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!