They have not yet been married two years, but Kyle and LeLoni Perison already know more about weddings than the late Liz Taylor.
A self-driven graphic designer whose career took a detour into the industry through his photography, Kyle stumbled upon a decided gap in the market when it came to promotional opportunities in the Okanagan.
“As a photographer, I put an ad in the Weddingbells Magazine trying to get some more exposure. As a vendor trying to promote my service, I got nothing from it because everything is in Vancouver. There’s nothing for the Okanagan,” said Kyle, 24, originally from Prince George.
“My whole background with the design and print, (along with) my photography business led me to the wedding industry and I had good connections with that, so I decided to combine both jobs and create something new.”
And so Engaged to be Married, a quarterly wedding magazine, was born. The first edition – a 64 full colour, high gloss publication – is set for release next month.
Initially, it will be available at the Wedding Cafe in Kelowna. It is also available online as the Perisons hope to tap into the Lower Mainland and Alberta markets.
Ultimately, they would like to have it available in bookstores and shops throughout the valley, and once advertisers and retailers see the finished product, and realize its potential, they believe it will generate interest.
Produced in the Perisons’ Armstrong home, Engaged to be Married has also been good for the newly married couple’s family life. With seven-month-old son Niko in tow, working from home has been a blessing.
“It’s been great being able to do this. Putting it together, I get to stay home a lot more and watch him grow up. LeLoni is helping a lot with the magazine, so it’s kind of been a family thing where we get to bond together,” said Kyle, a former creative designer with the Morning Star.
He adds the magazine’s goal is to promote Okanagan wedding vendors and connect them with brides getting married throughout the valley.
“We want to make it the top resource for Okanagan weddings,” he explained. “Anyone who is interested and wants to be a part of it, we welcome all.
“I don’t just want to promote myself as a photographer and use it as a stepping stone for my own business. There’s five or six other photographers with images published in there (first issue), not including myself.”
Calling the magazine’s style “clean and informative,” Perison says making the jump from designer/photographer to publisher hasn’t been without its hiccups, but he believes he is better for it.
“I love a challenge, I love tackling something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. With regards to publishing something, it’s been a really good learning curve. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research online, buying some books and going with the flow and pretending I know what I’m doing.”
Case in point, rather than outsource the printing to a larger firm, Kyle and LeLoni opted to cut production costs by buying a Konica Minolta printer and doing smaller print runs in their basement.