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Stephanie Allin 2016: Love Letters Collection

Fashion is very much at the forefront of my mind (and my insta) at the moment, what with all the amazingness happening over in New York, but today we’re heading back over the pond to England, to showcase an absolutely gorgeous new collection from one of the UK’s top bridal designers, Stephanie Allin. It’s both current and timeless – not only is it full of classic silhouettes and beautiful heirloom-style laces, it has lots of elements that are very much in vogue, including a range of breathtaking separates and accessories. (Amazing two-piece gown alert!) That means you can mix and match to make your wedding day look very much your own, and have a gown that makes you feel on trend both on the day and in years to come. I also happen to be in love with the slightly bonkers but oh-so-gorgeous and inspirational lookbook images (“don’t mind me, I’m just swanning about my country pile in a wedding dress… mind I don’t snag the fabric as I tend to my bees!”). Mind you, if I had a bunch of money and a country estate, I’d probably like to swan around it in amazing gowns too. The point is, these are beautiful dresses, and beautiful images – so let’s get on and start swooning over them, shall we? Read more

Inspiration Board: You Had Me at Merlot

Hello lovelies! Today we’re continuing the wine theme of this month’s inspiration boards (see last week’s, Rosé), with the rich jewel tones of Merlot. This board is like the darker, more dramatic cousin to the Marsala inspiration that’s been everywhere this year, but dark definitely doesn’t have to mean depressing. Rather, with a touch of gold, white and emerald, and some well-chosen wine-inspired details, it’s the perfect, elegant inspiration. I’m loving it. (Oh, and by the way, I totally nicked the title of today’s board from this adorable novel – such a fun read!)

Colours: Merlot, emerald, white & gold

Top row (l-r): Place setting {Ashley Cook Photography/Dream Design}; centrepiece and coloured glassware {William Innes Photography/Kristeen LaBrot Events/Fujiko’s Flowers}; wine cork ring shot {Jarrad Lister Photography/Perfect Italy Wedding}; candles on wine barrel {Abri Kruger/4 Every Event}
Row 2: Wine stain stationery {Jodi Miller Photography}; sparkly burgundy shoes {Studio 563}; bouquet {Jenny Jimenez/Ryder Sloan Events}
Row 3: Burgundy peonies; cake {Gingerale Photography/Absolute Perfection/Pippa and Polly Cakery}; merlot bridesmaids {Sarah Ainsworth Photography}


Aubergine & Vine Wedding Inspiration by Debbie Lourens & Kadou

When this little gem of a styled shoot from photographer Debbie Lourens and stylist Kadou crossed my desk, I knew it would be just PERFECT for our vineyard wedding month. Not only was it shot at Spier, but the deep shades featured are so reminiscent of wine and the winelands – aubergine, burgundy, plum, fig, a deep vine green… all accented with glorious gold. This is the kind of colour scheme that often gets used for autumn or winter weddings, but with a vineyard wedding, it would be appropriate all year round as a nod to your surroundings. I just love the way these colours work together, creating something cosy but also very elegant. I also love the way that with an eggplant coloured wrap and a berry lip (courtesy of talented SBB Directory member Corlé Barnard), our model’s look perfectly complements the decor. And a seed pod crown? Adore. Read more

20 Stylish Short Wedding Dresses

Bali Sunset Dress by Lace and Liberty Bridal

Earlier this year, we took a moment to focus on short wedding dresses. Because: total chic. Since then, it’s been so cool to see the amount of hits and pins that post has generated, and know that maybe short gowns are having their day in the sun. I mean, full length gowns will always be awesome, but just like a wedding dress doesn’t have to be white, you can pick a length that suits you too. So! Where to start? Well, you know we love finding new designers on Etsy, and this is the category where these designers really shine. There’s a wealth of pretty, flirty, fabulous gowns on the site, and we’ve picked 20 of our absolute faves! As always, click through on the links or images to see more of each dress. Read more

Easter Rustic Wedding at Langkloof Roses by Peartree Photography & Bright and Beautiful {Jess & Gerard}

The happy faces say it all – this rustic celebration is full of fun! Jess and Gerard are one of those couples you can see from a mile off have a jol together, and that kind of relaxed goodness infused itself into their wedding day, through everything from an ice-cream cart to Easter bunnies on the table (a nod to the timing of their big day), to his-and-hers cakes to a surprise flashmob at the reception. But that’s not to say it was short on pretty – oh no! SBB Directory star Neva Ward of Bright and Beautiful did an amazing job of bringing Jess’s navy and blush palette to life, and we also love the stylish mix of two-tone bridesmaids, navy suited groom and groomsmen, and of course Jess’s seriously gorgeous Pronovias gown. All beautifully captured by Wil Punt of Peartree Photography ! Read more

15 Ways to Use Wine Barrels in Your Wedding Decor

Y’all already know that I am all about the details when it comes to wedding decor, and when it comes to winelands weddings, there are a couple of details that can really add an elegantly rustic vineyard ‘theme’ to complement the venue. We’ll be rounding up a whole lot of these ideas soon, but for today, we’re focusing on one of my favourites: wooden wine barrels. I never get tired of seeing these at real weddings – I don’t know why, but there’s something so romantic about them as a feature piece, maybe because they bring to mind the French countryside, or a vintage cellar. Whatever the reason, they’re lovely, and the good news is that they’re also pretty versatile in terms of how you can use them. Here are 15 of my favourite ideas from around the web. Read more

Elegant Winter Town Hall Wedding by Dearheart Photos {Pietro & Adriaan}

It probably says something about the range of South African wedding venues available that in five years of wedding blogging, I think this is the first time I’ve featured a town hall reception. But what a town hall! I had no idea this little vintage gem existed in Robertson, and it makes for the absolute PERFECT backdrop for Pietro and Adriaan’s chic winter wedding, as cosy as it is stylish. Pietro wore an absolutely breathtaking gown from SBB fave Janita Toerien, and put her girls in long sleeved emerald dresses, the perfect complement to the charcoal tablecloths and plum coloured florals at the reception. With candlelight glowing on the tables, and guests merry with good food, good wine and good company, this celebration showed just how to put the warmth into a winter wedding. And Dearheart Photos were there to capture it beautifully, pink skies and all! Read more

Elizabeth Stuart 2016 Collection

It’s the time of year when I wish daily that teleportation was real, as emails flood in regarding the beautiful collections to be showing at New York Bridal Fashion Week. One I definitely wouldn’t have missed is Elizabeth Stuart‘s super chic 2016 line, which really stands out from the rest with its classic silhouettes, clean lines, and gorgeous fabrics. It’s thoroughly modern, and yet there’s a touch of delicious retro about it too (reflected in the to-die-for hair and makeup in this lovely lookbook) – I can imagine an old school Hollywood icon donning one of these beautiful gowns, just as well as any contemporary bride. Read more

Vineyard Blush Wedding at Landtscap by Agapé Studio & Wedding Concepts {Lara & Louis}

Since we’re all about vineyard weddings this month, it’s only appropriate that we kick off our real weddings with a winelands celebration, and this bright beauty comes from some of our favourite wedding pros, including Wedding Concepts, Leipzig and Agapé Studio. What a lineup! Lara and Louis opted for a romantic modern style, employing 50 shades of pretty in pink across their flowers and decor, with just a touch of rose gold glitter. Everything about it is stylish and contemporary, but just the right amount of soft and girly too. But the best blush of all, is the blush of love across these lovebirds’ cheeks, as they celebrate their best day ever with family and friends and, of course, each other. Beautiful! Read more

Why Have a Winelands Wedding?

For a lot of people, when you think ‘South African wedding’, one of the images that immediately springs to mind is the beautiful Cape winelands… a bride and groom walking hand in hand among the vines, great food and wine… you get the picture. After all, our wine route is one of the most beautiful places on earth (not that I’m biased as a Stellenbosch alum or anything, but they so are). And yes, we’ve all been to winelands weddings before, but from time to time, when I hear couples say that they avoided estate venues just to be different, I feel a little bit sad. That’s like saying you went to Italy and avoided Tuscany, just to be different. Not because we don’t have a wealth of other fantastic options, but because there are so many more reasons to consider a wine farm wedding than not. And so, since this month we’re celebrating everything vineyard, I thought it was the perfect time to round up my top ten of ’em. Read more