By Brittany Tiplady
Planning a wedding can go something like this: scroll through Pinterest and Instagram oozing with envy, curate virtual vision board of whimsical wedding decor and size two ethereal gowns, realize that none of this is real life, frantically check bank account for a miracle, have a nervous breakdown.
For many, the above statement is not a hyperbole. Planning a wedding is a frightening world of expectation, unsolicited advice, overpriced bridal magazines, and anxiety. In my own wedding planning journey, I have continuously asked myself “am I doing this right?” The most common piece of unwanted advice given to stressed out couples is: “just do it, the money will come.” I will happily call bullshit on this. Money doesn’t just appear under your pillow one morning to save the day. You have to #werk for that money, in one of the most expensive cities in the world no less, and creating a wedding budget while maintaining sanity and a life is a daunting task.
There are ways around your wedding woes, however. Shelling out a large bulk of your life savings on a wedding planner is one of them. Or, there’s Bettina Khan and her brain child LOVE BORROW.
Khan started LOVE BORROW after planning her own wedding without much initial guidance. Her mission and intention is not to replace wedding planners, but to support couples and industry professionals alike. “I wanted to create a space to share the truth about our lives, not just the fancy parts of our perfect weddings. I was frustrated by the lack of dialogue about the things couples were facing including mental health, money, and sex,” explains Khan.
LOVE BORROW is not your average wedding mag, it’s a carefully curated list of local Vancouver vendors personally recommended by Khan and her network. Catering to modern lovers, with a no bull-shit approach, LOVE BORROW is something of an online wedding planning bible, sans the frill.
“There are two issues [when planning my wedding] that I came up against. The first was vendors; I didn’t want to hire just anyone. I was building a team of likeminded, passionate creatives who understood my vision and, more importantly, the love I share with my partner. I wanted to hire people who understood that this wasn’t just a day — this was an expression of our love,” delves Khan.
“The second issue I experienced which inspired the creation of LOVE BORROW was the lack of real talk. I saw a lot of $100,000+ weddings with Ken and Barbie but I didn’t see my community: the ones who were having creative, expressive weddings whether they were in a barn or at the Italian Cultural Centre. I also didn’t see enough gay and interracial weddings.”
“LOVE BORROW is Vancouver’s premiere brand directory and conversation sparking space for real talk about modern love and marriage (if you so choose). We are edgy, raw, and real #nobasic.”
Her selection of vendors are curated based on authentic peer reviews and personal experience, not on sponsorship or advertising. Browsing through the Borrow Brands roster you’ll see Vancouver icons like photographer Britney Gill, The Wild Bunch, and Union Bridal paired with in-depth and helpful Q&As and photo galleries.
“My vision [for the future of LOVE BORROW] is to be a one-stop-shop for modern lovers to find their perfect vendor team and go-to, local businesses beyond their wedding,” shares Khan.
“I also am excited and passionate about the real talk extending from the website to the airways on the LOVE BORROW podcast channel. My vision is that everyone falls in deeply love with themselves through radical self discovery. This is how we can every truly be in our dream relationship.”
Beyond the helpful vendors list is perhaps the most important and unique component of LOVE BORROW: the Real Talk for Modern lovers. With blog posts, podcasts (coming soon), interviews with real couples, and spotlights on relatable weddings, Khan has created a community of support that engages in nothing but authentic conversation.
When I asked Khan’s advice for brides and grooms to be, her response is as #real as her business model.
“Chill. Enjoy. You have one life to live and this is a happy time. No one will remember what kind of flowers you were holding or the colour of your napkins. They will remember how in love the two of you are and the way they felt at the wedding. Feed your guests well, have great music, and enjoy every moment. It will be over much sooner than you think. You’ll wonder why you spend so much time stressing when you could have been having wild sex and dreaming up your future together.”
Brittany Tiplady is a part-time poet, a full-time Nasty Woman, and the co-founder of Loose Lips Magazine. She loves the indoors, fast wifi, collecting maps, and a generous glass of red wine. She is a self-proclaimed wizard of time management, and a notorious loud talker with a penchant for all things Internet.