10 Questions to Ask BEFORE A Venue Visit

The Dairy Shed 010

Hello lovely ones! I’m super SUPER excited today, because I finally get to start rolling out the brand new, all-singing, all dancing (okay, it doesn’t sing and dance, but it’s still pretty awesome) SBB Collection, our new directory specifically for venues. We’ve been working with the best of SA’s places and spaces over the last few months, and we’ll be adding them in small groups over the next couple of weeks so that you get a chance to ‘meet’ them all properly, before the full directory is in place. At which point you’ll also be able to download it as a pretty (and handy) magazine! Yay! (Be sure to check it out HERE.) And here’s one of the reasons I love our new directory so much – we’ve tried to make sure that the listings are not only pretty but extremely functional – we’ve included all the info you need to know before making an enquiry or heading out for a site visit. After all, we know what it’s like – you get engaged, you see some gorgeous places online, friends are throwing recommendations at you every day… ack! It’s overwhelming! And while there’s the exciting stuff (the style! the features! that adorable place for photos!), it’s the practical aspects you need to keep an eye on because the last thing you want to do is fall in love with a venue that’s too small for your guest list, for example, or isn’t available on that date you’ve already carved out as yours. Because let’s be honest, some things are just going to be a non-negotiable, but those things vary from couple to couple. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled the essential list of questions to ask when researching venues (take a peek at the bottom at how our new listings answer them!).

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Venue Spotlight: The Venue Fontana

It’s a strange kind of magic, how there are some corners of the world that the minute you set foot in them (or in this case, start down their lush, tropical drive), you know they’re going to settle on your heart. That’s what The Venue Fontana is like. Maybe it’s because it’s built with so much love – built FOR love, in fact – or the way that it’s infused with family, or that it has its own chic and unique sense of style, but it’s the kind of venue that makes a bride or groom think: “Here. This is our place.”

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Coming soon… The SBB Collection

SBB Collection logo

Just stopping in for a little (okay big!) announcement this rainy afternoon. There’s a lot going on at SBB HQ at the moment (a LOT, actually). 2016 is going to be quite the year, and I feel like in some ways, everything is just starting to fall into place from the way I’ve pictured running this business for quite some time. It’s always been my passion to promote the South African wedding industry – it’s why, even when I could make more money by taking a general, international focus for the blog, I’ve always tried to keep things local in terms of the real weddings I showcase and the talents I promote. I want this to be a place that inspires anyone who visits, but gives real, practical access to the best of the SA industry for local brides. Since the very beginning, venues have been a big part of that vision, but I haven’t found the exact right way of partnering with them (and in the meantime, so many AMAZING venues have sprung up, it’s unbelievable!). Until now, that is. Towards the end of last year, I felt the time was right and started to curate my own collection of the best of the best. The venues that give you that feeling of wow. The ones that make me think when I visit: ‘I would totally book this venue on the spot’. They’re all over the country, and they represent a huge range of styles, but what they have in common is that they’re each special in their own unique way, and absolutely gorgeous of course! And very soon, I’m going to be introducing you to them all.

Over the next few days and weeks, you’ll see the launch of our venue directory, with more new and wonderful venues added every day. You’ll also be seeing spotlights of these venues on the blog and on our social channels, along with roundups of different venue types and styles, to inspire you as you get planning – and of course, breathtaking real weddings! Some will be familiar names. Some are newer (and making waves in a big way!) To top it all off, we’ll be publishing a beautiful digital magazine for you to download and keep. An information source, sure. But more than that, pages of love and light-filled images to inspire your most romantic wedding dreams, and maybe spark some ideas you may not have thought of before. I’m so thrilled to be working with the amazing, handpicked venues who are part of the Collection, and to show you that what’s out there in our beautiful country is better than your wildest wedding dreams. So watch this space… the SBB Collection is almost here!

Gaby xox


Featured in You & Your Wedding

That’s right, friends – I am super excited to announce that UK readers can now find a bit of SouthBound Bride goodness in the latest You & Your Wedding, which is on sale now. I can’t wait to get hold of a copy myself!

You’ll have to buy the mag to get all the details, but for now, I can tell you that you’ll find some awesome decor and fashion inspiration. Early this year, I teamed up with the amazing Chanelle Segerius-Bruce and super stylist Louise of b.loved Weddings (as well as a team of fabulous people) to take the Sparkle & Blush concept to the next level. It’s pretty, it’s glam, and it’s totally do-able. You’ll be hearing a LOT more about the shoot and South African brides will have the chance to see it soon too! In the meantime, check out this behind the scenes video exclusively on the YYW site.