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Wedding Trends for 2013

2013 baby! I don’t know about you, but I am amped. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what worked and didn’t in 2012 and dreaming and planning for the year to come. It was amazing to realise how much was achieved last year, and I have some big plans, so watch this space! Of course, thinking about the future always gets me thinking about wedding trends for the new year, and I’m ready to make my (now annual) predictions. A lot of what I spotted for 2012 came about, so let’s see if I can do the same again. :) Here we go…

Wedding Trends for 2013 | SouthBound Bride

 Erin Hearts Court via Style Me Pretty 

1. Prints
A couple of months ago, I was asked by BrideTide to pick my top wedding trend for 2013 and since prints was my choice, it seems only right to put it at the top of my list here too. This is going to be big – we’ll see it on invitations and stationery, bridesmaids dresses, linens. Set against a white backdrop, it’s a fresh and vibrant look, and one which will really make your wedding look unique. And bonus, you can go for any kind of print that suits you, from soft florals and watercolour styles to bold stripes and graphics, to vintagey toile. If tablecloths or runners are too much, stick to napkins, and remember not to go too overboard – and complementary rather than matchy matchy is key. Let’s just say you do not want to put your bridesmaids in the same material as the tablecloths. That’s just wrong. You can see my full roundup, and lots of ideas and advice over here. Read more

Welcome to SouthBound Bride

Welcome to SouthBound Bride | SouthBound Bride


You’re engaged! Congratulations and welcome to all my new readers, who got engaged over the festive season and are stopping in here for the first time today. Or have been secretly stopping in for ages, but now have a ring ;)

I’m Gaby, the owner, writer, editor, designer, programmer, publicist, ad exec and chief bottle washer here at SBB. This site is my baby – for almost three years now I have been bringing South African brides (or brides getting married in South Africa, or inspired by South African weddings) the best that our beautiful country has to offer, through a combination of inspiration, ideas and advice. I love what I do, and I can’t wait to get to know more of you soon!

We’ll be kicking off our new year content shortly, but first off, I wanted to give you a little tour if this is your first time on the blog. This way, please! Follow me!

Every day on SBB, you can expect some kind of wedding inspiration. We have usually between one and two posts every week day, and generally follow this schedule (click through on the links for our archives):

Speaking of the archives, there’s so much for a new bride to get lost in, and I’ve tried to make it super easy for you to find. Start with our top posts, and then check out some real weddings (you can find them by location or type via the top menu above) or inspiration boards (search by colour, if you like). If you’re looking for great suppliers, you’ll find them not only at the end of each real wedding, but in our directory categorised by area in South Africa. And be sure to check out our sponsors in the sidebar – they are all awesome! You can also browse our categories or tags in the drop down and cloud in the sidebar (head to under the adverts) or just search directly (first box in the sidebar, can’t miss it). And while you’re at it, why not sign up for our monthly newsletter for even more ideas and inspiration?

Readers find their way here in lots of different ways (currently working on better mobile/cellphone access!) – you can access SBB on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for now (with more coming soon). If you’re worried about work access, the easiest thing is to sign up for daily emails – you’ll get all the SBB content straight into your inbox!

Finally, I’ve lined up some of the top posts that newly engaged couples will be interested in on the slider for this week – so why not dive in and see what takes your fancy. And here’s a little preview of a big announcement – later this week (hopefully!) I will be bringing you something very special, designed specifically for all of you new SouthBound Brides to help you get started and find your feet in wedding planning. Watch this space!

Those are the basics! For now, WELCOME, and feel free to drop me a mail to say hello! (gaby{at}southboundbride{dot}com) – email mastery is my new year’s resolution so I’ll do my best to get back to you promptly!

Gaby xx


South African Wedding Style #4: Cape Dutch

Hello lovelies – here’s the penultimate in our South African wedding style guides, where I’m breaking down four distinctly local looks for different styles of weddings. Today’s is one that really delights me – Dutch-inspired design has been news in the international wedding community this year, and of course we have a special link to it in SA, not to mention some very beautiful Cape Dutch venues. Adding a Delft motif and some vintage elements creates something that can be rustic homestead or (my favourite) elegant wine farm, like this wedding below.

South African Wedding Style #4: Cape Dutch | SouthBound Bride

All images above by Jean-Pierre Uys


The End of 2012: A Personal Post

The End of 2012: A Personal Post | SouthBound Bride

Hello friends! Hope you’re having a lovely new year’s eve. It’s actually my birthday today (happy birthday, me!) so I’ll be taking a break (because nobody should work on their birthdays, ever). You’ll still find another of our top wedding style guides for 2012 coming up soon, and more fun stuff tomorrow, but we’ll be properly back to our blog schedule on Wednesday, and boy am I excited to welcome a crowd of new friends (helloooo, new friends!). But first, I thought I would write something a bit more personal.

This birthday is a milestone (if you count everything ending in 0 or 5 as a milestone, which I do) and to be honest with you, I have mixed feelings about it. My life certainly isn’t what I expected it would be at this age. Most of the time, I think that’s a good thing (what did 18 year old me know, right?) but milestones always make you look around you at your peers and reflect on whether you’ve been heading in the right direction after all. Preferably with a very deep glass of wine.

I was in the middle of doing just that, when I looked up at something I have framed on my bedroom wall. You may have seen them before, but it’s a personalised bus blind print, personalised with places that mean something to me. I bought one of these for a friend’s wedding gift this year, and I couldn’t help putting one of my own together too. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of moments and memories, or things and people I love. New York – where I lived for six months (*cough* twelve years ago) and where one of my best friends now lives (must get to NY again in 2013!). Paris and Rome – two of my favourite cities. Stellenbosch, where I studied; Putney, where I lived for many years in London; the Navigli District in Milan, where I fell properly in love for the first time. More favourite travel destinations: Santa Fe, Cairo, Positano. Hluhluwe and Umdloti – places that are so special to my family. And Ellis Park, where a certain World Cup Rugby final was played in 1995 (I wasn’t there, but yes, it means that much!). These are just some of the signposts along my personal journey, leading goodness knows where, but leading nonetheless.

We all have signposts and milestones along our life paths, and they’re important for making us take stock of where we’ve been, and where we go next. SouthBound Bride is a huge part of that for me, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for helping to make this such a special place for me to work and create and share. There is so much more to come! And here’s wishing all of you a safe and fun new year’s eve, lots of champagne, a little reflection, and good things in 2013.

Gaby xx


Weddings by Nicola and Glen

Weddings by Nicola and Glen | SouthBound Bride

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – South Africans are quietly taking over the world. Not least the wedding world either (*cough cough Colin Cowie*). And I often meet amazing service providers here in the UK who are making a big name for themselves. I love this – not just because I’m proudly Saffa, but because all of that talent is often available to brides and grooms in SA as well as abroad. I mean, we all love to go home, right? And with the summer season in the UK being different, you can often get an amazing international (homegrown) talent on their holidays (just like our amazing local photographers often travel during the SA winter) – many of them even have a South African side to their businesses. How cool is that? This is the case with today’s featured photographers, who have been longtime Twitter pals and supporters of SBB, and whom I am delighted to introduce to you properly today. SO… meet Weddings by Nicola and Glen! Nicola (from SA) and Glen already have a thriving business based in the Cotswolds (but shooting all over the UK) – just take a look at their site to see the dreamy country celebrations they have shot, in a style that’s a lovely combination of intimacy and grandeur. I can just imagine the shots they would take amid the Cape scenery… Read more

Top 10 Details 2012

Afternoon my lovelies – can you believe it’s Friday? I seriously don’t know whether I’m coming or going, with one day starting to melt into the other this time of year. But soon the holidays will be over, and I’ll be another year older. Bah. ANYWAY, on a much more cheerful note, I have a lovely set of 2012 favourites to share with you today to round out our series. Often it’s the special little touches that really capture my attention, and these were my ten favourites, although it could easily have been a Top 20 or a Top 50, or a Top 100… Take inspiration! But remember, these details are SO much more awesome when there’s meaning behind them, so try to adapt where possible to suit your lives and personalities.

This might be one of my favourite details ever. Vicki and Justin loved the ‘This is your life’ manifesto that has been doing the rounds for the last couple of years, but instead of using it as it was, they co-rewrote it so that it made set of rules for a happy life reflecting them as individuals and as a couple. It made the perfect back-of-menu for their surprise Kalk Bay wedding. (Pics: Lar Leslie)

Top 10 Details 2012 | SouthBound Bride Read more

Favourite Style Moments 2012

Afternoon, lovelies! As you read this, I’ll be off having a bit of a pre-birthday lunch and visit to the V&A Museum (my best) with one of my favourite friends, who is out from New York. Can’t wait! And here’s a little treat for you, in the form of my roundup of the most stylish moments from SBB’s real weddings this year. As much as I love a classic bride in a floor length white gown, I also love that so many brides now make the look their own. I also love that you all have embraced some of the trends that have been coming through over the last year – lace, coloured dresses, sashes. Some of you have done something COMPLETELY different, and each look really adds to the wedding it is part of. As with the decor, it was SO hard to narrow this down, but these are the fashion moments that really made me go ‘ooh!’ in 2012.

Temperley, baby! There’s a reason why just the name gives me a little thrill. Temperley London dresses are those I notice on catwalks, sigh over as a collections and double take when I see on a real bride. They’re feminine, unusual, and just a little bit spectacular. This dress, chosen by beautiful boho bride Anna for her beachy literary-themed wedding by Andrea Carlyle, might just be my favourite:

Favourite Style Moments 2012 | SouthBound Bride Read more

South African Wedding Style #3: Cape Town Beach Chic

Hello friends! Time for another of my favourite weddings from 2012, with what I think is a distinctly South African style. I say South African, but in fact in this case it’s all Cape Town. A combination of slick city chic and laid back beach with a touch of quirky colonial and vintage style. Quite a mix! But then, it’s the same mix that makes the city charming. It’s epitomised by the decor at the gorgeous Grand in Granger Bay, where today’s swish couple held their wedding.

South African Wedding Style #3: Cape Town Beach Chic | SouthBound Bride

All images above by dna photographers


Favourite Reception Decor 2012

Hello friends! This week I am sharing my favourites from 2012 on SouthBound Bride – and believe me, it has been HARD to pick! But there were some posts that really stuck in my mind – over the next few days I’ll be sharing my favourite reception decor, favourite style moments and Top 10 details. They’re sure to give you lots of inspiration, and don’t forget to click through to see the full weddings in the archives!

First off, this magical autumn wedding from Vivid Blue combined soft flowers and berries, fairytale stationery and wooden woodland cutouts to spectacular effect – combined with a few fairylights of course!

Favourite Reception Decor 2012 | SouthBound Bride Read more

South African Wedding Style #2: Game Lodge Glam

Hello lovelies! I hope you all had an awesome day yesterday, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Today is the day my family traditionally has a brunch and gives all our friends ugly (in the kitsch sense) gifts, but fortunately the gifts I have for you today are anything but ugly! ;) It’s time for part 2 of our ‘South African Wedding Style’ series, where I’m looking at five classic, truly South African wedding styles, through the lens of five great real life weddings from 2012. Today we’re heading to the bushveld for what was definitely one of my favourite weddings of the year!

South African Wedding Style #2: Game Lodge Glam | SouthBound Bride

All images above by Fiona Clair