A few years ago, when one of my university friends was planning her wedding, I checked in to see how things were going. “We’re doing things a little differently,” she said. “You might think it’s weird.” I doubted that – after all, I believe couples should do what’s right for them. “There are no groomsmen or bridesmaids,” she said. Makes sense, I thought, if that’s what you want. “There aren’t formal speeches – but there’ll be periods where we’ll have an open mic.” I wondered how that would work, but thought it was a fun idea (it was). “And we’re not having assigned seating.” Wait, say what now? I mean, I’d been to plenty of events where you weren’t assigned a specific seat, but you did get assigned a table, but she was talking about no direction at all. A seating free-for-all. Table anarchy! How would that even work? Would it be like a game of musical chairs or (shudder!) the scramble to get on an Easyjet flight? I’ll be honest, I was kind of dreading it, and I totally made sure my friends and I had done some strategising about nabbing seats together. I worried about getting stuck on my lonesome. The funny thing is, that when the day came around, it turned out to be so not a big deal. A table had been reserved for the family and a few close friends, and everyone else just made themselves comfy. In fact, it was kind of brilliant and really in keeping with the laid back vibe of both the couple and their wedding. So since then, I’ve been a lot more open to the idea of unassigned reception seating, which I’m noticing a few more couples choosing these days. You only need to Google it once to find out this is kind of a controversial wedding etiquette topic, so today on SBB we’re rounding up the pros and cons, and helping you with top tips and wording for if you do decide that unassigned is the way to go for you. Read more
I did a post on the language of flowers a few years ago, when Kate Middleton selected the blooms for her bouquet to represent various sentiments, and I thought it was about time to update it and introduce some of you to a beautiful tradition you might not be aware of. In fact, the language of flowers goes back about 200 years, and was especially popular in the Victorian era, when young ladies consulted one of the many flower dictionaries available at the time in constructing their ‘tussie-mussies’. These days the interest in ‘florigraphy’ has largely been lost, but I think it’s a super romantic vintage tradition to bring into your wedding (as this real bride did to gorgeous effect) and a really sweet, meaningful way to construct your bouquet. You can find meanings for dozens of blooms online (this site is a favourite), but today I’ve drawn together ten of our favourite wedding flowers together with their meanings, which come from The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers by Carley Rooney. And some gorgeous wedding flowers to get swoony over too, of course!
For those of you planning a summer wedding, now is about the time when hair and makeup start moving up the priority list in terms of decisions to be made and bookings to be confirmed – after all, your look is something that relies heavily on the style of dress you’ve decided on, the jewellery or accessories you’ve picked, and the style or level of formality that you’ve chosen for the wedding as a whole. Now’s also a good time to start locking in that hair and makeup trials, and we’ve got you covered with our top tips for how to make the most of this important pre-wedding event. Read more
Today’s post is partly aimed at the overseas brides and grooms, who are considering whether South Africa is the right place to celebrate their weddings (hint: it SO is). But let’s be honest, for those of us blessed to be born or live here, it’s nice to remind ourselves why this is one of the best destinations on earth. A little smugness never hurts, right? ;) To make the deal even sweeter, we’re featuring images from a styled wedding shoot put together by photographer Tania Timkova and Michele Steyn of Passionately Weddings. Tania, a destination photographer, was a visitor to our shores herself and fell in love with SA, especially Cape Town! She wanted to show off the potential to those back home, so worked together with real-life-couple Chantelle & Retief to capture the beautiful scenery, the tenderness, and of course, the love! Read more
Happy Friday, friends! You know, in my years as a wedding blogger, many’s the time I’ve come across pictures of a hapless groom waiting for his bride at the altar, boutonnière akimbo. Bless them. By the time we’re at the couple shoot, that lil’ bout has always been rearranged. Now, whether your groom’s buttonhole is up, down or sideways is the absolute least important thing going on during your wedding ceremony. But to help the guys out (and save you having to fix it later), here’s a quick and simple SBB guide to pinning the boutonnière. You’re welcome, gents! PS Did you know that the tradition for pin corsages (aka the ladies’ equivalent of a boutonniere) is to be worn on the opposite (wearer’s right) side and with the stem facing up? Read more
Before we round off our Friday afternoon (yay, Friday!), it’s time for a bit of practical planning advice. There’s so much to think about when planning a wedding, but one question I get a lot is about when to send invitations, and when/if to send Save the Dates. So I thought I would compile everything into a simple guide and quick (pinnable) reference. Read more
Yay, it’s Friday. And yay, it’s time for the latest in our SouthBound Guides, teaching you all the wedding lingo you need to communicate effectively with your lovely suppliers. Since this is about the time that many of you will be finalising your cake choices, I thought today was a good day to talk about just that – and with it being Nelson Mandela’s birthday, a cake feels kind of appropriate. In fact, it’s been a cake-y kinda week here on SBB, so feel free to indulge yourself in something sugary as you enjoy each of these handy (pinnable!) examples. (Any excuse, right?)
Happy Friday lovelies! We have a full day of inspiration here on SBB, starting with the most BEAUTIFUL boudoir imaginable from the talented Kate Pleasants. If you’ve been wondering if bridal boudoir is for you, and whether it’ll make you feel sexy or silly, then this is a great example of how subtle (and classy, and gorgeous) it can be when done right. It’s about what isn’t revealed, not what is, and photos like Kate’s are little works of art (a gift for your groom, but a gift for yourself too). As well as sharing them today and making the blog all pretty (yay!), Kate’s answered a few frequently asked questions to help introduce you to the boudoir concept. Read more
Happy Friday, loves! What do you have planned for the weekend? Before we head off, I thought it was time for some education, SBB style. As much as I advocate hiring great wedding pros and then trusting them to do their job for you, you’ll want to give them an indication of the kind of styles and ideas you have in mind. Pics are great, but there’s some wedding-speak that will help communicate those ideas (so that you’re not like me at a hairdresser: “short, but not, like, short short”) and that’s what this glossary is all about. So today I’m breaking down the most common bouquet types, with lovely, pinnable examples of each!
Choosing your bridesmaids! Easy, right? Um, not so much. For some brides, it’s a simple decision, but for many, the whole bridal party selection process can be a huge source of stress. It’s supposed to be fun, but you only have to watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids to see evidence of how easily tensions can creep their way in. And that’s when you also throw in who’s going to be maid of honour and what you’re going to dress them in. For me, your bridal party are a HUGE part of the day (in fact, it’s the only part of my hypothetical wedding that I’ve ever really thought about – forget the dream dress or decor, if George Clooney proposed tomorrow, I just know who I’d want standing up with me). They’re your special witnesses, the people you’ve chosen to go through your life-changing experience with a front row seat. It’s an affirmation of friendship or family bonds, and a chance to make new memories. Those are all good things. So how do you get past the tricky bits? Here are my top tips for picking an all star supporting cast. Read more
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