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Traditional Xhosa Wedding by Monica Dart {Tembakazi & Mateli}

Traditional Xhosa Wedding by Monica Dart {Tembakazi & Mateli} | SouthBound Bride

Today is a VERY special day. That’s because today I finally get to share our first full traditional South African wedding (our first, but by no means our last – in fact, look out for a gorgeous traditional Zulu wedding next week!). Up until recently, not many brides and grooms invited a pro photographer along to the traditional part of their weddings (as South Africans will know, many choose to have a ‘Western’ wedding as well – and we’ll be showcasing Tembakazi and Mateli’s separately this afternoon – don’t miss) but I’m slowly seeing that start to change. And being the fan of beautiful photography that I am, as well as everything South African, I’m thrilled. Monica Dart was just the perfect choice for this Eastern Cape bride and groom – she thrives on colour and movement and capturing those little moments that make up your memory of a day, and I’m absolutely in love with these images. Pots full of delicious food bubbling away on the fire, children laughing and playing, families and communities coming together – and of course the unique joy that surrounds two people in love. Read more

Hen Party Theme: Glitter & Glam

Hen Party Theme: Glitter & Glam | SouthBound Bride

Source: Paige Winn via Ultimate Bridesmaid

It’s been a sparkly week, you guys. From a glitzy gold wedding, to a glam rock shoot this morning, we’re on a sequin strewn roll. Yay. Who’s complaining, right? Anyway, I have been seeing quite a few lovely sparkly bridal showers recently, and what I love about it is that if this is something you like but don’t necessarily want to incorporate into your wedding, it gives you the chance to do that. Plus, it’s the kind of theme that your girls will be more than happy to dress up for, and it’s surprisingly easy (and can be inexpensive) to decorate. The key thing is to mix textures, so a little sparkle goes a long, long way. Here’s how I would go about pulling all the details together for the perfect glittery hen party. Read more

The Newlywed Shoe Game

The Newlywed Shoe Game | SouthBound Bride

Image from Sarah & Oded’s beach wedding (photography by Laura Jane Photography)

Over the last year or so I’ve been noticing quite a few brides and grooms playing this fun little game at their reception, including Oded and Sarah, whose wedding we featured last week. It works a little like the Mr & Mrs game on TV (or ‘Check Your Mate’ on South African TV, if you’re as old as I am – remember that? Ha), but with shoes (and anything with shoes is good, right?). How it works is that the bride and groom are set up on chairs with their backs towards one another – try and place yourselves so that the most guests can see you and enjoy the fun. They take off their shoes and exchange one of them (so each has one of the bride’s shoes and one of the groom’s shoes). Then someone – the MC, a member of the bridal party or a family member usually – asks a series of questions where the answer can be either the bride or the groom. For example: “Who wears the pants in the relationship?” or “Who is the better driver?” The couple each raise one of the shoes to represent themselves or their partner, often with hilarious results.

Encourage guests to get involved, shouting out answers or offering suggestions. I’ve heard of occasions where the guests have been asked to provide suggestions for the questions themselves, which is a cute idea – make sure someone is in charge of gathering the suggestions together and filtering through them for the best ones (and getting rid of the inappropriate ones!). Otherwise, here’s a list of fifty suggestions… Read more

Unique Table Name Ideas

Unique Table Name Ideas | SouthBound Bride

Source: Studio Castillero/Jesi Haack Design via Green Wedding Shoes

I’m not going to lie to you: seating arrangements? Not fun. SO not fun. In fact, they will almost certainly suck, and leave you and the man in a hot sweat of how-on-earth-will-we-get-this-done anxiety. (Don’t worry, you’ll make it work.) But if there’s one part of seating arrangements that is suckage free, it’s deciding on your table names. Now, I have nothing against numbers – they’re simple, there are a zillion ways to make them look fab, and they’re easy to follow. The only disadvantage is that sometimes it can feel like there’s a hierarchy (cool people at table 1!), but that’s not such an issue. The reason I do like table names as an alternative is that they’re another opportunity to personalise your wedding details and tell your story. And you know how much I love that by now! Of course, place names are always good, but they’re quite common these days, and you may want something a bit different. So today I have some fun, unique (and, more importantly, completely adaptable) ideas to share. Read more

Mismatched Neutral Bridesmaid Dresses

Mismatched Neutral Bridesmaid Dresses | SouthBound Bride

Source: via Belle the Magazine

Well, you guys, we’ve finally come to the end of our series on current bridesmaid dresses. Ten gorgeous looks, all very different, all completely contemporary. And about a zillion dresses I’ve had to stop myself from buying just because they’re purdy. Anyway, I left today’s trend until last, even though it’s possibly the most usable. That’s because in some ways, the mismatched neutral look kind of encapsulates many of the other trends. If you’re mismatching within the mushroom to nude pink neutrals range, you can actually incorporate some of those looks in your lineup without making it too statement. For example, one pattern in neutral colours, one lace overlay dress, and then a pop of glitter against a neutral skirt perhaps? Texture is a must – think ruffles, soft chiffon and contrasting fabrics. Model Molly Sims pretty much perfected this look for her wedding, which I have been kind of obsessing over for months, but I found lots of less famous brides who pulled it off beautifully too. And I had to include the image on the left below – I wonder if any has been pinned quite as much as this one? I always thought it was from a catalogue, but in fact it was an early adopter of the mismatched neutrals look, a bride who made it look easy breezy and drop dead gorgeous. Just one last note to mention here – most of the weddings below have used white or pale flowers and probably have an overall white or neutral colour scheme. Which is great. But don’t forget that this look works beautifully for bolder wedding colour choices too, and bright blooms really pop against a plain background, so don’t write it off as too vanilla if you’re a statement bride. Read more

Fresh Ideas for Travel Themed Weddings

Fresh Ideas for Travel Themed Weddings | SouthBound Bride

Credit: Julian Beattie

So I’ve been doing this blog thing for over three years now, and although some posts and ideas disappear into the archives, some keep getting hits again and again. But lately, instead of just feeling pleased (thanks for the love!) I’ve been feeling a tiny bit embarrassed. I started wondering if the posts had got a little outdated. I’m happy to say that having read them again, I still think they’d be useful, but it also got me thinking about all the new ideas that have popped up in that time (and still do so). These trends would have died out by now if that hadn’t happened. And while I am the last person to tell you not to use something you love (if it resonates with you, I don’t care how many times you’ve seen it on Pinterest, do it), I thought it was about time I revisited the SBB archive and brought you some updated inspiration. So here I am! Wedding trends 2.0.

Today we’re looking at travel themed weddings – I find it quite funny that I called it a ‘mini-trend’ in my original post (still one of our Top 20 most read articles!) when clearly it’s a theme that has run and run – just recently a planner told me it’s by far her most requested theme. Some of that has to do with the vintage decor movement, but with so many couples either meeting abroad, coming from different places, or just enjoying travelling together, I can see why it’s so popular. And just like everyone’s journeys are personal experiences, you can make your travel themed wedding personal too. In the original post, I covered all the basic motifs: maps, luggage, airmail, postcards, etc. and there’s still lots there for you to start with, but here I’m going to be looking at recent ideas or looks or fresh twists that made me stop and take notice. Like those bridesmaids with vintage vanity cases above – love that! Although to be fair, they didn’t actually carry them down the aisle – maybe a bit much, I don’t know. Read more

Bridesmaids in Skirts

Bridesmaids in Skirts | SouthBound Bride

Images: Jessica Kettle Photography via Bridesmaid.com

Evening, lovelies! Time for some more bridesmaid inspiration, but today instead of looking at dresses, the trend we’re focusing on is bridesmaids in skirts. I think this started with LDS weddings in the US, but I absolutely love how stylish and sophisticated the look is, and it’s actually really budget friendly. As with all the trends I’ve highlighted so far, there are lots of ways of working this – identical skirts and tops, mismatched tops, mismatched skirts, casual tops, formal ones… you can pretty much customise it to whatever look you want. In fact, I think it’s a particularly good option if you’re struggling to find dresses that fit with the style you envision – definitely consider the skirt option, whether simple or textured, short or long. I’ve actually worn this as a bridesmaid before (my friend Abbie was so ahead of her time!) and I have to say that it was comfortable, flattering and really pretty. So here are my favourites from t’internets. Read more

Great Gatsby Bridesmaid Dresses

Great Gatsby Bridesmaid Dresses | SouthBound Bride

Image: Jonathan Wherrett via Vintage Now

Hello lovelies, are you all ready for your weekend? I have a rare personal post coming up today, but first, it’s time to look at another awesome bridesmaid dress trend and this is one I’ve been looking forward to highlighting for a while. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE The Great Gatsby. Ever since I read it, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with the roaring ’20s. I’m also a little bit obsessed with Baz Luhrmann – Strictly Ballroom is my ALL TIME favourite film, with Romeo + Juliet coming a close second (although, let’s not talk about Moulin Rouge or Australia, kay?). So as you can imagine, I am dying to see the film. And the timing is perfect, because fashion and wedding world have been jonesing for this for ages – 1920s keeps being a trend, and it keeps getting better, especially with all the gorgeous embellished dresses around at the moment. Seriously, could someone doing this please make me their bridesmaid? Because I so want an excuse to wear one of these beauties. Full disclosure: it’s not the most budget-friendly look (although I have identified some pocket-friendly options here), but it is mismatched (or even matched), glam, perfection. You don’t need to be having a vintage or Gatsby-themed wedding to pull it off either, but it will add a gorgeous touch of dapper flapper to your wedding style. Read more

Glitter Bridesmaid Dresses

Glitter Bridesmaid Dresses | SouthBound Bride

Image: Chelsey Boatwright Photography/Badgley Mischka via Grey Likes Wedding

Do I ever have some stories to tell about this last week y’all (can I get away with y’all? I want to). I had some plans to write a fun little post about our blogiversary, but life decided to teach me about best laid plans. So I scrapped that, and I have something else to share, soon, from the heart. For now though, it’s time for GLITTER. Because, to paraphrase Audrey Hepburn, glitter is ALWAYS a good idea. Or at least, a little glitter. And one of my absolute favourite places to see some sparkle in a wedding is on the bridesmaids. They feel fabulous (ask me – I wore a sequin gold dress to my 21st – so ahead of my time! – and felt like a Bond girl all night long). They look awesome in pictures. And you get that touch of glitter and glam without having to use it on your tables if you feel like it may be a bit too much. Plus, with sequins and metallics on trend in general, there’s no shortage of options in the shops. So today we’re rounding up SBB’s favourite shimmery bridesmaids, and as always, adding shopping options for those of you currently on a BM dress hunt. Go forth and shop. Or perhaps that should be, go forth and shine. Actually, DO BOTH. Read more

Floral Print Bridesmaid Dresses

Floral Print Bridesmaid Dresses | SouthBound Bride

Image: One O.A.K Photography/Sohomode via One Stylish Bride

It’s bridesmaid dress time again! So far you all have been loving this series, where we’ve already covered some of the other 2013 bridesmaid trends: lace, stripes and ice cream pastels. Which has been your favourite? Today we’re looking at florals, one of the prettiest sides of 2013′s print trend, and with floral dresses being very much in fashion right now, there’s plenty to choose from! There are lots of way to do this – mismatch prints, put bridesmaids in the same dresses – but for me the one I like best (and that I think will date the least) is to mix prints with block colours as you’ll see some of the bridesmaids in this roundup do. It’s such a lovely look! Whatever you do, try to remember the shape of the dress as well as the print – even with a lot else going on, your girls want to look their very best. For the same reason, make sure you take their colouring into account, the way you would do with a solid colour. As with previous posts in the series, I’ve rounded up my favourite real bridesmaid looks, as well as some off-the-rack picks for your shopping pleasure! Read more