Tag: Created Lovely

Let Love Be Genuine

I want to talk about the wedding industry in a way that most people don’t talk about it. I’d like to say that I think being a wedding planner is truly the best job in the world and there is literally nothing that would keep me from living this out as my career, but the industry can be exhausting. Truly exhausting.

Imagine it like this: You walk into your office where there was no filter for who was hired, anyone that wanted to work there started working there, the majority of the people there are extremely independent and like to do things their own way, they may have completely different values or goals than you but you all work in the same office, the gossip in the workplace is out of control, oh and you’re all selected to work on projects together and attend events together or you’ll look bad to your boss.

Essentially, in the most negatively written way possible… that’s the wedding industry. It’s a giant office filled with opinion and criticism. The worst part is, that criticism is all too often put on each other instead of oneself. And that’s where it gets me. We (myself included unfortunately) are the first to point our finger at other people not running their business how we think they should run it, instead of focussing on how to grow our own businesses and give our clients the most amazing service and wedding possible.

The other day my husband (who’s a wedding photographer) had another photographer’s website open of work he didn’t like and he started talking about it and I just snapped. Not because I’ve never done this myself, but because it’s not what I want for our businesses or for us as people. I just can’t take it anymore. If you don’t like someone’s work then don’t look at it. If you don’t actually like what they do, don’t tell them you do. Don’t “like” their photo on Facebook or comment just to have your name seen and look friendly. “Let love be genuine”- Romans 12:9. I will willingly admit that I don’t follow many of my competitors on Facebook because I don’t like that it makes me feel like an ugly person when I get jealous, feel threatened, or critique their work. And I never, ever tell someone I like something if I don’t. That’s not what this industry needs. It doesn’t need more people being fake with each other. Be supportive, and if you can’t be supportive or genuine leave them alone and let them run their business how they choose.

The more we focus on our passions of why we do what we do and how to better serve our clients, the more our businesses will thrive. And when your business thrives, it’s amazing how quickly jealously and criticism begins to fade away.



Make It Happen

I only blog when I’m inspired to do so, so I’m sorry I’ve been a tad MIA.  Today I’m feeling inspired though so woohoo!! Here goes…

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now filling out my Lara Casey Powersheets (google it. order it. start it. best decision you’ll ever make.) and I’m so darn excited!! It’s crazy to me how clear your life goals become when you’re asked specific questions and have to write them down to hold yourself accountable.  Case in point, writing down what fires you up.  What really gets you excited about your life and your goals?  For me, it’s reading business books, booking design contracts, having work featured on blogs & in magazines, “wow-ing” my clients, and being unique in all aspects of my business.  I don’t think I’ve ever written down what gets me excited about my career until today and it was really kind of mind-blowing.

And then I had to write down my vision for my life.  I think many people have a vision of where they’d like to go but I don’t know many that actually write it down into a confined paragraph of what they really hope and dream for (without it being surrounded by money).  Half way through my paragraph I naturally wrote 3 words I want to be known for: creative, loving, and empowering.  When you get that question, “how would people describe you in 3 words,” it’s my dream that those would be the words.  And I really want to hold my self accountable to that.

As I sit here reading this blog post I can hear Royce on the other side of the room in a client meeting for their 2014 wedding, talking about his shooting style and his background in ski photography, I can’t help but smile to myself.  How cool is it to hear your husband living his dream and sounding so happy in his career?!  Ah, this is the life.


P.S.- My month of eating gluten-free is going great, I’m still at hot yoga 3 days a week, and I’ve been reading multiple business books!  Woohoo for goal setting.


Goal Setting

This past weekend, Royce and I had the chance to escape to Sparkling Hill Resort. Two days of bliss in white robes, slippers, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubbing, infinity pools… I could go on and on about how great it was (minus the food… not so good).  Our intention wasn’t to go as a break from life or work, it was just to regain focus on what matters to us.  Number one was our relationship.  I can honestly say I love Royce more today than the day we got married.  And that was just two and a half months ago.  We’re learning each day small ways to nurture our relationship.  We have an unspoken rule that when the other person comes home we always take a moment to pause from what we’re doing to greet each other at the door.  That may seem odd but it’s amazing how much of a change you’ll see in your relationship.

Our second focus was business inspiration.  When we did a tour at Sparkling Hill a couple weeks ago I saw this amazing white room with comfy lounge chairs, a beautiful view, and hot tea and I was dying to grab a business book and just read for the day.  So when we packed for our trip we each grabbed our favourite books and our notepads and were ready to be inspired.  The Tea Room and Serenity Room did not disappoint.  Though I can’t tell you how many times I turned to Royce and whispered, “You know what this place is missing? Hot chocolate. That’s all I want right now.” Their damn cleanse mentality really sucks the fun out of being in a robe with a good book.  Anyhow, while I sipped my unsatisfying cucumber & lemon water Royce and I got so excited about what we were reading and learning about; quickly bouncing ideas back and forth about what we can change with our businesses to grow into what we want them to become.

So with 2014 just a mere 2 weeks away, goal setting has become my sole focus.  My PowerSheets from Lara Casey are in the mail, my hot yoga membership for January is purchased (thanks to Royce’s surprise Christmas gift), and my mind is buzzing with inspiration. I’m creating 3 personal goals, 3 business goals and 2 financial goals for 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years.  Without a goal how do you know if you’re on the right track?

So far my personal goals for 2014 include:

1) Do hot yoga a minimum of 3 days a week for 1 year (I really love yoga and I have lumbar spine instability so my body actually needs it)

2) Eat gluten free for all of January 2014 (I’ve tried it out today and so far I’m feeling better than any other morning)

3) TBD

My business goals are private but hopefully you’ll see visible changes and growth in Created Lovely in 2014!  I think it’s so important to set goals and really stick to them.  Make sure they’re SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).


Bad: Lose weight

Better: Lose 5lbs by March 2014.

Example 2:

Bad: Spend less money on myself

Better: Create a budget of $50 a month for personal spending in 2014

I write them down in a pretty notebook to feel more concrete and I’m going to frame them on my wall in our office to hold myself accountable.

Are you working on any goals for 2014?  I’d love to hear them so that others can be inspired too!


Confessions of a Wedding Planner: Part 2

Back by popular demand… more confessions!

1. I don’t understand when a bride doesn’t want a cake.  Who doesn’t love cake?!

2. I love candles. They totally transform a space.

3. The more personality your wedding has the better. I want it to be “so you”.

4. I hate butterflies.  They’re colourful moths.

5. One day I’d like to have my own wedding blog (this one doesn’t count).

6. I love working from home because it means I get to sleep in (somewhat), work late, and wear lulu alllll day.

7. I write every consultation down by hand even though I have an iPad and laptop and will type it out right after.

8. Social media consumes my life in a very annoying way. (I secretly love it but still. It’s annoying.)

9. I wish I got paid to create styled shoots every week. They’re my fave.

10. I say I love vintage things but nothing in my condo is vintage.  I don’t think I like vintage that much.

11. I want a house with a wood wall and a white kitchen with a breakfast nook so bad that it’s my only incentive to save for buying our first home.

12. I’m dying to be a mom.  My baby fever is out of control.  And then I remember wedding season is coming and I’m magically healed.

13. I used to feel bad about wanting to plan $50,000+ weddings and then I saw just how happy you can make people and the power of an incredible wedding.  Everyone deserves that moment.  Whether it’s $10,000 or $100,000 a couple deserves their perfect wedding.

14. I grew up Catholic but now I’m Christian.  Best perk?  You can have an outdoor ceremony!!

15. I love bears.  Real ones.  Significantly more than the average person.

16. I’m dying to plan a true Southern wedding. Sweet tea, accents, and all.

17. My biggest influences in the wedding world are Lara Casey, Abby Larson, and Mindy Rice.

18. If I was magically given $5,000 I would be off to the Bliss & Bespoke workshop in a heartbeat.  I absolutely love workshops.

19. I love business. Like L.O.V.E. business. I find marketing, branding, goal setting, and the works so fun.

20. I think I married a true gem.  Royce might be one of the best husbands in the whole world.

I’m off to Sparkling Hill Resort for the next two nights with that gem of mine.  We decided to forgo presents this year for some good ol’ spoiled rotten quality time together.  If you need me I’ll be at the spa!


Christmas Savings

This is my first year in a very long time where I haven’t been in school over the Christmas season.  A year when I should actually have money to spend.  Well, Royce and I are newlyweds, fairly new entrepreneurs, and working hard to invest back into our businesses so this year I wanted to be a bit more thrifty.  Here’s how we did it.

1. Shop Early- We started looking for Christmas presents while we were on our honeymoon on the Oregon Coast.  We had a bit of wedding gift cash so we used that to buy some gifts and then also purchased our flights home for Christmas right away.  We saved money on booking early and we also didn’t feel broke come December since the flights were paid for 2 months ago.

2. Reuse old decorations- We moved this summer… in peak wedding season… which means I literally have no idea where half of our stuff is since it’s still in boxes. Don’t judge me.  So the decorations I did find were minimal.  Instead of going out to buy more, I used the ones I could find though many were missing the wire hooks.  I used the “hookless” ones across our mantle on fresh tree branches with mercury votives I had in my wedding decor stock.  And then came our tree.  We really wanted our first Christmas tree as a Sihlis Family to be a real one.  We didn’t save money there, but I decorated it with a bunch of photos we had in a box from our wedding from when we were kids and our past 4 years together.  Our star became one of our wedding photos.

3. Wrapping- I’m smitten with kraft paper and ribbon so naturally we had a lot laying around our place.  I took a gold sharpie and chose a series of Christmas themed words to handwrite all over the paper.  And then I wrapped each gift with it and tied it with a satin gold or silver bow.  I wrote the name for the gift on the bottom so I could keep them straight.

4. Secret Santa- My family is growing quite large now that my one sister and I are married, and the other has a long term boyfriend.  And “That’s a lotta gifts!!” (I’ve been watching too much Cake Boss).  So this year we did a Secret Santa instead and then each sibling & other has to put a $25 gift into each of my parent’s stockings.  We used the Draw Names website for it and it was amazing! I highly recommend it. http://www.drawnames.com/

5. Spouse Gifts- Instead of buying each other presents this year, Royce and I decided to use gift cards we got as wedding gifts and a bit of our own money to spend two nights at Sparking Hill Resort.  We decided we’d rather spend some quality time together than exchange gifts since we really don’t “need” anything.

6. Making Gifts- My mom has made caramel popcorn for years as gifts for friends/coworkers/etc. instead of actually buying presents for each person.  This is something I’ve really grown to appreciate and something I’d like to start doing myself.  But I suck at making caramel popcorn, mainly because I’ve never tried. So I’ve made little bags of nuts & bolts instead and mini mason jars of hot chocolate and marshmallows.  A small gesture is still a kind gesture!

And there you have it! Those are my easy tricks to saving a bit of money during the holidays.



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