Behind the Veil Featuring Christina Frederick

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Tell us a little about yourself! Are you married? Kids? How many years have you been in business? What location do you serve? What is your specialty? Any other fun facts about you?

Hello! I’m Christina Leigh Frederick and own Christina Leigh Events. I opened my business in 2010, after working in the industry for 4 years,  in Tulsa, OK and opened our second office in Houston, TX in 2011. I love that we serve Oklahoma, Texas and Destination clients. We love Charleston and our sweet southern brides!

I am married to my sweet husband, Blair. He is the cowboy boots to my pearl earrings and we have 2 four-legged children, the #CLmascots. Miss Remi, a petite goldendoodle, and Miss Landry, a standard goldendoodle, love puppy-chinos and going for walks.

When I am not planning weddings and events I volunteer for The Junior League of Houston, Inc., The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and The Miss Oklahoma Pageant Organization. I also own The Helpful Host where our team plans everyday celebrations and workshops!

What made you want to get into wedding planning?

I was the high school girl who would buy Martha Stewart Weddings with my babysitting money and had a heart to serve others on their marriage day from day one. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Tulsa I set out to open my business.

What did you do before wedding planning?

I made sure to get my feet wet in the event industry prior to opening my business and interned and worked for amazing businesses.  

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were starting out, what would it be?

I am so glad that I “got my feet wet” prior to opening my business. It set a strong foundation for where Christina Leigh Events is today. If I had to do anything different I would have told myself that the power of saying no is stronger than I realized. Whether it be the wrong photoshoot or client it’s ok not to have to do it all in your first year. There are so many amazing creatives in the wedding planning and design industry that those brides will find the perfect fit to help them plan their big day.

What are your strengths as a wedding planner?

My heart is most definitely a servant's heart. I love educating and walking my brides through this wonderful time in their lives. I also love moms! Some of my planner friends think I am crazy, but having such a close relationship with my mom I understand the importance of a bride and her mom working together and being in the same page through the planning process.

What are your struggles as a wedding planner?

Going back to the advice I would have given myself earlier, I still have to remind myself that it is ok to say no. I wish I could plan each brides wedding who inquires with CLE, but our team has intentionally set a 15 event maximum for our yearly calendar. Sticking to this number helps our team serve each client to the best of our ability. We’re able to be more creative and intentional with our time, even though I still wish I could add hours to the day.

Tell us about your favorite wedding you’ve ever been a part of.

How do I pick a favorite? My favorites tend to lean towards my couples with the sweetest of love stories. Everything from planning a wedding in 4 months because the bride's father was being deployed to Afghanistan to putting a 30’ “escort card tree” in the lobby of a hotel have made a lasting impression on my heart. Each wedding holds a special place whether it was on family land or at a beautiful destination. I am truly a better planner and person for each wedding CLE has planned and designed. We say our brides become part of the CLE family and I truly believe that.

What are some wedding day challenges you’ve experienced and how did you work through them?

Let’s see… a cake that falls over 3 hours before the ceremony, a wedding dress ruined by the cleaners 2 weeks before the wedding or how about a watermain break the day before a beautiful outdoor ceremony. No matter what the challenge it’s our goal to get the best final option set for our brides while they are enjoying their very special days. We got a new cake, a new dress and patched up the very muddy situation all while our couples and their families were making the very best of memories! I joke that not only do I wear the hat for planner, but also architect, counselor, forman and many other professional hats throughout the planning process.

Where do you go for inspiration in your business?

I dig into my sweet couples stories and pull inspiration from them. Whether it be their personal style or how they met I source inspiration ideas from interior design sources and the world of fashion. Personally, I am as girlie as they come and still wear the occasional bow in my hair (yes even at 31), but I know my brides aren’t me. It’s so much fun to tell their story and even pull some purple into the color palette when the groom played football and Kansas State.

Who do you admire and look up to, personally and professionally?

I know it could be considered cliche, but my mom is my biggest role model, inspiration and fan. She taught me everything there is to know about hard work (she worked 2-3 jobs at a time while my sister and I were growing up), perseverance (she truly never gave up), how to fight (she almost lost her life) and how to keep God the center of your life through it all. It’s because of her that I have the drive and heart that I do. If only my cooking were as good. :)

What is your #1 piece of advice for both seasoned or aspiring wedding planners?

There are so many planners in the world of weddings that whether you call yourself a planner, coordinator, designer, event manager or something else be true to you. Don’t copy another planners business to get started because what makes you the best for your brides isn’t the same as what makes another planner the best fit for his/her brides. Know the industry in and out; catering, rentals, hospitality, etc. and charge what you are worth. No one can make a living on planning a wedding for $999.

Where can we find more information about you? Website, social media handles, email address, etc.

You can find me at www.christinaleighevents.com - The website is getting a big overhaul soon and I am so excited!

You can also follow along with me on social media:

www.facebook.com/christinaleighevents

www.instagram.com/CL_Events

www.twitter.com/CL_Events

www.pinterest.com/ChristinaLeigh

I can be reached directly by emailing christina@christinaleighevents.com and you can search #CLEvents and #CLmascots for more!

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