Sometimes I go through a phase where I do a bunch of more subtle and sedate inspiration boards, and I absolutely love working gentle or neutral tones and elegant, grown-up combinations. And then some days I just want to go mad and play with some colour. That’s today, and I have to tell you, I am loving the result. That’s the thing about using bold colour in your wedding- it adds a feeling of fun and happiness to the day, and there’s no reason why there has to be a trade-off in sophistication. Take today’s flower-filled inspiration board – big, bold punches of orange and fuschia and peach, with an underlying white to offset all of that colour. Modern, beautiful, and inspiring.
You know, I think orange might be one of the great underrated colours in the wedding palette – less so in the last few years, but still. And I get it, because orange can really be overpowering and very un-pretty when done badly. But when done well, it has such a warm pop of colour that it’s pretty much the most perfect colour for a summer wedding ever. My absolute favourite way to work with strong colours is in their natural state, which might be why citrus has long been one of my favourite wedding motifs. I wanted to pay tribute to that, but also to pair oranges with their beautiful blooms – after all, is there anything more gorgeous than a swag of orange blossom? Add in a Claire Pettibone dress that’s even called ‘Orange Blossom’ and a vintage botanical twist, and you have an orange wedding done absolutely right.
Two reasons I knew from the start that this wedding would be gorgeous. One, the bride’s called Gabi so OBVIOUSLY that immediately makes her awesome (and I’m not biased about my namesake at all). And secondly, this clementine, lemon & lime coloured celebration was put together by some of my absolute favourite suppliers, including photographer Cheryl McEwan, fabulous flowers, Bright & Beautiful and Seven Swans (by the way, do read Gabi & Gary’s ceremony programs, because they are adorable!). I just love all the citrus elements in the bouquets and on the tables, adding a bright punch of colour to a rainy Cape winter day, right down to sweet lemon meringue tarts baked specially by the groom’s mom. Even the food is fun – who doesn’t love burgers served on custom wooden boards? It was the perfect way to send off these high school sweethearts into married life, and here’s wishing them one as sweet as a bag of oranges. Read more
Day Two of styled shoot inspiration begins! From the beach yesterday, today we’re off to the Karoo, where the arid landscape inspired our latest team of wedding pros to come up with a very special shoot that has so many elements to it. Led by photographer Michelle Wiese and Kadou, they created some dramatic bridal looks and two variations on a homegrown rustic tablescape that include (shut the front door, seriously) a paper protea table garland. I love how some of the starker elements, like concrete and wood textures, geometric elements and an earthy palette contrast with softer touches like a dreamy tulle peplum dress and watercolour washes. And you can’t get a more classic South African motif than our national flower- which turns up in all sorts of fresh ways. Love it! Read more
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!
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