Tag: okanagan wedding planning

Outside of Weddings

We had friends over the other night for drinks and boardgames and they asked us, what do you like to do outside of weddings?  It’s a funny question because I don’t think many people know what Royce and I are like outside of work.  Even the majority of our friends only know us in a work setting.  But we’re actually quite different when it’s just us.  We’re really playful people.  For instance, two nights ago we had an impromptu dance party in our living room and last night’s date night consisted of frozen yogurt and the movie, Sharktale.  We really don’t take ourselves too seriously outside of work and I like it that way.  I spend my entire day planning and organizing, when work is done I want to play.  And with Royce being a ski photographer he definitely has a fun and adventurous side.

When we decided to have our own businesses, it was a big step for us in deciding the kind of life we wanted to live.  And for us, it meant waking up and enjoying the long days of emails and editing.  It meant a summer full of 60+ our work weeks.  It meant sacrificing benefits and consistent income.  But it also meant a life of freedom to do things our way.  Loving ours jobs is such a freeing feeling because it allows us to embrace life in a different way.

I guess the long winded answer to what we like to do outside of work is whatever we feel like.  And typically that’s finding new rustic coffee shops and restaurants, doing anything by water, and travelling!  This weekend we’ll drive back to Saskatchewan for our first wedding of the season. Our busiest season yet.  And when that’s conquered, we’ll take 2 weeks off at the end of September and cross another item off our bucket list… We’re driving to California! Oregon Coast, San Francisco, Disneyland, and many new coffee shops and campsites in between.  It’s going to be ahhhmazing!

Some of Our Bucket List includes:

  1. Driving the Oregon Coast (honeymoon)
  2. Take a 1-on-1 workshop with an elite wedding planner (Aug 2013)
  3. Driving to California (Fall 2014)
  4. Attend a styling workshop (Oct 2014!)
  5. Backpacking through Europe (Fall 2015)
  6. Building our dream home, complete with loft attic
  7. Having 3 kids
  8. Getting our photos taken by Troy & Aimee Grover

What’s on your bucket list??

 

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

 

 

$15 Dates

Yesterday in the car, Royce turned to me and said “if you could go on any date right now for less than $15 what would you want to do?” Which got me thinking… wellll there’s SO much we could do, depends on what you’re in the mood for!  So that inspired today’s blog post.  10 date ideas for under $15.

1. Surprise Shopper- I did this for a date I planned for my friends one time.  Put $5 in two envelopes and you each take one.  Go into a convenience store and you have to buy what you think the other person would want for themselves.  It’s a fun and cute challenge to see how well your significant other knows you.

2. Coffee Date- Fingers crossed lattes don’t get any more expensive because my current #1 favourite date is a skinny caramel macchiato and a cozy, somewhat quiet coffee shop.

3. Dessert Night- Skip the meal and drinks and go for dessert.  Ever tried the cookie at Milestones?! One word… YUM!

4. Float Night- Drive over to your local grocery store and pick-up vanilla ice-cream, rootbeer, and some fun cups and have a rootbeer float night at home.  Your inner child will love you.  Bonus points if you do this after a day at the beach.

5. Mini Golf- This might break the bank by a buck or two but I love a cute mini golf date.  Minus my insanely competitive nature that the ball never seems to find the darn hole!! I’ll personally be skipping #5.

6. Netflix & Popcorn- Royce and I save money on TV by using our 3 free channels and just paying $8/month for Netflix.  One of my favourite date nights is a new movie on Netflix and buying Kernel’s popcorn seasoning from Walmart/Superstore and making fresh popcorn with a brown paper bag, olive oil, and the microwave.  When we’re feeling rich and fancy we buy the good stuff and season it with truffle oil and grated gruyere cheese.

7. Bananagrams- If you’ve never played Bananagrams you’re missing out.  Go buy it from Target or Chapters, make some nachos at home and sit down and play!  It’s like scrabble without the board and points.

8. Two can Dine- Don’t tell me you don’t love A&W onion rings.  Once in a blue moon Royce and I take coupons we get in the mail and pick up teen burgers and onion rings and eat dinner in bed.  *Note: you will go over budget without the coupons*

9. Sangria Night- The liquor store has a large selection of wine for $10.  All you need is orange juice, 7Up, and some fruit and you’ve got sangria night!  A whole pitcher to be enjoyed on your back patio watching the sunset.

10. Ghost Hunting- I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but it was one of my Favourite things to do on warm summer nights back when I lived in Saskatchewan.  You know how many abandoned towns there are?!  Spooky and terrifyingly fun.  I may or may not own all of the “Ghost Stories of _____” books.  Don’t judge me.

That’s it! 10 date night ideas for under $15!

xonicole

 

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas!

I’m the worst holiday partier. For real guys. New Year’s Eve? I’m pumped to have a wedding booked that day. St.Patrick’s Day? I’ll probably dye my sugar and milk green like my mom used to do and call it a party. But Valentine’s Day, that’s a day to get creative and share some love people!!

I say get creative, because I loathe red roses, expensive dinners, and choc… okay I love chocolate. But the other two can go.

Here’s some date ideas worth doing this year:

1. Theme Night!– I got this from a past bride on her upcoming Valentine’s Day plans. To commemorate their honeymoon travelling thorough Asia, they’re having an all things Thai night.

2. Skating & Cocoa (spiked of course)– One of my current brides loves celebrating Valentine’s Day with her now fiance by cooking dinner at home then grabbing their skates and a thermos full of hot chocolate and Beileys for an old fashioned adorable date night.

3. Wine & Appy Night– Get a group of your couple friends together or non-couples (Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the dating & married) and have everyone bring one bottle of wine and one appy to the host’s house. Pull out the board games and make an evening of it. Valentine’s Day is to be shared with those you love, and I love my friends!

4. Photo Scavenger Hunt– One of my faves for sure. Have a friend make a list of 10-20 photos you need to get together and put it in an envelope. When you’re ready for your date, rip it open, hop in your car and go! I did this for Royce’s birthday yesterday. The list included: a coffee cup, a place you’ve never been, a present, a selfie, and many others. Suggestion for Valentine’s Day: shameless selfie, photo of a couple on a date, photo of a heart, dessert, something you love.

5. Chopped– Go to the grocery store and stock your fridge with fresh veggies, a couple meat options, and dessert ingredients. Choose which of you is going to make dinner and who is going to make dessert. If your hubby is on dinner, write down 3 ingredients he has to use. If you’re making dessert, have him write down 3 ingredients you have to use. And just like the show Chopped, get cookin’! 30 minutes to make your dinner and dessert and you have to include the 3 listed ingredients in your dish. (You could do this with couple friends too where you compete with appys, dinner, or dessert items.)

6. Fort Night– Need I say more? I love building forts!! Set some ground rules though. Fort building will not commence until all parties are in pajamas. No access to the fort without a glass of wine (or bottle). Board games, card games, or movies are encouraged while visiting the fort. All forts need photographic evidence of their awesomeness.

7. Breakfast in Bed– This is a must-do at some point in your relationship. But who says it’s just for the morning? Make mimosas, pancakes, peaches, whipped cream, bacon, and hash browns in the evening and bring it to bed (or if you’re really awesome, in the fort!!). Make this even better with pjs & movies.

8. Bowling- Oh yeah, bringin’ it back to grade 5 birthday parties. Grab your favourite friends and book a lane at your local bowling alley. Bonus points if you have team uniforms and names. After you’re done, head to one of your places for nacho and sangria night.

9. Pizza Night– I make the best homemade pizza. It’s one of the only things I’m actually good a cooking, so last year Royce and I made homemade heart shaped pizza and drank wine on our living room floor with movies. This could also be changed to homemade Blizzard night, fondue night, appy night, or anything else involving eating at home…

10. Just Drive– I love car rides. Spontaneous ones. Hop in the car and take turns saying “left, right, or straight” and see where it takes you! It’s a great way to explore new areas of the city you live in, it’s cheap, and it’s surprisingly fun. We usually grab McDonald’s sundaes or a Starbucks when we do this and end up taking pictures or going for a walk when we find an area worth stopping.

And if you realllly can’t decide on date night, put some of your top favourite dates in a jar and pull from it on Valentine’s Day morning.

xonicole