There are so many things that capture my attention since I am in the design industry. Yes, Interior Design is my main outlet for creativity and it's also what I went to school for but I also appreciate so many other things in the creative industry. Sometimes I think how would it be if I did anything else other than interior design. I decided to take a few minutes to interview my friend, Stephanie Scholl, the face behind Stephanie Scholl Events and see what she has to say about being full time in the wedding industry..
Read her story and see how she grew her passion into a full time career. Congratulations Stephanie on taking your business full time! You are so contagious to be around and your smile gives hope to others. Your attitude reflects Christ in all that you do and I am so happy to share you with the world (or everyone that follows me!!).
If you are looking for someone to help you with your wedding, Stephanie is your girl!
Background/how I got started:
I don't think I ever pictured that I'd working in weddings until a couple 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 grad school in my late twenties to get my Masters in Social Work. I moved to Washington, DC right after graduating from UNC, and I worked at two non-profits during my six years in DC. The first job, where I was for three years, was at a large non-profit, and I worked with the US Department of Education and their Office of Special Education Programs. The other job I had in DC, where I was for the last three years (up until mid-July) was at a small non-profit, and I managed several mentoring and literacy programs at inner-city elementary schools. Both were great jobs, and I learned so much from them throughout my time there. Over the course of the last many years, I 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. There was one particular wedding magazine that I have long wanted to work at, and I figured starting a blog that focused on weddings (it's a wedding and lifestyle blog) would be a good way to get even more connected to the wedding industry. I also attended something like thirty weddings in a three year window of time (I am from the South, after all!). I have 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, so fun. (CNBC and MSNBC both featured me in articles!) 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, 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. I launched Stephanie Scholl Events in January 2014, and my friends even celebrated by throwing me the sweetest and most thoughtful launch party in DC. I never really thought that Stephanie Scholl Events would become my full-time job, but it's been such a fun and amazing journey! (More details are in those two blog posts linked above!)
What is an aspect of wedding planning you see your clients struggling with the most? How to you help them? What's your favorite thing about working with brides?
I think one of the biggest struggles my brides and grooms have is having the wedding of their dreams... but on their budget. Working with them to realistically talk through all points of the budget and what that means for the overall look, feel, and details of the wedding is something that is always a work in progress! There are so many sources of inspiration out there, and there's even an over-saturation of ideas sometimes. Pinterest is both a blessing and curse, and I use it spraingly through the wedding planning and designing process. I love having my brides create an initial wedding Pinterest board, and I help them add to it and refine it, but then we don't use it too much afterwards. Being on the same page from the beginning is ideal, and I refer back to it for the big picture items (the overall look, feel, and emotions of the day, along with those most important elements) sometimes. But knowing when something is too much - too much money, too much excess, or not consistent with your overall vision - is good, too. I love the beautiful details and making the wedding as gorgeous as possible, but, ultimately, the wedding day is about the bride and groom and their love for one another. I want to help them tell and share their love story, as well as the family, traditions, religion, culture, and details that make them and their wedding unique. I try to take the stresses of the budget and the wedding planning process away so that my brides and grooms can spend their engagement celebration their love and preparing for their marriage. Ultimately, a wedding is one day (and hopefully it's an incredible, special day!), but I want my clients to have a marriage more beautiful than their wedding. So while I work with them and help design, refine, and create the meaningful and beautiful details that go into a wedding day, I try to help them look at the big picture and focus on the fact that their favorite people in the world are coming together to help celebrate them and their love story!
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you stay organized?
Now that I work for myself and work from home, no day is ever the same! I absolutely love that, and the flexibility is what I had been craving. I'm really organized and am a big fan of goal-setting & having a great morning routine to start my day off in the best way. I am constantly writing to-do lists (pen and paper ones!), and when I'm wrapping up my work day, I write out my to-do list, notes, and reminders for the next day so that I can brain dump and start my day off feeling like I know what's coming. I always have my calendar open on my desk, as I'm constantly scheduling meetings, appointments, coffee dates, prepping for weddings and styled shoots, and everything outside of work! I love being busy, so I really thrive off of a full calendar. And since I'm new to Raleigh, I have loved meeting dozens of amazing people in the creative and wedding industry in the last month! It keeps me busy, but it's so much fun to connect with others and build that community. Some days I'm browsing wedding dresses, shopping for props for a styled shoot, working on a calligraphy order, designing florals for my brides, checking out new venues, and going to cake tastings. And some days I'm working fifteen straight hours at a wedding to pull off the most magical day! Other days, I'm onsite at a styled shoot I designed and making sure the photoshoot comes together perfectly. Of course, it's not always glamorous, and there are plenty of hours typing away emails at my computer, working on the business side of my business, creating timelines and contracts and seating charts, and so much more. I think that's the fun thing about working for myself now: no day is ever the same! I also manage the social media for a prominent wedding magazine, so I'm posting to several avenues of social media multiple times a day for them - that keeps me working from 9am to 5pm every work day!
What are the most valuable lessons you've learned working in the wedding industry?
I'm still pretty new to the wedding industry (and am definitely new to town!), but building authentic friendships and community is the best thing. I have loved working with so many talented people who have become friends, and I genuinely want to get to know them and their hearts. We're all so much better when we work together, and I am so blessed by the people I've connected with and the friendships I've made!
Another thing I've learned is that if you really want to make your dream a reality, the hard work is so, so worth it. Believe me when I say that it takes a whole lot of hard work and determination and sacrifice, but I feel like I'm where I'm meant to be. The late, late nights, the long hours, the sheer will and determination to make it... it's all worth it! Being gracious enough to ask for help or encouragement, being thankful for where you are right now, powering through when you think you can't do it
Advice for people wanting pursue wedding planning and design as their full-time career
I have to admit that I never really considering this as my career until just a few years ago, but now I'm having the time of my life and feel like I'm exactly where the Lord wants me to be. I'd recommend interning or assisting with a wedding planner so that you can really get your toes wet and see what the job really entails. While there are definitely glamorous aspects of the job and awesome perks, there is also a lot of hard work, sweat, and nitty-gritty details that go into the job. Gaining firsthand experience is crucial, and I would definitely recommend immersing yourself in the wedding industry. I started my blog, which is focused on weddings, years ago, when I first felt the nudge to work in weddings. Being active on social media, blogging regularly, meeting and connecting with wedding professionals and vendors, and offering to help out are all amazing ways to begin to pave your way. Planning styled shoots is also an incredible way to work with others, build your network, showcase your talents and abilities, and let your creative design side shine!
What inspires you?
my faith, genuine community, deep relationships, fresh flowers, sunsets, traveling and exploring new cultures, changing seasons, great books, beautiful details and design, front porches, Southern hospitality, my family and friends, love stories, calligraphy, being in nature, amazing food and dining experiences, joy-filled conversations, to-do lists, celebrating little and big life moments, surprises