Morning, friends – time for our Monday morning inspiration! Today I’ve put together a board that mixes some of my favourite things – a dash of duck egg blue, a spritz of citrus, and a soupçon of French countryside styling. I absolutely love the way that these colours work together, and it gives me such a feeling of summer and sunshine, but with an elegant edge. Although it’s a look that would happily translate to a number of venues, it has me dreaming of a blue-shuttered chateau in France, with orange garlands and little kumquat decorations on the cake and table, and a gorgeous pale blue wedding dress. Isn’t it pretty?
Hello friends! It’s that bittersweet time of the year, when everything seems to be winding down, but there’s still the holidays and celebrations to look forward to. I always feel slightly depressed in December that the year has flown by so fast, and even more so today as it’s my last day in Cape Town. I have no idea where the time went, I seem to have only seen a tiny portion of the people I was hoping to! Anyway, I am ending it off in style, with a mini-shoot out in the winelands – watch this space! Here on the blog, we’re also winding down through our last couple of new real weddings of the year, and I have been saving this one for you, because it is FAB. First, it’s shot by the gorgeous Jacki Bruniquel, who is awesome, but then you find that it’s full of bright orange folded paper loveliness (seriously, the bouquets, LOVE) and happiness and love (not to mention some rainy day blessings) and you can’t help but fall in love with it. None of the bitter, all of the sweet. Enjoy! Read more
Good morning, lovely friends! I’m back in Durbs after a really lovely week away. After spending time with a few old friends (and new babies!) I headed to Kruger Park on Thursday with my mom, one of her best friends, and her daughter (who was my absolute bestie growing up). They used to live across the road from us in Johannesburg, so I have literally known them both my whole life. What an awesome girls’ weekend, enjoying the quiet and beauty of the African bushveld (in my element!), spotting game (no cats this time sadly, but I was so happy and relieved to spot some rhino), and generally chilling out catching up. Of course, there’s lots to catch up on now (when is there not?) but it’s always lovely to see more of our beautiful country. Even if you do land up driving home in thunder, lightning and in rain. Speaking of that particular witch’s brew, with Halloween happening this week, I thought it would be fun to create a bit of a spooky All Hallows inspiration board. Of course, this is a super elegant, totally non-cheesy version of a Halloween wedding, with the colour scheme of orange and black the only real nod to the holiday. For the rest, it’s black tie elegance with pops of bright citrus, and a bit of a formal vintagey feel. Don’t you love it? Of course, the black Vera Wang dresses just take the cake – so, so beautiful. Happy Halloween folks!
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.
What is it about proteas, you guys? Is it something innately South African in me, that falls in love with them every time I see them and even more so when I see and smell one up close, hold it in both hands, marvel at its size, sturdiness, delicacy? Maybe, but then the whole world is currently falling madly in love with our national flower. When I started in weddings, there were already lots of SA brides using them, and I used to get comments about how unique the bouquets I featured were, but now I see them in weddings from all over. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, myself and my fellow SA bloggers and photographers and brides may have a little something to do with spreading the word about this gorgeous flower, in all her many guises. You’re welcome, The World. Anyway, what’s got me musing on all this is today’s lovely wedding, which has pincushion proteas at its very heart. I love these spiky blooms – especially when paired with the kind of no nonsense prettiness of shiny tin vases, fynbos, and the rich green of a spring morning in the bushveld as they were in Luisa and Simon’s wedding. The look contrasts perfectly with the easy elegance of their Shepstone Gardens venue, reflecting the ‘opposites attract’ nature of our bride and groom’s relationship. Andrea Carlyle was there to take these gorgeous pictures. Read more
Good morning, lovelies! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I’m back from Abu Dhabi, feeling chilled out and even a little tanned, and ready for the week ahead. I’m still catching up from my jetsetting, and getting used to being four hours back again. But that aside, travel is just my best thing, and appropriately, today’s inspiration board is all about travel! Today we have another reader request, from German reader Esther. Now how’s this for an international tale of love – Esther and her Swiss fiance met in Buenos Aires (how ironic, when their home countries are so close together!) and they’ve decided to get married in Cape Town, which I obviously think is the best idea ever. Esther loves a bit of old fashioned elegance, and she wants to bring both Brazil and Africa into their design. She adores succulents (and succulent green) and would like to accent this with orange from pincushion proteas as a tribute to South Africa. Love this! I’d work with a neutral white backdrop, with bridesmaids in soft green and bold bouquets (but otherwise keeping the orange fairly soft). I’d also incorporate the elegant vintage with a travel theme, including maps, a globe ‘guest book’ and postcard escort cards. There are some really lovely Argentine traditions Esther can include – first off, the cake pull (where ribbons are baked into the cake, one with a ring attached, and all the single women pull them out in order to find out who will be married next), cocktails (although I’ve borrowed the pictured peach caipirinhas from neighbouring Brazil), a tango first dance and carnival carioca (where, late at night, guests don hats and props and have their own little carnival on the dancefloor – a perfect double use for your photobooth props!). It adds up to a sophisticated personal tribute to the couple’s history, rather than a theme party. Hope you like your board, Esther, and welcome to our beautiful country!
Recently I’ve been featuring a number of fabulous alternative or more intimate venues, and today I have another. Cascade Manor is situated in lovely Paarl, and as well as having 900 olive trees on the property, features a beautiful waterfall – what a setting! Today’s bride and groom came from Tanzania for their big day, and together with planner Barry Geyer, created a look that was sumptuous and elegant, but still had bright pops of colour to keep up the visual interest. Moira West took the absolutely gorgeous photos, and didn’t Emma and Steve rock every one of them? With him in his slick suit and she in her romantic dress and hot pink shoes, it was difficult to narrow them down. But narrow I did, and here they are for your viewing pleasure! Read more
I’ve had such a brilliant reaction to the inspiration board I posted last week, with rich shades of red, orange, yellow and copper, that I know you’re going to love today’s classic autumn wedding. In fact, autumn seems to be a bit of a thing here this week, but it’s such a beautiful season – I have only to look out of my office window at the tapestry of leaves all over our garden to be inspired. So I was delighted a while back when my lovely friend Nicola told me she was booking an autumn wedding and really embracing the season and the palette; I knew it would be gorgeous. Nix is another of my varsity girlies – she was my partner in crime back in the day (we even shared a 21st – it rocked, if I say so myself) and I’ve seen her grow from a farm girl from Estcourt into a switched-on sophisticate (albeit a fun and down-to-earth one), and this was one wedding I was devastated to miss. Especially since Nix married the loveliest man, and I wanted to be among the first to wish them the happiest of lives together. But instead, I get to do that here, and to relive their special day through Nix’s words, and KZN photographer David Rees’ pictures. I am so loving the colours in this wedding, especially since they work perfectly with the natural backdrop of the season. Who needs a summer wedding, right? I for one think Nix and Col are onto something. Read more
Hello friends! Time for a brand new inspiration board, and this time we’re veering from the traditional summer wedding to a rich winter look. In the last couple of years I’ve been delighted to see a few more winter weddings popping up on photographers’ blogs, as even though we don’t have the same picturesque winters as, say, New England, a winter wedding in South Africa can still be really lovely and welcoming. That’s exactly what reader, Claire, has in mind for her June celebration at Toadbury Hall, where she and her fiance are planning a forest ceremony followed by a marquee reception, in a bedouin tent filled with fairy lights and heaters. They’re looking for a rustic style in red, orange, yellow, bronze and gold, and want to enhance their natural surroundings rather than distract from them. I’m a big fan of this idea, so with the palette settled I went on the hunt for easy ideas that incorporated materials that would naturally be found in the forest surroundings. Pine cones are certainly one, and they have a multitude of possible uses, from escort cards to place holders, or just sprayed gold and placed on a plate or even in vases on the table – so pretty. I’ve even seen adorable pine cone bouquets – a fun alternative to flowers! Wood is another texture to use of course, and cut wooden circles can be used everywhere from under plates to table numbers or cake stands. Or what about stones? I loved these metallic painted ones, and the surfaces would reflect candlelight beautifully. Flowers should be rich, but I’d probably focus more on candles and natural materials on tables to make the whole place as warm and intimate as possible – a real winter oasis. And don’t you just love the fairy light bottles? So pretty. Bridesmaids could be in a mismatched array of your colours, but they could also have a neutral like a mushroom colour, with bright flowers popping against them – for a really quirky winter touch, why not give them fun stockings? Another aspect of a winter wedding that is super fun is the menu – make the most of it with warming soups, a hot chocolate bar, maybe mulled wine or cider stations, toffee apples, etc. And finally, how much do you love these invites? The wording as well as the design. Just perfect. Hope you like your board, Claire!
I’ve tried to write this intro a bunch of times, to describe an amazing couple who embody the joy and wisdom of ‘seize the day’ and whose ceremony was so heartwarming that their photographer, Charlene Schreuder, admitted it brought a tear to her eye. But the truth is, Charlene’s incredible pictures tell the story better than I can – and they moved me to happy tears too. This is one wedding you should read every word of, and soak in. It teaches something. Because it’s pretty, but it’s also the reason weddings were invented: a celebration of the strength and wonder of love. Read more
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