Tag: 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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Share Reality

I’m a realistic.  I’d love to say I was an optimistic. But truly, I’m a realist down to my core.  I live my life seeing things exactly how they are– though I’ve been told by many I have rose tinted glasses on.  Which is probably true too.

I don’t believe in people pleasing.  I’m far too stubborn for that.  I don’t believe that you can buy happiness.  I love my job even if it means some months it’s a stretch to pay all of our bills.  And I don’t believe in waiting for what you want.  Even if it means our wedding happens in peak wedding season and babies come before we can afford a house.

I think sometimes we become so consumed with how we appear to others that we lose our sense of self and what we truly want.  In my business coaching I’ve been challenged to ask myself “why” a lot.  Why does my website look a certain way?  Why do I offer the planning services I do?  Why am I priced the way I am?  And to be honest, my answers are horrendous.  9/10 of them are because that’s what I thought I should be doing.  Since when is making my business model the same as everyone else’s what I should be doing?  I was so afraid of being different that I became generic.  I don’t want to go through the motions with my business and I definitely don’t want to go through the motions in life.  I want to be real and I want to be honest.  Not just to others, but also to myself.

I want to see more of who people truly are through their real life, blogs, and social media.  I don’t want to see another good photo.  Another good cake. Another nice table setting.  Another pretty bride in a pretty dress.  I want to know the person behind it so I can feel truly inspired by their work and their life.  I want to see reality.

Let’s start being real.

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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

 

 

It’s a Pretty Life

With a name like Created Lovely, it’s clear I love the pretty things in life.  So as I sit here eating fresh strawberries and sipping hot coffee out of my “I kinda like you a lot” adorable coffee mug, here are 10 ways I put the pretty in my life.

1. Buy fresh flowers for yourself.  Just because.

2. If morning coffee or tea is part of your ritual, go splurge on cute or pretty mugs.  The ceramic Le Creuset mugs from The Bay are some of my favourite sets along with any mug from Chapters.

3. Take the time to get ready.  Most days I put my hair in a bun, wear simple make-up, and wear my glasses.  But every so often I put some music on my phone and take the time to get ready.  It’s amazing how pretty you feel when you take the time to enjoy getting ready.

4. Get cute shoes.  Don’t have the money for a new wardrobe?  Join the club.  Spruce up your outfits with printed flats from Target or Walmart.  Stripped flats, coloured flats, printed flats, you name it.  They’ve got it.  And they last just as long as my expensive pairs.

Style Tip: I like to pair printed flats with jeans, a white shirt, and jewellery.

5. Work out.  I’ve never felt prettier than when I’ve been working out.  It doesn’t matter if I’ve lost weight or see a change in my body, I feel a change in how I look at myself.  So get your butt moving even if it’s just going for a walk.

6. Buy cute cards.  There’s nothing like a handwritten note/letter/card on pretty stationary.  Target has some of the prettiest and cheapest stationary and wrapping.  Go buy some and keep it on a shelf in your office so you always have it on hand.

7. Send small gifts.  It feels so good to give people little gifts that make their day.  When you see something that makes you think of a certain person and it won’t break your bank– get it for them.  Even if you save it up until their birthday.

8. Find your favourite spots.  I pretty much live for any moments near water.  A walk on the beach, a picnic, a bike ride through Stanley Park, you name it.  Find those places that instantly make you feel good and visit them, ideally on a regular basis.

9. Decorate the room you spend the most time in.  Not everyone can afford to revamp every room in their place, but if you spend all your time in your living room then really take the time to make it your own.  Focus on one room at a time until you feel completely at home in your space.

10. Love louder.  Do more to show those you love just how much you love them.

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xonicole

No Excuses

I was raised in a no bullshit family. My dad told you what you needed to hear even when it wasn’t always what you wanted to hear.  And my mom never scolded you for anything you did poorly as long as “you know you tried your very best.”  Which in short is the guilt-tripping way of telling you, “You know you didn’t try as hard as you should’ve and that’s why you got that mark.” So in sum, I was raised to be very in control of my life and my choices and to take both the credit and the heat for them.

As an entrepreneur, I’m thankful to have been raised like that.  Even when I used to wish my dad would take pity on me with my adorable youngest child syndrome and only blame my sisters for breaking the fan when it clearly wasn’t my fault that my older sister had the idea to throw teddy bears at the ceiling fan to make them fly…  Who cares if I threw them too.

Anyways, we all know I was a great kid.  Moving on.  I was inspired to write this blog based on the annoying amount of excuses I’ve been hearing/seeing from people lately.  Your business, your job, your personal life, your relationships, your life, rises and falls on your shoulders.  I don’t care how difficult your day has been, how busy you are, how successful someone else is, if you want a certain life for yourself then you need to go out and get it.

I can complain all I want that I have to pay for my own benefits and that I’m going to have to plan down to the month that we have kids.  Then don’t become an entrepreneur.  I can complain that other people are booking a wedding I wanted.  If I really cared, then I should figure out what my business needs to increase sales and make myself the clear choice for future clients.  If I want to make more money, I need to figure out what it is that’s going to increase my value as a planner so I can increase my rates.  If you’re too busy for the gym, start prioritizing yourself better and make the commitment.  If you don’t like the way someone treats you, then stop letting them and find a healthy way to communicate or remove yourself from the situation.  If you’re constantly jealous of someone else’s life or business, start focussing on how to get there instead of comparing yourself.

Life isn’t rocket science.  Stop making excuses and start finding pro-active solutions.

No more excuses.

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