Welcome to SouthBound Bride!

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Hooray, it’s finally here!

For the last few months I have been busting out to share with you guys what I have been cooking up – a brand new brand! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the brand we had, especially my little pink and white Zulu love letter, but for a while now I’ve felt that it was time for something new. Something light, and airy, and sophisticated, and romantic – but at the same time, truly South African. I’m so happy to share our new brand (and revamped site) with you today, as I feel like it embodies all of these qualities. And with this being the start of a new year (and a chance to welcome all of you who just got engaged – CONGRAAAATS!), it’s the perfect moment. So… WELCOME!

There are still a few tweaks being made to the site design (so please let me know if you have any issues, especially on mobile!), and a few more additions on their way over the next few days. First there will be the brand new, revised directory pages, so you can browse all those fabulous wedding pros to your little hearts’ content :) Then (and this is SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITING) we have a huge, amazing venue project that I have been working on for months launching – I’ll be sharing lots of details about this soon! A shop is also on its way, full of the things you already love from bridesmaid dresses to handcrafted wedding details. And finally, we have the launch of Aisle Society to look forward to. January is going to ROCK. (Actually, February might rock even harder for me, but I can’t tell you why just yet ;) ) So basically, settle in and especially if you’re new, get ready for this to be your new online home for wedding planning.

Here are all the places to follow us for the full SouthBound Bride experience:

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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

How to: Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes

Wine farm brides and grooms, rejoice! This October on SBB, our theme is Vineyard Weddings, so we’ll be looking back at some of our favourites from SA’s wealth of wine farm venues, as well as rounding up lots of little details and lovelies that you can include to bring your location to life (or just bring a bit of the vineyard into whichever venue you choose!). When I think about wine (which is a lot), I also think about cheese – the two go together like love and marriage. So an obvious option for a vineyard wedding cake is to go for a cheese wheel tower instead of (or as well as) a traditional sweet cake. It may no longer be a new idea, but it’s always a crowd-pleaser! Because cheese, duh. And sure, you could just plonk a bunch of cheese on a tray or pile a few rounds up and call it a cake, but it’s much more fun to create something pretty with just as much panache as a classic cake. Depending on how you style your cake, it can fit in perfectly with a rustic wedding, a contemporary one – even a romantic or glamorous one! And the best part is that you (or a friend or family member) can do it yourselves, following our handy tips. And, of course, we’ve rounded up lots more gorgeous cheese wedding cakes (many from our own SBB weddings) to inspire you!Read More

Top Tips for Spring Engagement Shoots

It’s that time of year again, when summer brides and grooms book a bit of extra time with their photographers for that all-important engagement shoot (hands down the best way to get yourselves used to being in front of the camera before your Big Day). And let’s be honest, there’s no better time to plan a couple shoot than the spring – think blossoms, greenery, fresh colours, and dreamy light! There are a few things you should take into account, though, so we’ve asked a couple of our favourite local photographers to share their top 10 tips – as well as some of their favourite spring engagement pics. You can also find more e-shoot inspiration in our archives.Read More

Flowers in Season: Spring

Hello lovelies! It might not look like spring outside my window today, but TECHNICALLY we’re supposed to be all about this fresh new season, so I thought it was the perfect time to take a squizz at some seriously gorgeous spring bouquets. Seasonal flowers are a big thing with me – I really think that whatever time of year you choose to get married in, you’ll get the most beautiful, vibrant blooms when you go seasonal. And spring… well, when it comes to flowers, spring is king. We’ve already covered autumn and winter in this series, matching up some drop-dead amazing bouquets with invitations, and highlighting seasonal blooms, and today we get to play with some of my all-time favourite flowers. Hello, peonies! Let’s have a look, shall we… Read More

SouthBound Guide: DJ-recommended Wedding Songs

One of those things that often gets left until last and then causes an inordinate amount of stress is music. I mean, even for music-loving couples, I’ve seen this lead to despair. And it’s understandable, because doesn’t everyone want the perfect soundtrack to those amazing moments… you know, the one where you lock eyes as the bride walks down the aisle, or where you’re announced for the first time as Mr & Mrs and walk in to the thunderous applause of your nearest and dearest, or (perhaps trickiest of all) that moment where all eyes are on you as you take to the dancefloor and it’s like the words of the song that’s playing are meant to sum up your whole relationship. No pressure, hey. Seriously though, choosing music can be tough, and that’s why today I’ve enlisted the help of Shaun of The Wedding DJ’s to give you his expert’s picks for those all-important moments on the Big Day. They’re a mix of classic and contemporary, and at least one of them is sure to be your JAM. Thanks, Shaun! (PS You can find out more about The Wedding DJ’s in the SBB Directory)Read More

How to Find a Maternity Wedding Dress with GF Bridal Couture

We talk wedding dresses a lot here on SBB, but there’s one type that we’ve never really covered before, and that’s maternity wedding gowns, aka gowns for pregnant brides. Now I think a bride never looks more beautiful than when she has that gorgeous mama-t0-be glow, but at the same time, I imagine it’s a bit of a challenge to find the perfect dress when you’re not a hundred percent sure what your body is going to be doing between that first try-on, and the big day. You’re dealing with a whole new body shape, basically, and it’s hard enough for us to flatter the one we normally have, right? It’s your wedding day, and you want to look amazing, not like you’ve been swaddled in a big white mumu, or squeezed into something that shows every lump and bump either.  Choosing a maternity wedding dress is definitely a unique challenge, but fortunately help is at hand. We’ve teamed up with our friends at GF Bridal Couture in Johannesburg (whose impressive bridal range includes a specialised section of beautiful maternity dresses) to answer all your questions on finding the gown of your dreams when you’re dressing for two.Read More

Bridal Beauty Timeline

Hello lovelies! When you’re putting together your plans and timelines ahead of your wedding, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all about those practical things – the bookings, the logistics, the budgets. Or even the creative ones – the palettes, the pretties, the DIYs. But it’s also about you. Unless you’re a supermodel, you probably don’t fall out of bed looking the way you want to on your wedding day, and some of the beauty regimens and prep work need to be started months or weeks in advance, just as much as any dressmaking or stationery ordering. To make it easy for you, as we love to do, we’ve created a printable, tick-off-able timeline just for you! Now, let me be clear. At SBB we believe that the most beautiful bride is one who is the best version of herself. We’ll never tell you that you need to starve yourself, or change your appearance, or even wear a ton of makeup if that isn’t your style. You want to look like YOU – after all, that’s the person your fiance fell in love with, right? So take all of this with a pinch of self-awareness. You do not need to bleach your teeth or shape your eyebrows or get a self-tan before your wedding day. But if you want to, I’ve included those things on the list, so that you can plan ahead. Let’s get planning, shall we?Read More

How to Choose a Wedding Hair & Makeup Artist

In an alternative life, I think I would have loved to be a makeup artist. You wouldn’t know it from my au naturel look most days (the fact that makeup slides down my face in tropical Durbs makes that a necessity), but I used to absolutely love reading about and trying out new looks and products. So when I get the chance to watch an artist at work on a shoot, or better yet be pampered and have my hair and makeup done for me, I love it. It’s amazing to me how gorgeous these talented pros can make all of us look, using their skills to bring out our natural highlights and make brides look like red carpet starlets on the aisle. But for me, one of the best things I’ve seen hair & makeup pros do for brides is give them a sense of relaxation at the time when they need it most – after all, when the nerves are really starting to kick in, it’s their hands you’re putting yourself in. That’s why it’s so important that the person you pick has to be the right one – someone you feel comfortable with, can communicate easily with, and most of all, who you trust to do a great job. Read More

10 Tips for Planning an Autumn Wedding

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of May and have only a week to go of our autumn themed content. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving it – in fact, I think looking at all this autumny prettiness has given me a new appreciation for what’s going on outside my window, and I’ve been absolutely loving seeing the beautiful colours of fallen leaves. So if you aren’t convinced yet that it’s a great season to get married in, then just think about a country walk in wellies on crunchy paths, nippy mornings and hot chocolate, golds and rusts and yellows and mochas… and then translate that to a cosy and intimate wedding experience for you and your guests. But as with all wedding planning, organising an autumn wedding requires a few practical considerations, and that’s what we’re covering today. Here are our top tips to make sure you get it right.Read More