Tag: Royce Sihlis Photography

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??





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Not a matter of “if” but “when”

It’s become more and more apparent to me lately how happy and fortunate I am.  I know it’s such an odd and arrogant thing to say but it’s true.  My life isn’t perfect but I’m so grateful for it.  You know how many people I know that go to work and don’t love what they do? I can’t even fathom that.  I honestly can’t imagine getting up every day to go to a job that I didn’t like.  Royce and I have been so fortunate to find each other because we both dreamt of creating our own dream job and pushed each other to do it.  I know for a fact I wouldn’t have started my own wedding planning business so early on had I not been inspired by Royce dropping out of university to start his own photography business.  Yes, it’s been extremely hard. And I can’t even tell you how much strain it has put on our relationship financially, emotionally, and physically.  But I get to watch him get excited about what he does and I get to see his business grow each year.  My sister at our wedding said, “Nikki, Royce’s success is your greatest joy.”  And it honestly is.  If you have a friend/spouse/fiance/family member with a dream job in mind please encourage them to do it.  Nothing and I truly mean nothing compares to the feeling of waking up and getting to work your dream job every day.

I think the most important thing that we’ve done when it comes to our businesses is looking at it as not a matter of “if” we’d reach our goals as much as it was a matter of “when”.  That mentality turned a lot of doubt and fear into a matter of being determined to figure out how to do it.  And on my end, it took my impatience to a whole new level… We’ve never looked at failure as an option and we put pressure on ourselves that if we didn’t make our businesses work then we had no other option.  Which isn’t entirely true since I’m sure we’d figure something out but we don’t want to.  I’d live with so much regret and jealously watching other people live out my dream and that in itself would be even more torture than going to a job I hated.

I’m not saying Royce and I are perfect examples of what it means to succeed since we’re not even on the brink of where we want our businesses to be, but the most important thing is that we’re doing it.  And you can too.  I’m inspired daily by my friends and peers running their own businesses.  My friend, Rebecca, just started The Many Hands Project. My friend, Christina, just bought her own studio for her growing floral business Classic Creations Floral Design.  My friend, Anna from Sweet On You is the only cake designer to have two cover photos on Cake Central.  Christie Graham Photography just became a preferred vendor on Once Wed.  All of these people are living out their dreams.  And when you surround yourself with people like that you’re bound to push yourself harder too.







Our Engagement Photo Fashion

It has come to my attention that I was so busy wedding planning and losing my sanity last summer that I never actually posted our engagement photos! Which is really a shame since Rebecca Siewert did such a fantastic job. I put them on my Facebook page and had a couple people ask how I chose what to wear.

This is a few tips on how I decided:

Royce is significantly more casual than I am. He’s a ski photographer in the winter so I really feel that speaks for itself. Naturally, he wanted to wear a t-shirt and jeans to the shoot while I wanted to wear a dress and wedges.  After about half an hour of fighting about how I was apparently “over-dressed” and making him look bad, I changed into something that would suit him better.

To avoid being boring and too matchy-matchy, I wore a jean jacket instead of jean pants to look a bit more casual and then wore printed pants in the same sorbet colour palette of his shirt.  The trick is to compliment each other without wearing the exact some colour.  I dressed my outfit up with gold bangles from Stella & Dot, earrings, and a pretty pair of flats.  You might also notice I avoided wearing a watch since you don’t want to distract from your new bling!  I did my own hair and make-up but I recommend getting it done by a professional.  Our shoot was last minute based on the weather so that just wasn’t an option unfortunately!

If you take anything away from this post, remember that when you dress for any shoot make sure you feel like yourself.  If you want to love your photos, you want to be able to see your and your fiance’s true personalities in them.  While we went more casual for our outfits to make Royce feel more comfortable, we kept them pretty and romantic to suit me too.  Here’s how they turned out!

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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.