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The Newlywed Shoe Game

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

L is for Love

I have such a fab shoot to share with you today! I absolutely love a bit of colour, and this styled inspiration, from the awesome Louise of b.loved and EFC Photography, is ALL about colour. And not just in the decor, which has a super fun pop art vibe to it, but in four different, really gorgeous looks perfect for a statement bride. This is the kind of shoot that is a perfect example of why I think inspiration shoots are good for the wedding industry. Sure, you might not reproduce the entire ensemble for your big day, but everywhere you look here, there’s a great idea. Pick one or two, and they’ll really jazz up your wedding with that extra edge of ‘specialness’ (for lack of a better word). Read more

Real Wedding at La Petite Dauphine {Natalie & Alex}

It’s such a pleasure to me to be able to share the stories of so many brides and grooms here on SBB. But it’s even more of a pleasure when I get to share the love story of someone I know, and that’s what I get to do today! Natalie is a fellow Minervianer (which for the non-Stellenbosch crowd means we were in the same res at uni). She’s the loveliest person, and very beautiful, and I always knew some dashing man would sweep her off her feet. It turned out to be one of those stories where Nats fell in love with her best friend (love those, right?!) – I finally got a chance to spend some time with the couple here in London recently and they are ADORABLE. What I love most about their wedding day is that you can see the sheer joy radiating from both of their faces, and in fact this is the first thing Cheryl McEwan, their fab photographer, said to me afterwards, that the love on their big day was so tangible. This is what it’s all about, people! Well, that and a lovely in lavender intimate French-style reception at La Petite Dauphine and a bride in a romantic Suzanne Neville dress… but mostly the love. ;) Don’t miss Nats’ goosebumpworthy description of how they met and got together! Read more

Fruit & Vegetable Bouquets

Hello lovelies! You know, when I first did posts on fruit and vegetables in wedding design three years ago, I had no idea how much they would become part of the floral landscape, but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE them. It’s the texture that’s added by the unusual shapes or colours, as well as the pop of something unexpected. Not to mention, of course, that many brides and grooms now choose to include them because of the green credentials of working with something that can be eaten and not wasted. I’m amazed by the creativity of wedding floral designers (or should that be floral, fruit & veg designers nowadays?). So today I thought I would round up 25 of my absolute favourite bouquets that include a combination of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs. They’re all so deliciously beautiful! Keep an eye out for veg patch favourites like kale (very much of the moment), cabbage, artichokes and then fruity berries and citrus, although the possibilities are really endless. Read more

Real Wedding at Kronenburg {Lerize & JP}

I always smile when I see that episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted tells his kids that long distance relationships hardly ever work. I mean, he’s right. Most of the time, they’re a disaster. But I’ve read enough love stories here on SBB to know that there’s a big gap between “hardly ever work” and “impossible”. In fact, sometimes it’s weathering the storms of long distance love that can show a couple that the vessel they have built together is made of stronger stuff. Guess that makes it a relation-ship, boom boom. Okay, I’ll stop with the nautical metaphors, except to say that today’s couple, having made it through some time apart in their courtship and been all the stronger for it, were ready to sail off into the sunset. Which they did, figuratively, with a beautiful wedding (and literally, when they emigrated to Australia). I love the sweet little touches they added to their day – Lerize’s shoes that said “I do”, little wooden hearts tied with lace, a ribbon backdrop. And I also love Michelle Joubert-Martin‘s beautiful photos, that really capture the depth of emotion that these two were feeling. Read more

Nautical Wedding DIY Roundup

It’s actually hilarious that I love nautical style as much as I do, considering the complete lack of sailing skills that I have. Seriously, if I ever gave it a try, I’d probably get smacked with the boom before I even figured out which side was starboard. Even so, nautical wedding details never fail to raise an excited “ooh!” from me – they’re just so preppy and punchy, and the perfect combination of contemporary, vintage and rustic. You all clearly feel the same, since our roundup of nautical wedding details is still one of SBB’s most popular posts. So today I thought I would round up some of the seriously ship-shape DIYs that are sailing about the internet. Awesome, ahoy! (Yes, I’ll stop now.)

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Real Wedding at Brenaissance {Carin & Marius}

Today’s bride and groom are, quite simply, my kind of people. Carin’s philosophy of weddings could probably be my motto for life: good food, enough drinks, excellent music – add in lovely people and a gorgeous view and that’s pretty much all you need to be happy as far as I’m concerned. Luckily the couple had both of those too, surrounded by family and friends and getting married in the heart of the Cape winelands at Brenaissance. I love the classic style of their wedding, the perspex decor accents, the white tulips, the duck egg blue tablecloths, Carin’s pretty dress, her mismatched bridesmaids and OMG I love their food stations. Like, LOVE. Such delicious and fun combinations and there’s even a braai station! Stylishly presented, of course. It’s the perfect combination of old school elegance and minimalist modernism, and it works perfectly. Plus, there are the crazy beautiful pictures taken by Yolande Marx. So what are you waiting for? Get pinning! Read more

My Top 5 Pins {At First Blush & Co.}

I’ve been so luck to meet some amazing people in this industry, both home and away, including today’s lovely guest! Although some of my wedding friends are still virtual (although it never feels that way!) I’ve been lucky enough to actually meet Naomi on a trip to London, and she was every bit as fab in the flesh as she’d seemed online. She’s become a dear friend, and I’m so excited to have her here today! Naomi has a knack for finding the best stuff, so she’s the perfect person to follow on Pinterest, both for wedding and lifestyle inspiration. You can find her blogging about her finds on Inside the Lovely, the blog portion of her website. Bookmark! Thanks so much, Naomi :)

Hi I am Naomi! I’m so happy that my sweet friend Gaby has asked me to guest post on her blog! I am the creative director & lead designer of At First Blush & Co. Events based in Southern California. The events we produce are timelessly classic yet modernly chic. I personally love the look of understated glam. Leonardo Da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and that pretty much sums up my personal style which transcends over to my interior décor and the weddings that I collaborate on with my couples to design. Translating simplicity isn’t always easy, especially with all the amazing trends and ideas out there, but here are some of my favorites.

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Inspiration Board: Lazy Hazy Days of Summer

Some weddings are all tradition and formality and classic palettes. Invitations are engraved, etiquette is followed. They’re lovely, of course. But the other kind of wedding I love is when a couple takes their cue from their favourite kind of party: a brunch, a dinner party, a picnic,  a festival even. Or, in the case of this board, a summer garden party. Sundresses for the ladies, lemonade, alcoholic popsicles, ribbon wands. Red, pink and orange were a popular colour combo a few years ago, but they’re updated here with melon, pink and a punch of yellow – and how gorgeous is that bright citrusy table and bouquet? This would be such a fun wedding to host and attend, and is perfect for a couple who would like to keep things more lighthearted with their palette.

Colours: Orange, yellow, pink

Top row (l-r): Bridesmaids in sundresses {KT Merry/David Arthur Fittin/Lucia Paul Design}; lemonades {KT Merry/David Arthur Fittin/Lucia Paul Design}; bouquet {Cliff Brunk/A Bride’s Best Friend}; tablescape {KT Merry/David Arthur Fittin/Lucia Paul Design}
Row 2: Parfaits; circle garland; cake {Anne Robert Photography/Dana FitzGerald/Blackbird Bakery}; table arrangements {Laura Jane Petelko/Cynthia Martyn Events Inc.}; billy buttons {Andrea Dozier}; ribbon wands {Cameron + Kelly Studios/Sedona Bride}
Row 3: Ribbon curtain {W. Scott Chester Photography}; guests with popsicles {Contemporary Catering}; popsicles in wine; yellow wedding dress {Brumley & Wells}.


Supplier Spotlight: Ufilm


As someone who has been reading answers to the bride’s advice portion of our questionnaire here on SBB for three years, it’s no surprise that there are certain themes that emerge. One that I have heard over and over again is from brides who either booked a videographer last minute and were so glad they did, or decided to forgo the video and now regret it. While wedding photography is a uniquely intimate way of keeping your memories intact, it’s true that there are some things that it can’t do, such as capture the vows or the speeches. I rarely meet a bride who says it isn’t money well spent. In SA we have a number of incredible, talented videography pros (check them out in our supplier listings) but as brilliant and worth every Rand as they are, I know that professional video is just not in everyone’s wedding budget. A while back, I came across an alternative that had cropped up in the US, and I was really excited to discover that a similar company has now launched in SA. The idea behind uFilm is just that – you (well, your guests) do the filming with cameras that are rented to you for the occasion, and then you simply hand them back and receive a professionally edited final product. Clever, right?

Now, I’m not going to pretend that your friends’ video skills are the same as the pros, any more than I would tell you that a mate with an SLR is better than a professional photographer. But if you’re happy with a bit of a home video feel or you’re on a strict budget, this is a brilliant alternative. It means that you not only get a wedding video, but that it’s hassle free (meaning you won’t have to go through hours of trying to figure out editing software on your laptop), properly put together, and you may even find that guests are more relaxed with someone they know behind the camera. Who knows, you may even find a budding Spielberg at one of your tables. Here’s an example of one of uFilm’s edited videos:

uFilm have a number of packages for weddings and events, and are also able to customise according to your needs. The camcorders they hire out are HD Panasonic and Sony models with a powerful optical zoom, and a lightweight body. Editing takes around three weeks, but a rush service is available.

Contact uFilm:
Twitter: @ufilmsa