Tag: kamloops wedding planner

Your own kind of beautiful

“I didn’t ever dream of my wedding.” ” I don’t want to ‘feel like a princess for a day’.”  “I don’t have a theme for my wedding day.  I didn’t know weddings had themes. Do we need a theme?”

These are all such common things I hear during a consultation.  And all of which are totally okay.

I dreamt of being a wedding planner, but I never dreamt of my own wedding.  I dreamt of the guy I’d meet and what my life would look like but never the gown I’d wear.  While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming of your wedding day your entire life, not everyone feels that way. Some people might not have ever even imagined getting married.  And then love happened.

Lately I’ve noticed so many couples feeling apprehensive about their wedding.  “We don’t have a whole lot to spend.” “Our engagement story isn’t anything special.” “We don’t really want a glamorous wedding.”  I wish that every couple realized that love is beautiful and perfect in every form.  When it’s true to who you are as a couple, no other stereotype matters.

You don’t have to wear a ball gown on your wedding day to feel beautiful.  You don’t have to pick a “theme” to have decor.  You don’t have had dreamt of your wedding your entire life for it to be special.

It’s time to stop following everyone else’s rules and let your wedding be your own kind of beautiful.

xonicole

 

 

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The dreaded wedding budget

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!)

xonicole

The Why

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.

 

xonicole

 

 

New Service! Okanagan Wedding Styling

Styling has always been one of my favourite parts about my job. Most wedding planners are not stylists but it’s a part of the industry I’m passionate about.  Stylists are “all about the pretty”.  They’re in control of the vision, design, and putting it together to make it look perfect.  A planner is in control of the logistics and planning to ensure a flawless and organized day.  Many planners work on design concepts as well (like I do).  Design can also be handled by rental companies depending on their business.  I think I’m making this complicated…  Moving on.

It’s always been a dream of mine to be a stylist. One of my long term goals is to be hired to do the styling for major photography workshops across Canada and the US (California ideally).  It’s my hope that as my business grows and I gain more experience, not only on my own but from other workshops I’m planning to attend, that I’m able to one day teach my own styling, planning, and business workshops.  So those of you reading this can hold me to it!

Many people don’t know, but Royce (my photographer husband–check out his work! He’s seriously so talented: www.roycesihlis.ca) offers engagement styling by Created Lovely in his photography packages.  We send his lovely brides to get their hair and make-up professionally done and then I’m there during the entire shoot to style it all.  From helping pick out outfits to designing the overall feel of the shoot, I style the session to be a true reflection of their personalities and Royce captures it all beautifully.

Created Lovely will now be offering styled engagement shoots for an exclusive list of other photographers!  Stay tuned for an upcoming styled shoot with Christie Graham Photography and many other extremely talented vendors in early April!

See some of my past shoots below with Royce Sihlis Photography & Rebecca Siewert Photography: 

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xonicole

It’s not easy

It is extremely difficult to be honest when it comes to business.  It’s not “just” business, it’s your life.  The day you choose to start a business that you want to make a full-time career is the day you put it all on the line.  And this year has been hard.  Really, really, really hard.  There are days where I have serious doubts.  I’m not tooting my own horn but I’m 100% sure I could have climbed the corporate ladder and done something else with my life where I’d be making a lot more money with benefits than I am right now.  So easily I forget how much I hated working for other people.  So easily I forget dragging myself out of bed to go to a job that didn’t excite me.  So easily I forget that that wasn’t what I was meant to do.

But some days I just want business to be easy.  I want to know what I’m doing all the time. I want to feel job security and know how much money I’m making that month.  I want to go to work and feel social because I actually have coworkers to talk to about how their weekend went.  I want to have a weekend.  I want to buy work clothes and actually wear them 5 days a week.  I want to be told I’m doing a good job by my boss.  I want to get promoted.  I want to get excited about a job opportunity or internship and apply for it.  Some days I just want all of it.  Every little piece of working for someone else.

I started my own business when I was 20 while finishing my event management diploma.  I ran my business part-time for 3 years while finishing my Bachelor of Tourism Management then took it full-time this year after getting married and moving to the Okanagan.  I wish someone would have told me how hard it was going to be.  And that there would be countless days where I cried out of frustration, stressed about money, worried about success, faced a painstaking amount of jealousy, and just didn’t believe in myself.  I wish someone would have told me that running your business is Nothing like what you see on Facebook and instagram.  No one posts the hard stuff.  No one wants to admit that some times it’s not fun.  And being an entrepreneur is the furthest thing from the easy route– it just appears that way to everyone else because the people doing it love their jobs.

And that’s what led me to this.  I love my job.  I know very few people that can say that and as I get older I can imagine I’m going to hear it less and less.  I made the right decision and every hard day is worth it but today I’m wishing for lunch with my coworkers.  Time to expand the Created Lovely team.

Time to put my head down and just keep swimming.  I love my business.  I love my clients.  I love that it’s 2:45pm in the afternoon and I’m at home blogging.  Because I can! I love being the owner of Created Lovely Events.  And it’s okay that it’s not easy, that’s what makes success that much sweeter.

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xonicole