3 Quick Tips

It’s a good thing I’m a wedding planner because my heart literally yearns for wedding season.  It’s kind of obsessive.. last night I stayed up until 2am watching Friends on Netflix solely because it was the episode when Pheobe got married to Mike.  Netflix guys… I could’ve just paused and watched in the morning.  Gah I live for warm fuzzy feelings.

Last night I had an awesome friend over for champagne, dessert, and Chinese food (I was supposed to cook but long story short I was stranded at home after over an hour of shovelling and a newly found flat tire… Hong Kong Restaurant to the rescue)… Anyways, we got to talking about weddings since we’re both quite newlywed and our most memorable moments.  Shockingly, we both had very similar good and bad stories from our day.  Now I won’t say who’s mother-in-law showed up in a white gown or who’s brother-in-law got married the week before them with 3 months notice or even who’s Uncle-in-law forgot their name during a speech, but it wasn’t hers.  I will tell you though, that after a few rants and a lot of laughs we both remember our wedding days as being absolutely perfect in every way.

So in short, here’s 3 things I wish every bride would do:

1. Worry Less

Your day is as good as you let it be.  As a wedding planner I strive to give my clients the most flawless day possible but no wedding is flawless.  There’s Always going to be something you dealt with either during the course of your planning or on your wedding day that didn’t go how you envisioned it.  Maybe it’s a cranky in-law, an annoying last minute cancellation, a random new girlfriend as an uninvited guest, a late vendor, family drama, the list goes on and on.  Your day will be as perfect as you let it be.  So you can get mad, embarrassed or stressed, or you can let it all go and soak it all in.  I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding day because those are now my stories to tell.  And you’ll have them too. Promise.

2. Eat

Please just eat.  Before, during, and after your wedding.  Stop the “starving yourself to be a beautiful bride” fad.  You’re beautiful and you’ll look beautiful on your wedding day just how you are. Also, planning is much more fun when you’re stressed and you indulge in guilt free wine and a cheeseburger.  (You have my personal guarantee.)

3. Visit

Your wedding day is quick and there’s not enough time in the world to possibly visit with every wedding guest as much as you’d like to or should for how far they’ve come to be there for you.  Finish all of your planning early so on the week of the wedding you’re stress-free enough to visit with family, wine tour (if you’re getting married here), and see guests that have come in early.  I’ve had clients plan open invite beach days, BBQ’s and pool parties just to hang out with guests the days leading up to their wedding.  That way, on your wedding day you can soak in all the time you want with your groom without feeling torn away to see everyone.  Royce and I barely split up on our day and I loved that because we got to share our love and excitement together.  The day was ours, not a day that felt like we were hosting.

I’m telling ya, these really work.  Also, if you’re having a hard time dealing with a wedding issue I probably have a story to top it.





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Busy is Overrated

Happy New Year! Ah it’s 2015! If that’s not particularly exciting to you, why not? It’s a new year! Anything can happen. And like every year, I can guarantee something unexpected will.

Today’s been a fun day.  Which is kind of weird because it’s 5:30pm and I’m still in lululemon with an inch of cold coffee in the bottom of my mug.  I did shower though so I think that gives me bonus points.  It’s been a fun day because I’ve had literally the entire day to work.  8 full hours and counting at my computer and I’m literally so excited about that.  Royce is in Revelstoke off and on for the majority of the month to shoot heliskiing so that means his 27-inch iMac is now mine and his prime desk spot in front of our huge window looking out at a winter wonderland is mine too.  Eep! Can it get better than that?? Yes. Yes it can.  My mother-in-law gave me coconut coffee for Christmas so I’m on cup numero 3.  Today is a good day.

These past two months have been hugely eye opening so I figured the start of 2015 was the perfect time to blog about it.  The past couple years I’ve been so inspired by everyone around me.  It’s kind of been a cat and mouse game of trying to catch up with all these hugely successful people.  Every year my goals were to gain more, grow more, do more, be more.  I think 2015 has to be the year of ENOUGH. I have seen good friends and wildly successful people completely fall apart.  The people I looked up to the most are all admitting to being overworked, burnt out, and unhappy.  I’ve seen multiple marriages fall apart, businesses shut down, friendships end, passions die, and too many tears over a career that’s supposed to be your own choice.  It’s not just entrepreneurs that experience this but since my life is kind of all encompassed with entrepreneurs it feels as though it’s hitting those the hardest.

This year has to be the year of enough.  I posted on Facebook the other day that I want my year to be full but not busy. I mean that more than you’ll ever know.  Finding a balance has been a priority of mine since I started Created Lovely and though my summers struggle with balance, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to take since the rest of my year is quite even.  I look at my summers more as “Go Time” than being overworked.  And I’m happy during the entire summer so I don’t think I’m actually delusional about that.  It’s hard to tell yourself, slow down.. let that other crazy go-getter business take this one.  I turned away more weddings than I took this year.  That. gives. me. a. heart. attack. Reality is, I can’t do it all.  And I’m not ready to have a team to do it all.  And so ensues the year of “enough”.

It’d be my dream to have the mentality that when I see someone that’s wildly successful and creative in their business, instead of me longing and wishing to be just like them I said “wow, good for them” and then I chose my own route.  What an amazing community we would be if we stopped playing catch up with everyone and did it our own way.  Maybe then, the pressure for perfection and numbers would end and we would see creatives grow and thrive within their own limits like we’ve never seen before. We’re all different so let’s let different be a good thing and push for that instead of pushing for “busy”.  Busy is overrated anyhow.

Here’s to a full 2015!




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Finding Balance

This past month, well…past fews month have kind of been a whirlwind.  I’m somewhere between feeling like an organized powerhouse and a chicken with my head cut off. Really depends on the day.  I’ve been trying to make as smart and bold business decisions as possible to reach my 5 year goals on time, if not sooner.  But that often means taking on much more than just wedding planning.  Shoots, attending and hosting workshops, speaking, hiring, travelling, networking, and a whole lot of reading has dwindled down my thoughts to 90% work and 10% life.  I’m okay with that because it’d be a complete lie if I didn’t say I just revelled in all of it, but finding a balance has taken some time.

I’ve been asked by quite a few people why I don’t have a team of other planners.  It’s not that I don’t want the extra money and it’s not that the demand isn’t there (there’s enough weddings in the Okanagan to keep every planner fully booked for a long time), but learning to say “no” has become crucial to my survival.  I guess that’s my secret weapon to finding balance, so I’m sharing it today in case anyone else has felt as drained as I have at certain points this year.

When I say No:

1. Thursday Nights: Thursday nights are for date night.  They are not work nights, meeting nights, Skype date times, or even evenings with friends.  Thursdays are specifically reserved for date night with my husband.  Some times we get creative and do something original but other times we simply make hot chocolate and go for a walk or watch a movie with popcorn.  It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as it’s just us two and it’s free from distractions.

2. Emails before Coffee: I think people think I’m obsessed with coffee.  It’s not the coffee itself I like.. I mean I like it but if you gave it to me black it’d probably sit there until it got cold.  It’s the idea of coffee I love.  At least once a week Royce says to me, “I can’t wait until morning!” Whoever wakes up first in our house makes coffee for the other one and brings it to them in bed to wake them up.  We don’t talk about work, read emails, or do anything until we’ve had coffee together.  I feel like when your day starts on a good note that the rest of the day just comes easier to you.

3. Networking Events: Take this with a grain of salt, because this isn’t right for everyone.  For me, I found that I had a hard time genuinely engaging in conversation with people at networking events, so I cleared my schedule of them and just meet for coffee with people I’m really looking forward to talking to. I value my time and I value other people’s time and for me this was a way to respect that and create authentic relationships.

4. Bookings: This one is painful, but I turned away almost as many inquiries as I took this year.  I’ve learned that I just can’t do it all.  I want Created Lovely to grow with consistency, intention, and purpose.  Sometimes I’m just busy, sometimes they want a service I don’t offer, or sometimes it’s just not the right fit. My biggest fear is to be a planning company that people are price shopping for and I work hard to share my style and values long before my pricing. (This is a really hard one though so don’t think it comes easy.)

5. Guilt: Another hard one that’s a constant work in progress.  Over the last two months I’ve been feeling an insane amount of guilt.  Guilt if I spend time with friends during the daytime. Guilt if I didn’t get enough work done that day.  Guilt if an email sat too long in my inbox.  Guilt if I instagram being out of the house when clients are waiting on me. Like wowzers, get a life Nikki. I need to relax on this.  Mainly because I’m finding the guilt is hindering my creativity, productivity, and my every day life.  I’ve let go of a lot of this lately but this is a constant work in progress to not scold myself for wanting/needing to feel human.

I think that’s it, my constant effort to find a work/life balance.  I haven’t perfected much on it other than date night and emails before coffee but it’s a start!! How do you find balance? Any suggestions?



Creating Your Dream Job

Feeling content has always been a struggle for me.  It’s not that I’m ungrateful, because I feel filled to the brim with gratitude for everything I have, but I just feel like I can’t stop pushing.  I have these ideas and goals in my head that circle around to the point where I can’t sleep and I want to cry out of frustration that I haven’t reached them yet.  I’ve always been like that but it wasn’t until I found wedding planning that I begun feeling like those goals were truly happening; that my passion wasn’t just one of those “in my ideal world” thoughts.  Those hopes and dreams were actually being put to good use.

I used to bounce around in multiple jobs at a time. No matter what I did I couldn’t feel “at home” in a job.  I’d like aspects of what I was doing but it was never enough.  I loved serving because it meant talking to new people, multitasking, and the excitement of getting tipped based on how elite my service was that day.  I loved non-profit work because it fuelled a passion in me to contribute to something in a positive and influential way.  I loved sitting on boards and leading groups because I loved the control and power to make things happen.  And no matter what job I was at, I was constantly analyzing my workspace to see how it could be a prettier, more welcoming atmosphere.  But nothing gave me everything I wanted plus the creative design aspect like wedding planning ever has.  *Cue the dinging light bulb.*

I think there’s so many of us out there that want “more” but haven’t discovered what “more” is yet or how to make a living once they’ve found it.  I think there’s so many people that know what they like and don’t like in their job but can’t figure out how to encompass everything they love into one perfect bundle of a career.  I think that’s where people get stuck.  Stuck in a rut because they settle thinking they’re as close as they’re going to get to their dream job and just have to suck up the downfalls of their position.  And that’s truly not the case.  There’s a dream job out there for all of us.

I’ve had to take on and let go of so many aspects of Created Lovely in order to mould it into a career that encompasses who I am and what I love.  I loathe blogging about wedding ideas but business… now that’s something I can get excited about.  I hate doing just day-of coordination, but design, oh man… bring it on.  Industries don’t get to tell us what we’re doing in our business, we get to tell them how we’re going to do it differently. And even better than that, we’re going to be more passionate, more creative, and make a better living by doing so.

I’m excited to be designing my very first workshop called “CREATING YOUR DREAM JOB” for up to 25 university students on Saturday, January 31st from 12pm-4pm.  The cost is $175 per person since I know exactly what it’s like to be a broke student in need of a little push in the right direction.  I created my dream job while I was in university and you can too.  Contact me at info@createdlovely.ca to register early.  More details to come!






10 things my clients teach me

I learn a lot from my clients. I learn a lot about myself; how I want to treat people, how I want to be treated, how I want my career to look like, and mostly how I want to live my life. And I really have my clients to thank for those constant reminders of what a loving marriage looks like.  Here’s my little list of client gratitude.

10 Things my clients teach me:

1. Plan Together

I love the way my clients ask each other what they want for their wedding day. It’s not just about what the bride wants. As I go through life I want to be constantly asking not just what I want, but what Royce wants too.

2. Talk about money

A wedding shouldn’t be the only thing you budget for in your life. Budgets are constant in our household and alleviates a lot of reasons to fight.

3. Finish each other’s sentences

I love when my clients know their future spouse so well that they’re budding in to help finish each other’s sentences. *note* this is most frequent with the proposal story but I love it!

4. Hold Hands

My clients are always holding hands. It’s rare where I don’t see them walk in, walk out, or sit down in a consult holding hands.

5. Work Together

My clients are first hand examples that grooms do not get an “out” with wedding plans. Most of them are very involved in at least one or more aspects of the wedding plans.

6. Date

I learn a lot about what my clients like to do together and how they celebrate. I love the constant reminder to keep dating. Thursday Date Nights are a huge part of the routine in our home.

7. Handle Stress Together

Weddings create a lot of stress. And that stress comes in all forms from family issues, bridal party issues, financial stress (I don’t care how rich you are, weddings cost money you’re not normally spending), and so on. I love listening to how my clients are handling that and often how they’re telling me the stories together.

8. Family Matters

I can’t tell you how many times I hear bride and groom thank-you speeches that say, “we’ve never felt more loved in our lives than we do today”.  And it’s true.  Weddings really remind you just how many people love you and how many of those people in that room value you being in their lives.  It serves as a reminder to me to let others know how much I value them too.

9. Celebrate the Little Things

While planning a wedding there’s so many little celebrations.  Toasting the night you get engaged, going out for lunch the day you find your wedding dress, wine while finishing the last invitations, and so many more.  Don’t stop celebrating the little things after marriage. Everything can be “cheers!” to. (Or maybe I’m the only one that thinks every little thing needs a celebratory drink but I’ll keep this one as a client lesson that can stay.)

10. Don’t forget the feeling

Last but not least, being around engagements and weddings all the time helps me relive the feeling of our wedding day all over again.  I think it’s great to be reminded how much you loved your spouse on your wedding day, and it’s even better when you realize how much that love has grown ever since.