GSS Featured Vendor :: Rabbit Stop :: Handmade Men’s Neckties

It’s not new news that many Brides & Grooms are opting for suits instead of tuxes.  Opting for suits instead of tuxes, it allows the bride & groom a little more freedom to show off their personal style.  However, brides, we know how hard it can be to coordinate your wedding’s colors and find that necktie to match your Pomegranate bridesmaids dresses.  With that said, we would love to introduce you to a lil’ shop on Etsy named Rabbit Stop.  (We are so in LOVE with these Etsy shops!)  Rabbit Stop has every color and almost every design imaginable!  They offer handmade neck ties, scarves, and custom labeling.  And they are VERY affordable!  Most neck ties on their web shop are only $17.95!  WOW!  Who knew you could get a handmade neck tie for such a great price!!!  Stop by their store (by clicking here) and show them some love!

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Jeanne & Chris’s Intimate Hawaiian Wedding :: Zasey Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!! You’re all in for a treat today!!! Man, our submissions just keep getting better and better!!! Today’s fabulous featured wedding comes from Amber Strickler of Zasey Photography, a Houston, Texas based photographer. Amber has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Jeanne and Chris were married on April 15, 2012 at Sugarman Estate in MAUI, HAWAII!!  Wow, what an location! Jeanne was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

Note from Jeanne about her beautiful brooch bouquet (Seen above):  I made my brooch bouquet from scratch. I took me about six months and is a mixture of brooches that have been in my family for a long time as well as new ones. I wrapped stem in silk ribbon topped with a pearl strand and two diamond letters “J” for Jeanne and “C” for Chris. I love this bouquet because I will have it forever because it will never die.

How did you and Chris meet? We met in a small town named Danbury, Texas. I was visiting my sister (she married a man from Danbury also) and Chris was good friends with him. Chris is also from Danbury.  Anyways, we were just hanging out and riding four-wheelers playing in the mud.  We’ve been together ever since. :)

How long have you been together? 5 years

How did your husband propose? I came home after a long 12 hour shift at the hospital (I am a nurse), and he surprised me when I got home.  It was totally unexpected.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”? It is a Paloma Blanca dress I  purchased at a store in River Oaks called Mia Bridal Couture.  I LOVE my dress.  I knew it was the one because I didn’t want to take it off. 

What persuaded you to have a destination wedding? Chris did not want a huge wedding here at home. Next best thing…..Hawaii!!!!

What sold you on your wedding venue? My wedding coordinator, Tori Rogers, gave me so many options. Sugarman Estate aka Honua Kai Lani was the one we chose and immediately we could tell there was something different about this location. It was very private and basically was a blank canvas for us to plan our perfect wedding.

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”? I had family brooches in my bouquet that I made as well as new ones. I borrowed a handkerchief from my mom because I knew I was going to cry when I was about to walk aisle and my garter was blue. (I didn’t really put much thought into this tradition.) 

What song did you dance to for your first dance? We love Texas country and one of our favorite songs is by Wade Bowen called “Who I am” the acoustic version. 

How did you choose your wedding color palette? I originally had chosen pastel colors, but everything was looking so monotone and we were having a sunset wedding outside in Hawaii so we decided that a brighter color was needed. Tangerine is the color of the year it seems.

Do you have any advice for bride and grooms that are in the planning process?  Having a wedding coordinator is key. Especially a destination wedding-  It is already stressful enough and a good one is essential. I don’t think my wedding would have turned out as great without mine. 

What was your favorite part of your big day? Everything. Not a single thing went wrong. If I had to pick one thing, it would be our private Polynesian Revue. It really ended things perfectly for the night. 


Venue: Sugarman Estate/Honua Kai Lani

Dress: Paloma Blanca

Cake: Maui wedding cakes

Floral: Dellables

Linens: Pacific Event Group

Catering: Aloha Events Catering

DJ/Band: We had a Hawaiian trio

Ceremony Music:  Maui Harps

Videographer: Surefire Production

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: Memories of Today 

Event Planner: Hawaii Weddings by Tori Rogers

Thank you so much, Amber, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by her website and her blog and show her some love! And thank you, Jeanne, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you and Chris a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured Please send it to us at We HEART submissions!

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Savanna & Aaron’s Country Chic Wedding :: MJ Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!!  Today’s fabulous featured wedding comes from Mindy Cowart of MJ Photography, an East Texas based wedding photographer.   Mindy has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Savanna and Aaron were married on April 16, 2011 in a beautiful ceremony at the Stone Oak Ranch in Murchison, Texas.  Savanna was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How did you and Aaron meet? We met in high school after his family moved to my town.  My best friend and I “stalked” the “hot” new senior all of our freshman year. Close to the end of that school year we realized my little sister and his little sister had become best friends so we started prodding them for info about each other. But a year passed while he went off to college before we ran into each other in the local grocery store. And for the last five years we have been inseparable ever since. :)

How long have you been together? Almost five full years already!

How did Aaron propose? He planned a whole proposal but was so excited when he got the ring from the jeweler.  He had it specially made and took a few weeks to get it in.   The anticipation must have been killing him because he called me  on accident and before he knew what he was saying the words “I GOT YOUR RING IN!!!” popped out.  Confused I said “What ring??”   He responded with, “Ummmm NEVER MIND! Gotta go, I’ll see you later!”  But I kept questioning the odd phone call that afternoon so finally he pulled out a little red box and said “This ring” …

What sold you on your wedding venue? The venue fit out personalities perfectly, country for me and my family with style for him and his… We fell in love with it immediately and to avoid having to pay the higher cost of booking since the price change deadline was two days away from the day we toured it, we went home that night, discussed it and placed our deposit the very next day.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”? I had “the dress” designed in my mind before I ever tried one on.  My dress was actually only the third dress I tried on, but it was not what I was looking for.  However, thanks to the great staff at David’s Bridal, I was able to customize the neck line from a straight cut to a semi sweetheart, the back from a standard zip closure to a beautiful lace up, the flare from flat to a slight A-line with a trumpet petti skirt, and added the beautiful three-tier bustle where there was none before. 

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”? Something old was my Great Grandmother’s ring, something new was everything,  something borrowed was my Grandmother’s bracelet and something blue were the boots I wore. 

How did you choose your wedding color palette? I didn’t pick a particular “palette” instead I chose a “style.”  French country meets country chic is the best I can describe it…  A mix of floral prints, woods, soft lace, burlap and beautiful spring mix floral arrangements set the tone for our reception but we really just used the natural beauty of the venue for the ceremony.

Do you have any advice for bride and grooms that are in the planning process? Let/make him help, he’ll regret it if he doesn’t … Aaron didn’t do a lot but I forced him to help with the “silly” decisions like what type of filler flowers and what flavor icing to use on the cake… In the end he had something he could say he did and it made the day a little more special for us both.  And be sure that you don’t let it all get too overwhelming,  it will ruin the whole experience.

What song did you dance to for your first dance? We picked Brantley Gilbert’s “My Kind of Crazy”.

What was your favorite part of your big day? We loved everything about our special day!  But some memorable moments were when my Great Aunt talked the DJ into changing the song on our first dance half way through from “my kind of crazy” to “love shack” shocked both of us, but got a good laugh. Then one of my flower girls sang “Ring of Fire “by Johnny Cash to us and all our guests..  She was only four but knew every word. And of course the “I Do’s”, even though I got a case of the giggles about half way through … Not sure what had me so tickled but I really had to fight the urge to bust out laughing and that had the officiant a little tickled too.


Venue: Stone Oak Ranch, Murchison,  TX

Dress: David’s Bridal

Cake: Katie McGraw

Floral: Designed and arranged by me but ordered through Super One Food’s floral department.

Linens: Myself

Catering: Dickey’s BBQ,  Corsicana,  TX

DJ/Band: Eric Crow

Videographer: None

Photographer:  Mindy Cowart of MJ Photography

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: Myself

Event Planner: Myself – Savanna Miller 903-530-7968 if anyone is looking for help in the Tyler area :)

Thank you so much, Mindy, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  Please stop by her website and show her some love!  And thank you, Savanna, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We hope your wedding was everything that you have ever dreamed of and wish you and Aaron a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!!  May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at  We HEART submissions!


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GSS’s Things We LOVE :: Mignonne Handmade Accessories!!!

We stumbled upon Mignonne handmade’s accessories on Etsy and were absolutely blown away!  Mignonne handmade makes all kinds of gorgeous accessories (headbands, hats, hair clips, boutonnieres, bouquets, necklaces, and earrings… to name a few!)  from silk and natural fabrics as well as various vintage bits.  You have got to check them out.  Seriously.  Do. It.  NOW!

Here’s a little bit about Mignonne handmade from their Etsy profile:

“Jenn Wood, owner and designer of Mignonne handmade, graduated from Temple University in 2000 with a degree in Art History. After working for a prominent local antiques dealer for a short time after graduating, she began to intern at a local flower shop and fell in love with the art of floral design. She continued on this path after a 2003 move to Phoenix, AZ and has been a small business owner since 2005. Jolie jour flowers caters to smaller creative weddings in the Phoenix area and incorporates eco-friendly flowers in real and handmade forms.

Mignonne handmade was born out of a love for embellishment, deorative forms and above all pretty things. The asethetic combines handmade flowers with vintage pieces and a dash of whimsy. Things that inspire Mignonne handmade creations are nature, films, fashion, art, French vintage, cooking, books and bygone eras. Each piece is created with care and love for you to enjoy toujours.”

And now for their goodies!!!

 Images Courtesy of Leigh Miller Photography

 Images Courtesy of Sloan Photographers

 Images Courtesy of Ventola Photography

 Images Courtesy of Ventola Photography

 Image Courtesy of Sloan Photographers

 Images Courtesy of Ventola Photography, Lowe Photography

 Images Courtesy of Ventola Photography

 Images Courtesy of Ventola Photography

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Kelli & Jason’s Romantic Black & White Wedding :: Pam Cooley Photography

Today’s featured wedding comes from Pam Cooley of Pam Cooley Photography. She is an Illinois based wedding photographer. Pam has been so accommodating to GSS on this feature.  Thank you!  Kelli and Jason were married on May 21, 2011 in Peoria, Illinois.  Kelli was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How did you and Jason meet?  We met freshman year of college.   I think the second week into school. :)

How long have you been together?  We have been together for over 8 years.

How did Jason propose?  Jason proposed on April Fool’s day in Aspen, Co. We were there with his family skiing. We went in to the down town and he had found a gazebo that he thought would be the perfect spot. After some persuasion he got me inside the gazebo, all I was thinking about was how cold I was and I wanted to go home.  All of a sudden he ran ahead of me and as I approached he got down on one knee and proposed to me.  It was the best day of my life!

What sold you on your wedding venue?  My wedding ceremony was at the Contemporary Art Center– Fell in love when I walked in! We had our reception at The Conerstone Building– we chose this because of the unique and romantic feel.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?   I found my dress at Boutique Victoria Couture Bridal in  Chicago on Madison street. It was across from my apartment.  I walked in not thinking I would find a dress- But once I put on my dress and jewelry, I knew I had to have it.  She is a local dress and jewelry designer that only sells/carries her own brand in her store.


What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”?   Something old- My Aunt’s ring from when she turned 16. It is beautiful!   Something borrowed-  My  Sister’s purse she wore on her wedding day.   Something new- My jewelry and dress.   Something blue-  I didn’t do this one but I have blue eyes does that count??

How did you choose your wedding color palette? I chose soft colors-  white, champagne and cream colors with black accents.  I chose these colors because I wanted a vintage and romantic feeling to the wedding and I thought these colors represented that well.

Do you have any advice for brides that are in the planning process? Enjoy every moment and don’t stress about the small stuff!

What was your favorite part of your big day?  Marrying the man of my dreams!  I LOVED how our ceremony turned out.  It was perfect. The Contemporary Art Center was romantic and was very intimate.  I loved the exposed brick and dark wood. It was just the feel I wanted! We had someone playing acoustic music throughout the ceremony which I loved.

One thing I really loved that I did was letting my bridesmaids pick out their own dress. I said they could wear whatever as long as it was black. Worked out perfect!

What song did you dance to for your first dance?  We chose Be Mine by David Gray.  What made this moment really special was his Brother’s live acoustic performance of the song.


Venue:  Ceremony:   The Contemporary Art Center             Reception:    The Conerstone Building 

Dress: Victoria Sdoukos :: Boutique Victoria Couture Bridal

Cake:  Cracked Pepper 

Floral:  Heaven on Earth Floral Designs

Linens:  Heaven on Earth Floral Designs

Catering:  Cracked Pepper 

DJ/Band:  Pete Fleming Orchestra 

Invitations/Wedding Stationery:  Invitations:  The Bronze Frog,  Peoria, IL        Wedding Stationery:  CWG Invites 

Event Planner:  Lisa Ragan with Happily Ever After Weddings

Thank you so much, Pam, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  Please stop by her website and show her some love!  And thank you, Kelli, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We wish you and Jason a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!!  May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at  We HEART submissions!

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Jessica & Jeff’s Vintage Handmade Wedding :: SWOON by Katie

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!!  If you LOVE vintage, handmade and outdoor weddings, then boy, are you in for a treat today!!!  Today’s fabulous featured wedding comes from Katie Scott of SWOON by Katie, a California based wedding photographer. Katie has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Jessica and Jeff were married on August 20, 2011 in a beautiful ceremony at the Willow Creek Ranch in Valley Center, California.  Katie was kind enough to share a little bit about the big day with us:

“To say I adore this couple would be an understatement. I love their chemisty, their excitement and their sweet genuine spirits. I go way back with Jessica, as she was one of the models for Lo Boheme’s Lookbook last year! Then I got the priviledge of shooting her engagement and then her wedding. It has been such a pleasure to get to know her and Jeff’s families. They really are incredible people, and even better together than they are apart. They put SO much work into their wedding and it was so ridiculously pretty. I was just in awe. The light, the details, the portraits, the people…everything was just perfect. Thanks to my friend Harmony for shooting with me for this one! Enjoy!” 



Venue: Willow Creek Events
Makeup & Hair : Friend of the Bride
Cake: Made by Family friend
Caterer: Jalisco Taqueria
Dress Designer: Watters In Cabo Dress
Flowers: Sue Williams (venue owner) and Karen Williams (friend)
Groom’s Attire: Alfani Red Label
Jewelry: Banana Republic/Nordstrom
Shoe Designer: Ivanka Trump
Hair Accessories: Lo Boheme
Officiant: Father of the Bride

Thank you so much, Katie, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by her website and show her some love! Jessica and Jeff, we hope your wedding was everything that you have ever dreamed of and wish you a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at We HEART submissions!

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GSS Guest Blogger :: Evan Baines Photography :: Understanding Wedding Photography

We have the utmost privilage of having Nashville Wedding Photographer, Evan Baines, as a guest blogger for Groom Sold Separately today!  We are so excited and beyond thrilled to have Evan lend his expertise and experience with us!

A little bit about Evan Baines and his photography:

Evan Baines Photography is based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Evan started his business in 2007, after finishing a successful enlistment as a Green Beret in the the Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). They are a veteran-owned business, and he maintains a thriving commercial practice in addition to shooting weddings.  He is truly a phenomenal talent who spends much of his spare time studying the classics of documentary photojournalism, fashion photography, and portraiture. He believes in drawing influence from work that already has an established track record for timelessness. His favorite photographers include Richard Avedon, David Seidner, Edward Steichen, André Kertesz, Rene Burri, and Robert Frank among others.

One of our favorite things about Evan:  “When you’re sitting together in 30 years looking at your wedding album, you won’t be thinking about how cool or stylish your wedding photographer was. The first thing that comes to your mind won’t be his dynamic lighting style or fancy Photoshop effects. Your photos are going to be treasured documents of family history, revitalizing memory in some and illustrating the past for others. I believe in using style to facilitate the content of the photos: my art serves your moments.”  …WOW!  How perfectly stated!

So, without further ado… Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Evan:

“Over the past few years, wedding photography has significantly evolved from a very limited and static style, towards a dynamic blend of various photographic disciplines. In my consultations, I frequently find that couples are confused by the diversity of styles and options offered to create images from their wedding. To this end, I’ve decided that it might be helpful to create a guide that advises brides and grooms on some of the terminology that is common to the industry, and some of the options that different vendors may offer.

First and foremost, its important to recognize that a wedding photographer is typically called upon to work within a variety of disciplines throughout a wedding day. Almost all wedding photographers these days offer a blend of photojournalism, contemporary portraiture, traditional portraiture, and detail shots. However, photographers may diverge wildly regarding the actual composition of this blend, and the priority they place on each component. You may find that one or two of these disciplines are much more important to you than the others, and it is important to find a photographer who shares your priorities.

This may also be referred to as “candid” or “documentary” photography, and it describes wedding photos that have not been set up in any way by the photographer. Photojournalism seeks to document the day as it happens with minimal interference. Almost all wedding photographers these days *claim* to offer some sort of photojournalistic component to their coverage. However, many will present candid-looking contemporary portraiture as their “photojournalism.” Quality photojournalism is not merely snapshots of events as they unfold, but carefully considered storytelling that typically incorporates multiple content elements into a cohesive narrative.


Contemporary Portraiture:
Contemporary Portraiture may be described as “fashion-inspired,” “editorial,” or even “rock-star.” Contemporary wedding portraiture is NOT photojournalistic in nature, but it may appear to be so. Modern wedding photographers are skilled at either posing subjects, or placing subjects in situations/interactions that will yield dramatic portraits that do not appear “posed” as with traditional portraiture. Some shots may feature extremely stylized posing, either for group or individual portraits. Contemporary portraiture frequently incorporates dramatic lighting, photoshop effects, special lens effects, and a variety of other techniques. The vast majority of top-tier wedding photographers emphasize contemporary portraiture in their advertising, because it is usually the most eye-catching and dramatic style of wedding photography.

Traditional Portraiture:
Traditional portraiture has been, and will continue to be, and important part of what most wedding photographers offer. Traditional portraiture may be referred to by some as “formals,” or “the group photos,” but it may also include traditionally posed individual portraits. Most professional photographers these days minimize this part of their coverage in their portfolios and as they make sales presentations, however it is rare for a client to choose coverage completely devoid of this style. When executed well, traditional portraits serve as a document of family and friends’ presence, and make all of the subjects look good. A photographer skilled in traditional portraiture will ensure that all subjects are posed and lit in a flattering, if usually somewhat static manner.

Detail Shots:
Detail shots are the primary focus of most bridal blogs and magazines, and are an extremely important element to many couples. Couples will spend countless hours selecting specific colors, centerpieces, cakes, flowers, and other details. Skilled wedding photographers apply many techniques from commercial product photography to document each of these details in an exciting fashion. Some photographers become well-known for their ring shots, flower shots, or other detail-focused images.

Please stop by Evan Baines Photography’s website and show them some love!

All photography credits courtesy of Evan Baines Photography.


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GSS Featured Wedding Professional :: Wedding Floral Advice From Dallas Pro :: DiFiori

Dallas’ Best Kept Secret, DiFiori should be a secret no more. We were able to catch up with the design extraordinaire, Robin Brogan with DiFiori and ask her a few questions about wedding trends for the upcoming seasons. DiFiori was featured in D Weddings recently with this gorgeous lavender bouquet : Purple Reign. We love it!!

DiFiori is so excited for weddings in 2012!  Weddings for this year so far are right on track with all of the color predictions.
After looking at what is going on in the world of weddings, soft pastels are going to be prominent for dresses and decor.  Many experts predict that soft pinks, grays, lavenders, and yellows will be the chic colors for next year.  We are recommending that our brides spice up the soft hues of the décor and dress colors.  Mixing bright yellows with the soft yellow dresses, or hot pinks and purples with the lavender or pink dresses. Remember one very important rule of thumb for choosing your floral colors; never mix more than three colors.  If you decide to go tonal, meaning one basic color, feel free to use as many shades as you can.  For example, if you want to use pink, use all shades from the palest pink to the darkest pink for beautiful depth in your floral décor. We rarely have new and unusual flowers come into our market.  Flowers you can always count on getting anytime of the year are roses, spray roses, hydrangeas (in most colors), lilies and orchids (colors vary).  Floral décor and design for next year will continue to reflect the passion for “lights, camera and action!”  Crystals, branches, draping and lighting will be important for the ultimate wedding design.

What a fabulous designer. She keeps up with trends and starts her own and it works flawlessly! She was one of the masterminds behind Alice in Weddingland….see below for her gorgeous handy work.

photo credit :: ABOVE – Tony Valadez BELOW – top left, bottom left & right ::  Hansel Dobbs, top right :: Amy Karp, HEADSHOT Amy Karp

Asking your designer to recommend floral that is readily available for each month of the year will help you to be able to have more affordable arrangements so that your reception can be completely decorated.  Alternative centerpieces such as beautiful lamps or candles decorated with ribbon and crystals will also help to alleviate the pressure of decorating each table.   These concepts have always helped us succeed as designers.

Robin Brogan

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