Peonies please!

Peonies are a big favourite for weddings. Unfortunately their window of availability is very short – a month, maybe two. In South Africa they are usually available from around mid October to mid November.

Andrea was fortunate enough to get married in this short period of the year. Peonies are in fact her favourite flower so perhaps this is why she chose to get married at this time. We were able to create soft and romantic blush and white arrangements for her and the bridesmaid’s bouquets.

The Blushing Brides in the bridesmaid’s bouquets and boutonnieres blended beautifully with the colour of the Peonies. Her colour scheme for the reception was coral, pink, yellow and green – the team put together 100 jars of arrangements which formed the table decor.

Pink and white peonies and blushing bride boutonnieres

Pink and white peonies and blushing bride boutonnieres

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Spring Blooms

“Came the spring with all its splendor, all its birds and all its blossoms, all its flowers and leaves and grasses.” ~ Longfellow

Spring is in full bloom in Gauteng, South Africa and although we’re still waiting for a good shower of rain, the Spring flowers are popping up in every tree, every garden and more importantly, the cut flower markets! Spring also marks the beginning of Wedding Season and for those of you fortunate enough to be wed in this splendid season, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to decorating your day with flowers.

Here are a few of our favourite flowers that are only available in Spring:


Photo credit :

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Ribbon Décor Rental

Ribbon has recently launched a very exciting venture! Since launching Ribbon Stationery, I have been collecting unique décor items to rent out for weddings and celebrations. My range has finally reached a point where I was able to put together a catalogue with a variety of items for clients to choose from.

Ribbon Décor Rental aims to stock unique and interesting decor items that are not available elsewhere and keep with the latest trends in wedding and celebration décor. The catalogue includes ranges of different materials such as wood, glass, metal and ceramic.

Some items are available in large quantities, others are vintage or unique items that are limited to a specific quantity. Please email us if you would like a catalogue emailed to you that includes quantities and product dimensions.

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Lauren and Kyle : Mosaic Merriment

I’ve never been quite as excited as I am to post this feature today. Lauren and Kyle Tee got married over the long weekend in September and Ribbon was fortunate to not only be involved with the stationery but the flowers and decor too!

The reception took place at Tony’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co in Pretoria – and it was from this unique venue that all the inspiration came. The venue’s main decor element is mosaic and so the theme was continued into the wedding’s stationery and decor. Lauren’s colour preferences were a tall order of green, blue, brown and yellow – any wedding planner’s colour scheme nightmare! Fortunately because of the mosaic theme, we were able to create an aesthetic blend of specific tones of the colours. A Moroccan touch was added with ornate lanterns as centre pieces as well as a Secret Garden feel with plenty of greenery and twinkling yellow lights. Thanks to 5 Talents Photography for the beautiful photos as well as a few from Murasaki-Ame Photography.

All-green orchid bridal bouquet and pale yellow tulip bridesmaid bouquets – Ribbon Weddings. Beautiful bridesmaid dresses by dressmaker, Anke Boersema.

Orchid boutonnieres – Ribbon Weddings with special thanks to Anelle le Roux.

Christ Church, Arcadia – flowers by Ribbon Weddings

Many thanks to all the girls who helped weave that ribbon and set up on the day. DIY coffee filter roses laboriously made by the bride.

Lanterns hired from The Decor Hire Company. Vases and runners from Nici’s Decor Hire. Flowers – Ribbon Weddings.

Invitation, menu and place card – Ribbon Weddings. Mosaic coasters made by the parents of the bride. Custom Thank You stamp for coasters – Ribbon Weddings.

Custom seating plan – Ribbon Weddings. Mosaic table numbers made by the father of the bride. Hanging votives hired from Moi Decor.

Beautifully lit photography by 5 Talents Photography.

The suppliers for this wedding are as follows:

Photography: 5 Talents Photography
Reception: Tony’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co.
Ceremony: Christ Church, Arcadia
Bride’s Dress: Olivelli                  

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Anke Boersema
Stationery: Ribbon Wedding Stationery
Flowers and Decor: Ribbon Weddings
Decor Hire: Moi Decor; Nici’s Decor Hire ; The Decor Hire Company

Go bold – Go Gold!

In celebration of Cameron van der Burgh’s gold medal yesterday, Ribbon put together a Gold inspiration board.

Photo credit: Style me Pretty

A gold wedding can be one of two things: incredibly tacky or wonderfully elegant. We suggest opting for a softer tone of gold and using pops of the colour. Combining the gold with a secondary colour is also a must, even if it’s a white or cream; this will be much easier on the eye and will create a warm flow of colour. Also avoid adding decor or other items to your wedding day just because they’re gold – you don’t want the reception hall looking like Scrooge McDuck’s money vault!


Friday’s Secret: Choosing a venue

Image: Copyright Rosemary Hill

When planning a wedding, most brides start here – looking for a venue. Rightly so as this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make and will set the tone for all the decisions to follow.

I’m busy doing stationery for a lovely bride who introduced me to Rosemary Hill. She’s getting married there in July and I have to admit, I have bride envy! Rosemary Hill is a family owned farm situated just 10 minutes from Pretoria East.

Apart from hosting weddings, it has been a practicing organic farm for 35 years. This fact alone excites me as you know you’re going to be surrounded by natural, established beauty. There’s also something endearing about a venue that isn’t just a conference centre or a set-up specifically for weddings but something that exists and enriches people’s lives without the weekend ceremonies. The farm produces African Potato, Sutherlandia, Rosemary, Lavender, Artemisia, Lippia, Spearmint, Eucalyptus and various other plants from which they distill essential oils.  There’s even a nursery selling a variety of shrubs, herbs, flowers and trees.

My absolute favourite feature of this venue is the maze. The maze is 80 metres in diameter and is made up of 2154 trees, herbs and shrubs! This serves as a most incredible and unique setting for a wedding ceremony. The guests can all be seated in the centre of the maze and the bride can make her way down the pathways with her dad in hand.

Image: Copyright Rosemary Hill

Having featured this lovely venue, I’d like to add what today’s secret actually is. When selecting a venue for your wedding, look past all the well-known venues that need to be booked two years in advance. Because these venues host so many weddings (sometimes up to 5 a week) – there’s a certain lack of intimacy and personalized service.

So my advice is to look for the smaller, lesser known venues. Often a place like Rosemary Hill that doesn’t only do functions will do fewer weddings in a week as they have other forms of sustainability. Look for the venues that are family owned and run with love rather than like a business with the end goal of monetary gain. These are the places that are likely to be willing to assist you in creating your dream wedding without the rules and restrictions of the more commercial venues. You are also likely to find that these are the venues that are a lot more affordable yet with triple the quality!

If you’d like to visit Rosemary Hill, make a booking for High Tea on a Sunday. Take your mom and bff and relax, take in the atmosphere and sample some of their delicious food. The prefect way to get to know a venue!

Colours: Wedding Stationery

I’m busy working on invites for a bride’s wedding in July. These are the colours I’m using to create her protea motif. The freshness of these colours is really going to bring a touch of bright vivacity to a dull winter morning. The crisp greens and blues from light sage, grass green and mint to aqua and sky blue blend so well together. They flow beautifully into each other instead of creating a muddy rainbow mess!

Friday’s Secret: Wedding Photography – Quality vs Quantity

Photo by Raine Parenzee

Photo by Raine Parenzee

Most brides will agree that a good photographer is one of the most important things for their wedding day. It’s the one thing that’s left to oogle at when it’s all over. You want those memories to be captured perfectly and be a true representative of how you looked and how the day felt.

Choosing the right photographer is not an easy task – there are many of chancers out there who haven’t got the experience in wedding photographer or simply don’t have that ‘special something’ in the images they create.

Now the problem comes in when brides think: great photographer equals great deal of money. This is not true! Yes, a good photographer will probably be pricier than your cousin who has a nice camera and had a few classes in photography (shudder); but if you go for the right package with the great photographer you’ll get awesome photos at a reasonable price.

So my secret revealed today is: find a great photographer and pick the smallest package. Most photographers offer different packages which cover a certain time period. I opted for a 5 hour package and in this time the photographer (Laura Jane) was able to cover an array of scenes, from the getting ready to the early reception guest shots. She gave us over 800 photos – more than enough to make an album from. If you’re on a tight budget, rather have the photographer there till reception than have an average photographer for the whole night. You can always ask friends and family to take pictures during reception.

Many brides are also fooled by the extras – “2 specially designed albums” or “100 edited, printed photos”. These things are great but that expense can be saved for a later day when money isn’t tight because of all the expenses of your big day. Take the package where the photographer just gives you a dvd with the photos – you can look into the printing later when you and your parent’s wallets have recovered from wedding shock!

Laura Jane Photography

Friday’s Secret: Paint Swatch

I’m very excited about today’s post. Why? Today is the first of many secrets revealed! Every Friday I’ll be posting a wedding secret. Nothing scandalous or jaw-dropping…I won’t be letting the cat out the bag on the latest Kardashian wedding! Having been recently wed I’m feeling rather wise on the ins and outs of wedding planning. I’ve decided to very generously share my experiences with all the bride-to-be’s out there so that you too can benefit from these simple but handy tricks.

So today’s secret was actually inspired by my sister-in-law, Raine. At the end of a shopping trip at Builder’s Warehouse she hopped into the car with a stack of paint swatches – she’s obsessed with the colour purple and had collected all the purple swatches. I browsed through them to look for the purple I planned to use for our wedding. This sparked the idea of getting all the colours I wanted for the wedding in the form of paint swatches. I had quite specific colour choices – navy blue, plumish-purple and a pale sage. The modern bride no longer goes with generic primary colour choices. The clients that come to me always refer to a “pale yellow, cherise pink or dove grey” – we have become fussy and specific in our colour choices.

So my tip for the newly engaged or even “half-way-through planning” engageés is to go to your local hardware or paint shop and grab a few of the colour swatches that you have in mind. Then go home, compare them and cut out the ones you’re sure are the closest to the colours you want. Stick each one onto a long-ish piece of card and Voila! – you have your own wedding swatch!

Now stick this in that little Wedding bookie you carry around with you (every bride should have one) and it’ll always be handy for you to refer to. As you can see in the picture, mine is quite worn around the edges. I whipped it out on countless occasions – at the venue, at the material shop, with the cake-maker, you name it!

A Blog for the Modern Bride: B.loved

As a wedding blogger I’m spoiled for choice when it comes to perusing other wedding blogs. I made a great find today : B.loved. is a UK based wedding blog that has a clean, modern but pretty style. The site is wonderfully fresh but is infused with brides and weddings that are classic and inspiring.

B.loved - Monica Dart Photography

This photograph from B.loved is by a Cape Town based photographer, Monica Dart.