August Fun

August was a quieter month for me work-wise, which means I fully relished my evenings and weekends work-free! I love summertime, and I’m not wishing it away just yet. We’ve got a trip to NYC and the Outer Banks coming up, and those two big trips feel like a perfect time to savor the lingering days of summer before transitioning to autumn! And I am SO, so excited for our vacations!! Over the last month, we’ve indulged in some sweet summer fun, if you’d like to see what we’ve been up to in August…

Vineyard day + wine tasting + picnic + celebrating my dad’s birthday in the mountains of NC

 

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast in bed + reading by the pool

 

 

Dates with my sweet husband (sushi this time!) + coffee dates with great friends

 

Al fresco dinner date nights

 

Articles Club, one of my favorite evenings of each month

 

A trip to Carolina Beach with some great friends… playing in the ocean, Can Jam, enjoying the sun + salty breeze, and seafood for dinner!

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Catching up with friends + competitive date nights (this is our fave!)

 

Exploring downtown Raleigh and the fabulous Brewery Bhavana

 

 

Kayaking on the lake – a blissful afternoon!

 

 

annual Summer Soiree dinner party, inspired by the lavendar of the French countryside

 

 

It’s been a fun and happy month as our first married summer begins to wind down. How has your August been, and what’s been your best memory from the last month?!

My Grandma’s Wedding Planner

grandma wedding planner

How incredibly special is it to have my maternal grandma’s wedding planning book?! This is far and away one of my most treasured items, and it’s a family heirloom I am honored to be holding onto. My beautiful, kind grandma passed away exactly one year ago on July 12th, and my mom and aunts (there are four sisters!) decided a few years ago, while cleaning out my grandparent’s home when downsizing, that I ought to be the proud owner of Grandma’s “The Bride’s Book of Plans.” I have a deep love of weddings and wedding planning (obviously!), and this is truly such a treasure. Every time I open up my grandma’s wedding planner, see her script handwriting (which hasn’t changed a bit), dream about their wedding day and its details, and remember my grandparent’s 60+ year marriage, I am overwhelmed by how special this is. What a unique, personal peek into her past, as well as to the start of my family’s legacy!

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Here are my grandparents, Dwight and Thelma Sparks, on their wedding day of June 8, 1953 in Ohio! My grandpa looks so dapper and proud here (and that huge smile!), while my grandma is so radiant and definitely has that bridal glow.

I love knowing that my grandma carried a bridal bouquet of white orchids with ribbon streamers (I had ribbon streamers, too!). Her maid of honor carried a bouquet of yellow roses, and the two mothers wore pink rose corsages. Grandpa wore a navy suit, and aren’t they one great looking pair?! You can see how clearly in love they are in this wedding photo of theirs! They got married at William Street Methodist Church and had a reception and dinner afterwards at Bun’s Restaurant. My grandma’s wedding dress cost $40, and her bridal shoes were $8. They had a photographer, a florist, an organist, and their minister at their wedding. Within my grandma’s wedding planner lists every one of the gifts they received for their wedding, which is especially interesting to read through, as many of our recognizable family heirlooms can be found throughout these pages!

My grandma and grandpa had one of those marriages that everyone looked up to and learned from. They were blissfully married for 63 years (their 64th anniversary would have been a couple weeks ago), and it’s a marriage that has certainly inspired countless people who knew them and loved them. They raised four wonderful, smart, loving daughters and nurtured, spoiled, taught, and loved all of their grandchildren so, so much. As their granddaughter, I have always known how deeply blessed I have been to have such incredible grandparents and role models in my life. Their faith and family came first and foremost, as anyone can attest to. Grandma and Grandpa loved traveling abroad, traveled far and wide to visit their family, and hosted large holiday gatherings at the 4th of July and Christmas in their home. Many of my fondest memories in life come from our time with our grandparents and family in Ohio, for sure. We’ve always had the most loving, fun, close-knit family, due in large part to my grandparents’ love, legacy, and focus on family. I could go on and on about all that I have learned from my grandma and grandpa, but that would be an endless list!

Their marriage and love has impacted so many, from the young couples they mentored to their daughters and sons-in-law to their friends and community to the youth in their church and most definitely to their grandchildren. I can only hope and pray that Rob and I have a marriage as strong, fun, full of adventure, family-focused, and Christ-centered as theirs. Their love for one another was truly something special, and it’s something we all got to witness even more so as my grandma’s physical health deteriorated while my grandpa’s mental health and memory declined. No obstacle was too big for their love; that’s for sure.

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A few fun peeks into all that’s changed in the wedding planning world in the last sixty years, as chronicled by The Bride’s Book of Plans, circa 1953:

-“Time and plan schedule allowing 12 weeks before the wedding. In this section you’ll find a meticulously mapped-out schedule which can simplify the life of the most pressed and busy engaged girl who ever lived! No matter what kind of wedding you are going to have, this will help you go through all the necessary preliminaries without skipping one single heart beat. It’s best to allow 12 weeks for the schedule, but it is not essential; the plan is absolutely flexible.”

-The groom was responsible for paying for the flowers for the bride, her mother, and his mother, as well as the wedding ring, minister’s fee, marriage license, bachelor dinner, wedding trip (honeymoon) expenses, and his own attire.

-“Adding security to happiness: The Bride and Groom, feted and dined, deliriously happy, look upon one another lovingly and feel they will be serene and secure forever. Even while they smile and say it, both know, however, that security and serenity involve more than a desire to cherish and be cherished.

-“Security becomes a rather prosaic matter of living within your means! This is not an objectionable fact, but a good and sustaining one. People who begin with a resolution to respect their income have started with a good basis for security.”

Isn’t it eye-opening to see how much (for better or for worse…) wedding planning and weddings have changed over the years?!

July 2017 Goals

photo by Faith Teasley from our Bald Head Island shoot

Happy July, y’all! The 4th of July is just around the corner (one of my all-time favorite holidays!), wedding season is in full swing, & summertime is oh so sweet! July 1st is also our three month anniversary… I simultaneously can’t believe it’s only been three months since we got married and sometimes can’t believe we’re actually married already! It’s a little crazy to think 2017 is officially halfway over, but I’m trying to soak it in + savor it all. Give me all the fresh peaches + berries, please!!

I traveled to Charleston (I planned Shelby and TJ’s wedding), Carolina Beach (day trip with Rob), Winston-Salem (one of my best friends had her baby!), and Charlotte (for Claire and Tony’s wedding) this past month, and July holds travels to Charlotte (Allison and Nasser’s wedding) and Ohio (our 4th of July tradition!), as well as two huge weddings I’m planning in Chapel Hill for Angela and Jason + Anna and Jeff! June was also filled with getting outside lots, pool time, grilling out/cookouts, a Durham Bulls game, fun times with friends, a really epic Vita Vite date night, hosting some dinner parties, and lots of baby snuggles, as three friends had babies this month! June, you were a great month.

Personal

  1. Travel to Ohio for the 4th of July and soak up quality time with my three grandparents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my extended family! We’ve been traveling to Ohio for the 4th of July my entire life, and it’s such a sweet time with family filled with so many traditions… though it’s bittersweet this year because it’s the first year without my precious grandma. She passed away a couple days after last year’s 4th of July trip, and I’m so, so, so thankful we ALL got to see her one last time – and that she got to meet Rob.
  2. Read three books.
  3. Play tennis weekly and take walks in the evening regularly.
  4. Cross a bunch of things off our summer bucket list (still on the top of our list: outdoor movie, outdoor concert, Whiskey Kitchen, kayak, and Fearrington Village)
  5. Get more involved at our church by signing up to serve regularly
  6. Really be intentional about the friendships and relationships in my life (sending snail mail, planning friend dates, little surprises, praying for friends)
  7. “He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30

Business

  1. Officially change my business name from Stephanie Scholl Events to Stephanie Shaul Events – I didn’t quite get to finalize this last month!
  2. Update my website, etc with my new business name.
  3. Create new content for the blog and for my business, as well as continue blogging three times a week.
  4. Execute two flawless weddings at the Carolina Inn and the Parlour at Manns Chapel for two of my amazing couples! (I’m also the florist for one of them!)
  5. Book two new 2018 weddings.
  6. Update and fine-tune my pricing guide for new inquiries.
  7. Celebrate two years of taking Stephanie Scholl Events full time!! (You can read more about my journey to taking wedding planning full time: Part One and Part Two)

I’d love to know – do you have any goals set for the month as July kicks off?! I can’t wait for the 4th of July celebrations, beginning today as we travel to Charlotte and then straight to Ohio!