Tag: Kamloops

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!)


Bring it Back

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.


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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Graziano Orchard_1121 

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Good, Better, Best

Monday’s Musings…

It’s become more and more apparent to me lately that I’m a little competitive… but only with myself really.  One of my favourite quotes is, “Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.”  But what does “best” even look like in the wedding industry?  Every time I think I’ve researched enough and have a good handle on who’s the best in the industry, I find more and more talented vendors.  It’s overwhelming really.  Flipping through magazines and blogs usually sends me into a panic to write down ideas I want to try, vendors I need to work with, and features I need to get in order to grow in the industry.  As a bride, you’re probably loving the growth of Pinterest and blogs that give you countless ideas and inspiration.  As a vendor, that’s created an unbelievable amount of pressure to compare or out-do all those photos you send our way, often on a much smaller budget than what you’ve fallen in love with.  Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoy the pressure most of the time.  If I didn’t like the feeling of being stressed to pull something off I wouldn’t have started my own business at 21 while completing my degree.

People often ask why I do so many styled shoots, what’s the real benefit?  Honestly, for me I think it’s to prove to myself that I can be creative and express my style in my own way without limitations from clients.  A styled shoot allows me to learn what my style really is when I have complete design freedom and then really fall into that as a planner.  It’s so important to me that when people see my website/instagram/Facebook/shoots/weddings they see consistency in style. That’s how you grow as a brand.  That’s how people fall in love with your work. And that’s how you get to the top.

So what does being the “best” or “getting to the top” mean to me? Well, in all honesty I want to be featured in every major wedding magazine and on every major wedding blog.  Obviously, I’d like to make a good income along the way but what I really want is to prove to myself that I can leave a small footprint in the industry.  I’ve got a very long way to go, but I’m only 24 so let’s see in 5 years where I’m at with this goal!

Hope your week is off to a great start and you’re feeling a little inspiration bug this morning too!




Photo: Royce Sihlis Photography- From my time at a workshop in Santa Barbara, California this summer



Why Robes Rock

I was in the midst of a pretty in depth blog about why I became a wedding planner and then I thought… you know what?  I love robes.  And I think people should know why.  So here goes my completely random rant on why every bridal party should wear robes.

1. Reason #1- Photography

When you look at getting ready photos on blogs and magazines 99.9% of those photos are of all the girls in matching robes or outfits.  So when you convince your fiance that it’s an absolute necessity that you add on those extra photography hours even though you’re already way over budget and promised you’d stop doing that but really had your fingers crossed, then it’s important that you look at Why you love those getting ready photos.  Because everyone looks so cute! Robes are also great for photographers because even if your make-up isn’t done yet and your photographer is in a rush for time, he/she can take pictures of you from behind or the side that will still look really pretty. Also, you know how many times Royce has walked into the rooms with girls getting ready and they are all half naked… for my sake can you wear a robe?

2. Reason #2- Gifts

Robes are the perfect gift for your bridesmaids because their moderately priced ($45-$85), can be paired with you paying for their hair or make-up or another small gift (jewellery, lipgloss, or a clutch), and ensure that all of your girls will be dressed appropriately in the morning for photos.

I ordered mine online (floral robes in photos below) from Plum Pretty Sugar and absolutely loved them.  My bridesmaids looked so cute! I put them in custom canvas bags from Wedding Chicks and included their earrings and a lipgloss. The bags doubled as purses for the day to carry a second pair of shoes, make-up, and some snacks.

Many other brides order from Victoria Secret or Etsy!

3. Reason #3- Cuteness Factor

So you already bought your bridesmaid gift and you aren’t paying for getting ready photos, I still think you need them.  I’ve never met a bridal party that didn’t love getting up in the morning and having robes to put on to make the morning feel that much more exciting and special.  It’s all a part of it and I really think you need to just go buy them.

2013-10-31_0019 2013-10-31_0018 2013-10-31_0002 2013-10-31_0020 View More: http://roycesihlisphotography.pass.us/joannepatwedding View More: http://roycesihlisphotography.pass.us/joannepatweddingView More: http://roycesihlisphotography.pass.us/kristajoshwedding

P.S. If you read my blog from last week, tonight is Happy Camper night, which means Royce is baking cookies with me!  Since it’s Halloween we’re making monster cookies.  You know the kind with smarties?  He’ll be a baker in no time.  And I might even wear my robe.

Happy Halloween!!