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Desert Neutrals

Time for something pretty! As you know, this month we’re focusing on natural beauty – getting back to basics, and taking joy in simplicity. Today’s bridal portrait shoot does just that, pairing a naturally neutral beauty spot with an uncomplicated white dress, elegantly simple flowers – and the cutest little donkey! Whoever said you shouldn’t work with children and animals clearly hadn’t seen this guy. Photographer Corette Faux and a small team of pros put this session together to inspire. Read more

20 Delicate Bridal Garters

So here’s the question: what do you guys really think about garters? Personally, in the past I never really liked them – most of the ones I came across looked a little cheap and nasty, and I kind of hate the whole bouquet/garter toss traditions anyway. But here’s where I love a garter – in a bridal boudoir shoot or in those pretty getting ready shots where you see the garter isn’t just an unnecessary extra, but a really pretty part of the bride’s foundation garments. Something delicate and decadent and spoiley that makes her feel extra pretty. And sexy. And fabulous. Now that I can get behind. So I thought it was high time I rounded up some really gorgeous handmade garters that could easily fit the bill. Read more

Inspiration Board: Natural // Beauty

Hey lovelies – time for me to reveal our brand new monthly content ‘theme’. This month we’re doing something a teensy bit different, in that we’re focusing on a more loose idea – that of natural beauty. Or rather, as I’ve called this board, natural-slash-beauty. Expect beautiful (natural) neutrals, boudoir and bridal shoots, hair & makeup and beauty advice… you get the picture! The idea behind this board is a simple one: simplicity itself. Because for some brides, less fuss is definitely the way to go. Think calming neutral colours, elegantly basic details, natural textures, simple details like candlelight, blossoms and a whisper of lace. And, most importantly, allowing the beauty of the landscape and your surroundings to take centre stage. As the saying goes: simple may not always be best, but the best is always simple.

Colours: Layered beige neutrals

Top row (l-r): Bride {Lacie Hansen/Vera Wang}; bridesmaid dresses {Maggie Harkov Photography/Vera Wang}; centrepiece {Ashley Woodson Bailey/Ginny Branch/Haley Sheffield}
Row 2: Ring {Tec Petaja/Bash, Please}; invitation suite {firstmatephoto.com}; cake {Angelworx/Moda e Arte/Joy Proctor}
Row 3: Candlelight stairs {KT Merry Photography}; landscape {Nicole Rich}; bride {Elizabeth Messina}

 

Honeymoon Inspiration: Top 10 Cosy Fireside Honeymoon Suites

Maybe I just watched way too many soap operas in the ’90s, but there’s something particularly romantic about an open fire, isn’t there? (Open fire, bearskin rug, cheesy music in the background – you get the picture.) So while a beachy honeymoon is peachy, I can’t help but think that it would be fun to go the other way completely and enjoy a winter break tucked up in a cosy love nest – maybe in the Alps, or in a little cabin deep in a snowy forest. Lots of hotels have amazing open fireplaces in their sitting or dining rooms, but for an extra special experience, you’ll want your very own in-room fireplace. Staring into the flames over a bottle of red, sharing your hopes and dreams, snuggling up under a single blanket… total romance. I’ve been scouring les internets for a selection of international fireside suites – the perfect way to end off our month of cosy autumn content!

1. Cordee Des Alpes, Switzerland
The Swiss Alps are the perfect place to start when it comes to cold-weather honeymoons, and this stylish new luxury hotel in Verbier is the perfect base. If you can drag yourself away from your room, there’s world-class skiing on offer, and after a long day on the slopes there’s a 14m pool, spa, and fine dining to look forward to. And then, of course, that stone fireplace… Read more

Hello Darling by Heidi Elnora, Spring 2016 Collection

We know brides come with all kinds of style preferences, and that’s why we adore designers who have a little something for everyone. Alongside her gorgeous signature and build-a-bride collections, Alabama-based designer Heidi Elnora last year launched her Hello Darling collection, which has a beautifully relaxed feel that’s perfect for boho, beach and destination brides. Recently she launched the latest installment of the collection for Spring 2016. What I really like about these gowns is that even though they’re ethereal, there’s the same attention to detail you’d find on more formal gowns – after all, just because you’re a free-spirited bohemian bride shouldn’t mean you don’t get all the prettiness! There are peeks of delicate Venetian lace, plunging neck and backlines, embroidered ribbon details… And a lovely 1960s vibe that feels contemporary as well as having a bit of vintage sass. Let’s have a look, shall we? Read more

Rustic Shabby Chic Wedding at Nooitgedacht by Cheryl McEwan {Caryn & Geoff}

It’s funny how sometimes when someone meets the person they’re meant to be with, it’s obvious – not just to them, but to the people around them too – it just fits. They bring the best out in one another, they make each other happier, more centred somehow, still themselves but in the most awesome way. That’s how it was when Geoff (a friend of mine from London) met the lovely Caryn – pretty much immediately I couldn’t imagine them not being together. So it was with much happiness that I heard he’d popped the question, and much delight that I pored over the beautiful pics of their wedding by SBB’s dear friend Cheryl McEwan. The day was relaxed and fun (a perfect reflection of the couple, right down to Geoff’s Durban-boy flip flops), and full of soft, summery, shabby-chic details that worked perfectly in the elegantly rustic setting of Nooitgedacht estate. I also have to make a special mention of my friend Belinda, the cake making legend, because she’s always been such a big fan and supporter of my blog – awesome job, Bels! So happy to share this particular wedding with you all today :) Read more

Rustic Brights Wedding at Murasie by Adene Photography {Stephanie & Hennie}

Lots of our brides and grooms plan their wedding in South Africa from abroad, but it isn’t many who have to do it from as far away as China. That was Hennie and Stephanie’s challenge, but as you’ll see from their gorgeously colourful rustic farm celebration, it didn’t end up fazing them in the least (even with a dress scenario that would have been stressful for any bride, but hooray, worked out beautifully in the end!) Through it all, the couple kept a sense of perspective – do be sure to read right to the end, where Stephanie shares some very sensible advice. And they pulled off a day that was relaxed, beautiful and full of joy. I’m especially in love with all the beautiful bright blooms, and the blackboard backdrop that Hennie’s sister created for them – so unique! One of our perpetual faves, Adene of Adene Photography, was on the scene to capture the pics as beautifully as ever. Read more

Well Groomed: Country Gentlemen

This afternoon, we’re off to the English countryside. Tally ho! Or at least, that’s what it feels like, with this particular trend in groomswear that just happens to be perfect for an autumn wedding. The look is all British heritage – tweed, herringbone, waistcoats, blazers – even cravats. I think of it as ‘country pursuits’, as in “I’m jolly well going clay pigeon shooting after this wedding chaps, or possibly for a stroll on the estate”. The good news is, you don’t actually have to be a lord of the manor to pull it off – it’s all about those warm, heavy fabrics, and pairing them the right way to suit the overall style and level of formality for your wedding. Whether just the groom goes for tweed, or whether the look is extended to the whole set of groomsmen, here are a few ways to make it work. Read more

20 Stylish Wedding Dresses with Sleeves

Cherie Gown by Flora and Lane (Image: Amanda Watson Photography)

I swear, every time I spend a few minutes (okay, a couple of hours, but who can help it?) browsing on Etsy, I swear the wedding dresses get more gorgeous. I think it’s extremely cool that brides these days not only have the option of dresses from established designers, but up-and-coming indies from around the world. Which really opens up your choices when it comes to style. Recently, I’ve been absolutely LOVING wedding dresses with sleeves (especially lace ones), so I just had to round up my fave sleeved wedding dresses from Etsy too. And wow, but they are all kinds of winter wonderful and autumn awesome. Read more

Inspiration Board: Autumn Grace

Hello lovelies! We have one last inspiration board to share for our autumn month, utilising some of the colours in the Pantone’s Fall 2015 palette. Truth #1: I wasn’t totally crazy about these colours when I first saw them, but as I’ve been working with them, I’ve found so many pretty possibilities – today’s is definitely my favourite. Truth #2: I swore I’d never do another Marsala inspiration board and I couldn’t help but include it here (although I still maintain this is more scarlet than Marsala, but whatevs). I’m not even sorry, because the deep blue and red paired with a soft touch of sage and a little glimmer of gold look absolutely amazing, and are beyond perfect for a sophisticated autumn wedding. Don’t you agree?

Colours: Pantone Reflecting Pond, Pantone Marsala, Pantone Desert Sage & Gold

Top row (l-r): Table setting {Kurt Boomer Photo/Joy Proctor Design}; bouquet {Amelia Johnson/Karson Butler Events/Sidra Forman}; leaf escort cards {Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography/Knot & Pop}
Row 2: Bride with flower crown {Yolandé Marx/Anneke Roux & Nicola Pretorius from The Pretty Blog}; blue cards {Jose Villa Photography/Pilgrim’s Quill/Jenna Lam Events}; boutonniere
Row 3: Bride in red dress & groom {Emilia Jane Photography}; invitation and rings {Brett Heidebrecht/Kylie Swanson/Lindsay Letters/Juliet Grace Designs}; flowers in urn {Christian Cruz For Max & Friends/Sweet Marie Designs}