Elana & David: 12/12/12


Elana and David met at school, but it was only years later, at her cousin’s birthday party, that he had the chance to tell her how he had had a crush on her since those days! She was unavailable at the time and it took a break-up and the need for (David’s) shoulder to cry on for her to realise that he was the man of her dreams!

Elana was referred to us by a mutual friend in the industry and when she came to us she already had most of her things in place, but felt that she needed someone to make it all come together and to make sure it was all there. Their wedding was to take place at the Newlands Cricket Grounds on 12/12/12 and was to be a traditional, Jewish ceremony. The decor was predominately white, but with splashes of bright colour that filtered in on the tables, in the stationery and even in the entourage’s clothes. The wedding cake was also covered with hundreds of tiny, bright icing flowers. Friends of theirs, who couldn’t attend the wedding, gave them the ‘Newlands score board’ as a gift – they had 4 different messages loaded up on the score board that looped every 5mins for the entire duration of the wedding.

ss score board





ss cake

To help the non-Jewish guests out, the couple printed a ‘Welcome to our Wedding’ card that explained all the wonderful traditions and the symbolism behind them. It was our first Jewish wedding and it was really wonderful to behold the age-old rituals woven into a modern couple’s special day! The ‘Chuppah’ that they were married under was hand-beaded and was specially brought in from Buluwayo, Elana’s place of birth.



Jewish wedding traditions include the Bedekken (where the Groom sees the Bride before the ceremony to make sure it’s the right girl!), the Ketubbah (Jewish wedding contract), the ring ceremony (where they get married with a ring that has been passed down from generation to generation, in this case from her grand grandparents that got married in 1911), the breaking of the glass (and ‘Mazel Tov’!) and of course all the boisterous traditional Jewish dancing.

Bedekken ss



There were so many special moments weaved into this wedding and the guests were taken on a roller-coaster journey of laughter and tears. One of the surprise elements to the day that had all the guests in stitches, was Elana’s daughter, Kacey’s speech. She told the couple’s story using chocolates and sweets that she handed to her newly wed parents to put in a box ‘for the honeymoon’. She told how David took Elana to a ‘lunch bar’ and how they held hands as they travelled there on the ‘top deck’ of the bus. It was filled with ‘endearmint(s)’.


Their wedding logo was their two fingerprints printed over each other in the shape of a heart and so guests also had the chance to put their fingerprints onto a colourful canvas that now hangs in the couple’s house. For gifts, each man got a hand-knit kippot in the wedding colours and each lady got a handbag clip that sported the fingerprint heart logo.



It was such a beautiful day and we were so honoured to have been a part of it. Mazel Tov, David and Elana!

SS COUPLEAuthor: Sunelle van den Berg

“Wrap up” wedding co-ordination: Blank Canvas Event Design

Photography: Stephen C Photography

Flowers: Prickly Pear Creations

Cake: Justine Hepple (Bespoke Catering)


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Some of our favourite 2013 Wedding Trends


2013 is going to be a beautiful year in the Wedding industry! I am so excited to see how the trends will come together to create spectacular weddings and decor that will be talked about for years to come. In 2013, there is no time for timid Brides. This year, the weddings will be bold and bright, glamorous and fun!

1. The Coloured Dress

Let’s start with the element that is always first and foremost in any girl’s daydreams about her wedding – The Dress! 2013 will see the rise of the coloured wedding dress. Whether it’s soft and pastel, bold and bright, ombre or printed or simply has accents of colour, the white dress is SO last season…

dress1 - weddingideasmag.comPhoto courtesy of weddingideasmag.com

dress2 - wpic.typepad.com Photo courtesy of wpic.typepad.com

dress3 - swoonbrides.com Photo courtesy of swoonbrides.com

dress4 - weddingspot.comPhoto courtesy of weddingspot.com

2. The roaring 20’s

2013 will see a come-back of the 1920’s vintage style in terms of wedding themes. Marvelous backless or flapper dresses, fur stolas, long strings of pearls, feathers and fedoras… I love it! I have to say, if I had to get married again, this style would definitely be on my wish list!

20's 1 - elizabeth anne designs Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs

20's 2 - d park photography Photo courtesy of D Park photography

20's 3 - rosie parsons.com Photo courtesy of rosieparsons.com

20's 4 - the petite soiree Photo courtesy of The Petite Soiree

20's 5 - onewed.com Photo courtesy of onewed.com

3. Got your back

Creating striking and unique backdrops as focal points behind tables and displays will be all the rage in 2013. Think colours, textures, prints and bold designs. This will be especially popular for behind the Bridal or main table and should be a culmination of the style, theme and feel of the wedding decor.

Backdrop2 - Rachel A Clingen Photo courtesy of Rachel A. Clingen

backdrop3 - want that wedding uk Photo courtesy of Want that Wedding, UK

backdrop4 Photo from Pinterest

rainbow3 - rocknrollbride.com Photo courtesy of rocknrollbride.com

backdrop5 - onewed.com Photo courtesy of onewed.com

4. In Mint Condition

Yup, Mint is back in 2013. We saw a lot of it last year and it seems like it’s here to stay. From bright green hues to soft, almost aqua tones, you can’t go wrong by adding a hint of minty freshness to your wedding.

mint2 - pinterestPhoto from Pinterest

mint1 - weddingelation.com Photo courtesy of weddingelation.com

mint3 - aphroditesweddingblog Photo courtesy of aphroditesweddingblog.com

mint4 - cl-floraldesigns.co.uk Photo courtesy of cl-floraldesigns.co.uk

5. All the colours of the Rainbow

Forget plain white, let it rain colour on your wedding day! Most Brides are afraid to implement bright colours in their wedding day, but it doesn’t have to look like a circus. Splashes of colour on the tables or a coloured ribbon here and there could also do the trick to brighten up the day. Although, that said, I think in 2013 we’ll be seeing a lot more bold and beautifully bright rainbow weddings.

rainbow1 - saphireeventgroup.com Photo courtesy of saphireeventsgroup.com

rainbow2 - magnifiqueboutique Photo courtesy of magnifiqueboutique.com

rainbow4 - besthomedecorators.com Photo courtesy of besthomedecorators.com

6. Print it!

Animal print, floral print, chevron, polka dots… Prints are BIG this year. We will be seeing it in runners, tablecloths and napkins on the tables, in stationery and even bridesmaids dresses and groom’s ties and socks! Mix it up, keep it simple, but always keep in mind, that when it comes to very bold prints, less is, more often than not, more.

Animal Prints:

animal print1 - imaginewedding.co.uk Photo courtesy of imaginewedding.co.uk

animal print2 - anointedcreations.blogspot.com Photo courtesy of anointedcreations.blogspot.com

animal print3 - bridesmaidtrade.com Photo courtesy of bridesmaidtrade.com

animal print4 - thepittsburghwedding.com Photo courtesy of thepittsburghwedding.com

Floral prints:

floral print - blog-celebration.com Photo courtesy of blog-celebration.com

floral print2 - lover.ly Photo courtesy of lover.ly

floral print3 - aliexpress.com Photo courtesy of aliexpress.com

Chevron (my personal favourite print for 2013):

chevron1 - justbeefashion.blogspot.com Photo courtesy of justbeefashion.blogspot.com

chevron2 - merrimentevents.com Photo courtesy of merrimentevents.com


7. Lounging around

We saw the lounge increase in popularity in 2012 and in 2013 it is a huge trend. Guests love to have an area set out for them close to the dance floor and the bar, where they can just relax and mingle. But, go on, make it interesting, why don’t you?

lounge3 - makingmemories.com Photo courtesy of makingmemories.com

8. Food trucks

I love this! Last year saw the rise of the food tasting stations, but this year, we’re going bigger: Food Trucks! Imagine having various trucks parked neatly around the reception area where guests could help themselves to burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, donuts, pies etc. It doesn’t have to look like a bazaar, there are companies who will customise the fronts of their vans to suit the style of your wedding and could even serve gourmet mini foods.

truck1 - npr.org Photo courtesy of npr.com

truck3 - platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com Photo courtesy of platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com

An ‘unofficial’ trend I think we will see more and more of from 2013 onwards is ‘sprayed flowers’. Not sprayed to look natural, sprayed to look sprayed. Using white flowers as a base and then spraying them softly with any colour imaginable, so that they still look soft and you still see some of the white base, but you get the colour you want without the fuss. Watch this space…

I love this year’s trends (have I mentioned that?) So, without further ado: HAPPY TRENDING 2013 BRIDES!

Author: Sunelle van den Berg

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Start spreading the news… (New York inspired shoot)


This shoot was inspired by the decadence, luxury and unadulterated glamour of the TV series’, ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Gossip Girl’. We tried to recreate the worlds of Carrie Bradshaw and Serena van der Woodson by using rich metallic colours, textures and opulent patterns. The famous New York skyline forms the centre piece of our table, a silhouette that serves as the back-drop that would transport guests into a world where it rains sequence (or “Glamfetti”) and Liberty watches as dreams come true. Give the guests something to ‘gossip’ about by making your wedding a day to remember…



Author: Sunelle van den Berg


Blank Canvas Event Design: Concept, styling and co-ordinating

Corli Sadie: Photography

Venue: Brenaissance in Stellenbosch

Pretty Cake: Cake

Secret Diary Designs: Stationery

Lily Blue: Jewel bouquet, shoes, material flowers

Elizabeth Stockenstrohm: Wedding Dress

Special Events: Tablecloth, flowers

Four Every Event: Chandeliers

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‘Vintage Cowboy Hoedown’ shoot

Vintage is a style that just never seems to go out of fashion. It gets repeated tirelessly and without fail, it seems to embody romance and the nostalgia of love. When paired with the “Cowboy” theme, the result is an ace-high Western hoedown, softly imbued with lace and the pretty vintage prints that we’ve come to know and love.

Gleaning our inspiration from the colours and shapes of good ol’ Western movies, we played around with Sheriff stars for the Groom’s boutanniere, cowboy boots and a leather belt for our more trendy Bride and games like ‘Pin the Tail’ and ‘Texas Hold ’em’ to keep the guests entertained while they bend the elbow in the absence of the Bride and Groom during their couple’s shoot. The horses on the farm were in apple pie order for this gorgeous wedding shoot and they gave a rustic authenticity to the theme.

Author: Sunelle van den Berg


Photography: Corli Sadie for A is my Letter

Styling and co-ordinating: Blank Canvas Event Design

Long dress: Lady Marmelade

Short Dress: Susan Ellis Steinhauser

Stationery: Corli Sadie

Boutanniere and Accessories: Net ‘n Kameel

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Picking a Palette: How to choose your wedding colours


“The make-up is simply an extention of the personality and colours, clothing and make-up all express something.”

– Gene Simmons

When it comes to planning a wedding, most Brides pick colours that will go with the venue they have chosen, or their favourite flower and they spend hours colour-coordinating the tables and the bridesmaids. Very few stop to think about whether the colour scheme will actually compliment THEM – the Bride. It seems odd to think that one should choose wedding colours according to your skin tone, but which Bride wouldn’t want to stand out on her ‘Big Day?’

Colour affects every moment of our lives, even though most of our colour choices are automatic and unconscious. Colour has a profound effect on how we look, how we feel and even how we are perceived by others. The wrong colour scheme can make us look old, drained and life-less, while the exact opposite is true for a complimentary colour scheme. A woman who wears colours that compliment her skin tone is noticed by others and looks vibrant, young and full of energy.

How do I know which skin tone I have?

Skin tones are classified according to two main categories, each with their own two sub-categories:


Cool toned people are classified as WINTER or SUMMER. They have skin that has rosy-beige or bluish-red undertones.

*Most South Africans are classified as cool toned people.

**Quick test: if you turn your hand up and the veins under your skin from your wrist are blue, you are probably cool toned.

Examples of ‘cool toned celebrities’:


People with a warm skin tone are classified under AUTUMN or SPRING. They have yellow or golden undertones.

***Quick test: if you turn your hand up and the veins under your skin from your wrist are green, you are probably warml toned

Examples of ‘warm toned celebrities’:

Colour Choices:


“All colours are friends of their neighbours and lovers of their opposites”

– Marc Chagall

When you look at the colour wheel, you will see that analogous colours go well togehter (they are ‘friends’), so you can choose a single colour and work with different shades or tints of that same colour for your wedding with great success.

Colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel are “complimentary colours” (or ‘lovers’) and when you use them together, they tend to make each other stand out and shine. When you pick colours for your wedding, make sure that you pick colours that are complimentary to your complexion so that they make you radiate and shine!

Here’s how to put it into practice:

Cool toned Brides:

– The ‘Winters’

Brides with this type of skin colour look best in clear, true or vivid colours such as reds, magenta’s or emerald greens.

Eyeshadow: Dark, cool brown, charcoal grey, plum, silver and white.

Cheeks: Strong shades of pink

Lips: Medium dark pink, plum or deep red.

Wedding Colour Palette:


– The ‘Summers’

Brides with this type of skin tone look best in soft, muted colours (still very much the same palette as with winter, but a tint of the colour – lighter)

– Summer’s favourite colours are often blue, but they should avoid yellows.

Eyeshadow: Coffee brown, pinks, light grey

Cheeks: medium to light shades of pink

Lips: Light to medium pink, pink red

Wedding Colour Palette:

Warm Toned Brides

– The ‘Autumns’

Brides in this category has a warm skin tone with yellow undertones, best in deep, earthy colours

Eyeshadow: Dark brown, bronze, pink, earthy green

Cheeks: Medium to light shades of pink or very light bronze

Lips: light to dark pink

Wedding Colour Palette:


– The ‘Springs’

Brides with this type of skin tone look best in light, bright, clear colours. they should avoid blue-based reds or very dark colours.

Eyeshadow: Rusty brown, medium golden brown, peach-apricot, light blue

Cheeks: Light, soft shades of peach or apricot

Lips: Light shades of peach, orange or coral

Wedding Colour Palette:


Palette photo’s courtesy of ‘Design Seeds’: http://www.design-seeds.com

*Author: Sunelle van den Berg 

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The Efficient Group: New Brand Launch – 28 August 2012


The Efficient Group is a diversified financial services group that is focused on delivering a diverse range of their own and associated products and services to both retail and institutional clients. The have various divisions and portfolios and is a client-driven business, in that they place their clients at the heart of the business processes, activities and culture.

We were privileged to be involved with the Cape Town leg of their new brand launch that was held at the Alba Lounge at the V&A Waterfront.

The weather played along nicely and the guests could lounge on the deck, enjoying cocktails and a view of the waterfront and its boats and people.

The theme was Black&White and the new brand was introduced by way of canvasses in a type of “show and tell” gallery scenario.

There was a relaxed atmosphere, guests were enjoying the beautiful setting, the food and drink and by the end of the night, we could happily look back on a very successful event.




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A ‘Steampunk’-inspired UrbanWedding Shoot

Steam what?

Steampunk is a sub-genre of alternate history and sci-fi fantasy that typically features steam-powered machinery and mechanical wonders. It is typically set in an imaginery Victorian age and mainly consitst of brass and copper clockwork and cogs. This particular genre has been making a huge come-back in cinemas, interior design an, yes, also the Wedding Industry!

For this particular shoot, we wanted to make an otherwise very hard and mechanical genre more accessible to Brides, by softening the dark, metallic palette so typical to the Steampunk look with soft creams and ivories and also just a touch of rich turqoise. These undertones complimented the rich golds and coppers beautifully and created an opulent and luxurious look. We also used copper-coloured lace (mimicking the shapes of the cogs) on the tables and chair backs. We made the over-all look more elegant by playing with semi-precious stones, pearls and crystals in the detail on the Wedding dress and also the cake. (And how cute is that cake toppper?)

To add an Urban edge to the shoot, we shot the couple’s shoot in an urban setting, but you will notice the Victorian elements in the architecture.

The various elements melded together like the cogs in a Steampunk wedding machine and the result was a delectable Victorian wonderland!

We had so much fun conceptualizing and styling this shoot and hope to inspire Brides to think outside of the typical wedding box when they dream up their weddings.

**This shoot is currently featured in the Wedding Design magazine, available in Exclusive Books and CNA.

***I would like to thank my best friend, Juanli Theron, for introducing me to this amazing genre. 🙂



Blank Canvas – Styling and conceptualizing

Moi Styling – Groom’s attire and accessories

Warren Williams – Photography

Elizabeth Wedding Gowns – Wedding Dress

Lily Blue – Accessories (Bride and Cake)

Ci Tutto Bello – Stationery, cake and cake topper

La Maison House of Parties – Decor


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