Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Five - Stephanie Shaul

I can't believe we're already on to week THREE of the Friday Five series! I hope you all are enjoying learning more about some of the amazing wedding professionals that are out there (or discovering some inspiring ladies to follow in your own wedding journey!) This week I was able to interview Stephanie Shaul, of Stephanie Shaul Events. {sidenote: Stephanie got married earlier this year and her last name went from SCHOLL to SHAUL! How crazy/awesome is that?!} Anyways, I can't wait for you guys to learn more about this fun loving, joy-filled lady, so without further ado, here she is!
1. Tell us a little bit about Stephanie Shaul Events and who you love to serve.

Stephanie Shaul Events is a wedding planning, design, and styling company based in Raleigh, NC, planning grace-filled, elegant, joyful weddings with beautiful, meaningful details and design. I primarily focus on full planning, production, and design for my couples, and my job is certainly one of the greatest joys of my life. My business is rooted in legacy and strong marriages, kindness and gratitude, serving others wholeheartedly, intentional living, genuine community, and grace-filled love. My couples genuinely come to feel like family, and I adore working with them to create the wedding they’ve always dreamt of. I always aim to authentically make each wedding uniquely gorgeous and meaningful to my couple’s love story, and a wedding is the perfect opportunity to celebrate love and legacy, traditions, beauty, and joy that make up one’s life. Wedding planning can be a stressful and overwhelming process, and I want to take all of the worry and stress off of my couples so that they can fully enjoy their engagement and joyfully prepare for marriage. As a recent bride myself, I know firsthand how important that is and how wonderful marriage is!

2. How did you get started in the event industry?

I don’t think I ever pictured that I’d working in weddings until several years ago. I went to undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with a double major in psychology and sociology, and I had planned on going to graduate school in my late twenties to get my master’s in social work. I did plan national conferences for the US Department of Education for several years at my first job in Washington, DC, right out of college. That knowledge has definitely come in handy, and I have long had a gift for organization and logistics.
I have always read lots of wedding magazines and blogs, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really grew to love weddings—and I’ve always just loved love and celebrating life and joy. I figured that starting a blog that focused on weddings (and lifestyle) would be a good way to get even more connected to the wedding industry. I followed a lot of wedding blogs and social media accounts and I realized over time how much I really loved every aspect of weddings. In my early-mid twenties, I also attended roughly thirty weddings in a three-year window of time (I am from the South, after all!). I had ten weddings, nine bridal showers, eight bachelorette parties, and six engagement parties in a six month window, which was crazy with tons of traveling, but it was so fun! I never once was annoyed or overwhelmed with the amount of wedding-related festivities in my life, and I threw so many of those showers and helped in little ways at the weddings. It was around then that friends and family—everyone I knew, essentially—kept telling me how talented and skilled at this I was, and why wasn’t I planning weddings yet? It truly was the constant support and encouragement from my family and friends that got me to even consider planning weddings.
I had a few close friends who were either recently engaged or knew they’d be getting married soon, and they assured me that they really wanted me to plan and design their weddings. I’m forever grateful to those close friends who let me plan and design their weddings with zero actual experience besides being a bridesmaid and a wedding guest dozens of times, having a good design eye, loving weddings, and being incredibly organized. Their trust and confidence in me meant the world and that’s how I got started - coming up on four years ago now! I have worked for myself full-time for 2.5 years now, and my business moved from Washington, DC to Raleigh, NC when I went full-time. This city and its surrounding area have been so sweet to my business, and it’s been a dream come true (with a lot of hard work, for sure)!
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! What wonderful friends, giving you the gift of following your passion and navigating those first few steps into wedding planning with the knowledge that you have their full trust and support.

Image by Ally & Bobby 

3. What was the last gift you gave someone?

My husband’s birthday wasn’t too long ago, and I gifted him a date night together (with his favorite activities and foods), a new board game (we’re a sucker for playing games at night and hosting game nights), and a craft beer brewing kit. We have some home brewed beer coming up!

4. How would your best friend describe you?

Loving, loyal, encouraging, and definitely goofy! This is hard to answer, but I’ve continually been told that I’m optimistic, friendly, determined, and always up for something fun. I love life and people, and I think my personality reflects that. I am wildly passionate about genuine, deep friendships and cultivating those relationships!

5. What’s in your apron?

Everything - ha! I like to think my apron holds as much as Mary Poppins’ limitless magic carpet bag. I always have my timeline, floor plans/layouts, pens (including a nice one) and a Sharpie, floral pins, safety pins, my phone, a portable phone charger, a lighter (for all of those candles and sparklers), scissors (one can never have enough), tissues, and somehow, I almost always end up with a set of someone’s car keys by the end of the night!

Images by Blue Barn Photography / Sara Logan Photography
Stephanie, thank you so much for taking the time to share with me today. Such a pleasure! I so enjoyed learning more about you, especially the steps leading up to you pursuing this career. Wishing you all the best in the future.

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