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We All Have Roots in Africa by Cheryl McEwan & Creation Events

Ready, steady, let’s GO! I’m so excited to share a week of proudly South African wedding inspiration here on SBB, starting with this delightful shoot from two long-time supporters of the blog (along with their talented team), stylist Theresa of Creation Events and photographer Cheryl McEwan. Instead of choosing a single South African twist, they were inspired by just how eclectic and diverse our cumulative culture is (one of the things I love most about SA) and created a look for both ceremony and reception that incorporated a mix of the gorgeous textures and colours of our nation. Including a beadwork cake, which I am absolutely DYING over, leather accented stationery (how. cool. is. that.) and lots of beautiful, beautiful proteas. Put simply, these are a few of our favourite things :) Read more

Styled Shoot Contest Week on SBB

Happy Sunday SouthBound brideys! I’m SO excited to kick off this week, because I have the most gorgeous, totally inspiring, proudly South African inspired week of content to share. For the next five days, I’ll be sharing the shoots created by the five finalist teams in our SouthBound Bride Styled Shoot Competition 2014, with the winner to be announced the following Monday. And let me tell you, that is going to be one impossible decision! There are so many amazing ideas and images in each shoot and I’m not only blown away, but humbled and grateful that the talented suppliers chose to dedicate their time and energy to this project.

Although this isn’t a reader’s choice contest, we’d love to hear what you think, and will be sharing all kinds of goodness from the shoots on social media throughout the week. As well as the main post each day, you can also look forward to a second one, telling you more about how to get the look, including five stealable ideas from each set-up. Because after all, this isn’t just a showcase of local creativity, but at the end of the day, it’s a chance to bring brides fresh ideas (that’s YOU!) for their weddings from some of the best in the industry.

I just HAVE to share a tiny little sneak peek from each shoot – but WAIT till you see the rest!

Team leaders clockwise from top left: Memory Box Photography | Leipzig | Kadou | Creation Events | Yellow Papaya

Find out more about all our finalists and their shoot concepts here.


Rock (‘n Roll) The Frock Styled Bridal Portrait

Am I ever glad to see Friday – it’s not been my favourite week, and I’m very glad the weekend is finally here. Especially since I’ll be working on the posts for next week’s SUPER exciting reveal of the styled shoot finalists. Wait until you see them! But first, we have a styled shoot of a very different kind. I love the creativity that Debbie Lourens always brings to her styled bridal portraits, and today’s is for a statement modern bride (with a bit of a love for retro). Together with Marnel Toerien on hair and makeup, she channeled her love of the ’80s into a funky rock the frock (literally!) session full of vinyl, glitter and alternative bridal style. Gorge. Read more

Eco Chic Botanical Wedding at Rosemary Hill by Van der Bijl Photography {Leigh & Byron}

When Brownwyn of Van der Bijl Photography sent over today’s gorgeous organic-lovely wedding, I had to go back and double check her email after the first few pics that this was a real wedding and not a styled shoot, since the florals and details are that perfectly styled. Of course, once I saw Leigh and Byron’s ceremony pics, the happy tears and the love between the couple (and on the faces of all their guests) there was no doubt this was as real a wedding as you’ll find, which of course makes me love every pretty botanical detail put together by Carol-Anne of Eco-chic Weddings even more. And eco-chic is the right word – everything right down to Leigh’s gorgeous frothy dress was created with an eye on upcycling and sustainability. It’s a beautiful day with a big heart, and I’m delighted to be sharing it with you all! Read more

Black Natural Wedding Hair Inspiration

I thought it was about time we did some hair inspiration, and this one is especially for our beautiful brides of colour! I’ll be honest with you guys, I know next to nothing about black hair care, and what goes into the decision to wear yours straightened or au naturel for your wedding day, but I have to tell you, I absolutely adore this look and I wish I saw it more outside of styled shoots and fashion editorials. Whether it’s a long mass of curls or twists, a stylish fro, or something super-short, Lupita-style, each of these looks is super glam in an unfussy way, but what I like best is that I feel like each of the brides’ best features are really able to shine. Flawless makeup is a must, and as you’ll see, the choice of accessories is wide and wonderful, from chunky statement necklaces to delicate hairpieces and lush flowers. Which is your favourite look? Read more

Dreamy & Romantic Farm Wedding by Vanilla Photography {Sherri & Jacques}

I love hearing stories of high school sweethearts who grow up and get married, don’t you? Although, I should add, that I also thank the good lord for not making me personally end up with any of the boys I liked in high school. Let’s just say… well, let’s not just say. But no. Today’s couple, on the other hand, are one of those sweet success stories – and eight years down the line they tied the knot on the same farm where they built a home, the same home where Jacques proposed. Isn’t that so lovely? And even though this was a farm wedding with a touch of rustic, Sherri had the romantic wedding style down to a tee. Amongst many, my favourite detail is the little calligraphed glass cloche table numbers – the sort of special touch that makes my heart happy, and perfectly finishes off a perfectly wonderful day. The always-awesome Vanilla Photography were there to take these super dreamy pics. Read more

Inspiration Board: Oracle

Morning lovelies! Time to greet another week, and there’s no better way to do that than with an inspiration board, right? If you’ve been following for any amount of time you’ll probably know by now that I just love olive leaves as wedding decoration. So today I thought I would pair this Mediterranean favourite with glamorous gold – perfect for a bride who wants to feel like a Grecian goddess on her big day. Which leads me to wonder – is there ANYTHING that doesn’t look amazing with gold right now? Because no, I don’t think there is. I especially love the idea of a bride in a soft grey or nude colour dress, and bridesmaids in shimmery glitz, paired with olive leaves and soft white flowers on the tables. Gorgeous.

Colours: Gold, green, white and neutrals

Top row (l-r): Bride {Jose Villa}; table decor {Michael + Anna Costa Photography/Joy De Vivre Event Design Boutique}; gold dress {Feather & Stone}
Row 2: Boutonnieres {Jason & Anna Photography/Engaged & Inspired/Floral Theory}; bouquet {Xavier Navarro}; menu {Rylee Hitchner/Jessica Sloane Event Styling & Design/Molly Jacques Illustration}
Row 3: Gold seal {Sarah Drake Design}; gold and olive cake {Amalie Orrange Photography}; olive leaf crown {Lucia Gill Photography/Joya Rose}.


Announcement: We’re Hiring!


This announcement has been a long while in the making, and this weekend I realised – it’s TIME. Because as much as I love my little kingdom of SouthBound Bride and that it’s been entirely my domain for four years, the fact is that we’ve come to a point where the website and the business won’t expand and move forward any further with me working alone. I think I passed the point where I could really do everything a while back, but I kept pushing along. But in the next few months there are some projects to get moving, some changes to be made, and it’s time that I get some help. And not just help – I’m excited about opening up the blog to the new ideas, the fresh approach and the renewed enthusiasm that a new person will bring. The long and the short of it is – we’re hiring! I’m looking for someone who wants to learn all about blogging and weddings from one of the top blogs in South Africa, and who is able to work remotely via Skype and email – reliable internet access is a must.

Who are we looking for?

Ideally, you will be:

  • a dynamic, creative, efficient self-starter
  • passionate and knowledgeable about weddings (whether you’re in or hoping to be in the industry, a bride yourself, or just a wedding enthusiast)
  • familiar with SouthBound Bride’s editorial style and content
  • an able, confident writer with a firm grasp of spelling and grammar
  • able to communicate well with readers and associates both by phone and email
  • comfortable with social media (specifically Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest)
  • experienced with WordPress, InDesign and Photoshop (not a necessity, but an advantage)
  • based either in South Africa or the UK, and available to work remotely for 5 hours per week (flexible hours).

What’s in it for you?

The role is likely to develop and change, depending on what’s going on at the time, but here are some of the things you’ll learn:

  • What goes into our blog posts – brainstorming the editorial schedule, selecting real weddings and emailing brides and photographers, researching trends and images, laying out and coding posts for the site using WordPress. You’ll also have the opportunity to write some posts yourself.
  • Hands-on experience of digital marketing, SEO and social media promotion, including building SBB’s social media profile.
  • Networking with wedding professionals, including attending events with or without me where possible.
  • Depending on location, assisting in editorial shoots.
  • Building strong relationships with sponsors and advertisers.

As mentioned above, the role will be on a freelance basis for 5 hours per week for a trial term of 3 months (with the possibility of this period being extended). You’ll be working remotely, but depending on your location, we’ll try to meet up in person. You’ll need to have your own computer and (I’ll say it again, since in SA it’s definitely not a given) reliable internet access. And yes, this is a paid position.

Does this sound like something you’re interested in? If so, you’ll need to complete the application form before midnight on Sunday 31 August 2014. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION. I’ll be in touch with applicants who I think would be a good fit for the position within the first two weeks of September.

I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you, and to welcoming one of you to the SBB family! Drop me an email if you have any questions.

Have a lovely Sunday guys!

Gaby xx

Top image by Anneli Marinovich


Sarah Houston 2015 Collection

Hey HEY. We’re finishing off our week in the prettiest way possible, with some gorgeous wedding dresses! Today I’m spotlighting Sarah Houston, a Canadian designer whose flagship store is based in Toronto. I’m new to Sarah’s label, but when her team sent over a sneak peek at her brand new collection, I immediately became a huge fan. I love the combination of textures, from sparkle and embroidery to feathers and soft ruffles and lace, and the way that Sarah’s designs are so very feminine, but with a stylish fashion forward edge. The end result is glamorous and romantic all at once, and with brides all over the world wearing Sarah’s designs, sure to inspire. Enjoy! Read more

Gatsby Bridal Shower by Suzanne Swart

Morning lovelies! To start off our Friday, I’m sharing some pics from reader Marli of her kitchen tea, which was fun and colourful with a touch of the Great Gatsby. This one hits the balance perfectly for a daytime do – like an elegant 1920s tea party with a champagne tower, feather boas for all the girls, and even a view over Kelvin Grove’s croquet pitch! Read more