Six Years of Stephanie Shaul Events!

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Today is a very, very exciting day because Stephanie Shaul Events officially celebrates SIX years of business! Wow!! It’s pretty surreal that it’s been six entire years since I launched this little business… and to see just how far it has come. For the last six years, since January 2014, it’s been my biggest joy and honor to plan, design, and style weddings for dozens and dozens of the most incredible couples imaginable, to be surrounded by love and beauty on a daily basis, to literally work my dream job, to have the pleasure of creating alongside the most talented and kind professionals and friends in the wedding industry, to mentor and coach small business owners, to grow creatively, and to have clients turn into dear friends. I’m SO wildly thankful.

I cannot believe that this little dream of mine has become what it is today, and it really does feel so surreal sometimes. I feel like I’m able to use the talents and passions the Lord has blessed me with to serve others well, to spread as much love, joy, and beauty as possible, and to celebrate life and love! I’m so grateful to every single person who has been a part of this exciting journey (especially those since day one), those who’ve encouraged and supported me, and those who have entrusted me with their wedding days. It takes a village, and I’ve got the best one imaginable!

I started this business more of a creative outlet, never knowing that just 1.5 after launching, it would become my full-time job. I started with a very basic website, a logo I created in Microsoft Word, two friends who asked me to plan their weddings, and my “office” was my bed at my house in Washington DC. I was single, desperately craving more creative and fulfilling work, and pinched and saved my salary to be able to launch my business (and then take it full time as I moved to Raleigh!). I’ve run 100% of my business debt-free, something I am incredibly proud of – especially since for much of the life of my business, I was single and relying on simply myself to make it work. I definitely think that’s something to be proud of, and I’m so grateful for the ways this business has provided. I’ve shared pretty much all of my business journey throughout the years on this blog (and I’ve linked to many of those relevant blog posts below!), and it has been such a fulfilling, challenging, wonderful, growth-filled, and beautiful journey.

Endless thanks for following along and celebrating with me! I am so deeply, deeply grateful, and cheers to the next six years of Stephanie Shaul Events! To God be ALL the glory.

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If you’d like to take a peek into my wedding planning and small business owning journey, here’s a quick round-up:

Launching Stephanie Shaul Events (formerly Stephanie Scholl Events, my maiden name!)

The Road to Full Time (which happened in July 2015) and Part Two

Announcing my move to Raleigh, NC + taking SSE full time

Old school: my business brandinglogo design – and the reveal!

2017 behind the scenes of wedding days

Our own wedding, April 2017!

Four years of Stephanie Shaul Events

2018 behind the scenes of wedding days

A brand new website for Stephanie Shaul Events, which debuted a year ago!

Five years of Stephanie Shaul Events

2019 behind the scenes of wedding days

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

Favorite Books of 2019

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2019 was an incredible year for reading + books! I managed to read just over 50 books this year, and goodness were there some truly exceptional books that I read this year. It always hard to narrow down my very favorites from the year, as there are so many great books out there! My library queue is already full of books that I want to read in 2020, and here’s a look back at some 2019 reads:

My top favorite books of 2019:

Other wonderful, notable books from 2019 that I loved:

  • The Alice Network
  • The Dutch House
  • Daisy Jones and the Six
  • The Lost Girls of Paris
  • The Secrets We Kept
  • Becoming
  • When We Left Cuba
  • Station Eleven
  • The Road Back to You
  • Love and Ruin
  • Lilac Girls
  • The Coddling of the American Mind
  • The Book of Essie
  • Save Me the Plums
  • The Last Days of Night
  • A Man Called Ove
  • The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
  • Bel Canto
  • From Scratch
  • A Well-Behaved Woman
  • A Single Thread

I would highly, highly recommend any and all of the above books and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. And can I also give a quick shout-out to the library?! Y’all, I’ve loved the library since I was a little girl (I’ve been an avid reader and library-lover my entire life), and I can’t sing the praises of the public library enough. I’ve checked out almost countless books in my lifetime, and there’s such a happy feeling that washes over me the moment I step foot inside a library. Free books at your fingertips? Yes, please! If you don’t have a local library card or if you rarely use yours, please do yourself a favor and use it regularly!

Oh! And some dear friends and I started a book club this year! I’m not sure why it took me so long to start a book club here in Raleigh (though my articles club has been ongoing for over four years), and I had missed my DC book club so much. But this past year, we finally launched a Raleigh book club, and it’s become the highlight of every month. Many of the books on the above lists are ones we’ve read or will read next year in book club, and there’s little I love more than gathering with friends to discuss books, the characters, the stories, and the themes over great food and wine! If you’re local and would be interested in joining us, just shoot me a message — we’d love to have you.

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Looking for more on books?! You can read a ton more previous blog posts of mine about books: my favorite books ever, all things bookslet’s talk about booksbest books of 2014best books of 2013the South’s best books and authors, and plenty more in my blog’s archives!

I’d love to hear: what’s the book that stands out to you most from this past year? Which book was your very favorite recent read? I’d love to know!