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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

Romantic Country-Chic Wedding at Orchards by Crystal Malloy {Julia & Geoff}

Don’t you just hate people who tell you that rain on your wedding day is a blessing? Because, come on, everyone’s hoping for a dry day for their nuptials (even if it is lucky). But here’s what I can honestly say from both personal experience and featuring hundreds of weddings on the blog: some of the best weddings happen on the days that the heavens open. I don’t know if it’s the fun photo oppportunities or the feeling of intimacy that develops, or maybe it’s just a bit of devil-may-care attitude that creeps in when the best laid plans have to be abandoned and everyone just relaxes and remembers what really matters. Whatever it is, I’m a fan, and today’s wedding just goes to prove my point. While Julia and Geoff didn’t have a downpour, there was enough of a spatter to get the umbrellas out and create that beautiful cold, clear light that rain brings with it, which streamed in through the windows at their ceremony, and made their country chic decor at their reception in shades of pink, purple, coral and red look even more pretty and inviting. I love the colourful touches that make it all work together, from the stunning bouquet to the berry-shaded bridesmaid dresses, and every lovely moment was captured to perfection by Crystal Malloy. We don’t have the bride’s words to share today, so instead let’s just sit back and let the pictures tell the story themselves. 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

Persy Bridal Spring 2016

One of my happiest memories as a little girl is going to watch the ballet – I was just swept away by all those beautiful costumes, and the perfect fluidity of bodies in motion. I still love ballet – I just wish I went to see it more often. So when I saw designer Yaniv Persy‘s latest collection had a touch of the ballet about it, it immediately had my attention, and that was even before I fell in love with the ethereal draping, the magically intricate bodices, and the clever little details. Earlier this year we introduced you to the first collection from Persy Bridal, and I’m super excited to share the Spring 2016 collection from this hot couture label – every dress of which will have a bride feeling like the prima ballerina. Read more

Organic Jewel Tone Wedding at Roodezand by Heather Steyn Photography {Yolandi & Benjamin}

So unfortunately we’ve had some site downtime the last couple of days (hopefully now all sorted), and as a result, there’s a ton of stuff I’m dying to share with you, so today is going to be a particularly busy day on SBB. And we’re kicking it off with an absolutely beautiful jewel-toned wedding, with flowers that just took my breath away when I saw them (that bouquet!), a gold cake, and a spectacular wedding dress that just happens to be created from the bride’s grandmother’s vintage gown – so special! Benjamin and Yolandi are the most adorable couple, and they incorporated all their favourite colours and textures into their ‘loveleigh’ day – a day that was as cozy and intimate as it was gorgeous – making it not only lovely to look at, but personal and memorable too. Heather Steyn had no shortage of sweet moments to capture. Read more

Ruffled Bridesmaid Dresses

We already know that you brideys love a bit of ruffle on their wedding gowns (and their wedding cakes, for that matter) – and why wouldn’t you? Ruffles are awesome. But I also LOVE me some ruffly bridesmaids dresses! Whether it’s just a little bit of a rosette detail on a colour or cuff, a softly ruffled chiffon number, or a full scale ruffly skirt or dress, it always catches the eye. It’s the texture, of course – and I also think that ruffles have a bit of whimsy and romance to them. A bit of Parisian froufrou maybe? I don’t know. Whatever it is, I thought it was high time we got some inspiration, both from real brides, and from our favourite shops. Read more

TopVendor Wedding Awards Voting is Open!

Okay, disclaimer: I HATE writing these types of posts. I hate hate hate asking you guys to vote for me in anything, because it feels sort of unladylike in a really old fashioned, Emily Post kinda way. Which is maybe why I’ve waited a week to let you know that the voting for the TopVendor Wedding Awards is open. But here’s the thing, it isn’t just about me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE it if you’d vote for SBB as your favourite wedding blog in the blog category, and I’d be thrilled to win, especially knowing that what I pour my heart and soul into every day is appreciated by my lovely readers. Sometimes when you own your own business like I do, it feels a bit like you’re working in a void. (Is anyone out there? Anyone? Bueller?) But more than that, I want to support all the other wonderful wedding pros in all the other categories (many of whom are friends of the blog, and part of our sponsor family), who so richly deserve recognition and acknowledgement and – especially in the case of those just starting out in the industry – encouragement. Believe me, this is a field you join more for love (and love of love) than money, and five years on, I am still blown away by the passion and creativity and sheer originality that I see every day. I believe in lifting one another up, and this is a chance for you guys to help us do that.

The new TopVendor website is SUPER easy to navigate, and it’s really quick and easy to vote in the different categories. I’ve just done it myself. And you can win one of a ton of really cool prizes, just for voting – the more you do, the better chance you have too. I mean, it’s kind of a win-win. You can browse through all the different portfolios (you may just find a supplier, or just some fresh inspiration) before you make your vote, or just vote for suppliers you already know and love. Up to you.

ANYWAY, that’s my pitch. Voting runs until 27 July, and you can cast your vote here. If you just want a quick link to vote in the blog category, you can go here or just click on the logo below. Thank you kindly! :)

 

Inspiration Board: The Oyster & the Pearl

Can you seriously handle the fact that we’re heading towards the end of June you guys? Time is running way too fast in my 30s. But before the month comes to an end, I thought I would create a little board inspired by the month’s birthstone, the pearl. The colours of nature are always so inspiring, and the beautifully subtle pastels lights and colours in a pearl are like a reflection of a seaside sunset – plus, they make for a really serene and pretty wedding colour scheme. And along with the sophisticated pearl, why not add in a bit of natural rustic with oyster shells? There are so many creative ways to include them – calligraphed escort ‘cards’, cake topper, place marker, invitation. Add a gorgeous pair of earrings, and I think the combination is just lovely.

Colours: Pastel pink, blue, grey & oyster

Top row: Shoes {Kate Holstein}; invitation {Greer G Photography/Tying the Knot Wedding Coordination/Tupelo Honey}; pearl earrings {Ernest Jones}
Row 2: Oyster shell with pearl; cake with shell topper {Joseba Sandoval/Cake Couture}; oyster shell votives {jose villa/joy thigpen}
Row 3: Oyster shell escort tags {Hunter Ryan Photography/Elleson Events/Laura Hooper Calligraphy}; bridesmaid dresses {June Cochran Photography/Amsale}; place setting {Jessica Lorren/Sarah Tucker Events}

Those pretty earrings come from Ernest Jones, who just happen to have a huge half price sale on at the moment, so be sure to check that out:

Ernest Jones

 

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

Sunset Beach Pastel Boudoir by Tesoro

It’s been such fun showcasing some beautiful boudoir this beauty month, and we have one more for you this morning, from our talented friends at Tesoro Weddings. A mix of dreamy pastel sunset shades, golden light, pretty lingerie and a touch of lavender and sparkle – perfection! As well as the romance, I love the feeling of space and freedom that these pictures capture – as photographer Anna Pepper says: “Boudoir doesn’t necessarily have to be done in the studio, but by making use of the gorgeous scenery nature has to offer us, we could do something completely different.” And aren’t we glad they did! Read more