1 decade. 10 years. 120 months. 521 weeks. 3,652 days.

The girl in this picture is equal parts the same as she is different. It only took me one wedding to learn that you can’t wear heels all day (even when you are 25), and that serving couples and families on a marriage day is truly the best job anyone could ask for.

I had been planning weddings for 2.5 years, but on November 11, 2011 (yes, the planner in me picked 11-11-11 intentionally) I officially re-organized my business into the LLC that is Christina Leigh Events.

I told my mom for years I wanted to be a wedding planner. I had a binder with my logo, sketch of my desk and office decor inspiration (hello pink gerbera daisies). I don’t know how many times she said to me, “go to college and we’ll talk about this later.” I majored in Communications and my senior year an opportunity to work an event for a planner in town surfaced. From there came an internship, then my first “real job.” That job taught me more than I could ever write on paper and lead to the business you see today.

It’s not lost on me that I have the most amazing job because of the incredible humans I get to work for and alongside every day. To the hundreds of clients who have trusted CLE with your weddings and events thank you. It’s not only a joy to design a beautiful experience for your guests, but to get to know you and welcome you into the CLE family.

To my brides who have called just to chat.
To moms who have trusted me with more than one special wedding or event.
To the fathers who call your Fronk to add in a surprise father daughter dance on your little girls marriage night.
To the grooms who allow us to manage the logistics so that you can be fully present.
To the clients who give us full creative control and allow us to put fourth our best work.
To the couples who welcome us into your home, and on private property, to create your dream wedding.
To clients who allow us to celebrate your businesses and employees.
Thank you for your trust, love and referrals CLE is what it is because of you!

To the countless creatives and creative teams (we don’t work with “vendors” around here – your event is more important than the county fair) we’ve been able to work alongside as we serve our amazing couples and clients, thank you. Working with experts in so many fields creates a beautiful finished product that is unique and special in its own way, every single time.
Thank you for putting you best foot forward for our shared couples, and teaching me a thing or two along the way.

I’ve had countless moms ask me to write a book. Maybe someday I’ll put a pen to paper about the fallen cakes, burst water mains, torrential downpours, no catering staff that lead to my cleaning dishes for 300 people, red wine spills on wedding gowns, dry cleaner ruined gowns (yes, before the wedding) and even the time I had to be a bouncer. I haven’t written those stories yet because it seems unfair for those stories to outshine the first looks, Father of the bride speeches, helicopter exits, epic bands, one-of-a-kind designs and all of the walks up the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. All of the nights that turn into mornings and the clocks that don’t slow down. That time is where memories are made, where love is the most tangible and the start of a brand new chapter.

To say the past decade has been the honor of a lifetime would be an understatement. It is truly a joy to celebrate love, and I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds.

Cheers to allowing CLE to serve you for your special celebrations!
xo, Christina

Thank you Nellie Sparkman for zhuzhing up the CLE logo for a decade of celebrations!

I told you last week that I would share my proposal story with you, so here we go!

It was Friday, October 28 and I was preparing for a super fun client halloween party. Blair was headed to Pennsylvania for business and was going to stop though Tulsa about 11:00 to have lunch with me and the girls from the office. Needless to say I got a phone call about 9:15 to ask if I didn’t mind picking him up, his morning meeting got canceled and he got on an earlier flight.

He told me a friend of ours (that we went to college with) was on the flight to come into town for the homecoming game and that our friend got a rental car, so Blair rode with him to TU so he would be closer to my office. (We met in college, you can read that here.) Needless to say I was a little irritated that he came in to town early and didn’t give me a heads up to rearrange my plans to get him. He told me not to rush, but just to let him know when I was close to campus (one reason I love this man; he is patient with my work schedule).

As I got close to campus he told me that he ran into some Thetas, and since he had his bags they invited him in to the house so I needed to go there to get him. I told him I was almost there and asked if he could come out and get in my car, but he persuaded me to come me for a minute. (If I hadn’t been in a hurry and wasn’t thinking about the girls in the house that would want to say hi and chat I may have figured out something was fishy… but I didn’t.) I parked my car in front of the house and hurried to the door. As I knocked on the door it opened, which was odd… low and behold there was Blair – standing alone.

I think I may have given him the irritated “get your bags, let’s go” look while saying hiiiii…, but he just smiled and gave he a big hug. He told me that he loved me and he had missed me, then reminded me we were standing in the first place we ever met nearly 5 years earlier. He also said he knew then there was something about me. Before I could get my bearings the man of my dreams was on his knee asking me if I would marry him! I think I may have said “are you serious?!” He held out the ring box, wide open with a perfect ring, and said “Christina.” Stunned and shocked that he actually pulled off a surprise without me catching on (I despise surprises and am sometimes nosey to avoid them) I said, “YES!” and he put my new shiny ring on my finger! We were engaged, I had a fiance and so many questions; does my mom know you’re here, do you really have a business meeting in Pennsylvania.. oh my gosh!

Needless to say there was no early meeting that was canceled and no meeting out of town, there was no friend of ours on the plane (he caught a taxi) and he went up the the Theta house and knocked on the door by himself. Since he has the best luck my Great Grand Little, Lauren, opened the door and because she knew me didn’t question him when he said “Can I come inside to proposed to my girlfriend, she’s on her way here.”

He knew if he had a big speech I would have figured it out, and he knew to catch me off guard while I was thinking about putting on the perfect event for work. He had known he was going to propose on October 25 for an entire year! October 25, 2010 was the first time we talked about spending forever together, this guy remembers it all! He asked my mom for permission two weeks before and she didn’t say a word! He thought about everything! He even stalked my Pinterest boards for the perfect ring and Bailey Banks & Biddle helped him put the perfect setting and stone together!

Our weekend was full of fun celebrations with the girls in the Zinke office, my family, our friends and the homecoming football game at our alma mater! Yes, he even went with me to set up, and clean up, my fun client Halloween party! I am so excited to marry the most amazing man and my soul mate on September 15, 2012. God is so good and knows what He is doing every step of the way!  I can’t wait to share our wedding journey with you all; next week I go dress shopping!

Today’s inspiration came from this gorgeous Michelle Armas painting. The shades of forrest green, blush pink and sun-kissed tan are to die for, and I knew they would make the perfect wedding inspiration. With the texture and movement in the painting I love the lace texture on this gorgeous cake, and the movement in the trees for an outside ceremony. I love how the chairs are set on two sides of a circle, under the canopy of trees. I would go with a shade of pink for a more traditional bridesmaid dress, or shades of ivory and cream for a more non-traditional look. Bouquets of pale pink, white and soft greenery fit the occasion. If it weren’t 110 degrees in Tulsa, Oklahoma today I would plan this wedding for tomorrow!

Images via: Style Me Pretty, Michelle Armas, Jose Villa, Once Wed

With recent news of Ralph Lauren’s Daughter, Dylan, tying the knot of course we were curious about her gown. Designed by her father, who “is said to have consulted his former protegée and grande dame of bridalwear Vera Wang on the design of the dress,” I quickly fell in love. The August issue of Vogue is not yet on news stands, but I took Dylan in her dress and created a gorgeous inspiration board on how I would have styled the event. I would start with this gorgeous 16.04 carat, oval diamond ring, they are a girls best friend, right. Gold is a gorgeous staple and perfect for details on the invitation, china and votive holders. I have a new found love bow ties, they are a southern staple after all, so I would have the gentlemen wear them in pink. I would match the ruffles of the cake to the ruffles on her train, decorate the tables and create bouquets out of peonies, garden roses and soft textures. Last, but not least I would finish off Dylan’s bridal look with these beautiful Badgley Mischka heels. We will have to wait to see what the affair was really like in the next issue of Vogue, but until then what do you think?

Images via: Sweet and Saucy Shop, Betty Broccoli, eloge de l’art, the cherry blossom girl, Daily Mail, mad nicolas, weddings-decor

  1. Jessica says:

    Great board! Perfect inspiration taken from that amazing dress.

  2. Sarahbeth says:

    Amazing design board, Christina! I just bought some candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar downstairs :)!

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