WEDDINGS

our wedding: inspiration

Good Morning lovelies!  I hope you all had a wonderful relaxed weekend!

I know Monday’s here on Bijoux Bride are usually dedicated to gorgeous inspiration, but today I’ve got something very exciting lined up!

I really enjoyed planning my wedding, when I say enjoyed, I mean LOVED!  I loved every single minute of finding the perfect venue, the perfect dress, the perfect details.  It was hard work (but a damn site easier than finding a husband!), it was stressful at times, and when the big day arrived I was soooo nervous!  I feel so incredibly lucky that I was able  to create the day of our dreams.  Now that it’s all over (though, I assure you ladies the fun bit really begins after the wedding) my dream now is to inspire other brides to stick to their dreams.  So, this week I want to share with you how we did it. I’m really nervous, I hope you like it!

From inspiration to big day, the whole story!

{image by christine meintjes}

So, I guess I’d better start at the beginning ~

My husband (André) and I met all the way back in the summer of 2003.  He had just come over from South Africa, and I was in the first year of my interior design degree.  If you were anywhere near Europe that summer, you’ll know we had a super heat-wave, the perfect summer for falling in love.  Fast forward seven years and we had moved in together, bought a house and were both making our way up the career ladder.  Every 18 months or so we would pack our bags for a few weeks of family and sunshine back in South Africa.  It didn’t take me very long to fall in love with the beautiful big skies, majestic mountains and starry nights of this amazing country.  It was on one of these trips, in February 2010 that André proposed.  We had taken my parents to Cape Town, and on their last night just before meeting them for dinner, he dragged (yes, literally dragged!) me onto the windswept beach at Camps Bay and got down on one knee!  I actually have no idea what I said, I was shaking so much, but I am assured that I did actually say yes!

When we got home the exciting bit began.  I’m a designer (by day), so planning a creative wedding that really suited our style was a big deal to me.  Any designer will tell you that inspiration is all around us, and I really believe that’s true.  It really could be anyting that sparks that initial idea, you never know where its going to come from, but you will see something you love and the seed will be sown!  Although sometimes it was overwhelming, I loved searching for new ideas and inspiration.

{image by christine meintjes}

{inspiration}

My original inspiration came from this single image, from a wedding shot by our extremely talented photographer Christine Meintjes (more about her later on!).  The flower is a pincushion protea, typically South African.  I loved the contrast of the hot orange against the cool grey, which reminded me of the contrasts between the hot African sun, and an equally beautiful foggy London morning.

From this I built a series of inspiration boards for florals, decor, catering, stationery and the outfits for our bridal party.  These were really useful for sharing my ideas with suppliers.  An important thing to remember about inspiration boards is they are just that, they are designed to capture a mood, a colour and a scheme, not something for your suppliers to copy exactly.  They were also really useful in making decisions about the details I wanted to include in our day, I regularly checked back to make sure any of the purchases and choices I made reflected our original ideas.

Here are a couple of the boards I prepared:

{images: top row 1&2.Christine Meintjes 3. The Knot 4.Martha Stewart Weddings bottom row: 1.Annemarie Rutven, 2&3. Christine Meintjes 4. Chrissy Lambert}

{florals}

I’m a big fan of clean and crisp design, with a hint of prettiness thrown in to soften the tone.  The florals were South African inspired, architectural shapes and interesting textures.

{images: top row 1.Wedding Concepts 3&4.StyleMePretty bottom row: 1&2.Christine Meintjes, 3. ZaraZoo}

{decor}

The setting of our venue was so stunning that I wanted to keep the focus on that, the decor was mainly white and grey with pops of yellow and orange to match our colour scheme.

From these, I created one ‘final’ board that I kept with me at all times during the final part of our planning and sent to my mum, mother-in-law to be, bridesmaids and groomsmen.  They loved being able to see the ideas for our day visually, and it helped them to understand our choices (it was difficult to communicate ideas over skype to André’s parents in Bahrain, and our bridesmaids and groomsmen in Cape Town!).

{images: top row 1.StyleMePretty 2.Christine Meintjes 3. Austin Wedding Blog, middle row: 1. 2.Wedding Concepts 3. Christine Meintjes bottom row: 1. Christine Meintjes, 2. ZaraZoo}

Finding images and inspiration was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning.  It helped to focus our minds on what we really wanted.

How are you finding your wedding inspiration?  Do you already have a scheme planned?

This afternoon I will be sharing part two of my inspiration journey, see you then!

***

Footnote: In 2015, I separated from my husband, Andre.  Now living alone in London, I’m enjoying life as a thirty-something single, running B.LOVED and travelling around the globe with friends.  I will always look back on my wedding day with fondness, without it I would never become a part of the amazing community of entrepreneurs I now get to call friends! Oh, and I’m still as in love with the love, romance and pretty of weddings as ever!

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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