Shannon's 2018 in Review

2018 will forever be known as “The Year of All the Life Changes” for me. While 2017 was HARD… 2018 was hard in a different sense. 2018 proved to be the year of a few answered years-long-waiting prayers. It proved to be full of big life events and blessings.

One of the most popular blog posts from last year was my 2017 in Review, so I figured I would go ahead and re-cap 2018 for you, too.

January was cold. There was snow. There were warm meals. There were some really good books. There was a lot of rest before a very busy Spring season.

Present Over Perfect Shauna Niequist | Bespoken Book Club

In February, Brentley and I got engaged and our quick wedding planning process began. I blogged through most of this, and those were some of our top blogs this year, as well, so if you haven’t read through them, start here and work your way back! This was the month where we also went to Charleston, SC for Chase & Mekaela’s wedding at Lowndes Grove Plantation. It was such a sweet, intentional and BEAUTIFUL wedding…and a good time for our team, as well.

Shannon's 2018 in Review | Engagement

In March, our two new Shadows, Sarah & Savannah, began their Shadow Program. Charlie & Mary Kate got married at The Cliffs and Caroline & Matthew got married in Anderson, SC. I had a Bachelorette outing with some of my besties (wine tasting + dinner = perfect).

Bespoken Shadow Program | Wedding Planning Internship
Shannon's Bachelorette

April brought us our engagement photos back from Jonathan Connolly. This was also the month where we had to completely re-route an entire wedding for Analise & Frankie (a HUGE thank you to Larkin’s for stepping in and making this doable!). Kendal came into town for more hands-on-deck for this one! Read more about that particular wedding here. And Julia & Dan had a romantic boho wedding in Spartanburg. This was also the month where I wrote myself my first paycheck from Bespoken!

Bespoken Wedding Planner at Hotel Domestique

In May, things started warming up more. Brentley and I really honed in on our wedding plans (one of those linen swatches below was actually used in our wedding!) while I started to round our wedding season with Kiley & Tyler’s wedding at Larkin’s, Christina & Chris’s wedding at The Cliffs and The Commerce Club, and Marina & Matt’s wedding at The Hyatt.

Bespoken Wedding Planning | BBJ Linen Samples

June brought us our last wedding of the Spring 2018 season as we celebrated Jordan & Tucker’s nuptials at Indigo Hall in Spartanburg. I went to a fun event at Husk Greenville and took Brentley along for the ride…running into the gals of Upstate I Do. This was also when I really started focusing solely on Bespoken as my full-time job.

Bespoken Wedding Planner and Upstate I Do at Husk Greenville

July was most significantly marked by mine and Brentley’s own wedding day. Which was a dream and was recently named as one of Inspired By This’ Best Weddings of 2018.

In August, Brentley and I enjoyed a very relaxing honeymoon in Mexico, and then came back to reality…where I quickly got back into wedding planning mode for all of our amazing Fall brides.

Honeymoon in Mexico

September brought us 4 weddings: Amanda & Dan at Avenue, Sarah & Thomas at Hotel Domestique, Hannah & Matt at Greenville Country Club, and Casey & Lindsay also at Greenville Country Club. This was also the month that Brentley and I started house hunting…because if I don’t make huge life decisions in the middle of the busiest month work-wise, does it really count? LOL!

Hotel Domestique Wedding Planner

In October, we sold my old house and bought a new one. We bought a house we almost didn’t even tour based on the fact that it didn’t have much curb appeal. But we LOVE this house and this yard. And I’ll never forget our real estate agent listing my old house at 7:30 am on a Tuesday morning, getting kicked out of the house 5 times that day for showings, and it going under contract by 7:00 pm that night. WHIRLWIND. But oh so good. You can read more about the thoughts on my old house here. We also celebrated Chelsea & Sean’s wedding with a full weekend of events at their private home on Lake Keowee, and then two weeks later, helped Hannah & Zach get married at Sunset Farms in Union, SC (blog post coming soon!).

New House New Backyard

November brought us two more weddings: Ashlee & Michael at Windy Hill Barn in Simpsonsville, SC and Nataliya & Nathan’s wedding at The Cliffs. This was also our first year of hosting Thanksgiving at our home, and it was so so perfect.

Farmhouse Table & Chairs | Custom | Southerland Designs

December has been amazing. It’s allowed us time to get settled into our home, invite friends and family over, and enjoy our first married Christmas together. For Bespoken, we helped Molly & Alex get married at Hotel Domestique (blog post and photos coming soon!), and we are about to help Kally & Matt get married at Old Cigar Warehouse, and finally…rounding out an INCREDIBLE 2018 wedding season with John-Michael & Nicole’s NYE wedding at The Westin Poinsett.

First Married Christmas

It was a busy year, wasn’t it? But a good one.

ChristmAS CARDS FROM   MINTED

ChristmAS CARDS FROM MINTED

It was such a GOOD year. I’ve also learned that my priorities have shifted a bit. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about what 2019 will hold and how I want my life to be lived out so that when I look back on it when I’m 80 (Thank you, Lara Casey, for this constant reminder!), I will know that it was lived in the best way. I want to work smarter, not harder. To be completely honest and transparent, this past year as packed so full of goodness, blessings, and opportunity…but I felt like I could hardly keep up at times. My sweet team reminded me last week that there as a lot going on during 2018 for me, so I needed to give myself some grace. True. Gosh, I am so thankful for them. But I do want to take more time away from work and all of the noise ins 2019. I want to set office hours and turn it all off so I can spend quality time with my loved ones. I want to be a good servant of my time and how I spend it. I want to be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I want less STUFF. I want to re-focus on what truly matters the most.

I’m so grateful for a fresh start, and am super excited about what is to come in 2019!

Other fun things from 2018...

BOOKS I READ: (Books with a * are the ones I especially loved!)

MUSIC I ENJOYED:

  • Johnnyswim

  • Keith Urban

  • Eric Church

  • Ryan Kinder

  • Lauren Daigle

  • Chris Stapleton

  • NEEDTOBREATHE

  • Anderson East

  • Leon Bridges

TRIPS I TOOK:

  • Charleston (a few times!) for a wedding and client meetings

  • Charlotte for shopping

  • Mexico for our honeymoon

  • Asheville for New Years and shopping

BEAUTY & SKINCARE PRODUCTS I LOVED:

RESTAURANTS I LOVED:

  • Jianna

  • Husk

  • Kairos Greek Kitchen

  • Poke Brothers

PODCASTS I ENJOYED:

BLOGS I LOVED: 

WEDDINGS WORKED:  21

Here's to 2019, and hopefully a year full of purpose and meaning!

With grit and a whole lot of grace,

Shannon