I always think you can tell a lot about someone by the way other people speak about them, and if that’s the case, then the talented wedding pro at the centre of today’s spotlight must be pretty darn amazing! Meet Zenobia of Blue Olive Events – I’m always hearing great things about this lovely lady from people in the industry, and we’ve had the pleasure of featuring some of Blue Olive’s gorgeous work right here on SBB. Today we’re finding out a bit more about this Johannesburg-based events company, and even hearing from one of Zenobia’s real life brides!
It’s a sunny afternoon when I drive up to The White House in Morningside, Durban, a little oasis for brides, bustling with wedding-related businesses. My destination is Sposabella Bridal Gowns, an exclusive bridal boutique, and I find it at one end of the corridor – its light, modern showroom awash in sunshine and smiles from owner Gayle Erasmus and her team. From behind a mirrorball desk, they welcome guests like old friends. But the real star of the show is, of course, the dresses. With elegant silhouettes of lace, tulle and sparkle lining the shelves and draped on a host of mannequins, it’s hard not to get a little giddy, and I imagine many real brides do. And that’s where the Sposabella team comes in again, with their reassuring presence and extensive knowledge of what brides want (and need!). The boutique is home to the Enzoani Beautiful range, which is even more gorgeous in person than on screen, and for KZN brides, Sposabella is the perfect place to spend an afternoon trying on gowns and undoubtedly falling in love with ‘The One’. I asked Gayle a few questions about what makes her salon unique, and Michigan Behn was on hand to take these lovely images.
Maybe it’s from watching too many movies, but when I think about wedding dress shopping, I picture a charming little shop full of soft light and plush chairs and flowers and champagne – a place where dreams are made, and where somewhere in amongst the silk, tulle and lace, that perfect wedding dress is just waiting for you to try it on and fall crazy in love, and share that amazing moment with your mum or best friend. Sadly, reality sometimes falls short of the fantasy. So you can imagine how thrilled I was last year to discover the most wonderful little boutique right here in Durban, tucked in amongst the leafy streets of Westville that I know so well. Toujours Wedding Houseis an absolute gem – a light, bright studio nestled off a sunny courtyard, with just the right amount of chic understated detail to let the gowns, veils and accessories take centre stage. Guiding her brides through their experience is owner Tracey Laubscher, who you immediately warm to like she’s an extra bridesmaid, and who knows and cherishes each dress in her collection like a favourite song. I couldn’t wait to go back to the boutique to do a special little tour, together with the talented Eileen Laubscher of Bright Girl Photography. We spent our morning drinking tea, shooting these beautiful images, and chatting to Tracey about what makes Toujours such a special place…
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.