epilogue

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For over the past five years, Sage has helped couples and families tell their love + life stories. People would come to us with outlines of their visions, and we would have the amazing opportunity to bring to life each personal and intimately reflective detail of the families and couples.

But today, it is with a bittersweet but incredibly grateful heart that I announce that Sage's own story ends here.

For the past year, I have felt God calling me to refocus my heart's passions and to be a better steward of my time and talents. Additionally, I have felt an incredible desire to be a more present and dedicated wife + mother, to return the sacrifice and support that my husband and son have given me these past years. With our family growing this March, I have been in constant prayer, seeking discernment and clarity in God's plans for my future. And as His plans are always perfect, He has aligned this shift in my heart with a shift in career -- back to my roots, as a teacher and advisor for middle and high school students.

Sage has already spoken with all of our current clients, and through the grace and understanding of each of them, we will move forward with planning + coordinating their weddings. However, we will no longer take on additional clients, and will ultimately be closing our doors next summer.

Some of you know that I love to use the metaphor of relationships {new, old, rekindled} when describing the amazing job opportunities that I've had over the course of my professional career. Such was the case when I initially "broke up" with my teaching career and founded Sage. And as I made the difficult decision to "break up" with Sage and start a new relationship with my students, God has yet again filled me with so much joy and peace and excitement. In my quiet times with Him, He has reminded me to, "Be still"; in its original Hebrew root form, this actually means to "Let go" -- meaning "Let go, and know that I am God."

Letting go is definitely a struggle. I'm extremely proud of the journey I have had with Sage. Since first launching in 2011, I have been overwhelmed by the grace God has shown this small, but passionate company. We have had the privilege of helping over 100 couples tell their love stories, along with the countless friendors I have made through each event. What an honor it has been.

And I cannot go without recognizing the #sagebackstage team who has been crucial to the success of Sage and each of our weddings. I have met some of the most talented, creative, and driven ladies that I've ever had the honor of working with, and I am certain each of them will go on to do amazing work at the very lucky companies that are able to hire them.

With that said, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the time I have had with Sage. With a heavy but excited heart, I look forward to this next adventure with my students. And humbly, I ask for your prayers and support as you follow me in this next chapter of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

may reflections + our giveaway winner!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I just went through a bit of a rough patch, losing my maternal grandmother on the same day as Sage's fifth anniversary on May 5, 2016.

The weeks following her death have been strangely bittersweet: Mother's Day. My son's birthday. News of a friend's pregnancy.

Perhaps it is the circle of life, but in the midst of grieving, I have seen glimmers of God's faithfulness and of His grace. The outpouring of love and prayer from my friends has been incredible. My May and June couples had immediately reached out to me, and selflessly encouraged me to take time to step away from work and focus on my family. I am so so thankful for every call, every text, every message you have left me. What a blessing to be surrounded by so much love.

In that spirit of love and gratitude, I am thrilled to {finally} announce the winner of our fifth anniversary giveaway. We received nearly two dozen entries, and while we wish we could have selected every single couple, we ultimately came to the unanimous decision that these two just stood out among the rest --

Sunny + Andrew both currently serve in the U.S. Air Force, which is where they met and eventually fell in love. Their love story, as told by Andrew:

Sunny and I only saw each other in passing since 2011. It wasn't until I started working with Sunny in 2014 that we really got to know each other. At that point in my life, I was going through a very rough patch and Sunny was truly a ray of sunshine for me. Close friends and family members saw an almost overnight change in my demeanor. This happiness and love for life developed from only our friendship. Our friendship continued to develop until I left for Malmstrom AFB, Montana (Sunny was at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming). At this point, our friendship blossomed into a textbook relationship. Although geographically separated, this didn't stop the continued development of our already strong relationship. We were only able to be physically together about once a month, and although it was a 10-11 hour drive (one-way) to see each other, it was well worth it.  On 24 November 2015, Sunny and I got married and promised our lives to each other. Although we're already married, the formal wedding will still be a special day where we can declare our love for each other in front of our friends and family.

Sunny + Andrew, we know that you sacrifice so much, and this is just a small way we can thank you for your service. We are so happy + honored to be a part of your celebration -- congratulations!

#sageturnsfive

For the past five years, Sage has helped couples and families tell their love + life stories. People would come to us with outlines of their visions, and we were entrusted as editors to bring out the best in their celebrations. These stories made us laugh, they made us cry, and most importantly, they made us overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to do what we loved. And on the brink of our fifth anniversary, I cannot help but reflect on the chapters of Sage's own story, and how we've journeyed and explored and grown into who we are today. 

In junior high and high school, I was *that* student council, cheerleader, "school spirit"-obsessed kid, who loved every stress-filled moment of planning campus meetings and events. {I can see some of my friends nodding as they remember this side of me!} Yet as I looked towards college, I never thought I could pursue a career that expanded on these skills and interests, and so I chose to focus on a different passion of mine: English.

Fast forward through college at NYU, a short teaching stint in New York, then a two-year counseling job in Korea -- I came back to LA with the misconception that I could easily get a job as an English teacher. But God undoubtedly had different plans as He closed different doors to what I had thought were amazing opportunities. I felt so discouraged and lost and unsure of my future.

But it was around this time that a friend, knowing of my high school glory days {and my near-OCD tendencies} asked if I would consider taking on the role of her wedding day-of coordinator. I somewhat blindly accepted the offer, not knowing the impact it would have on me. At her wedding, the caterer asked if she could have a business card to refer me to other clients. Upon hearing that I did not have one, let alone an actual business, she immediately told me that I needed to "get on it". To this day, I am thankful to my friend and Polly at Four Seasons for giving me the opportunity and encouragement that would ultimately transition me into this completely unexpected career.

That May, Sage was born. 

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I often laugh when someone asks where I learned to "be a wedding planner," since my journey has been so unconventional. I would have never imagined that my geeky ASB days would have influenced my career, but more importantly, I had not expected that my former career would have played such an integral role to growing as a planner. I am a clearer thinker, better manager, and more creative designer and coordinator than I would have been without my teaching experience. And having worked as a student counselor, I love sitting down with clients and hearing their stories and ideas – and then bringing those dreams to fruition.

Undoubtedly, my heart feels like it will explode with gratitude for the past five years -- the plot of Sage's own story has been both terrifying and transformative, but most importantly, it was been so rewarding. I am proud of how much Sage has grown as a company, as a team, and as a community of past + present clients. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As a token of our gratitude, and in celebration of our imminent fifth anniversary, we are hosting a pretty fabulous giveaway in collaboration with some of our favorite friendors, including:

{how to enter}
Send an e-mail with the subject "#sageturnsfive" to hello@sageeventplanning.com with the following information:

  1. Bride + Groom's full names
  2. Instagram handles {if available}
  3. Wedding date
  4. Ceremony + Reception Venue{s}
  5. Your "love story" {cheesy, mushy-gushiness encouraged!}
  6. A photo of the Bride + Groom

{rules}

  1. Your wedding must be scheduled for 2017 or 2018 and based in Southern California.
  2. Unfortunately, current clients of Sage Event Planning and other participating vendors are illegible to apply.
  3. Please only make one submission; multiple entries will be disqualified. 
  4. The final giveaway terms will be negotiated according to the discretion of Sage Event Planning and other participating vendors once a winner is selected. 

Submissions will be accepted until May 2nd. The winner will selected based on their stories and availability of all vendor participants, and will be announced on May 5th {the date of our actual anniversary}!

Special thanks to my good friend, Sara {of Handmade by Sara Kim-fame} for photographing our celebratory brunch!

tiffany's epiphanies | part three | final

September has come, which means my summer is quickly ending. It’s time to trade those late mornings for 8AM classes, and weekend weddings for study sessions. If only I could whip up a magic spell to freeze time and stay in this summer bliss forever.

 

But alas, all good things must come to end eventually… or not. Though my time with Sage may be ending {boo!}, the friendships and bonds will be everlasting. This experience would not have been half of what it was without the amazing #sagebackstage team. They welcomed me with open arms, warm smiles, and “sage” advice. As I mentioned in my previous post, working with the team has been a huge PRO of this entire experience. They’ve made a lasting impact on me, and that’s why I am dedicating my last post to three wonderful ladies, whom I’ll refer to as “The Three E’s”.

 

Erica | The Designer

Erica, hands-down, has one of the greatest aesthetic eyes. Like I said before, I’d never considered myself to be creative, but after watching Erica work her magic, she’s selflessly shared some of her secrets with me. Thanks to her, I know what fonts look great together, how to lay out escort cards in a picture-perfect way, and how to secretly disguise décor blunders. She might seem reserved at first, but she has become my go-to for anything, ranging from questions about the way something looks or when I need quick feedback.

 

Esther | The Mascot/Mom

She’s known as the mascot of the team, which definitely suits her personality. She’s constantly making us laugh and adding that spark of energy we need to get through our day. Esther is constantly checking up on me to make sure I’m not overwhelmed, and doesn’t hesitate to answer any questions I might have. As a joke, I call her my “mom” because she always makes sure I eat enough during our long wedding days, and she somehow always manages to get me bread and butter {all I need in life are bread, butter… and fries}.

 

Eunice | The Mentor

When I first met Eunice, I immediately felt at ease. She has this soothing quality to her, and it makes you trust her instantly. She’s patient, caring, understanding, and basically every adjective that you would use to describe a mentor. She’s taught me how to handle stressful situations {like dealing with difficult vendors, yikes!} and how to rock the term “playful professionalism”. I admire her in so many ways, and I’ve found myself trying to emulate her – the way she listens intently when you’re telling a story, how she can remember the little details that would normally be overlooked, her ability to compartmentalize and organize, and the way she looks at a situation from all angles. Not only is she great at telling life + love stories, she’s amazing at giving life + love advice.

Throughout my internship, I’ve had the honor of meeting and working with some of the most amazing ladies on the #sagebackstage team. Although I’ve highlighted only a few of the ones I’ve worked most closely with {The Three E’s}, I will be forever grateful for each and every single one of the ladies on our team. Thank you so much for an unforgettable summer, filled with tulle, flowers, and heartfelt sentiments!

tiffany's epiphanies | part two

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post! These past months have flown by so quickly that I haven’t really had a chance to catch my breath. This summer has been unbelievably exhilarating and memorable, in large part due to Sage.

This internship has given me a chance to grow and learn outside of books, and has given me an inside look into the world of event planning. After a summer filled with weddings and #sagebackstage exclusives, I’ve realized some things…

 

Why interning for Sage has been awesome:

1.    Checking out some of the coolest places in LA. One of the best things about living in LA is that everything is so diverse. I’ve been to wedding venues that have been trendy and hip to classy and elegant. Having lived in Southern California for nearly all of my life, I never knew these places existed, and I probably would have never known if not for this internship.

2.    Leftover everything. One of my favorite things to do is to have one keepsake from each wedding I’ve done. From photobooth pictures to wedding programs, each keepsake is a memento of a couple’s special day. This has definitely exacerbated my packrat habit, but hey, call me sentimental.

3.    Creativity isn’t just innate, but can be learned. I’ve always considered myself to be very “inside the box”, but since starting this internship, I’ve embraced my imaginative side. Observing how our team and other vendors display creativity, I no longer feel afraid to simply experiment and try new things.

4.    Working with the Sage Team. You’ll never find another group of ladies who works together as well as we do. One of the best parts of #sagebackstage is when all of us can kick back our shoes, relax, and celebrate another joyous occasion as we toast the beautiful couple.

 

Yet with all the perks of this internship, I have also realized that there have been some challenging surprises:

1.    Ever-changing wedding pipe dreams. Indoor or outdoor venue? Cake or dessert buffet? DJ or band? I’ve never thought about these things before, but interning for Sage has made these questions a weekly battle. My eclectic Pinterest board solidifies the fact that there are too many options! Thank goodness I’m not getting married anytime soon…

2.    Wedding hangover (n)*. How you feel the day after a wedding; a bittersweet feeling. Typically consists of reliving the wedding and wishing it didn’t end, followed by exhaustion.

*Technically a verb since the feeling seems to never end.

3.    There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter wedding. That being said, being flexible is one of the most important skills needed as an event coordinator. My day-of responsibilities have varied wedding-to-wedding, and there are always unexpected duties that arise. I’ve learned to become adaptable to every situation.

 

4.    I’ll never be a “normal” wedding guest again. Whether it’s a wedding for a friend or a family member, I guarantee that I will be the most observant guest in attendance. After working for Sage, I know what it’s like to be behind the scenes, and how the vendors are coming together to make everything happen.

 

Amidst these pros and cons, one thing stands certain: I wish my time with Sage didn't have to come to an end. 

My next {and final} post will be the most personal, and the most important, so make sure to stay tuned!

 All Friends gifs provided by Buzzfeed. No copyright infringement intended.