I think I talk about money so openly sometimes I forget that that isn’t normal for most people. To me, a budget is just a budget. Whether you’re spending $20,000 or $50,000 it makes no difference to me I just need to know what parameters to work within and where your priorities are. I never recommend spending more than you’re comfortable with because at the end of the day you have to live with your bank account. And financial stress takes the cake over wedding planning stress. So. much. worse.
I think there’s a common misconception that a $10,000 wedding may not be as beautiful as a $100,000 wedding and that’s really not the case. Yes, you need a reasonable budget to make core pieces of the wedding come together, but the way in which you do it can be equally as beautiful or equally as hideous regardless of how much you’re spending.
In my world, less is more. Put thought into every aspect of your wedding. Decor needs a soft hand, where money or cheap decor is never thrown at the problem. A DIY wedding can always be gorgeous and tasteful when it’s done right.
Think of your venue as the base of your wedding. This is your core. If your ceremony space is gorgeous to begin with all you need is nice chairs and it can stand on it’s own and be beautiful. If your ceremony space is not so nice, you’ll be spending the difference on bringing in different chairs, decor, and flowers to transform it into something beautiful. Same goes for reception spaces. When the base of your wedding is beautiful the amount you’ll spend to complete the look will be significantly less than if you’re starting from scratch.
Always prioritize your vendors. Don’t take average costs for everything and make a budget out of it because you’ll ended up with average everything. (Unless your budget is enormous and you can afford the best of the best of every vendor…For reality sake let’s not pretend to be celebrities.) Sit down with your fiance and decide what your top 3 priorities are. If food and wine is really important to you, then perhaps your floral budget can afford to be less and you’ll use more greenery and candles instead. If your wedding design and being stress-free is really important, then perhaps you’ll budget higher for a wedding planner and reduce your food and beverage budget. You’re not average people, so don’t create average budgets. Prioritize. Hire vendors that specialize in the area you’re most excited about.
Don’t dread making a budget. Having a budget is what will put you at ease when you don’t know what you can and can’t afford. (And the bragging rights of being on or under budget aren’t so bad either!)
I think it’s so easy to get caught up in wedding plans. It happens to everyone. And if it hasn’t happened to you, you’re what I like to call, an alien. Really though. How can you not get caught up in it all? There’s a million and one things to think about from the day you get engaged to the day you walk down the aisle. And to be fair, you’ve probably never done this before. That’s a whole lotta pressure, research, and learning to do on top of potential financial stress with making it all work when you realize what weddings really cost. But you do it anyway. It’s still kind of fun, right?!
So, let’s fast forward a few months. You’ve managed to pull most of it all together. Maybe a few
glasses bottles of wine later, but the majority of your to-dos get planned. Centerpieces picked, dress bought, bridesmaids dresses ordered, invitations out, the works. Everything you were told to plan by Pinterest, countless wedding magazines, and every blog and timeline known to bride kind is now complete.
But is that what your wedding is really about? A checklist of items you are “required” to book and plan? In my world, your wedding isn’t about pleasing others. It isn’t about incorporating a theme. It’s isn’t about what anyone else wants. Your wedding day is the start of your marriage. Just you and your fiance. It’s the moment you wake up realizing you’re marrying the love of your life today. It’s saying your vows with your whole heart and believing them. It’s walking into your reception and feeling completely at home because it’s the truest reflection of who you two are. It’s not a production of should’s and shouldn’ts. You don’t have limitations on who you are as a couple, so why should your wedding day be limited to what other people think a wedding should be?
Let’s bring it back. Bring it back to what your wedding day is really about. Bring it back to you.
I believe that your wedding should be just you, in your most beautiful translation. Dearly, Created Lovely.
Oh my gosh, if my university professors even new I was writing this blog they’d think it was the best thing in the world. There is no word I hated studying more in my bachelor of Tourism than “authenticity”. Of course that was because I was prodominently studying what it meant to keep a tourism related aspect authentic to it’s visitors… to which I was usually sitting there thinking, “I just want to create pretty things. Just surround my entire life with coffee dates, flowers, and pretty weddings.” Let’s just say my essays on cultural authenticity didn’t get the highest of marks. Moving on.
To me, being authentic in regards to being a business owner means to live, act, and share in your truest and most genuine form. Whether people agree with what you’re saying or not, as long as it’s the most honest form of who you are and what you believe in then I think that’s what it means to be authentic. I believe it’s important that your clients and fellow vendors trust you and the only way to do that is to be real.
I see businesses taking shortcuts. Posting work that isn’t theirs. Liking work to have their name seen. Commenting on photos to have their name seen. Connecting with popular people or businesses to grow their exposure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being creative in your marketing and networking– we’re all guilty of it. But there’s something to be said about a private message or commenting from your personal account instead of your business account. I love it. I have never wanted to network more or share people’s work more than when they’ve taken the time to be genuine with me.
I want to know about the people I work with. I want to know why they do what they do, what inspires them, what ways I can make doing their job easier, what kind of family life they have. I want to know my clients on a personal level. I want to know where they met, how they know their bridal party, why they want a certain type of wedding, why they chose me as their wedding planner. I want authentic relationships.
I think if we all put in our strongest effort to be authentic in everything we do that we would see drastic changes in our work and our relationships.
P.S.- If any of my past professors are reading this… A+ right?
I’ve spoken in past blogs about how I became a wedding planner kind of on a whim. I didn’t make a business plan. I didn’t shadow or mentor anyone. I’d never planned my own wedding. I’d never even worked on another wedding before. And while I feel that gave me a fresh perspective to do everything in my own way with my own systems, I feel like I missed a crucial step in my business process.
My goal really up until this point was to prove to myself that I could make this work. That my business could succeed if I pushed hard enough, delivered superior customer service, and produced good work. I don’t think that’s an uncommon goal. But I’ve spent so much time striving for higher numbers. Higher bookings. Higher instagram followers. Higher Facebook likes. Higher rates. Higher numbers of features. I relied on those numbers to depict how successful Created Lovely was.
However, I find that as those numbers grow I’m finding myself less and less satisfied. I’ve completely missed the point. I’ve missed the one crucial question of running a successful business. I’ve lost my “why”. I’ve become so focused on how to grow my numbers and make a living that I’ve forgotten the sole purpose of why I do what I do. I don’t even know if I’ve lost it and much as I’ve never sat down to really think long and hard about it in the first place.
I love “love”. I love weddings. I love playing a part in one of the most important days of peoples lives. I love being creative. I love decor and pretty things. But there’s more to it. And you’ll see that all soon.
So now is a really exciting time for me and Created Lovely. I’ve hired my first business coach. Now is truly the time to grow. I’m so excited to be focussing on getting to the core of who I am, what Created Lovely is and what it’s about to become. Never again will it be about numbers, income, or competition. My mind is spinning just thinking about all the things to come.
Starting next week I’ll be taking a huge leap into tearing Created Lovely apart and building it back together to be so much more than I ever thought possible. Thank-you for following along and supporting me up until this point and I hope you like what you see in the future.
The best is yet to come.
A couple weeks ago I saw a really important post on instagram that I can’t for the life of me remember who it was from… but I swear it was important. It was about supporting friend’s businesses and how much it means when you ‘like’ or share something. So here we go…
Marketing is tough. It’s my favourite part of business but man alive is it ever hard to be good at not only what your business is focused on, but also manage every other aspect of it all. I whole heartedly believe that if you want people to know you then you have to:
1) Do great work
2) Deliver the best of the best service
3) Get creative
I think it’s your responsibility to market yourself. It’s your job to ensure you’re pushing and doing as much as you possibly can to get your name out there and grow your business to whatever capacity you’re aiming for in the most professional and kind way possible. (No gimmicks or phoniness please & thanks.)
But this blog is for the rest of you. I’d like to ask something of all of you Facebookers/Instagrammers/Tweeters/Followers without businesses. Give us all a break. If you respect what you see a friend doing by trying to grow their business, please help them out. Please give them a like. Give them a share. Spread some word of mouth. Anything. You have no idea how long of a ways that goes and just how much it’s appreciated. One ‘like” can lead to many more likes on our pages that day. One share can mean one new potential client comes our way.
This isn’t about asking for handouts. This is about acknowledging the work you see people put into their businesses and giving a small part back by saying, “hey, I like and support what you do. And I want to see you continuing to do that *like!*”
Most days I write in depth blogs I get private messages or phone calls from people. And there just aren’t the words to express how much encouragement that brings me. So please spread that to others you see working hard at their businesses. It’s hard work being an entrepreneur and a little ‘like’ goes a long way.