In 2019, Christina Currie Events (CCE) will be celebrating 15 years in business. CCE is a well-respected event planning company founded on the principals: Clear Vision, Imagination, and Preparation. Christina, Owner and Principal, and her team of experts specialize in producing and designing spectacular milestone affairs.
CCE’s team has orchestrated stylish celebrations for hundreds of clients over the years and is excited to take them to new heights abroad. Destination events have been a focus for the past couple of years and CCE’s thrilled to continue establishing relationships and creating luxury celebrations around the globe.
From fundraisers and corporate affairs to large weddings and social events, CCE promises to deliver personalized, unforgettable experiences!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
We face challenges with our Chicago weather, it doesn’t matter what time of the year. Mother Nature can change it up daily. We always have a Plan B in place. Challenges overseas are typically with the different languages. We download a translate app to our phones to communicate with those who do not speak English.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
CCE is loving the photo op areas! It’s so fun to see the guests take photos and share on social media! The photo op areas are endless with ideas on how to personalize for your event!
We are still loving the mixology experts for the events. From Champagne experts to Bourbon, it’s incredibly knowledgable and fun for the guests!
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
We encourage our clients to use lighting to enhance the event space. Whether it’s candles or uplighting, both are budget-friendly.
We also like to incorporate small details that are not budget breakers such as personalized menus and signage.
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
CCE would love to see a couple get married on a small island just dedicated to their wedding. No other people on the island except for the guests.
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
Our creative partners are just as important to CCE as our clients. We provide comprehensive details to each vendor involved with the events. We show the utmost respect. Without them, we could not be CCE.
What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?
We encourage them to understand who the demographics are for their event. They need to understand the expectations of the guests. Is it black tie or casual? From there, they can predict a budget.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
We are thrilled about our client’s upcoming wedding in Sorento, in June 2020. The CCE Ladies are up for the challenge and beyond excited to work on the Amalfi Coast!
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
My daughters were most important to me, and I wanted to continue to produce beautiful events however, on my own time. It took about 3 years to get a solid client base.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
CCE’s first event was for a South Asian young lady. It was her Arangetram; South Indian dance tradition Bharatanatyam to a dancer’s debut performance. There were many moving parts to the event from performances, intermission, cocktail hour, and dinner. The guest count was over 500! The event was colorful and well thought out. It truly was amazing! This event took place in 2006 and now this young lady works for CCE as the Lead Event Designer. It came full circle!
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
That you cannot please everyone and that’s okay.
What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?
Nothing really surprises me so, truly I don’t believe CCE has ever been thrown off. We don’t find anything unusual because every client is unique.
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
There are several proud moments with CCE, it’s hard to pick one from the other. We’ve been fortunate enough to help others celebrate their milestones. From weddings to birthday parties, anniversaries and celebrating employees, we would honestly say that every moment is a proud moment. However, one of our most dignified moments was helping our United States Navy celebrate their brand new 3 billion dollar submarine!
CCE was chosen as the event producer for the commissioning and christening of the United States Navy warship, USS Illinois, in 2015. The sub was the first Navy ship to bear the Illinois name since October 4, 1898.
Several events honoring the ship’s crew took place the year prior to the christening and commissioning. Some of the events took place in Illinois and other festivities occurred in Groton, CT, where the ship was being built. CCE organized fundraisers, dinners, and meetings with Illinois Governor Rauner, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and many other prominent political figures. As the event planners, we were invited to tour the new ship and learn about the training involved in running the massive Virginia-class submarine.
The Christening was attended by over 3000 people followed by a gala reception at a nearby hotel in Groton, CT. The celebration was inaugurated by a marching band and addressed by First Lady Michelle Obama, honoring the Navy men and women in true patriotic form. It was an honor to learn about the US Navy, meet their families, and to make sure they had a special christening; yes with the bottle of champagne being smashed against the submarine! This year-long event will always hold a special place in CCE’s heart!