GSS Featured Session :: Underwater Trash the Dress Session :: Amy Karp Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!! You’re in for a treat today!!!   Today’s fabulous featured session comes from our very own Amy Karp!!!  I’ve been hounding Amy for a while now to let me feature these amazing Day After/Trash the Dress underwater images- And she FINALLY gave in!  YAY! Amy Karp Photography is a Dallas, Texas based wedding photographer. 

One of the sweet subjects from these images, Vanja (the bride in the first four images) has been gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.  Vanja and her hubby were married September 24, 2010.  Take it away, Vanja!  

 What made you want to do an underwater session? I had this beautiful dress just sitting in my closet and I’ve been wanting to do a Trash the Dress for a little while. I mean it would be a total waste to only use a dress once, right? I saw Amy’s post on one of the Facebook discussions online about underwater photography and I offered to be her “model.”

Was it very hard holding your breath and getting the poses down?  In the beginning it was very hard to hold my breath and actually look relaxed under water. Finally I just dealt with the fact that I’ll have water going up my nose and I started to be able to relax and not look like I’m drowning.

Did this ruin your dress or is it okay?  I’m one of those people that takes risks. As I said before, I’ve already used the dress once (its main purpose), so I wasn’t too afraid of what may happen to it. I put the dress in a trash bag after our session, took it home and threw it in the washing machine. I figured, nothing happened to it during the five hour session in the pool, what’s the worse that could happen to it in the washing machine? About 30 minutes later, it came out as good as new. I put it on a hanger to air dry. It looks perfect and it’s ready for its next photo shoot. :)

And most of all, did you at least have fun???  I had a blast. This was the first time that I had met Amy, but I felt really comfortable working with her. Within just a few moments I felt like we have known each other forever. Even though I was almost blind by the end of the day from keeping my eyes open underwater the whole time, I very much enjoyed our session and would do it all over again. No worries, my vision returned back to normal the next day.

Thank you so much, Amy, for finally allowing me to share these amazing  underwater sessions with GSS! Please stop by her website and blog and show her some love! And thank you, Vanja, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you and your hubby 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 Wedding Tips :: Take Great Care of your Wedding Pros

Some of you know I am also a Dallas wedding photographer. I love being able to share stories from the wedding vendor side of the industry. I photographed Tamra’s Dallas wedding in 2009 and that’s how we connected. I am so very fortunate to have such kind clients who always welcome me into their homes and their families. At the end of the day, I feel like I am able to create memories they will cherish forever.  I also love hearing from other wedding professionals these same great stories. Couples take care of us. The mother of the bride may bring us water in the middle of the formals to make sure we are staying hydrated. Brides will seat us with guests during dinner at the wedding to make sure we have been fed. These little things NEVER go unnoticed by wedding professionals. We greatly appreciate being taken care of while we are giving extra attention to every detail to make sure the Bride and Groom are being cared for as well. I recently was in Houston, Texas helping out a great friend and fellow Dallas Wedding Photographer, Lindsey Shea. If you don’t know who she is, go check out her blog and be amazed with the gorgeous wedding imagery there! The wedding was a 14+ hour wedding. We talked the night before about how we were going to bring along energy bars, water and possibly make it to a drive through between locations to keep our energy levels up during the wedding. After all, who wants a wedding photographer with plummeting blood sugar levels? The couple and their family welcomed us and encouraged us to eat with them, to celebrate the day with them. At dinner all guests were served a 7 course meal and we were seated along side them.

images courtesy of Amy Karp for Lindsey Shea Photography

Some couples will offer their wedding vendors a vendor meal away from the guests. This is perfect as well.


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GSS Featured Engagement :: James & Stephanie’s Outdoor Engagement :: Shaun Menary Photography

Today’s featured engagement comes from one of our sweet readers, Stephanie.  She’s the Bride to Be in this feature!  We LOVE it when our readers submit their photos to us for a feature!!! Shaun Menary, of Shaun Menary Photography documented their engagement beautifully. Shaun is a Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas based wedding photographer.  Stephanie and James will be married on January 28, 2012 in Dallas.  Stephanie was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

 How did you and James meet? We met at a happy hour that was planned by a mutual friend who wanted to introduce us.  One by one, each of our friends left and it ended up being just he and I talking over margaritas and beers. In the end he asked for my number and asked me out thevery next day.

How long did you date before the proposal OR How long have you been together?  James and I dated for 7 months before he proposed. I had no doubt he was the one after our very first date.

Have you set a date yet?  Our wedding date is January 28, 2012. We decided on this date because his birthday is the 28th of November and mine is the 28th of July.  This way we will always be celebrating on the 28th.

Have you picked your venue?  If so, what made you choose this location?   We will be married at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration and the reception will take place at the Hilton Park Cities. My family has been members of Transfiguration since 1990 and I attended elementary school there.  Like most little girls, I always dreamt of marrying the man of my dreams in the church that I grew up in. We knew that we wanted to have the reception at a hotel that was close to where we live and play. We love the intimacy of the Hilton Park Cities. There are only 224 rooms and one banquet room. There is also a great space for a cocktail hour when the guests first arrive which will help get the celebration started. 

At what point did you know that he was “the one”? I knew it from the start. He made me dinner on our first date and after dinner we sat on the back porch and talked for hours. We talked about our families, hobbies, passions, hopes and dreams. I knew that God had always planned for me to be there with him in that moment.

Besides getting engaged, what is your favorite memory as a couple?  One reason that I knew that he was the one, is that no matter what the circumstance, we always make the very best of it and just enjoy being together. I have so many favorite memories but one memory that stands out is from last January. We went skiing in Tahoe for New Year’,s. James loves to be outdoors and skiing is one of his favorite things to do. As a kid, I used to love to ski but I hadn’t been in almost 10 years.  The first day I had made an appointment to take a half day lesson to get my ski legs back.  There was a horrible storm that day and they closed the entire mountain.  Since we only had a few days of skiing the next day I decided to forgo the ski lesson and jump on a lift with him.  He offered me some pointers at the top of the first mountain and then we were off.  He was so patient with me the whole day. It was absolutely an amazing day.

How did he propose? We had planned a trip to San Francisco.  When we arrived at the hotel we were too early to check in- So he told me I needed to change because we were going to go on a bike ride.  Once we had our bikes we headed to Crissy Beach.  When we got there, James suggested that we leave our bikes and go down to the water to take some pictures.  The next thing I knew he was down on his knee. It all happened so fast! I said yes and jumped into his arms.  Seconds later he told me there was another surprise and his brother and his wife came running out of their hiding spots popping a bottle of champagne. He had flown them in from San Diego and they had been following us since we arrived and documented the whole event.  We spent the rest of the day with them following us around the city taking pictures and enjoying the moment. I felt like the absolute luckiest girl in the whole entire world!

Were you surprised?  I was very surprised!! He did such a wonderful job of planning and keeping everything a secret until the very last second.  I could not have dreamt a more perfect day in a more perfect way!

What made you choose Shaun Menary as your photographer?  I had several friends recommend photographers and I did a lot of research on the internet.  For us, the perfect photographer needed to have more than an amazing portfolio.  The rapport with our photographer was equally as important as the end product.  When we met Shaun Menary there was an instant vibe! We both felt an immediate unspoken connection to Shaun.  In the end, we knew that we could trust him to capture the memories of our wedding exactly how we had always wanted.  It is a tall order to fill, but we are confident that he is the man for the job!

Thank you so much, Shaun, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  Please stop by his website and blog and show him some love!  And thank you, Stephanie, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We wish you and James 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 Wedding :: Tamara & Mike’s Dallas Wedding :: Sara & Rocky Photography

You are in for a real treat today. We are bringing you some gorgeous Dallas wedding photography from Sara and Rocky Photography sent to us via Two Bright Lights. They are a husband and wife duo based out of Dallas Texas and bring a fun original approach to shooting weddings. We are happy to have these two awesome photographers! Because we know how much our readers like seeing the wedding and reading all about how the wedding was brought together, we asked Tamara a few questions….take it away, Tamara!

How did you and your husband meet?

We met at Sky Ranch Camps where we both work full-time. He had been working at our Oklahoma camp and transferred down to our Texas camp in December of 2009. It was almost immediately that we became interested in one another. could barely handle those big blue eyes.

How long have you been together?

He asked me on our first date on April 13, 2010, we got engaged on October 28, 2010 and were married on February 12, 2011. It all happened in 10 months, but we just knew it was right! And pre-dating, we eyed one another for quite a while :)

How did he propose?

The proposal was perfect – it was low key and it was the day that we could start planning for the rest of our lives together!  Mike picked me up late one night after Bible study and took me to our favorite spot – my old cul-de-sac where we spent our summer nights talking, dancing, looking at the gorgeous East Texas stars, and falling in love. I was wearing a baggy A&M sweatshirt, slippers, and my hair was in a messy pony tail – definitely not the most picturesque moment. We took a walk and ended up in the cul-de-sac that was lined in candles, the whole street was glowing. I knew what was happening, but tried to keep my cool even though my heart was about to burst! We danced for a few minutes and from there he proceeded to bath me in undeserved compliments and got down on one knee to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him! I said yes and we celebrated God for what He was doing.

What sold you on your wedding venue?

It was a combination of things that sold us. Because our engagement was short, our options immediately were limited. I loved the empty palette at Off The Grid because it already has a unique feel, but it also allowed you to run with your own style. It also worked out well for us because we wanted to have the ceremony and reception at the same place

We also love the vintage touches throughout the centerpieces and the curtain….tell us more!

Mike (my now husband) made fun of me throughout the whole engagement process because I threw the word ‘vintage’ out so much. I love old, unique things though – they tell a story. I knew that’s the style I wanted to go ahead with so I headed to Trade Days in Canton and bargained my way through the shops gathering random bottles and really anything that sparked my eye. The more random, the better. The backdrop at the ceremony was my favorite part of the decorations. With our venue, we had to create something to hide what was behind it. I brainstormed with my matron of honor and we came up with the idea of gathering different materials all in the white/ivory scheme and hanging them from rope. She lives in Northern California where she shopped the flea markets and found the most amazing fabrics – everything from an old wedding dress to lace curtains. We used muslin as the filler because it’s inexpensive and helped thicken it so you couldn’t see straight through it. We spent a weekend cutting the fabric, tying it to rope, and prepping it for the big day. It was the perfect backdrop – very “me” and I got to spend great time with my matron of honor creating it. We’ve been contacted multiple times about people re-creating it or borrowing it so it’s been fun to help inspire others!

We love the shoes….tell us more about those?

For some reason, I wanted my shoes to POP! I’m not a heels girls, I’m an everyday supporter of flats, so I wasn’t going to change that for my wedding day. I wanted comfort and color. Red had nothing to do with my wedding, but I’ll wear red flats with just about any outfit and people kept telling me “it’s your day, do what you want!” So I did and I wear them on a regular basis now which always makes for a fun story to tell people they were my wedding shoes.

How did you choose your wedding color palette?

Oh man, wedding blogs saved me! Purple is my favorite color so that was a no brainer. I wanted softer colors though to bring out the “spring” in the wedding. Getting married in February is hard because it’s kind of winter, but spring is right around the corner. I found a picture of a bouquet on a blog that I instantly fell in love with and used that as my inspiration.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?

I got my dress in Tyler, TX at a boutique called Brides & Belles. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted so I literally tried on every style possible the first time I went. I tried dresses on for hours and left that night in love with what I thought would soon become “the dress”. I headed to Dallas to check out options in the big city, but all I could think about that day was that dress. It was confirmed after shopping around that I knew exactly which dress I was going to walk down the aisle in…called them immediately to reserve it and didn’t look back once.

What song did you dance to for your first dance as husband and wife?

We danced to Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Romantic and was the perfect length.

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”?

I took a piece of lace from my mom’s wedding dress and wrapped it around my bridal bouquet so be my “something old”. She was excited to have a piece of her walking down the aisle with me. My mother-in-law let me borrow her mother’s pearl necklace to be my “something borrowed”. Can’t go wrong with classy pearls. I chose undergarments to be my “something blue”.

What was your favorite part of your big day?

My favorite part of my big day…oh man, that’s hard! I would say my favorite part was feeling so calm and READY to marry Mike. Things didn’t go perfectly that day – one of the groomsmen forgot his pants so he was wearing jeans in half the pre-wedding pictures, ha! – but no matter what  happened, at the end of the day I was going to become the Mrs. Michael McGuire. I kept my eyes on that and got to soak up the day and enjoy each moment, laugh at the kinks, savor all the friends and family around me. The moment I caught eyes with my man at the end of the aisle, saw his heart melting smile…I’ll never forget it!

Do you have any advice for brides that are in the planning process?

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in creating the perfect day, getting wrapped up in all the details, but I think going into it with a realistic expectation that it’s more important to put effort and time into investing in your marriage than into planning your wedding day. It’s one day that is amazing and the best day of my life, but I had to often take steps back. It is so fun to make decisions and to make it a day that reflects you and your fiance well, but the day comes and goes so quickly. It becomes a memory in the matter of hours – granted it was the best day of our lives, but it helped us so much to take a step back from planning and see how we could invest in one another and our future marriage no matter what!

Thank you, Sara & Rocky, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  Stop their site and check out more fabulous weddings! Please let them know that GSS sent you!  And Tamara & Mike, we wish you a lifetime of love, laugher, 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!

Floral Designer: Flower Bouquet
Reception Venue: Off The Grid
Invitation Designer: Tracey Sonneborn
Cake Designer: Yum Scrum Cakes
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GSS Featured Engagement Session :: Brandi & Tj’s Light Saber Fighting Fort Worth Engagement Session :: Tracy Autem Photography

Today’s fabulous featured engagement comes from Wendy Kay of  Birds of a Feather Events,  a Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas based wedding and event planner.  Does her name sound familiar?  It should!  We featured Wendy’s amazing Day After Session (Photographed by the brilliant Tara Swain!) with her husband, Billy, back in November.  If you have never laid eyes on this ridiculously awesome Day After Session, please click here to check it out!  Anyway, Wendy is planning Brandi & Tj’s wedding and thought we might like to feature their fabulous engagement session.  So, with permission from Brandi and Tj’s photographer, Tracy Autem Photography, we’re featuring their SUPER FUN engagement session!  Please, please check out Tracy’s website– she’s SO talented! You can do so by clicking here

Wendy has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature. 

Brandi and Tj are to be married on May 27, 2011.   Brandi was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How did you and Tj meet?  He’s my hairdresser. :)  About 5 years ago, I had just moved to the DFW area to pursue my master’s degree and of course, first things first, I was looking for a hairdresser- haha.  My friend Yvette recommended I go to her hairdresser, Tj, because he was fabulous and well, the rest is history.

How long did you date before the proposal OR How long have you been together?  This coming February, we will be together 4 years!  He proposed July 24, 2010.

Have you set a date yet?  We are getting married May 27, 2011.

Have you picked your venue?  If so, what made you choose this location?  We will be having our ceremony and reception at The Old Red Museum in Dallas, Texas.  I have absolutely loved this location every since I saw pictures of it on a wedding website about a year or so ago.  And when I got engaged, it was the first place that popped into my head as a venue choice.  And once I was able to set up a tour and finally visit the museum, I was won over by its historical elegance  but I would have to say that its black and white tiled floors and grand staircase were what sealed the deal in my mind.

At what point did you know that Tj was “the one”?  When I realized that I could truly be myself with him and that he loved me for the good, bad and the ugly!  He is my best friend. 

Besides getting engaged, what is your favorite memory as a couple?   Our first date. :)

How did Tj propose?  We were in Las Vegas for a hair show.  The evening that we arrived, we had reservations at Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, where we were staying.  However, our flight had been delayed in Dallas, so when we actually touched down at the Las Vegas airport, we had exactly 30 minutes to get to the hotel, get checked in, get changed and make our reservation!  I still can’t even imagine how nervous Tj must have been because he had been planning this for months!  I, however, was clueless, so I was happy as a lark, not a care in the world-just ecstatic to be on vacation! haha  We made it to our reservation and the hostess took us to our table.  The waiter came over and greeted us briefly and then disappeared.  Seconds, later Tj turned my chair toward him and proposed.  The entire staff at the restaurant was in on the plan and the staff were standing around us and taking pictures.  Patrons of the restaurant were turned around watching the whole thing!  I, of course, said yes over and over, and everyone applauded.  Then, from around the corner near our table,  my best friend and her husband walked out and totally surprised me!  I was crying like a baby!  It was the best night of my life and one that I will NEVER forget!

Were you surprised?  Yes! To say the least- haha!

What made you choose Tracy Autem as your photographer?  She had done a wedding of a friend of mine about a year ago and her photos were absolutely stunning!  And when I mentioned her name to Tj after I had seen that friend’s engagement photos, he said, “Tracy Autem?  She’s one of my clients!”  What a small world!  I also had forgotten at that time, that he had actually mentioned her to me about a year previously that she was starting her own photography business and how amazing she was! It was meant to be!

We applaud you on hiring a wedding planner-  What made you choose Bird of a Feather Events? (Excellent choice by the way!  We just LOVE Wendy!)  Well, Wendy‘s best friend is a very good friend of Tj’s as well and had mentioned to us that Wendy was starting her own wedding planning business.  We decided to contact her and after speaking with her about what we were wanting for our wedding and listening to her ideas, I knew I would be crazy not to hire her!  She has amazing ideas and truly wants to make our wedding special and personal for Tj and me.

Thank you so much, Wendy, for sharing this amazing engagement session with us!  Please stop by her website and blog and show her some love!  Also, please stop by Tracy Autem Photography’s website and blog and show her some love as well!  And thank you, Brandi, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We hope your wedding is everything that you have ever dreamed of and wish you and Tj 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 Giveaway :: FREE Photoshoot + Negatives & FREE Custom Christmas Card Design :: With EE Photography & Wednesday Inc.!!!

Wouldn’t it be excited to have a fun and festive photoshoot just in time to send out your Holiday cards?!  Well, you’re in luck!  EE Photography & Wednesday Inc. have teamed up with GSS to offer you this super exciting and FUN giveaway!!!  Up for grabs is a FREE Photo Session with Erin of EE Photography (+ ALL of the negatives from the shoot!!!) and a FREE custom Christmas Card Design from Wednesday Inc. !  Seriously. Awesome.  Seriously.

Here are all of the FAB details:

To “Like” Wednesday Inc. & Groom Sold Separately on Facebook:

Groom Sold Separately Facebook Page

Wednesday Inc. Facebook Page


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GSS Featured Event :: Shades of Gray :: Wedding Photography Simplified

We know it can be such an overwhelming and daunting task to find the perfect wedding photographer.  There are so many things to consider… The photographer’s photographic style, their price, and do their personalities mesh well with your’s… just to name a few.  The ever-so-charming Don Mamone of Don Mamone Photography has teamed up with Edison’s to offer a FREE entertaining and informative evening with a purpose – Learn how to find your perfect wedding photographer!  Know how to ask the right questions and what to look for when interviewing a wedding photographer. View, discuss and learn how to identify and appreciate various photographic styles.  Better understand the photography sessions and products available to you and the expected investment associated with each.   Brides, if you have not found  your wedding photographer yet and are having a hard time choosing, we HIGHLY recommend signing up for this event!

Here are all of the details:

Please go to to reserve your spot now!

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Just TWO WEEKS left to win a FREE engagement session from Amy Karp Photography!


We wanted to remind you that Amy Karp, from  Amy Karp Photography and Groom Sold Separately are offering a wonderful gift for one lucky couple. Do you know someone who is getting married and has an unbelievable story? It could be how they met, what they enjoy doing, you can even nominate someone who just deserves to see how beautiful everyone else sees them.  The session is free and the lucky couple will receive a disc of electronic files. If the couple decides to purchase any products or have anyone purchase products for them, 100% of the proceeds go to a charity of their choice. What’s the catch, you ask? There is no catch…If you would like to know more or sign up, please click here. We are leaving all of the voting in the hands of our Facebook Fans. The finalists will be judged by readers on….We are leaving it completely all up to YOU!

Several have already signed up and have been racking up the “likes”…. want to see the couples? Check them out here :: COUPLES!

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GSS Featured Engagement :: Jessi & Turner’s 1940’s Themed Engagement :: Adren Prucha Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!!  You’re all in for a treat today!!!  We absolutely melted when we received this submission in our inbox.  Today’s fabulous featured engagement comes from Arden Prucha Photography a Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas based wedding photographer.  Arden has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Jessi and Turner are to be married on May 29, 2011.   Jessi was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How long did you date before the proposal OR How long have you been together?  Turner and I have been together for about 4 years now.

Have you picked your venue?  If so, what made you choose this location?  Very soon after the proposal, we booked the Rose Chapel for May 29th, 2011. It is perfect for our vintage, 1940’s big band wedding.

At what point did you know that Turner was “the one”?  Everything really started falling into place. I wasn’t your typical girl, who has had this planned her whole life.  But it has turned into the most amazing time! I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life.

Besides getting engaged, what is your favorite memory as a couple?  There are a ton of memorable moments, it’s hard to pick!

How did Turner propose?  I was getting ready for dinner and fireworks and he was playing our song on the piano. I came running out of the bathroom and was so surprised he had learned it. “Strangers in the night” the Cake version.  He stopped playing and pulled the ring box out of the piano, acting as if something was wrong with the piano.  After that, I don’t remember much.  He said I just kept cussing him, saying ” Are you effing serious?!”  It was pretty embarrassing when his parents asked and we had to repeat that story! 

Were you surprised?  It took him forever to propose! Ha ha.  It was a complete surprise.

What made you choose Arden as your photographer?  Oh Arden, I love that girl!  I use to wait tables with her about 10 years ago.  I found her on facebook and really liked what I saw.   She made the whole experience so wonderful.

Thank you so much, Arden, for sharing this amazing engagement session with us!  Please stop by her website and blog and show her some love!  And thank you, Jessi, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We hope your wedding is everything that you have ever dreamed of and wish you and Turner 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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