Sarah Janks Bridal Collection 2013

Images: Jen Huang Workshops via Grey Likes Weddings

It’s funny – as I was saying to a friend the other day, wedding dresses were the part of this industry that I was least interested in when I started. I don’t know if the dresses just got prettier, but now I can’t help but do a bit of swooniness whenever I see a new collection. Even more so when I get to work with the gowns on a shoot, as I did with one of Sarah Janks‘ incredible creations, Briana, last year. I can’t show you those pics juuuust yet, but it turns out I’m not the only stylist who picked it out – just look at the amazing pics of Briana from one of the Jen Huang Workshops above. If you want a bit of this uber feminine gorgeousness in your life (and more importantly, in your wedding), you’ll want to check out the Sarah Janks 2013 bridal collection. Sleek silhouettes, beautiful adornment in lace, taffeta and embroidery and soft, floaty draping make each dress something quite spectacular. And there’s another aspect I love – the little capelets, belts and boleros that can be passed down, creating not only a versatile wedding day look but also a special heirloom. In London, Sarah Janks is available at Blackburn Bridal.Read More

A SouthBound Guide to Engagement Ring-speak

Straight off, I should tell you – jewellery is kind of one of my obsessions. As in, I feel naked without any, and there’s probably no gift you can give me – from a pretty costume piece that will fall apart after I’ve worn it for six months to something in a little blue box – that I’ll appreciate more. But one of the things I love most is how some pieces become iconic to their wearers. Take my mom. She decided against having an engagement ring, and instead got a statement gold wedding band – a chunky piece of 1970s gold that is so completely ‘her’ that I can’t imagine her without it. And that’s what your engagement/wedding ring should be – after all, it’s the one piece you are going to wear every day for the rest of your life. Which is probably why so many brides nowadays help to pick out their rings or have them custom made. But once you start looking, you’ll realise there’s a whole world of diamond engagement ring terminology that you and your fiance need to be aware of. Well, worry not, because SBB is here to help you, along with our friends at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers (based in Gauteng, but able to service clients throughout South Africa). A very welcome addition to our sponsorship team, Chris Winspear Design Jewellers has everything you need for your big day, from engagement and wedding bands (including a range of breathtaking coloured stones) to gifts for the wedding party such as cufflinks and charms. Today we’re showcasing just some of their lovely stock to illustrate our guide.

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Parant Parant Bridal Headpieces

Before this Thursday is out and I tuck into an evening martini, I thought it was time for another little snippet of bridal fashion inspiration – and this time, we’re letting things go to our heads. If by things, I mean super gorgeous bridal headpieces from Swedish designer Parant Parant. I’ve been meaning to share these inspiring little pieces of heaven with you for ages, and with everything going Gatsby this year, there’s never been a better time to go for a statement headpiece. I love that the Parant Parant pieces are romantic and feminine, but bold. They make for gorgeous pictures, so if you’re not brave enough to wear one all day, consider doing so just for the reception or even just for the photo session – I’ve seen brides do this before and it looks amazing. Plus it just gives you all the more reason to find an excuse to get dressed up and wear your headpiece again ;) Read More

Elbeth Gillis 2013 Collection

Good morning friends! It’s time to share some dress inspiration, and today it’s from one of South Africa’s top wedding dress designers, Elbeth Gillis. I’m a huge fan of Elbeth’s work – not just because I’ve seen it sitting pretty on so many SBB brides, but because I was lucky enough to work with some of her dresses on a shoot last year. Our model that day remarked that they were so comfortable, especially considering how detailed and beautiful they were, which is kind of the holy grail of what you want to wear on your wedding day, right? So when Elbeth sent over her new collection, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all. I love love love all the illusion lace that’s going on – so pretty! I also loved that the pictures for the collection were taken at a mansion that’s undergoing renovation – something a bit Great Expectations about the combination of rubble and lace. Elbeth works personally with each of her brides, and her team handcrafts each piece to make sure it fits to perfection!Read More

Q&A with Seven Swans

Guys, I’m so happy to introduce today’s third post, and a supplier who I not only like tremendously (and whose work I trust so much that I asked her to create our very own SBB logo), but one who I also admire. I get a LOT of people starting out in this industry asking me how they go about getting their name out there, and I always tell them about Anelle of Seven Swans, one of SBB’s very first collaborators. When I first heard from Anelle, she and her fiance were just moving down to the Cape and she was starting her fledgling stationery brand. She liked what I was doing, and she made contact. Directly, personally (none of these ‘dear blogger’ emails I get every day), with enthusiasm for my work and an eagerness to help wherever she could. It made me want to help her. Then she told me she was planning her wedding, and we dreamed up Real Life Bride. And I wasn’t the only new blog Anelle approached, as she also went to my lovely friends at the Pretty Blog and became one of their first DIY contributors. She is always friendly, professional and full of ideas and enthusiasm, and that came across in everything she did – talk about personal branding! The result? Seven Swans became one of the most in-demand wedding suppliers in SA, Anelle took on an employee and now shares studio space with the equally awesome welovepictures. She’s an industry success story, and I’m SO PROUD of her! And in all of that, I don’t think Anelle has done much direct advertising – everything came from social media and word of mouth. So basically I can’t think of anyone more inspiring to interview today, especially as we celebrate Sparkle & Blush, another winning SBB + Seven Swans collaboration. Welcome Anelle! :)

Hi Anelle! Thanks so much for chatting to SBB today! How did you get started in the wedding business?
While studying Information Design at the University of Pretoria, I always knew I wasn’t going to end up in corporate design or advertising, but with a nudge from my pragmatic father, my first job was in a wonderful through-the-line agency where we did everything from logo design to strategy and advertising campaigns. I learned heaps and heaps from my amazing employers but the creative world of weddings and events inspired my thoughts. When my husband-to-be got a job in the winelands, we moved down to my home town, I got myself an iMac and took the plunge. At that stage there was a tiny gap in the market for fresh, modern (young at heart) stationery. Lucky for me a few important role players loved what I loved in terms of design and gave me all the exposure I needed to actually make this home-office job a fully fledged business.Read More

The Bouquet {Sponsor Showcase}

Time for some inspiration from SBB’s photographer friends! I have to admit, I am a huge sucker for the subject of this month’s pics: bouquets. I know not everyone loves flowers as much as I do, but for me (having been a bridesmaid three times now), the moment the bouquets are delivered is one of the most exciting of the day. I absolutely LOVE how not only has floristry really become such an art but how for wedding photographers they’re no longer just a thing the bride holds, but the opportunity for both breathtaking still lifes, and a way of showing the personality of the bride or wedding. So when I sent out the call for this month’s showcase, I asked SBB’s wonderful photographers not to necessarily choose the most stunning bouquet, but the pic that best represented their style. And wow. Every single one of these images (which actually do show beautiful flowers, by the by) had me floored. So have a look through and be inspired in more ways than one – and remember to show our sponsors some love by heading over from their links to check out more of their lovely work!

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Q&A with Lizanne Higgs Photography

Hello friends! Just before our Friday comes to a close, I have someone lovely to introduce you to. I met photographer Lizanne Higgs towards the end of last year – she had been living in London for a while, but has now made the move back to SA with her husband – congrats, Lizanne! Before she did, I was able to get to know her a bit, and she answered a few questions for me over a glass of wine. I’m sharing what she had to say together with some of the pics from her first Cape wedding – both were teachers, so there was a bit of a school decor theme going on, how cute is that?

Hi Lizanne – thanks so much for chatting to us today! How did you get started as a photographer?
Hi Gaby, this is so exciting being interviewed for your amazing blog, SouthBound Bride. Thank you!
I have had a desire in my heart to do photography since my high school days and now I am finally living the dream. Unfortunately I could not afford to buy a digital camera back in those days and so I set that dream aside and slightly forgot about it… until a few years later when I read the book by Joyce Meyers, I Dare You: Embrace Life with Passion. The book inspired me and I remembered what I wanted to do with my life as a profession, I wanted to be a photographer and within a month after reading the book I bought my first camera in the UK (on my credit card!). I starting taking photos of scenery and eventually a few friends asked me to photograph their weddings and newborn babies and from there on I could not stop. Every photo shoot was more exciting than the last and the adrenalin rush I got on some of the photo shoots was mind-blowing! I LOVE photography. I had some awesome opportunities in second shooting weddings in the UK and from there on shot my first solo wedding in London.Read More

Q&A with My World Creations

Good morning, friends! As you may have picked up by now, I’m passionate about the South African wedding industry, and for the last while I’ve made it my mission to connect couples with great suppliers. I know that sometimes those small business owners with limited advertising budgets have a difficult time, but that doesn’t mean you want to know about them any less, right? So a few weeks ago I launched a promotion called the Days of December, and I’ll be introducing you to a whole family of new blog friends throughout this month in a series of posts. We’re all working hard to make sure this isn’t about boring old adverts, but rather the same high quality editorial content you expect from SBB. You can find all of the suppliers here through the month, but today, we’re meeting the first: Craig of My World Creations, a videographer from Port Elizabeth. I’m always hearing from brides how not getting a videographer is their one regret, so it’s always great to come across someone who can produce something beautiful to complement your photography. Craig has spent some time answering my questions about his business and his advice for brides and grooms, and sharing some of My World Creations‘ gorgeous videos with you today!

Hi Craig – thanks so much for chatting with us! Tell me a bit about your company…
My World Creations was established in 2007. At the moment, we are a two man team with myself concentrating on the editing and the main camera work. I have chosen to specialize in video because of the medium’s “story telling” ability. I feel that there are so many little moments and feelings that pass us by that cannot and should not only be captured by a photograph. I love to capture the essence of how the day felt.

How did you get started in videography?
I got started totally by accident, actually. When looking for a career change about eight years ago a friend asked if I did not want to help him with some video work on the side. With that the bug bit and I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue.Read More

First Look {Sponsor Showcase}

Get ready, because I’m about to quote a Katherine Heigl film. I know. Sorry. But when I was putting together this month’s gorgeous Sponsor Showcase full of ‘first look’ moments, I kept remembering what she says in 27 Dresses: “You know how the bride makes her entrance and everybody turns to look at her? That’s when I look at the groom. Cause his face says it all you know? The pure love there.” And it’s true, isn’t it? You only have to look at either the bride or the groom as she makes that walk up the aisle to see pure emotion written all over their faces – definitely one of my favourite moments in any wedding. It’s also one of the hardest to photograph – impossible (unless there’s a second shooter) to get an angle on both bride and groom, and difficult to capture without being intrusive. I think that’s why I’m a fan of the ‘first look’ photoshoot, where the bride and groom share this private moment ahead of the ceremony (and the pics are always amazing). Fortunately, the photographer sponsors here on SBB are a talented lot, and they’ve once again opened their albums to share some absolutely beautiful, inspiring images that show off their different styles. If you’re still looking for a photographer for your big day, be sure to click through from the photos or links to see more of their work, and they could soon be snapping your own first look moment!

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Bridesmaids {Sponsor Showcase}

Staying with our theme of bridesmaids today, I have some more lovely eye candy from the fabulous SBB photographer sponsors, who have opened their albums to share a gorgeous collection of bridesmaids – both ready-for-their-closeup and behind-the-scenes. I always think it’s a pity when I don’t see any pics of a bride and her girls – not only do their dresses bring a lot of colour and cohesion to the images (and after all the hours you spend picking them, why wouldn’t you want them to be seen?) but because the time spent between a girl and her best friends on the morning of her wedding is so precious and such a celebration of their friendship. When I was a BM for one of my besties, Nikki, a few years back, she decoupaged a gorgeous black and white of her with us two bridesmaids on a wooden box afterwards and filled it with prints from the wedding – still one of the nicest gifts I have ever received and one I treasure, along with a framed version of that pic. It reminds me not only of how special it was to be her witness that day, sharing bridesmaid duties, laughs and memories with the third of our trio, Tracy, but also of all the other special moments in our friendship. Today’s post is a tribute to that wonderful feeling, and also to all  the jobs both big and small that BMs do to make sure that their bride has the day of her dreams.

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