Tag: Okanagan Wedding

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!


Confessions of a Wedding Planner

1. I won’t watch your entire father daughter dance because I can’t help from crying.

2. I secretly love watching people take phone pictures of a reception space I designed.

3. Though I’m not judging, whatsoever… I sometimes think my brides have moments that are borderline crazy. But I love them anyway.

4. I really hate when a wedding guest moves something I set-up and had meticulously placed there on purpose.

5. I love jam favours because it means my breakfast is going to be amazing for a solid month.

6. I love when the groom cries.

7. I don’t like when my bride’s want super short ceremonies.  Your ceremony is the entire purpose of your wedding and they can be so beautiful.

8. I cringe when a bride doesn’t like flowers.

9. I hate the garter toss. It’s so awkward.

10. I’ve never had a client I didn’t love.  Not kidding.

11. Fake candles are the devil’s work.

12. Whoever told you to buy fake flowers instead of getting a florist isn’t your friend.

13. A wedding without stationary is like a wedding without cake. And that’s a sad wedding.

14. I 100% believe that being a wedding planner is the best job in the world, 99.9% of the time.

15. I hate chai lattes. Not wedding related but I really just don’t like them.

16. When you tell me you have an idea and it’s straight from Pinterest what I really want to say is, “Pinning something on Pinterest does not make it your idea. It makes it someone else’s that you like.” Not the same.

17. I love receiving hand written notes from brides. Totally makes my day.

18. I love outdoor weddings.  More than the most extravagant hotel wedding in the world.

19. Rustic doesn’t go out of style. Mason jars and burlap are not the definition of rustic people. There’s so much more to it!

20. I think that people that say they don’t want to get married are lying. Marriage is one of the best things that can happen to you.


Photo: Rebecca Siewert Photography (Royce & I’s wedding)

Happy Camper

I’m really not much of a camper… so I don’t really like this title.  This morning I said to Royce, “What’s this thing called again? Happy Neighbour?” To which he laughed, made fun of me, and now calls it “Good Samaritan”. Rude.

Okay, point of this blog post.  Royce and I are terrible at dating.  Like bad. I think we go on one official date a month and it usually involves talking about weddings. It’s usually my fault because I love my job so much that I really can’t stop thinking about it.  My love for weddings is paired with Royce’s love for ski videos & magazines and his phone so naturally our evenings are spent with me on Pinterest and Style Me Pretty while Royce sits next to me poking me every ten minutes to “watch this!” and then double taps his phone to ‘like’ every other instagram photo.  He likes weddings too but it’s fall so his wedding brain is turned off and his ski obsession is in full swing.

So last night Royce comes over to me on the couch with 2 mason jars, a note pad, and a pen and says, “We’re doing Happy Camper”.  Apparently, happy camper means you write down things you’d like to do together that maybe the other person doesn’t always want to and put it in a jar.  Kind of like date night ideas and the other person has to be on board as the “happy camper”.  I didn’t realize we didn’t like doing the same things… but okay?  So I wrote down 9 and so did he.  Every Thursday morning we’re going to take turns picking a date from the other person’s jar.

Well, lucky me, guess what I’m doing tonight!? “Toques, burgers, beer, and ski movie night”  Of all the ones to pick… I’m scared to know what else is in that jar.

I’m off to McDonalds for some cheeseburgers in my toque.  Have a good night, eh.



10 Planning Tips Not to be Overlooked

Before I start, can I just say that that was the best summer ever!  Yes, it was summer up until this past Sunday since my last wedding didn’t end until then and I can’t bear the thought that I missed the awesome start of fall with pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, boots, and crisp mornings.  I also missed an entire summer but I dealt with that yesterday by purchasing a new pair of boots.  Seemed fair.  Moving on.

So I decided to compile a blog of 10 crucial planning tips that I unfortunately have experienced through weddings I’ve attended and assisted with (I’m avoiding including saying one’s I’ve planned because it hurts my ego too much when things go wrong). Alright.  Here goes:

1. Ceremony Music

The most awkward weddings I attend are the one’s that have forgotten to plan out ceremony music.  Do not, and I repeat do NOT have your groom or groomsmen walk down the aisle to nothing.  Music sets the entire tone for the ceremony.  Make sure you have music playing 1/2 hour before the ceremony, a song for the entire bridal party walking down, a song for the signing of the registry, a song for the first kiss & exit, and music for about ten minutes afterward.

2. Ceremony Mic

A ceremony without a microphone is like a ceremony without guests.  But truly, they have no reason to be there if they can’t hear any of it.  Do not forget to confirm with your DJ that you need a mic for the ceremony.  If you don’t have a DJ, don’t forget to rent a mic with your sound system.

3. Bridal Party Snacks

A hungry bridal party is a cranky bridal party.  Pack a cooler of snacks and drinks for your bridal party during photos.  My favourite items are bottled water, granola bars, chips, Kleenex hand wipes, and champagne or beer.

4. Family Photo List

If you forget every other tip, do not forget to make a family photo list.  Your photographer should ask you for one but if they don’t make sure you make one before hand.  My rule of thumb is no more than 15 minutes for family photos, which is approximately 12-15 photos total.  Stick to immediate family and grandparents.  Avoid aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. as too many photos really kill the excitement after the ceremony.  More on this in a future blog post.

5. Ceremony Rehearsal

Without your ceremony you aren’t married. And when your ceremony goes badly, everyone notices because it feels awkward.  When it goes well, everyone raves about how great and nice your ceremony was.  Make sure you plan a ceremony rehearsal and run through it 2-3 times.  Make sure your officiant/pastor/etc. is in attendance, as well as your bridal party, parents, and wedding planner.

6. Seating Chart

I went to a wedding this summer with open seating.  This is a terrible idea.  Please avoid this at all costs and take the time to plan out your seating chart.  Rule of thumb is that your guests should know at least 1 couple/person at the table they’re seated.  If they don’t know anyone, put them at a table with someone they’ll get along with.  It’s a long evening to be sitting at an awkward table.

7. Cash Bar

Can’t afford an open bar?  No problem!  But make the gesture to put wine on the tables or offer complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.  Non-drinkers shouldn’t have to pay $3.50 for a pop when often they have a reason why they aren’t enjoying a cocktail such as they’re the DD, pregnant, a vendor, or just don’t want to.  At the end of the day it’ll only add about $100.00 to your final bill and it’s a nice thing to do.

8. Thank-You Speech

One of the most overlooked planning details is forgetting to write out your thank-you speech before hand.  I can’t even tell you how often this happens and how many crucial people get forgotten.  Write it out and read it at least 3 times before your wedding day.  There’s nothing worse than having someone really deserve a public thank-you at your wedding and not get one.  You’ll feel terrible the next day and that person may feel grossly unappreciated.

9.  Thank-You Cards

Believe it or not, there are people out there that don’t send thank-you cards.  I know, it’s true.  If this is you and you’re feeling guilty… that’s probably fair because you should.  Half kidding… Sending out thank-you cards should be your top priority after returning from your honeymoon.  Make sure you get those out as quickly as possible and write a genuine hand written note in each one.

10. Relax

Last but not least, you really need to just calm down.  The day before your wedding you’re going to feel a thousand emotions all at once, that only escalate up until you walk down the aisle.  Take a deep breath, remember that it’ll all be over in less than 48 hours and you’ll wish it could all happen again when you wake up the day after your wedding.  So plan to enjoy it.  Plan to have someone else take care of all the behind the scene details that day (ideally a planner) so you don’t have to think about anything but enjoying it all (and making that thank-you speech).  Remind yourself that this is one of the best days of your life and it will be perfect. Flaws and all.



In just 4 years

I’m no author, but usually writing comes to me pretty naturally.  This blog post, however, has been deleted and restarted so many times.  I just couldn’t find the words to describe how humbled, amazed, and blessed I feel despite the stress and overwhelming emotions this summer has brought on.  I never would have thought this is where I’d be 4 years after moving.

This summer has been crazy.  Between graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, 17 weddings between Royce and I, a 1 on 1 workshop with Jill LaFleur in California, moving to Kelowna, my sister’s wedding, my other sister’s best friend passing from a courageous fight with cancer, finding out 4 of my friends are pregnant, a wedding with Ryan Ray Photography (incredible film photographer from Texas featured in every major wedding magazine), a feature in Style Me Pretty Canada, a feature in Adore Magazine, and now our own wedding just 18 days away it is amazing to me how much can fit in just one summer.

Here’s my honest, secret story of how I got there:

4 years ago today, I moved from Saskatoon to Kamloops to get a diploma in Events & Conventions Management. TRU was the only university (not college) with an event management diploma close to home and it’s all I wanted to do with my life so it was really my only choice.  I also have this tendency to make decisions very quickly based on where my heart is pulling me even if I haven’t thought it through entirely (99.9% of the time).  Moving on… my parents always had a way of knowing what my limits were, even when I didn’t.  Before I accepted to TRU my dad said to me, “Nikki, if you go, I hope you know you’re not coming back until your diploma is finished.  You’re not changing your mind.”  “Yeah I know, I won’t!” I said a thousand times…  And then I called home almost every 2 days crying about how homesick I was and how much I hated Kamloops and wanted to come back.  Honestly, I flew home 4 times between September and winter break.  Looking back on it, I was going probably going through depression.  I was barely eating, I slept as soon as I came back from classes, I didn’t talk to anyone since my roommate and I hated each other, I had broke up with my boyfriend, and my best friend from back home said to me while hanging out with my ex, “the world doesn’t stop just because you moved.” It was the hardest and worst 4 months I can remember.  The only thing that was going well was my 3.8 GPA and my love for event management.  It was the night before I was flying back to Kamloops for second semester, bundled up in as much winter clothes as possible (it was Saskatchewan after all) and I was out walking our dog with my dad and crying as usual begging him to let me just come home.  He reminded me about not coming back until I was finished, and said things would get better and that they’d come and visit in second semester.  (My parents sound so mean here, but truly it was out of nothing but love knowing how badly I wanted to be an event planner and they weren’t going to let me give up so easily.)

The next week I flew to Dallas, Texas for a conference with an event management club I joined in school.  A girl in the club and I became friends and she happened to  work as a resident advisor (RA) in the residence I was living in.  She said she’d get me switched into a different quad and help me meet some people.  And she did (my new roommate is now one of my bridesmaids).  Two days after we got back she invited me to come to Thursday’s coffee house night where many residents hung out.  I grabbed a caramel macchiato (still my favourite drink) and went into the RA lounge where another RA was sitting with some friends.  He asked my name, my program, and started firing funny questions at me like a game show host.  He asked if he could have my number to let me know when rez events were on so I could meet some more people.  He then had an event to go photograph so he left, but continued to text me all night.  If you haven’t guessed yet that RA was Royce.  When he came back later that evening, we hung out in one of the lounges talking until 6am.  It was like I had instantly met my best friend.  And I had.

Three months later we were dating, 6 months later he started a photography business, 1 1/2 years later we were living together and I graduated my diploma, 2 years later I started my wedding planning business, 2 1/2 years later we were engaged, and 3 1/2 years later we ended up here…here in this incredible summer that if you had told me 4 years ago this is where I’d be I never would have believed you.

I met Royce over the perfect cup of coffee and in 18 days I get to be his wife.  God is so good.

And no, I never moved back home or called my parents begging to let me come back after that night.