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A SouthBound Guide to Engagement Ring-speak

Straight off, I should tell you – jewellery is kind of one of my obsessions. As in, I feel naked without any, and there’s probably no gift you can give me – from a pretty costume piece that will fall apart after I’ve worn it for six months to something in a little blue box – that I’ll appreciate more. But one of the things I love most is how some pieces become iconic to their wearers. Take my mom. She decided against having an engagement ring, and instead got a statement gold wedding band – a chunky piece of 1970s gold that is so completely ‘her’ that I can’t imagine her without it. And that’s what your engagement/wedding ring should be – after all, it’s the one piece you are going to wear every day for the rest of your life. Which is probably why so many brides nowadays help to pick out their rings or have them custom made. But once you start looking, you’ll realise there’s a whole world of diamond engagement ring terminology that you and your fiance need to be aware of. Well, worry not, because SBB is here to help you, along with our friends at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers (based in Gauteng, but able to service clients throughout South Africa). A very welcome addition to our sponsorship team, Chris Winspear Design Jewellers has everything you need for your big day, from engagement and wedding bands (including a range of breathtaking coloured stones) to gifts for the wedding party such as cufflinks and charms. Today we’re showcasing just some of their lovely stock to illustrate our guide.

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Real Wedding at Pecan Manor {Andrea & Ian}

One of the things I love most about wedding planning is that inspiration can strike at any time. Some brides have everything planned down to the last napkin fold, with Pinterest folders and a DIY schedule, and no surprises to deal with. For many, final decisions can be made even days leading up to the wedding. My favourite was my friend Abbie who didn’t want a garter, so after we joked in the car on our pre-wedding errands that her surfer husband-to-be would probably prefer a surf leash, that’s what we ended up buying! We put it on under her dress at the last minute and Phil had no idea – it was so fun. And I’ve never seen so many men try to catch a ‘garter’! So I wasn’t completely surprised when reading today’s story from Ian and Andrea, how the idea of a ribbon ceremony backdrop was a last minute decision. Well, I’m sure you’ll agree, it was an awesome one! I really love a focal point to an outdoor ceremony, and hanging ribbons are just SO pretty (and easy)! Plus, I love how photographer Wesley Poon went ahead and used the ribbons for the couple shoot as well, resulting in some spectacular pictures! The decor for this wedding is awesome – shabby chic with pops of jewel tones. I love love love the blue glass, the hanging bottles, the birds. And of course that ribbon, reflected again in the pretty long ties for the bridesmaids’ bouquets (nice twist on the ice cream pastels trend, no?). So much loveliness, and the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to indulge one of your last minute whims – it may land up being your best idea! Read more

Real Wedding at Die Klipskuur {Natalia & Darryl}

Good morning, brideys! How has your week been so far? Mine is not ideal, as I am nursing the flu (again? seriously?) but the cure for everything is a pretty wedding, and I have a lovely one for you today. As you all know by now, I am a huge sucker for couples who infuse their personal style, taste, likes, etc. into their wedding design, and Natalia and Darryl really did that. Although it’s a rustic vintage wedding, and that’s a popular style right now, every detail was thought out and included with love, including many heirloom pieces and special touches. The couple, being landscapers, have a huge love for nature, and I also love that they tried to complement the beautiful surroundings of their venue, instead of making it over. Their flowers and decor reflect the soft tones of the veld, as captured so strikingly by photographer Melanie Wessels. And you guys, how much are we loving Natalia’s juliet cap veil? So, so pretty! Read more

Real Wedding at Rawdons Country Hotel {Candice & Justin}

Well, it’s always a very special day when I get to share one of our real life bride’s weddings with you all. Because I don’t know about you, but I feel like these ladies become friends, and by the time I have read all about their inspirations and ideas and shared their excitement, I can’t WAIT to see how it all turned out and feel like I was there to raise a glass to their happiness. So it’s with great pleasure that I’m sharing the first of our 2013 RLBs’ weddings with you today – our lovely Marie Antoinette bride, Candice. I’ve loved reading her lyrical descriptions of the wedding she dreamed up, inspired by Versailles and Downton Abbey and even a little by The Hobbit. I sighed over her gorgeous themed rehearsal dinner and engagement shoot. And now I can finally show you Candice and Justin’s elegant, heartfelt wedding, photographed by an incredible team of US photographer Alicia Swedenborg with our very own Catherine Mac second shooting. Wow. It is AMAZING. And be sure to read Candice’s beautiful description of the big day, because if that doesn’t make you sigh, you don’t have a romantic bone in your body. So without further ado, here’s Candice… Read more

Supplier Spotlight: Girl Meets Dress

Left to right: Haute Hippie sequin mini dress; Dina Bar El Polly dress; Maids to Measure lacey dress; Opening Ceremony lace back dress

So, as wedding people, there’s one thing we’re always in search of. The golden goose, the chupacabra (as that chick from the Millionaire Matchmaker might say). The bridesmaid dress so fabulous that not only will it make your wedding photos look awesome, and make your girls feel like a million dollars, but that they’ll WEAR AGAIN. Well, I’m just going to say this. It never happens. Now don’t get me wrong, because the times I have been bridesmaid, I’m happy to say that the brides did everything they could to choose something that was recyclable and that I would be happy in. At the most recent, we had the whole mismatched dress thing going on, and I loved mine, and I actually did plan on wearing it again. Then, the next year, I had weddings to go to as a guest, and when I tried on the dress I just felt too… bridesmaidey. It’s hard to explain, and maybe it has something to do with the pictures from every event we go to being all over Facebook nowadays, or maybe it’s just a time thing and this summer I’ll give the dress a second outing, but the fact is that no matter how well chosen, often they languish 27 Dresses style in the back of a cupboard and that’s just how it is. Read more

Inspiration Board: Green Gables

Good morning, brideys! How was your weekend? I’ll admit, I spent most of yesterday dying on the couch after an awesome day with my university girls – gosh, I love them, but when we get together it usually means a day of recovery! Anyway, in between feeling sorry for myself, I put together this pretty board, which was a reader request from Bonnita. I don’t know much more than her palette of peach, green and grey and while this is a combo I’ve done before, I always think that the balance of warm, sweet peach and cool, fresh green is so perfect for a wedding. Clearly Claire Pettibone thinks so too, because her gorgeous 2013 range has peach and mint accents like the back detail shown here. I’m totally in LOVE with the ceiling garlands at the reception pictured below – what a way to bring outside in for a marquee wedding especially, and I also love the handpainted feel of the invitations, with a chic envelope liner setting the tone. And I have to admit, I am coveting that ring, big time! Anyway, Bonnita, hope you like your board!

Colours: Peach, grey, mint

Top row (l-r): Table setting {Joy de Vivre Wedding Design & Coordination/Michael & Anna Costa}; dress {Elizabeth Messina}; reception decor with ceiling garland detail {Liz Banfield}; Claire Pettibone dress {Brian Leahy Photography/Claire Pettibone}
Row 2: Bouquet {Depict Photography}; peach diamond ring; invitation suite {Clark Creative}; green bridesmaid dresses {Elisabeth Millay Photography}
Row 3: Bride & groom {Depict Photography}; petal strewn aisle {Gabriel Harber Photography}; flower girl {Rebecca Arthurs Photography}; rose {Elizabeth Messina}; cake {Joy de Vivre Wedding Design & Coordination/Michael & Anna Costa}.


Top Tips for Beach Weddings

Image: via Wedding Chicks

Flip flops, slip slops, jandals, thongs (seriously, Australia, that’s just wrong). I’m a fan. I pretty much live in flip flops all summer (I would do all winter if it didn’t mean a touch of frostbite) and ever since I discovered them a couple of years ago, Havaianas are so my fave. They are just the comfiest shoes ever, and as much as I love me a good pair of Louboutins, if I think of what I’d like to be wearing to a beach wedding, it’s Havaianas every time. They’re also what I’d like to be wearing at the end of the night on the dancefloor (and following a couple of bad experiences, they usually are). So I was super pleased when I found out that the good folks at Havaianas have a fun range of flops just for weddings. And even better, they’re sharing advice for beach weddings today as well! Planning a beach wedding is fun, but it does have challenges that other weddings do not. There’s a lot to think about to ensure everything goes off smoothly, so here are Havaianas’ top tips for the perfect beach wedding. Read more

Real Wedding at Nooitgedacht {Bridget & Quinton}

What’s the expression – ‘we plan and God laughs’? Well, that was certainly true for me this week, when I had a full week of goodness planned for you that got halted by some dodgy code that crept into my beloved little site and shut things down for a bit while I sorted it all out (that’s me: owner, editor, office manager and tech support! ;) ). Anyway, I’m trying to be philosophical about it all, and so we’ll just have to wait until next week for me to share our lovely real life bride’s wedding with you, and I’m sure it’ll be all the more awesome for the wait. For this morning though, we have a gorgeous wedding from Abigail K. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I rounded up ice cream pastel bridesmaid dresses, and now here the look is in all its lovely glory – really, I think this might be one of my absolute favourite wedding styles. It’s so soft and pretty, and works beautifully with country vintage touches like proteas, lace and antique books. But I think what really makes Bridget and Quinton’s wedding stand out for me is the way that they used the space available to them at Nooitgedacht, employing the beautiful drive as a ceremony area, with colourful bunting and lamps strung high across the trees, lending everything a celebratory, festival vibe. So pretty! I also love the bridesmaids’ single king protea blooms, tied with pretty ribbon and looking so lovely against their dresses. It all wraps up to be incredibly pretty and colourful in quite a classic way. Enjoy. (Oh, and psst, be sure to stop by this afternoon for some great advice on planning a beach wedding!) Read more

Real Wedding at Tanglewood {Maria & Gerrit}

Serendipity. It’s the loveliest of words, isn’t it? Happy accidents. And with some couples, it really seems to fit, so it was no surprise to me that when I read Maria’s story of her beautiful wedding it was a word that she used herself. See, Gerrit and Maria have a serendipitous beginning – both religious, they decided to ready themselves for a lasting relationship with a marriage course at their church, and it was there that they found each other. They share a surname – another happy accident – and you can see from the love and happiness surrounding them on their wedding day that that’s just one of many things that they share. And goodness me, how much am I in love with Maria’s incredible grey silk dress and floor-length mantilla combo? Wow. Not to mention the really fresh styling of their decor, in bold green, navy and pink with an adorable cartoon stationery touch. My favourite part is the ficus trees they’ve used as centrepieces – such a unique touch, but one that is part of their story, as all the best wedding day details are. This is really a wedding to pore over and fall properly in love with, and that’s in no small part down to the stunning images from Cari Photography – love, love, love! Read more

Landscape {Sponsor Showcase}

Get ready for some INSANELY gorgeous photography friends! I had a feeling when I picked this month’s theme for our photography sponsors that they’d like it, but I had no idea just how many incredible pics would flood into my inbox. And the thing is, as much as I know and you know we are all about the details on SBB, sometimes the pics that really take your breath away are those that zoom right out and put you and your new partner in the context of your surroundings. They say that in South Africa we have a big sky, so maybe that’s what makes these pics particularly stunning, or the amazing scenery that we have, from beach to valley to scrub. I also love that the pictures capture the weather’s changing face, and sometimes storm clouds are the most dramatic and wonderful (so don’t be too horrified if you see them on the morning of your wedding!). This is such an afternoon treat, so grab a cuppa and enjoy – and remember that each of these talented photographers is ready and waiting to capture your big day in their own wonderful way, so do click on the links and drop them a line after checking out the rest of their portfolio!

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