As y’all know, we have a long tradition at Southern Weddings of sharing the engagement journeys of real brides, including those of our team members, like Katharine, myself, and Lisa, as well as friends of our company, like Jessica and Meredith. I could not be MORE excited to introduce you to our next blogging bride, Stephanie Scholl. Stephanie is a friend of mine (and many others!), a wedding planner in Raleigh who has worked with SW in the past, and someone who embodies the heart of Southern Weddings perfectly. She’ll be posting about twice a month until her wedding next April, so please give her a warm welcome!! – Emily
Hi y’all! I’m ecstatic and honored to be sharing our story and wedding planning process here on Southern Weddings over the next several months. I’ve had a long relationship with Southern Weddings: I’ve been regularly reading their blog since 2009, have gotten to know the SW ladies quite well, have helped the team with social media and their shop, and am also a Blue Ribbon Vendor as a wedding planner! It’s still absolutely surreal to me that I’m writing here as an engaged lady and bride myself!!
My fiancé Rob and I couldn’t be more excited to be getting married! I haven’t stopped beaming since he proposed on October 1, and I love calling him my fiancé so much! He is the answer to every prayer and is the biggest blessing in my life. In all things, our prayer is that our engagement and our marriage glorify Him, and praise Him from whom all blessings flow!
Here’s a little background on the two of us – I’d love to hear if we have something in common!
Him: 28 years old, NC State grad, majored in mechanical engineering, works in logistics and customer service. Loves music, history, games (board games and video games), tennis, the Buffalo Bills, telling jokes and laughing, dancing, traveling, eating buffalo wings, road trips, and being with his family and friends.
Her: 29 years old, UNC Chapel Hill grad, majored in psychology and sociology, owns Stephanie Scholl Events and is a wedding planner, designer, and stylist. Loves traveling, adventures, the South, front porches, genuine community, laughter, reading, tennis, dinner parties, and being with her family and friends.
Rob and I met online on Coffee Meets Bagel. He was about to give up on online dating (luckily his friend convinced him to stick it out for one more week!); I was pretty thrilled that Rob was my very first match on the very first day I signed up for the service. Within half an hour of being matched with one another, Rob had asked me out on a date for the very next day! I loved that his profile showed his faith and that he said he was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet.
(Funny story: Before meeting Rob, I wanted to learn his last name, since I happen to have a brother-in-law named Rob. My Rob wrote back, saying that his last name was Shaul… which is nearly identical to my last name, Scholl. What are the odds?! Even if it’s only a few letters different, I can’t wait to become Stephanie Shaul!)
Our first date was wonderful, and a second date was planned before the first even ended. Rob and I have been inseparable since day one, knowing that wherever our relationship was headed was GOOD. Countless dates were spent walking around the lake, cooking, playing tennis, taking road trips, enjoying picnics, visiting family and friends, hosting game nights, throwing dinner parties, watching football, and trying new restaurants. Early on, it was clear to us both that we wanted to be together forever.
After being single for so much of my life, learning to find contentment in singleness, trusting in the Lord’s perfect timing and wisdom, trying to wait patiently, and living life to its fullest through all of that, I sometimes have to pinch myself that I get to marry him and spend forever with him! Loving Rob is such a gift, and we are so grateful to have found each other.
Everyone asks if I was expecting Rob to propose when he did. I did, and I didn’t, all at the same time! We had talked at length and prayed about getting married, and we knew for certain that we definitely wanted to marry one another. Rob and I had discussed a general timeline (I am a planner, after all!), and how we might accommodate our own wedding in the midst of all of my wonderful clients’ weddings already scheduled for 2017. Although I expected a proposal sometime in the last three months of the year, I was absolutely not expecting it to happen exactly when it did.
There were only two things I had mentioned in passing to him about a proposal: I wanted it to be private, and I wanted to be totally surprised. On October 1, I worked a 12+ hour day in Chapel Hill at one of my weddings, then drove home to Raleigh. As soon as I pulled up to my home (yes, still wearing my vendor apron from the wedding, and yes, it was 11:50pm), I saw Rob outside waiting for me. He was wearing my favorite shirt that I got him for his birthday, but I was still completely oblivious.
Rob immediately came over and got down on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and said the sweetest things in the world. I was still in shock and a little speechless, asking him “wait, what?” a couple times as he told me how much he loves me, how excited he was to spend the rest of our lives together, and how much he wanted me to be his husband. By this point, I was shaking and crying (happy tears, of course!) and beaming! I remember saying “yes, yes, a million times yes” when he asked me to marry him. Rob got up and we were simultaneously laughing, crying, and hugging each other when I remembered that I hadn’t actually looked at the ring yet. I told him he still had to put the ring on my finger, and it was perfect. Classic, timeless, and dainty: exactly what I wanted.
We went inside, relishing in the fact that we were officially engaged! I made him tell me the entire story behind ring shopping, asking my parents, and planning our proposal. We were in Ohio the weekend before our engagement for my grandmother’s funeral, and my mom and dad happened to be alone in a room as Rob was walking by. He was able to ask them in person (something I have always wanted!), and they joyfully gave their blessing. He also called my sister, who is my best friend besides Rob, to ask for her blessing, which is a touch that I especially love.
As for my ring, Rob and two of his good friends went shopping the afternoon I headed off to the wedding (the day of the proposal!!), found the perfect ring for me, and have lots of fun stories to tell about the ring-buying process.
SHARING THE NEWS:
I couldn’t wait any longer to share the biggest news of our lives with our families! We knew that my sister and her husband (funnily enough, also named Rob!), my parents, and Rob’s parents were all awaiting a phone call that night, despite it being 1:00am! I accidentally called my sister before my parents, because she had texted me most recently and she popped up on my phone first, but it was so, so much fun basking in our engagement and virtually celebrating with those who have been our biggest supporters and encouragers.
Rob came back over to my apartment the next morning so that we could share our engagement news with everyone, and we made countless phone calls that day. I’d always dreamed of what it would be like to be proposed to and get to share this news with loved ones, and it was even better than I had imagined. The incredible, overwhelming joy and excitement from everyone was so humbling, surreal, and touching, and we are eternally grateful to have so many people who love and celebrate us deeply.
We called dozens and dozens of people that day, got to see several friends in person to surprise them with the news and celebrate (their reactions were priceless!), and couldn’t stop calling each other “fiancé” all the time. We celebrated with dinner at our first date spot that evening after church, and then we got dressed up and went out for a fancy dinner and champagne the next evening. It has been such a whirlwind, but so incredibly amazing.
THE BEGINNING OF WEDDING PLANNING:
Since the moment Rob and I were engaged, the most common question has been whether our wedding is already planned! Since I’m a wedding planner and am surrounded by weddings on a daily basis, this was understandable. However, it was very important to me that I not plan a single aspect of our wedding before we were engaged. In all these years of wedding planning and throughout our dating relationship, I never once created a Pinterest board for our wedding or made a single list, Google doc, or folder for ideas.
All along, I wanted to fully embrace and savor the season I was in (single or dating) and to be fully present and content simply dating Rob. It was so hard to resist sometimes, but I wanted to not always be planning the next thing, or to get ahead of ourselves or rush anything. I loved being Rob’s girlfriend, and now I adore being his fiancée. The only things we did to prepare for our engagement and marriage were faith-based, since that’s paramount in both our lives. We had countless deep conversations with one another, spent lots of time in prayer, and read Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage before we were engaged. Now that the ring is officially on my finger, we can joyfully let the wedding planning begin!
I cannot wait to share our journey with y’all over the next several months. We are getting married on April 1, 2017 (yes, less than six months away!!). If you’ve ever wondered how a wedding planner and stylist plans her own wedding, well, you’re in for a treat (I hope!). I’ll be sharing so much more on our wedding plans, what we hope our wedding will be like, how we’re intentionally preparing for our marriage, who our vendors are, my wedding design and inspiration, tips and tricks for wedding planning (learned as both a wedding planner and a bride!), and tons more. This wedding planner is finally a bride herself, and goodness I couldn’t be more excited!