Christie Leigh Mueller and Billy Wells were supposed to meet for years. People had been trying to set them up, thinking that these two SEC football fans from Louisville, KY, would be a perfect match. Billy is an avid Alabama fan, and Christie Leigh is an avid Auburn fan. But geography was not on their side, with Christie Leigh living in Austin, TX, and Billy living in Louisville. Christie Leigh had just written a book Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, which is a woman’s guide to football in the South.
In 2012, she came to Louisville for an entire week for the book tour of Gridiron Belles, and it was during that visit that she went on a blind date with Billy. Finally. Only three short months later, Christie Leigh was packing up and moving to Louisville, confident that everything was going to work out with Billy. As she says, “I wouldn’t have left the beloved Lone Star State for just anyone.”
Christie Leigh returned to Austin to celebrate her 30th birthday on July 25, 2014, this time with Billy in tow. She describes their trip like this: “During our flight, he asked what my favorite places were in Austin, and I told him the famous Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail and the Texas Capitol (where I spent my 21st birthday). The day after the big party, I was heading to the trail and he woke up saying he wanted to come with me. About halfway through our route we stopped at a small landing where runners can see the skyline so he could “take a picture.” The next thing I knew he was on one knee. It was all of my favorite things and one very memorable question. We celebrated with friends on Lake Austin all afternoon. For the record, Champagne bottles DO float!”
A year later, on July 4, 2015, the couple married at Calvary Episcopal Church in Louisville, with a reception following at the Crystal Ballroom at The Brown Hotel. The bride recalls that “there was something profound about starting our lives together on such a hallowed day. It truly was a celebration, exactly what both occasions deserved.” They both come from large families, and they had lots of friends from all stages of their lives, so it was important to them to have everyone there at their wedding. That “everyone” included 300 guests and a large wedding party, with 11 bridesmaids, three junior bridesmaids, two flower girls and 10 groomsmen all in attendance.
The couple originally wanted to get married at Billy’s family farm in Shelbyville, KY, but did not want to take a chance on the hot and possibly inclement weather. They decided on a black-tie event, with the ceremony at Calvary Episcopal Church followed by a formal sit-down dinner and reception at The Brown Hotel’s venerated Crystal Ballroom. They had a seated “state dinner”-type wedding, complete with escort and place cards. The couple wanted to show off some of the Commonwealth’s best and most famous fare, so they had a Kentucky Bibb lettuce salad and a famous Kentucky Hot Brown on the menu, not to mention lots of Kentucky bourbon, as well. There was no wedding cake, but since Christie Leigh’s
grandparents are Italian, they had Italian wedding cookies from Nord’s Bakery, the coveted sugar cookies from WW Cousins and Graeter’s ice cream.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the evening for the couple was how much they smiled. They told us, “When people ask us about our wedding, we tell them it was our best date night yet — there are very few photos from that evening (of anyone, not just us), when we aren’t smiling ear to ear and reveling in every aspect of what our day was … just the beginning.”
Cheers to you Christie Leigh and Billy, and long may you smile!
Venue: The Brown Hotel
Photography: Mango Photography
Hair & Makeup: Pink Lou Lou
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Formalwear: The Fashion Post
Invitations, Programs & Menu Cards: Julie Diamond
Flowers: In Bloom Again
Catering: The Brown Hotel
Music : 14 Karat Gold, Atlanta, GA
Cookies: WW Cousins, Nords Bakery
Photo Booth: PhotoboothLive!
Guest Accommodations: The Brown Hotel
Event Planner: Maggie Heely of Weekend Wedding Warrior
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