Three Years of Marriage!

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Today, April 1st, marks three years of marriage with Rob! Three  years. Some days, it feels like our wedding day was just yesterday… and other moments, it feels like we’ve been married for a dozen years, in the very best way possible. The past three years have been filled with so, so much pure joy and unabashed happiness, and life is simply so much sweeter and more full together. Marriage is such an undeserved gift, and it’s the very best gift we’ve been given this side of Heaven.

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There is so much I want to say about marriage and being married to Rob, and these past three years have surely been the happiest years of my life. Through the ups and downs of life, in the conversations and laughter and tears, in the big moments and the every day, in all of it, having Rob by my side is the greatest blessing and such an answered prayer. To get to share this life with Rob by my side, to joyfully live life together, to know that we are always on each other’s team, to grow and grow old together, to spending the rest of our days loving each other… this is the good stuff of life, and for this, I am wildly grateful and eternally blessed.

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“I vow to pursue your heart and love you the way God does: unconditionally and never-ending.”

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When I’m 80, I can vividly imagine what I hope my life will look like, and this man right here is the most important part of that dream and the life we want to live. When Rob and I are 80, we’ll be joyfully and gratefully celebrating fifty years of marriage (!!), knowing that life is simply better together. We’ll be holding hands tightly as we rock together on our front porch, telling stories over and over, reminiscing on a life fully lived, and laughing til we cry. We’ll be surrounded by our children and a yard full of our grandchildren happily running around, knowing that our family and our legacy will live on fully in these loving, joyful, kind, adventurous, fun, giving people that we will have somehow helped shape.

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We will gather around the dinner table together; holding hands and giving deep thanks, encouraging other, enjoying all that life had to offer, knowing that family and love are the most important things. We’ll have delicious food and deep belly laughs and lots of real connections. Rob and I will catch each other’s eyes and smile gratefully and knowingly at each other, simply realizing how blessed we are and how full of love our lives are. Our family and our home are and will be rooted in faith, in legacy, in intentional moments, in creating joyful memories, in celebrating abundantly, in adventures near and far, in giving generously, in serving the Lord and others wholeheartedly, and in unapologetic love.

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Our dreams for this life together are so vivid and real and deeply rich. What an incredible blessing — and one that I pray I’ll never take for granted.

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“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

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Rob Shaul, I love you with all of my heart and always will. Marrying you was the easiest, best, and happiest decision of my life, and being married to you is more incredible than I ever dreamt it could be. Thank you for the countless ways you love me, pursue my heart, make me laugh, encourage me, and make this life we share so darn fun. You are my greatest blessing and biggest adventure, and I love you forever!

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all photos are by our dear friends Ally + Bobby!

PS: alllll of our wedding posts can be found here!!

To 2020 brides, with love

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As one of my mothers of the bride told me the other week, “add this to your wedding planning diary!” Being a wedding planner is an interesting spot to be during a week/season of so much uncertainty, as I’m sure it is for everyone else in a myriad of ways. I am the advocate of all of my couples (and their families and guests) and serve and also protect these brides and grooms through all the details, changes, and uncertainties of planning a wedding… while also being a small business owner and in the wedding industry (that I love and support so much) that’s based on people gathering and weddings happening. I want to ensure my couples and their families are reassured as their weddings are postponed, knowing that at the end of the day, it’s most important to keep their families and friends (especially those traveling, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems) healthy, keep their vendors healthy… and to keep it in perspective that their weddings and marriages will still happen! Even if it’s delayed a bit, I hope any brides and grooms can face this uncertainty with hope, trust in their vendor team, comfort knowing that their weddings and marriages are something we all cherish so much, and that we will move forward with updated wedding plans! It’s not easy; that’s for sure, and I deeply feel for any couples — and business owners and families and wedding guests — in this position during such an uncharted, uncertain season. As one of my sweet brides just told me, “it’ll all happen and be amazing.” I have faith and confidence that it will, even if it looks different than we all had planned.

Today would have been one of my sweet couples’ wedding days, and goodness I wish so, so deeply that it was. We should have been setting up for a marvelous celebration, executing every little detail, helping the beautiful bride put on her wedding dress, anticipating the moment they became husband and wife, and celebrating all night long with their dearest family and friends. Today (and this month) feels so heavy and hard knowing that today will not happen as planned for them, and it breaks my heart.
BUT we will celebrate them — and with incredible, abundant joy! — in a few more months. Can you imagine how much love is surrounding them now and will continue to when they are married?! Love cannot new conquered. View More: https://kelseynelson.pass.us/sheehan-wedding

Dear precious bride,
I hope you’re doing okay today and holding up alright. I’m sure today, this month, and your now-postponed wedding day will be incredibly hard days for you. I wish with all of my heart that we were gearing up for your wedding right now and anticipating all of the love and excitement that would have unfolded, and I can only imagine how much harder it is for you two, your families, and your friends. It breaks my heart that all of this caused your wedding to be postponed. And I hope you are holding up okay during this unprecedented, difficult season. I wanted to send along my love and prayers for peace and comfort today and in these months, knowing that we all wished for your wedding day to unfold way differently than it has. I wish so badly I could change things for you both, and I can’t imagine how hard your expected wedding day may be for you. I think about you, dear bride, so often, and my heart grieves for you in this unimaginable season. We know there are lives severely impacted by this pandemic, but it’s also okay and valid to mourn the dream of your wedding day. I know just how much I looked forward to my own wedding and had spent a lifetime anticipating and waiting for that day to come in its full glory and joy. I would, admittedly, be devastated if our wedding would have been postponed or impacted by something so out of my control.

As a springtime bride a mere three years ago, and as a wedding planner who pours her heart and soul into her couples, my heart breaks for you during this incredibly hard time. Loving, celebrating, and serving my couples and their families wholeheartedly during their engagement is what I do every single day. There are, of course, so many bigger things going on in the world (as we know with this global pandemic), but it utterly breaks my heart to see your wedding days postponed and carefully laid plans changed so abruptly for my sweet, sweet brides – and couples everywhere. We’ve all shed a lot of tears in the last two weeks, and it’s absolutely okay to do so. We think of all of you wonderful, resilient brides everywhere and know it’s deeply disappointing and very hard. Wedding planning can already be stressful, and throwing in such havoc and uncharted territory just adds to that stress and overwhelm. I am so sorry. If I could, I would hug and console each of you whose wedding has been impacted by this and have a good cry together.

BUT! MARRIAGE is what matters. Your love story matters! Celebrating your love with your family and friends (and waiting til it’s safe andhealthy to) will happen! You’ve found the one person you will spend the rest of your life with! Let me lovingly, gently remind you of what ultimately matters most, though crying and mourning that dream is absolutely allowed. We will certainly celebrate you two with incredible, unparalleled joy in just a few more months! You two will be MARRIED so soon! Your beautiful love story is only just beginning, and what a wild ride your wedding story will be! Can you imagine just how much love is surrounding you all now and will continue to when you are married?! Your community loves you two so deeply and is itching to celebrate you when it’s safe to do so; that’s for sure. Sending so much love and hope to you and your families today and every day til we celebrate your wedding and marriage with copious amounts of excitement and joy! I’m already counting down the days, and I know you are, too. Remember: love never fails.

With joy and great hope to all of the wonderful, resilient brides,
Stephanie

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“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8