Tag: Weddings

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.






Moving Forward

I grew up going to Catholic school in Saskatchewan where I graduated from Holy Cross High School.  Every morning, a devotion was read over the intercom for students to reflect upon and start their day.  One in particular has always stuck with me.  It was my Christian Ethics teacher who told a story about a really frustrating day she was having where nothing was going right.  At one point while cleaning a fish tank all of the rocks had fallen and clogged her sink.  She said out loud to herself, “God, I can’t handle this!” And at that moment all of the rocks were washed away.  The point of the devotion was that God will never give us more than we can handle and only He knows our limits.

Now, at a very busy time in my life where I have multiple contract jobs, a busy wedding season coming up, and Royce and I deciding to make a big move forward for our careers in Kelowna, it is time to trust that we are never alone and will never be given more than we’re capable of.

I’m extremely excited for this wedding season coming up, my workshop with LaFleur Weddings in Santa Barbara, California and our big move to be closer to many talented vendors in the industry.  It’s time to take a deep breath and move forward.



Elegant Romance Styled Shoot

Here is how our second shoot turned out! I’m so in love with the dress in this shoot never mind all the other soft touches.
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Stationary: Susanna, Modern Invitations (www.moderninvitations.ca)

Wedding Gown, Flowers, Rentals: Anthony Salituro & Viva Bridal Boutique

Hair & Make-Up: Beauty Code Boutique (www.beautycode.ca)

Photography: Royce Sihlis Photography (www.roycesihlis.ca)

Styling: Nicole, Created Lovely Events & Anthony Salituro

Model: Alicia Glaicar

Getting Going

It has shamefully come to my attention that I have spent little time planning my own wedding. To be fair, I’m working with 10 brides, coordinating the Y Dream Home Lottery, and am campaign assistant to BC Liberal Candidate, Minister Terry Lake. However… none of those excuses will make my wedding the day of my dreams so it’s time to get moving.

I met with a bride the other day who showed up to our consultation with an entire binder put together in sections with slip covers for every contract, pictures of how she plans to design it all, and cute Martha Stewart paper to boot. It was that moment when I realized my wedding is all on my laptop and in my head and it’s time to get it in a binder.

So here it is, for all you brides out there knowing you need to get moving but haven’t started yet… it’s time.

1. Get a binder

It doesn’t have to be an official wedding binder, as long as it is at least 2″ and has slip covers and dividers.

2. Tab your binder

You will want a section for every vendor you will have a contract for in addition to a tab at the front for your to-do lists and schedules. Your tabs may include:
– Schedules
– To-Do’s
– Photography & Videography
– Florist
– Cake/Desserts
– Catering
– Venue
– Decor & Favours
– DJ/Band
– Hair & Make-Up
– Guest list & seating chart
– Stationary

3. Print, Print, Print

As soon as you get a contract from a vendor, print it and put it in your binder in a slip cover. This is the easiest way to keep yourself on track instead of going back and sifting through emails to see what you’ve already done.

Why this is essential:

While you may prefer planning on a computer since it’s quicker and easier to change things, I can guarantee it won’t keep you on track as easily as having a binder will.  A binder allows you to see first hand how much is complete and what is not by looking through your dividers.  If that isn’t motivation enough, think of how awesome you look when you show up to an appointment with your binder of everything you’ve done!

Happy Planning!