very flattering mentions of the former Cap Classique (thanks, authors!). And as a book publisher in my other life, I love the production values – it’s the perfect size to fit into a handbag but hardy enough to survive months of being toted about, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s a little bit shiny and gold and special. I very much recommend you get your hands on a copy! It’s available at all good bookstores in South Africa (for UK availability, please drop me an email) and you can find out more on the book’s website or Facebook page. Today on SBB I’ll be sharing a Q&A with the woman behind the book, Francesca Bourke, and later this afternoon you can read an extract.


Hi Fran – thanks for agreeing to answer some questions today! Tell me a bit more about yourself and your book. How did you find yourself writing a book about weddings?
Well, I’d never been the kind of girl who dreamt of her wedding day. In fact, I never thought I’d get married and then suddenly here I was with a ring on my finger, blissfully in love and completely lost! I both envied and scoffed at all those girls who seemed innately to know what a boutonniere was… and then I realised that there must be other women out there like me who just didn’t have a clue and needed open, independent advice… minus all the drama. So The Irreverent A-Z Wedding Guide: South Africa was born.

What was your own wedding like?
Very, very hot! We married in Paarl and on our wedding day we had a freak heatwave – 40C! It was the best day of my life though, despite the heat. I had lots of friends and family over from Ireland so we had a week long party. If I had to choose a favourite part of the day it would be sneaking off with my husband during the reception to have one final photo taken. It was the night of a super moon – the first time in 20 years that the moon was as close to earth – and we decided to have a shot taken in the moonlight. There was something very special about standing on top of a small wall staring into my new husband’s eyes in the moonlight! Things like that can’t be planned and that’s what makes them so special.Read More

Q&A with Elbeth Gillis

I’m super excited about today’s Q&A, as it features a designer I have admired for a long time, Elbeth Gillis. You’ve seen many of her dresses on real brides here on SBB, and every time I do I’m struck by how beautiful they look. Elbeth also has a reputation for being amazing to work with, which really makes the whole process of creating your dress such a special experience. I’m thrilled to be working on a little something behind the scenes with Elbeth too – watch this space! For now, let’s meet the lovely lady, and find out a bit more about what drives and inspires her. (All images are from Elbeth’s 2012 collection.)

Hi Elbeth – thanks so much for taking the time to chat to me! I’m a big fan of your gorgeous dresses – how would you describe your latest collection?
Very romantic and feminine with a vintage feel.

How did you get started in the business?
I studied Fashion Design at CPUT and then worked as a designer for some of the big chain stores before starting my own business designing what I love most, wedding gowns.

Do you have a design philosophy?
Less is more and always use the best quality fabrics and trims available.

Where do you find inspiration?
I look at trends from the Haute Couture collections. Beautiful fabrics always inspire me and sometimes the smallest things like a new sleeve detail or beaded flower can lead me to create a new design for a gown.

What’s a typical day in the studio like?
I usually start the morning by checking on the gowns that my staff are busy with, seeing how far they are and if things are being done the way I envisioned. Then I check the dresses that brides will be fitting that day. I usually have a few fittings and consultations with new clients every day. I will also check that we have all the fabrics and trims we need for the gowns we are working on and either my assistant or I will pace orders or run around to source the fabrics. I will also respond to queries and do quotes on email and update our facebook and twitter accounts.Read More

Q&A with Cheryl McEwan

I’m continuing our series of Q&A today with an interview with the photographer of yesterday’s lovely wedding, Cheryl McEwan. I know from experience that Cheryl’s an absolute sweetheart as well as a fantastic photographer (she took all the pics at the hen party I organised last year) and I’m so excited that she’s joined the other amazing photographers lighting up the industry in Cape Town. I’m also SUPER excited to announce that she’ll soon be starting her own series of guest blogs here on Cap Classique, as our newest real life bride! So look out for that in the next few months. In the meantime, here’s a chance to get to know Cheryl just a little better.

Hi Cheryl – thanks for answering my questions today! How did you get started as a photographer?
Hi Gaby, I’m so excited to be interviewed on Cap Classique! Thank you :) My love of photography started whilst I was living in the UK, and was lucky enough to travel extensively around Europe. Along with my passion for travel I wanted to be able to capture the essence of these amazing places as well as the cultures of the people that I was seeing and meeting. Ultimately I turned my focus to weddings and was lucky enough to second shoot on a number of UK weddings, which led to me going solo and shooting my first wedding in London.

How would you define your style?
I have a reportage type of style – I aim to ‘capture the moment’ as the day unfolds and most importantly I aim to tell a story through my photos.

Which part of a wedding do you like shooting the most?
My favorite part of the wedding has to be the couple shoot, where it’s me and my camera capturing the special love between the newlyweds, and generally just having loads of fun with the two of them – capturing their reactions amongst lots of laughing! I like to form a good relationship with my clients, getting them to relax and enjoy the shoot.

Do you have any favourite photographers or major influences?
South Africa has an abundance of fabulous photographers, however there are a few whose work I really admire and whose work constantly inspires me, namely a few of these photographers would be Nastassja Harvey, Nikki Meyer, Wesley Vorster & Lizelle Lotter. These guys have been so supportive and fantastic I can’t thank them enough!

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