GSS Featured Wedding :: Melanie & David Lee’s Shabby Chic Wedding :: Stephanie Davis Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!! Today’s fabulous featured wedding comes from Stephanie Davis of Stephanie Davis Photography, a Louisiana based wedding photographer.  Stephanie has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.  This wedding is very special to GSS, as the bride was a past co-worker and is a friend of Tamra’s!

Melanie and David Lee were married on April 21, 2012 in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Melanie was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How did you and David Lee meet?   When I moved from Dallas to Shreveport, one of my best friends from college, Sherry Lafitte, introduced us.  David Lee and I became good friends, which eventually turned into something so much more!

How long have you been together?  We started dating around Christmas of 2009.  


How did your David Lee propose? He proposed while we were vacationing in Los Angeles.  I found out later that he planned to propose to me on the beach in San Diego.  On our second to last day in LA, his friend that lived in LA drove us to a small town outside of San Diego.  Looking back, I noticed that both of the boys were acting a little strange.  Josh asked to borrow my camera and David Lee was fidgety.  We got a few steps from the beach and David Lee got nervous and made every excuse as to why we should just go back to LA.  I giggle thinking back on it because David Lee’s friend, Josh, asked him about ten times if he was sure he didn’t want to go back to the beach.  When we got back to LA, David Lee and I had dinner at a romantic sushi restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. It started to rain before we headed back to the hotel so we walked back in the rain.  When we got back to the hotel, he immediately got on one knee and popped the question.

What sold you on your wedding venue?   I always wanted to get married in a small, intimate chapel with a lot of character.  You know, with a steeple, stained glass windows, and wood pews.   We found Lakeview Methodist which was perfect for the look that we wanted and it fit within our budget. The reception was about five miles down the road at El Karubah.  We loved that it was also located on Cross Lake. 

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?   After trying on a ton of dresses,  I realized that I had found the perfect dress in Dallas.  My mom and sister weren’t able to come with me to Dallas, so we planned a separate day to meet in Texarkana at Traditions Bridal and Formal, off of Summerhill Road, so I could have that fun memory of having the women that I care most about being there while I tried on dresses.   Since I already had a dress picked out, I pulled several dresses that were gorgeous, but a little out of my price range because I was trying them on just for fun and not expecting to love anything more than the dress that I had decided on.  I put on the first dress and the owner of traditions came in to my dressing room to help me lace it up.  The moment that she started tightening it up, I knew that the dress was now “the one.”  I teared up and the owner, who had already heard me tell my mom that it was out of my price range said “Did I not tell you that we are having a sample sale today?  You can take $400 off of the price tag and take it home with you today.”  The sale put this dress in the same price range as the dress I had previously selected.  I came out of the dressing room with a grin from ear to ear.  My mom, sister, and niece all confirmed that this was indeed “the dress”!  I walked out of Traditions that day with my Christina Wu wedding dress!

On a side note, my first rule of trying on dresses was that I didn’t want to try on anything big or bedazzled… And THAT is EXACTLY what I ended up with! Haha!

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”?  Something old:  The pearl stud earrings that I wore.  They were a gift from my Matron of Honor, Carmen McBride. I also used my Grandma Norton’s old, worn out bible as my ring bearer’s pillow.  She is in a nursing home in Texarkana and couldn’t attend the wedding.  It meant so much to her to be a part of my wedding without actually being able to be in attendance.

Something new:  My dress, necklace, shoes, and veil.

Something borrowed:  My something borrowed is really special to me.  My mom and dad are divorced, but my Dad had given my mom an anniversary ring while they were together.  My mom gave me her wedding ring set and anniversary ring to keep.  I used the diamonds out of my parents anniversary ring to make my wedding band.  It is so special to me because it is a part of both of my parents and it also serves as a reminder that no matter what the circumstances are, good or bad, that David Lee and I must stand by each. 

Something blue:  My undies… Haha!  I’m not sure that everyone needs to know that, but they were! :)

How did you choose your wedding color palette?    I chose a very neutral color palette of white, gray, black, and tan with a pop of hunter green.  My mom is an antique dealer, so I’ve grown up loving old things for what they are.  My mom’s passion for using old treasures in a new way was my inspiration for y Shabby Chic wedding theme.  I chose to use mason and pickle jars as vases, metal tins for drinks, burlap runners and banners, old chandeliers with crystal prisms, antique decanters for dressings, and metal tins and old crystal plates stacked on bowls for my cake table.  Some people my think that the Shabby Chic theme is overused, but I think it’s fantastic.  It’s the perfect way for a bride who loves and appreciates old things to really personalize her wedding to show her character. 

Do you have any advice for brides and grooms that are in the planning process?   Like most women, I can be a control freak.  It comes from my design and event planning background.  But when it comes down to planning your own wedding, the best thing that you can do is to use everyone and every resource possible-  And learn to let go and delegate tasks to friends and family.  By letting go, it will allow you to enjoy your big day.  It goes by really fast, and it is so important to enjoy every minute from planning your big day to your grand exit. 

What song did you dance to for your first dance?  “God gave me you” by Blake Shelton. 

What was your favorite part of your big day?  My favorite part of my big day was when my dad gave me away and put my hand in David Lee’s hand.  I was so incredibly nervous walking down the aisle, that I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest.  But when my dad put my hand in David Lee’s hand, suddenly all my nervousness when away.  It made me forget all about the congregation and my clumsiness.  The only thing that I could think about at that very moment was that I was marrying my Prince Charming.  A selfless man who loves me unconditionally and will always be by my side.



Venue:  Ceremony:  Lakeview Methodist Church        Reception:  El Karubah Banquet Hall  (both venues are in Shreveport on Cross Lake.)


Dress:  Designer:  Christina Wu.  Purchased at:  Traditions Bridal and Formal in Texarkana, TX

Cake: My cake was made by a good friend’s Mother-in-Law, Lynn St. Laurent.  Mrs. Lynn is absolutely amazing!  She made my cakes look and taste exactly like I had envisioned!   

Floral:  All  of our floral was done by a close family friend, Mrs. Diane Martin, owner of Nettles Flower Shop in Coushatta, Lousiana. 

Linens:  I was on a very, very tight budget-  So I bought all of my linens and chair cover for way less than it would cost to rent them.  I’m selling them soon- any takers? 😉  

Catering:  Our catering was done by the Bossier Parish Community College’s Culinary Arts Department.  Ms. Liz Dickenson and her students did an amazing job with cooking, cleaning, and cutting the cake.  I highly recommend to other brides to check with their local colleges to see what catering options they can offer-  Especially if you are on a tight budget! 

DJ/Band: Walt Hollis with Dance Express Mobile DJing/Hollis Rentals and Events.  Highly recommend!! 

Videographer:  Due to our tight budget, we didn’t have a professional videographer.  However, we did have a family member set up a video camera at the wedding ceremony and walk around with at the reception.  It was perfect!  I’m glad that we decided to spend our money elsewhere.   

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: I came up with the design concept for our stationery and my very talented graphic design friend, Amber St. Laurent,  brought my concept to life.  The wedding invitations and RSVP cards looked exactly how I envisioned.  I took advantage of friends and family offering to help with our wedding stationery.  My wonderful Mother-in-Law printed the brown paper envelopes and my mom and a few other friends helped tie the invitations, RSVP cards, and maps together with yarn and a tag that was stamped “First comes love.”  Invitations can be extremely expensive, but with everyone’s help- We saved a ton of money by making them a fun DIY project.   

Event Planner: Myself.  :)  Everything up until the big day and rehearsal was planned by your’s truly.  The wedding ceremony was coordinated by our florist, Mrs. Diane Martin, and our DJ, Walt Hollis coordinated all events at the reception.  

Photobooth: A wedding MUST have!  We rented our photobooth from Kelly Cathey Photography.  

Alternative to the candy bar:  We chose to do a trail mix table in lieu of a candy bar.  My friends and I had so much fun making the “D {hearts} M, The Perfect Mix” burlap banner.  And we got a lot of great feedback from our guests!

Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by her website and show her some love! And thank you, Melanie, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you and David Lee 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 Weekly Recap :: Weddings Revisited

This week we traveled to Tuscany for a wedding, made a beautiful DIY wedding centerpiece, played baseball at a wedding and had a private southern couture winter wonderland…..well, on our wedding blog we did. This week was full of RED wedding inspiration too. So if you are thinking red is THE color for your dream wedding, then check out this week’s posts. We brought the RED! Until next week…have a fabulous weekend!

GSS’s Things We LOVE :: DIY Pomander Flowerball Centerpieces!

Looking for a gorgeous DIY alternative to the normal floral centerpieces for your wedding or bridal shower?  Paula of Frog Prince Paperie has come up with a beautiful solution!  She created these amazing Pomader flower ball centerpieces for a friend’s baby shower but they would be absolutely perfect for a wedding or bridal too!  Check out her simple DIY tutorial on how to make these beauties: SUPPLIES: – 4” white Styrofoam ball – 90-100 pearl tipped corsage pins – Two sheets … [Read More…]

GSS Wedding Inspiration Board :: Let’s Play Ball! :: A Baseball Themed Wedding

Happy Monday, Lovelies!!!  With the World Series going on, we thought that it would be fun to create a Baseball themed wedding inspiration board.  We were worried at first that it would be hard to “marry” a couple’s love for the game and their love of each other.  But luckily, we found that it came together just perfectly!  Take a look:   Bride and Groom in a Baseball Stadium:  A Glam Slam Baseball Themed Wedding Invitations:  byvikINK Baseball Themed Wedding … [Read More…]

GSS Wedding Style :: Winter Wonderland :: Tamara Menges Designs

The temperatures are getting cooler and that means we are getting closer to the winter months. We received this submission of beautiful styling from Tamara Menges and wanted to share it with you. It just screams winter! A winter wedding is absolutely stunning and we hope you can take a few of these elements and make them your own. A little from the designer…. “I’m a Southern girl with a Southern heart, but I also have a flair for the “couture” fashion and design that comes with the … [Read More…]

GSS Featured Wedding :: Cristina & Fabrizio’s Tuscan Wedding :: Valeria Beltrami Photography

Today’s featured engagement comes from one of our sweet readers, Cristina.  She’s the blushing Bride in this feature!  We LOVE it when our readers submit their photos to us for a feature!!! Valeria Beltrami, of Valeria Beltrami Photography documented their big day beautifully.  Cristina and Fabrizio were married on October 1, 2011 at San Galgano, a beautiful roofless abbey in Tuscany.  Cristina was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:   How did you and … [Read More…]

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GSS Do It Yourself :: Paper Flower Bouquet

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Not too long ago we showed you a fun project to make a bouquet out of PAPER! We put out origami skills to the test and made one to show you! This is a great alternative to a real flower bouquet that will last a very long time. We used a few fun things to make this a fall inspired bouquet. With the purple hues and greenery, it paired well with the vintage paper we used to make the flowers. This is a perfect eco-friendly DIY project for your wedding. We always like to reuse, re-purpose, and create extraordinary things from ordinary materials!

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A few items you will need to create your own ::

Bouquet holder (since there are not any real flowers inside, you can use a plain Styrofoam one).
Silk Flowers and greenery
Paper (we used a old Physics textbook since the paper was already aging a bit and had a nice vintage tone to it.)
Beads or Peals
Floral wire
Paper Cutter  or scissors
Wire cutters

Now scope out the local craft stores for silk flowers perfect for your wedding color palette. While you are there, grab the other items on too. Fold all of the flowers using the instructions found here and here.

First we threaded the buttons and beads with the floral wire. Next, we placed the floral wire through the center of the paper flowers and then wrapped it around some of the stems from the silk flowers. This made it easy to position them in the Styrofoam. Start placing the flowers and greenery in the bouquet holder until you have a pleasing arrangement. There are no rules, so place them how you like. We continued this until the bouquet was full. It didn’t take much.

The best part…..after the discounts for all of the materials we only spent $34 to make this. The beads and buttons were the bulk of the costs, but we could purchase more silk flowers and make enough for a few more bouquets. These could be used as fun centerpieces too!

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Have fun making your own paper flowers :)

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GSS’s Things We LOVE :: DIY Paint Chip Wedding Details!

It seems as though we’re all about DIY lately…  And rightfully so!  If you have the time, patience and creativity-  Doing DIY projects can save money and add those sweet personal touches  to your wedding.  We found these brilliant paint chip details over at My Hands Made It.  These were used for a housewarming party, but can definitely be altered to fit a wedding, a shower or any other celebratory gathering for that matter!  Just head down to your local Home Depot, Lowe’s or a paint store like Sherwin Williams and pick up some paint chips to match your wedding color palette.  Then follow along with the tutorials linked below:

DIY Paint Chip Invitations (We think these would make a perfect Save the Date!): Click here for the tutorial on how to make them.

 DIY Paint Chip Hand Fans (Perfect for your wedding programs for a Spring/Summer wedding!):  Click here for the tutorial on how to make them.

 DIY Paint Chip Napkin Holder/Place Card:  Click here for the tutorial on how to make them.

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Nine Photography :: Britney & Bo’s Colorful DIY Wedding

Today we have a fabulous submission from Kelli Ahern of Nine Photography.  Nine Photography is based out of Dallas, Texas.  We can’t compliment Kelli and Nine Photography enough!  They are extremely talented and such a joy to work with!

Britney and Bo were married at the A & M Gardens in Azle, TX on May 21, 2010.  Britney was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

How did you and Bo meet?   Bo and I met in Junior High – I was the new girl at school and he was the most popular boy (we went to a tiny, 2A School) I had the BIGGEST crush on him, but it wasn’t until years later, as sophomores in HS that we started dating. It all started with rides home from school in his 84 Chevy Truck because I had to take his books to his truck for him after class. He was on crutches from a football injury! 

How long have you been together?   8 years 

How did Bo propose?    He took me to one of our favorite spots, The Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth.  Funny thing, (he told me later) he was trying to find our favorite spot (this little turtle pond) and we walked all day and never saw it.  So, he took me to this open clearing of trees and grass and a little log and, on one knee he asked me to marry him.  On the walk back to the car….. we found the turtle pond!

Did you make your wedding bouquet and the brooches?  If not, who did? Well, that was actually a joint venture.  I am a HUGE Etsy fan – and a designer on Etsy:  Thatiana, of HouseofTelsa made them for me. She had them shown as hair pieces and I asked if she could do a custom order for me and make them into brooches for an idea I had, with the speckled feathers, etc. She also made my cuff, which was a fabulous white rosette with feathers coming out.  She made my hair piece as well, and I added the feathers. 

Your dress is so fun, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?   Thanks! My mom wanted to buy my dress and I refused to pick out something that would put her in a financial bind, so I wanted to keep it affordable. Turns out, when I was with my bridesmaids at Bella Bridesmaid to get their dresses, I was shown my dress in black and Tiffany at Bella Bridesmaid told me they could do it in white, she suggested I try it on for MY dress. I INSTANTLY fell in love. It fit PERFECTLY with my theme. It was the first dress I saw, and I looked at others and just went back and got that one. So, my wedding dress was actually a bridesmaids dress – which, note to all brides: You can get AMAZING floor length “bridesmaids” dresses for a fraction of the cost of a “wedding gown” AND, they aren’t SO HEAVY!!! They dont have the bustle, etc so you can actually move on your wedding day! I think it was a gift from God that I found that – it was just perfect AND affordable.  It was my dream dress.  I had the top altered to make it a little more original, by Nagwa, at Legacy Tailor.  She is a GEM.  AMAZING! 

What sold you on your wedding venue?  I found it one day online; coincidentally it was A&M Gardens (for the owners names) but Bo is an Aggie so I checked it out.  I knew before I even got engaged that is where I had to have my wedding. I always wanted to get married outside and their garden was the prettiest I had ever seen.  Like a story book.  And, the inside reception area was just perfect. Everything about it was exactly as I have always pictured my wedding day. 

How did you choose your wedding color palette?  I knew I wanted bright colors that would POP!  Especially since it was taking place in the summer, in a garden. I have always loved that purple/magenta of the girls dresses and orange. I just picked it and went with it!  I knew no matter what I wanted a whimsical wedding, and that no matter what color palette I HAD to have feathers in lieu of flowers. I love big white billowy ostrich feathers.  And, it went great with the bright colors. 

Tell us about your first dance.  It looks like you had a BLAST!  Thanks! It was!  I told my bridal party that I wanted everyone to walk in and do a dance – not just to a fun song, but a dance. They are all goof balls and our best friends and there was not much convincing – they all were eager to have fun too!  Bo and I chose, “Save a Horse Ride A Cowboy” to walk into because he is definitely a cowboy! We had him roping me in and everything. We had so much fun! Then, when we broke into our first dance (slow) halfway through me and my bridesmaids surprised him by stopping the music and surrounding him to the tune of, “I love Rock and Roll” but instead of Rock and Roll, we sang, “I love Bo Rat-to” it was hilarious! We handcuffed him and everything. He had NO idea!! 

What was your favorite part of your big day?  Marrying my best friend…. and how much FUN we had!!! I also loved that we had a popcorn bar.  I had a friend make my popcorn signs and we printed them out and set them up to show every flavor. I just loved everything about it, and wish I could do it all over again

Do you have any advice for brides that are in the planning process?  Don’t do everything TRADITIONAL!!!!  Be YOU!  Have FUN on your day…. and, no matter who weighs in on the guest list – its YOUR day – who do YOU and your GROOM want to spend your special day with?  I would also say to take risks and not just go to the “ordinary” or “most expensive” places for decorations/gowns/etc.  Be original!  No one likes a cookie cutter wedding! The more you do yourself and make it custom, the better. I hand painted all the picture frames that we had at the wedding showcasing our engagement pics and my bridals. I also made all the big feather pens for the guest sign in, and in lieu of a guestbook, Bo and I made quote bubbles on our computer and printed them out for people to give advice or write their best memory, etc.  Made it MUCH more personal than a signature and looking back we have the funny things people wrote! 


Venue: A&M Gardens, Azle TX (the owners are truly wonderful amazing people!) 

Dress: Queue – Flutter Collection 

Cake: My dad and his wife made and decorated the 4 paisley cakes and my dad custom made the cake stands to look like floating paisleys. It was AMAZING.

Floral: No flowers, all feathers! Sissy’s Catering (Azle, TX) made the bouquet. I gave her the rosettes to use and added the crystals and feathers to the rosettes myself and they made it into a fabulous bouquet!

Linens: I purchased them myself online from Wedding Linens Direct. They are 80% cheaper than if you rent from someone. I also ordered the feather rings for the table and the votive candles myself. 

Catering: Vance Godbey’s Catering, Azle, TX (Shout out to Tracey – she is THE BOMB!!!!) 

DJ:  The AMAZING Michael Blake ( you might recognize him from 106.1 Kiss FM traffic) He owns and is by far the best DJ I have ever seen. He got all the guests involved, played some hilarious games, and kept the momentum going all night.

Thank you so much, Kelli, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  And thank you, Britney, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We wish you and Bo a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!!

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