PICS: Wedding trends for 2017 are all about bling

By Latoya Newman Time of article published Feb 22, 2017

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Sophie Ndaba – more popularly known for her career as one of South Africa’s most popular actresses – is an internationally renowned events and wedding planner through her company Sophla Events.

Last year, she was invited to address the International Destination Wedding Planners Congress in Mauritius, where she was acknowledged as one of the top wedding planners on the continent. She shared the stage with the likes of David Beahm, who designs high-profile weddings, including that of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, and Marcy Blum, who planned LeBron James and Savannah Brinson’s special day.

Ndaba’s clientele ranges from the likes of A-listers such as songbird Judith Sephuma, DJ Black Coffee and actress Mbali Mlotshwa, high-end property developer David Mabilu and ministersto your average Joe and Jo-Anne.


We asked for her thoughts on a few things regarding wedding theme trends this year, including what she thought would or could carry over from last year.

She said: “Bling! Bling! Bling! And crystal everything! Meaning crystal chandeliers, candelabras, glasses and other décor motives. I think crystal ‘anything’ will never leave in 2017. But at the same time, less is more, so I would say a bit of all depending on (the) theme and the persona of bride.”

What is filtering through in terms of themes and trends?

“Firstly, flowers! Brides are saving for florals in Africa. However, internationally this has been a huge trend and highlight for years. Our brides in Africa are (only) now warming up to the huge floral budget and understanding that flowers add a fabulous ambiance to decor as a whole.

“Secondly, the non-traditional table setting of eight- or 10-seater tables Brides are now willing to do the long last supper table setting, mixed with individual, depending on event size. Main table and church setting backdrops are big. Floral designs are key (with) special attention to detail followed by guest table settings.”

Edith Venter, of Joburg-based events specialists Edith Unlimited, believes the traditional wedding is still the most popular. “However, there is a trend at the moment where the couple invite friends and family to a party to either celebrate a birthday or engagement but when guests arrive, it is actually a wedding!

“I have seen a few of these happening and I do believe the couples are doing it to avoid interference from family and friends, and everything that happens is exactly what they want and not the mother of the bride or any other family member.”


On the cake front, the dripped cake, metallic cake, strawberry towers, naked cakes and the like are popular lately.

The Cakeman, Franco Lambiase, from Joburg, who is renowned for his creations, said the naked cake and dripped cakelwould still be popular this year, but that what was coming to the fore was the Geode Cake (a cake which is hollowed out and decorated with sugar crystals in the colours of amethyst, turquoise and semi precious stone colours).

Joanne Strydom, of Durban’s Custom Cakes by Joanne, said flowers and traditional African-themed cakes were big last year and were likely to be seen this year again. “And when it comes to the flowers, people are not opting for the fondant flowers. They want the real deal. I think flowers will never go out of fashion. A wedding cake looks classy with a flower on it, but it depends on what kind of theme your wedding is.

“I have also got a few enquiries where the cake includes straight lines and symmetry. I think that South Africans are very set in their ways. Tradition plays a big part in our weddings ”

Strydom said overseas black cakes were making a huge comeback. She also said the Geode Cake was “very big in the cake world right now”.

“Whether this will filter through to South Africa remains to be seen. South Africa looks like it does not follow the trend. We seem to be sticking with the ‘safe’ wedding cakes which are the pale in colour, flower covered cakes. Also, I have got a few enquiries about wedding cake toppers, so maybe that us going to make a comeback.”

But ultimately Strydom said she thinks traditional cakes would have the upper hand. “The three- or four-tier wedding cake with a bit of bling and flowers, nothing too over the top. Also the dummy cakes People want the look of a huge wedding cake, but they don’t want all the cake or the price tag of such a big cake. They would have a six-tier cake with only three tiers being actual cake, so I think dummy tiers will be big this year.”

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