A year in review of Christina Burton Events
As I sit snuggled on my couch reflecting on the past year, I’m truly in awe of how much change and development can happen in a years time. Had someone told me all that would come in 2017 I probably would have called them crazy, but here I sit with the first wedding season of business ownership under my belt and it was quite the first year! So in order to celebrate and remember – let’s review the top 10 things that have taken place for Christina Burton Events over the past year.
1. CBE Launch
February 5, 2017 – I remember sitting at our kitchen counter typing and retyping the social media post that would “officially” launch the business. In reality, this was just an announcement to friends, family, and social media followers that I was launching Christina Burton Events and that the website was finally up and live. But it still made my heart pound and blood rush in nervousness. It was the first time I was putting it out there for all of social media world to see – It had to be perfect! So perfect or not, I threw it out there. Not quite sure of all it meant other than that I would hopefully have clients of my own. The support I felt after putting up that post was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. I had friends, family members, past clients, and people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years all reaching out with their good wishes and support of my new venture. That was only the beginning of surprises, 2017 had so many more surprises in store.
2. Official Business Launch
May 1, 2017 – One thing they (whoever “they” are) don’t tell you – or at least no one told me is that owning a business is hard. And that starts almost as soon as you decide to act on the idea that’s formed in your mind. When I decided a year ago that after having planned weddings under different companies for the past 9 years I wanted to work for myself and own my own event planning company, I didn’t know where to begin. I knew I needed a great website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account, but what else? How do you make a business “official” – you know, what are those steps you have to take to make the government recognize you are a small business? And after a lot of googling, I still didn’t have a solid answer. So long, multi-month story short – I finally found a great non-profit that services small businesses, met with them, got a solid list of steps, and it took all of about 5 minutes to make the business “official”. But it was still a super exciting day, not only because I finally completed everything after months of searching for answers, but I felt official (and actually was!)
3. Going Full Time
July 31, 2017 – Like most other business owners in the wedding industry, I began my business as a side hustle. As business started rolling, it became harder to serve CBE clients in the capacity I knew I wanted to, due to responsibilities at my full-time job. So I knew I had to do something. This was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I had to let go of the structure and comfort of knowing a paycheck would arrive in my bank account every other Friday and trust that I could make ends meet solely through my business. But after a lot of prayers, a lot of discussions with TB (my now fiancé), and probably a lot of tears along the way, I took a leap of faith. Looking back that was one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past year. I also can’t say I’ve been sad about trading in my pencil skirts and heels for yoga pants and slippers most days either.
4. First CBE Wedding
August 5, 2017 – For those of you that live in Indiana – do you remember that Saturday in August this year that brought unseasonably perfect weather? I’m talking about a perfect 70 degrees and sunny in August! Well, that was the day of Dana and JP’s wedding at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis. What a perfect wedding to start out the 2017 wedding season for Christina Burton Events! Dana and JP were two of the most beautiful people inside and out and had wonderful families by their side. They had a gorgeous ceremony on the canal, followed by a sunny cocktail hour on the outdoor patio, and concluded with a beautiful reception inside the museum’s Grand Hall. It was an incredible day and the Indiana theme felt perfect for my first wedding in Indiana.
Photos by Mike Taylor Photography
5. I became a future Bride!
August 24, 2017 – This, of course, goes down as the personal biggest day of 2017 for me, so it also felt right to include it on this list. After spending 10 years planning other people’s weddings, I get to plan my own! Believe it or not, it wasn’t all already planned and it did feel crazy to suddenly have the roles reversed. It also felt SO GOOD! Not only did the love of my life get down on own knee, say the sweetest things (none of which I can now remember), and ask me to spend the rest of my life with him, but I am now walking in the same shoes as each of my clients, which will only allow me to serve them better.
Photos by Anje Haisch
6. Styled Shoot
September 27, 2017 – Another first for Christina Burton Events was the styled shoot I styled, designed and planned. With the collaboration of a dream team of Lexington vendors, we had a wonderful shoot! Huge thanks to everyone involved – Keeneland, Malicote Photography, Twirl, Pink Lou Lou, Geno’s, Blu3 Designs (Indianapolis based), Bryant’s Rent-All, and Stems!
Photos by The Malicotes
7. Amy & Drew’s Wedding
September 30, 2017 – This wedding was special to me for several reasons; not only was everyone involved in this wedding an absolute pleasure to get to meet and know. Amy, Drew and their families were some of the most gracious people I’ve ever met and because of that the day at Garfield Park and the Columbia Club in Indianapolis were full of so much love. They also had an incredible vendor team that I had the joy of working alongside to make sure the day was perfect for the couple. And, Amy was the first client to ever sign a contract with CBE (back in April)!
Photos by Ivan and Louise Photography
8. Launched Blog
November 3, 2017 – I went back and forth over the past year about launching a blog for CBE. They say the only thing worse than not having a blog is having a blog that’s outdated, and that was my biggest fear. However, after much thought and prayer following our engagement, I felt like a blog was one more way I could serve fellow brides well. I’ve enjoyed writing content that will hopefully help other brides and I’ve loved journaling our wedding planning journey as it’s happening for future blog content. I’ve realized along the way that walking in the bride shoes changes my perspective in such a way that I’m learning things I didn’t know.
9. New Relationships
2017 – One challenge I faced when I launched CBE was that I didn’t have any relationships in Indianapolis. TB and I moved to Indy back in November 2016, so those 9 years I spent planning weddings prior to that was in Lexington, Kentucky. So much in the wedding industry is vendor relationship based. It’s important for me to be able to serve my clients well and that means knowing which other vendors to refer them to based on their needs. In Lexington, I had many fantastic vendors whom I loved working with and also considered friends, so I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to form those relationships in Indy quickly enough to help my 2017 clients. But just like it naturally happened in Lexington over the years, it’s also happened naturally here in Indy. There are SO MANY amazing wedding vendors here and I’ve already been privileged to be working with and getting to know many of them!
Photo by The Malicotes
10. Lexington Christmas Wedding
December 22, 2017 – The CBE 2017 wedding season definitely finished on a high note! I decided early on in the year that I wasn’t done doing weddings in Lexington. After starting my career there and having great relationships that I miss working with I didn’t want to give that up. Luckily for me, it’s only a short drive to get there and we make 1-2 trips each month to visit friends and family, and attend events as it is. So I was thrilled when Kaitlyn & Colton reached out last spring about their Christmas wedding at the Hilary J. Boone Center at the University of Kentucky. I don’t know if it’s just the group of people they surround themselves with or if everyone was on a high because it was holiday break but their wedding on Friday before Christmas was an absolute blast! They had a great vendor team (several of whom I was super excited to be working with once again), and their people were so much fun!
Overall 2017 was a year of growth, surprises, and perseverance. Launching and owning a small business is the hardest venture I’ve ever tackled but it’s also been the most rewarding. The clients I have the opportunity to serve are some of the most fantastic couples I’ve ever met and it is an honor to get to be a part of the biggest day of their lives! As great as 2017 has been, I’m feeling ready to tackle 2018. I have no doubt that 2018 will bring even more surprises and growth, I’m excited about all the plans I have in store, but I’m also looking forward to a year that’s more intentional and simple, where my overall goal is to be more present, to make sure I’m taking care of myself & my family (TB and pups), and working smarter, not harder.
So Cheers to 2017! I’m raising my glass to toast all the support I’ve felt over the past year because I surely could not have done any of these things without that support! Bring on 2018!
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