My Annual Sabbatical

With the arrival of December last week, we’ve come to the final month of 2017. Remember how you began this year? Time never ceases to amaze me with it’s fleeting spirit. December also has marked a sabbatical time for me. I’ve done this for the last four years, and it’s truly been a huge blessing and time of refreshment both personally and professionally as we look forward to and plan the new year.

Since the month is also full of family time, new and old traditions, and so much memory-making, it’s been wonderful to grant myself that time off from SSE to be completely focused on the season we’re in!  While this December will look a little different than previous years in that I will be doing some SSE work to prepare for February’s tiny maternity leave, it’ll be a lot less forward-facing this month (hello, yoga pants + top knots).  Sometimes, you just need that, right?!

A look back at 2017…

2017 marked the first year I was in business with a little one in tow.  I was nervous (okay, terrified) because I wasn’t sure how it would work.  In case you were wondering, the unknown and un-plan-able makes me a little shaky!  We took it day by day, and, here we are, at the end of the season, looking back with fond memories and grateful hearts.

This year was full of creating just to create (Sweet Southern and the Westover Inn shoots), serving the largest roster of sweet clients in SSE history, stepping outside my comfort zone over and over, and seeing this anniversary vow renewal featured a number of times…and soon in print!  It was also a year of watching our little dude grow, growing in our own marriage, cultivating relationships with friends (so grateful for them!), and starting to really focus on our legacy.

Romantic face-to-face Bridal Photos //

How did I “nourish” 2017?

My 2017 word of the year was nourish because I really needed time after having Dominic to nourish the things I already had going on rather than always looking forward to bigger and better and more, more, more.  Choosing “nourish” allowed me grace to step back from “the hustle”, choose to be grateful for what I’ve been given, and focus on growing what I’d already planted–our marriage, our son, my health and wellness, my business and clients as it stood at the beginning of the year.

As Dominic has grown and we made our way through the year, I started to see room again for possible growth.  Now, as I look forward, I’m ready to dig into my Powersheets and find clarity again to make goals for the new year that will allow me to steward and serve well…there’s a hint in there for 2018’s word. 🙂

I’m most proud of running (and growing!) SSE while navigating new motherhood.  I’ll be honest: there were days I wasn’t sure what I was doing or how we were going to make it, but pushing through and doing. the. work. with support from so many sweet people got me here!  It’s amazing what a year holds and where time can take you.  The tiny steps forward really DO make a difference when you look back to see how far you’ve come.

Guys, I know I talk about Powersheets a lot (and I get no benefit from mentioning them over and over), but they WORK.  They help me see the daily progress and the monthly progress which, in turn, creates forward momentum and change in my life.  I love looking back at my prep work section to see where I’m going in the big picture and aligning my monthly goals with that vision.  So, my PSA to you if you feel like you’re treading water, go treat yourself to a copy (and maybe the sticker book, too!).  They’re not just for girlbosses, either…whatever season of life you’re in (student, full-time career girl, stay-at-home mama, grandmas, you name it!), they’ll help you cultivate what matters.

What I’m doing this month…

This sabbatical time will be spent wrapping gifts, celebrating the season, finding Dominic some Christmas PJs so we can start that tradition, and preparing for maternity leave.  Our second little one is due in February!  I’m thrilled to be able to continue bringing useful content via the blog and monthly love letter (sign up here!) while I’m snuggling a little babe (and a toddler, because let’s be real: he’s going to need extra snuggle time!).  While it’s all planned out, I have a lot of writing to do this month to have it ready to go for you.

Free Wedding Planning Checklist //

I’m also excited to be working on some new client resources for my 2018-and-beyond clients that will streamline the planning process for me and make planning that much more fun and simple for them!

Interested in being an SSE bride?  Send me an email!  I love hearing your story and vision and how I can best help you begin your married life.

Let's chat!

Finally, thank you for being here and contributing to making my dream a reality.  I know how busy our lives can get and how much information floods our social media feeds every day.  Having you show up here and read about creating a meaningful beginning to married life and building a legacy together is an absolute pleasure!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I hope you continue to be inspired to create your best life and that you have a wonderful and blessed holiday! xo.

Real Wedding: Blair + Vittoria

Blair and Vittoria’s orchard wedding day was one for the books. I know I say that a lot, but this one will forever hold a place in my heart. These two poke fun at each other, know how to love each other well, and have the best sense of humour. I finally got the opportunity to work at Brantview Orchards and am so grateful to have had an incredible team with me!

From the moment we spoke on the phone, Vittoria and I clicked. It’s always special when a couple trusts me with their biggest day. I knew she wanted a unique wedding, but the reason why made me (and everyone else!) tear up when she shared her heart in the speech on their wedding day.

A few months before she met Blair, her dad passed away. He loved the outdoors and, because of that, Vittoria always felt close to him in nature. Having her ceremony in the orchard and the reception steps away meant so much to her.

Related: Why Meaningful Details Matter

I’ve completed many weddings, but it’s always the ones with heartfelt stories that remind me why I love this work. It’s about building and celebrating legacies and creating memories that will be cherished for many lifetimes.

Without further ado, let’s get to the gorgeous images by Karen Benwell Photography that I just can’t keep staring at!

Rustic Elegant Wedding Welcome Sign // and Groom Portraits // Bridesmaid Photo // Garden Wedding Bouquet // Bridesmaids Garden Ceremony // Getting Ready // that walk through the orchard to the ceremony was magical, and I always find it fun to see a “behind-the-scenes” photo of one of my favorite moments–fluffing the dress before that special walk!

Processional with Planner // wedding ceremony // Wedding Arbor //

How stunning is that ceremony setting?!  The arbor is the perfect blank slate for your biggest vision and Leslie from Warehouse 84 didn’t disappoint!

Blush Wedding Party // Bridal Photography // Groomsmen // and Green Garden Wedding // Wedding Lounge Area // Garden Wedding // Seating Chart // Ontario Rustic Wedding // Garden Wedding Reception //

Okay, can we please talk about this stunning chandelier that Warehouse 84 built?  I believe I have one on order for my house….just kidding, but really!

Floral Wedding Chandelier Edison Bulb // Wedding // Rustic Outdoor Garden Wedding //

When Karen Benwell asks you to help carry a blush vintage sofa into the middle of the orchard, you jump on board because this is the kind of magic that happens.  (Yes, it was an adventure getting it there, but totally worth it!)Orchard Dusk Wedding Photography Vintage Sofa // Wedding Ring // Lights Barn Wedding //

With a combination of beautiful lighting, beautiful hearts, tears of joy, and moments of hilarity, being part of this wedding was one of the biggest blessings of my career. I couldn’t have done it without the sweetest vendor team! Congrats again, Blair and Vittoria–may marriage be your biggest and best adventure together!

Planning + Design: Spunky Sapphire Events // Venue: Brantview Orchards // Photography: Karen Benwell Photography // Decor Rentals: Warehouse 84 // Catering: Lily Ruth Catering // DJ: Ruby Entertainment // Videography: 4D Studios 

Minted “All-in-one” Wedding Invitations

It’s difficult to be in the wedding industry and not be enamored by the paper. There are tons of talented designers available for any budget. Some of my favorites are the independent designers from Minted.

About two months ago, I got a heads up about their new “all-in-one” wedding invitations, and I promptly happy-danced around my office. They’re SO PRETTY! And brilliant. See for yourself.

Minted All-in-One invitations //

How cool is that?!

Minted All-In-One Wedding Invitations //’re a “seal and send” option for savvy couples that combine convenience with “Minted’s world-class quality and artisanal designs.”  I love how they have three panels that fold together neatly into one ready-to-mail card.  When your guests receive the invitation, they tear off the perforated RSVP postcard to mail back with a postcard stamp–eliminating the need for full price postage or additional envelopes!  And, as the thoughtful bride and groom you are, you can send them pre-stamped to make it even easier for your guests to excitedly RSVP.

With so many incredible designs and top-notch customer service, where do you begin?! Go check out all the designs and make your wedding invitation a little bit more fun for your guests!

Curious when you need to send out invitations? Grab the free planning checklist!


**This isn’t a sponsored post nor does it contain affiliate links–I just love them so much and wanted to share with my savvy readers!**