Erin McLean Events is a boutique wedding planning + design team specializing in elevated design and exceptional service. Based in North Carolina, We create Southern couture events for the fanciful at heart. Our team of creatives orchestrate seamless and lovely occasions that are true to our clients.

Tia’s Wedding Tip Thursday! Rehearsal Dinner Planning?


Today I share a great solution to what has lately been a hot topic of – shall we say lively discussion – with many couples. Namely, who exactly should come to the rehearsal dinner when almost all of your guests are from out town? When the Bride’s family wants everyone to be invited but the Groom’s family wants to limit it to just the Bridal Party, things can get tricky. I offer this solution: embrace the intimacy of a small “Bridal Party Only” rehearsal dinner and then plan an after party for all the out of town guests. This after party can be as simple as picking a place and time and meeting everyone there – you don’t necessarily need to provide food and drink but a round of drinks and some snacks or platters would be nice. Or, you could book a private location and provide food and drinks for everyone – something simple like a semi-private space at a restaurant works well. Even easier, a hospitality suite at the hotel most of your guests are staying at – or just ask them to meet you at the hotel bar. Keep it simple, easy, and then gracefully bow out a little early so you aren’t out too late before the big day. Everyone wins with the compromise!


Inspire-Me Monday: Savvy Stationary

Today we are inspired by savvy stationary. It is a great way to give guests a first impression of your wedding theme and your color scheme. We love fun and unique designs that are amazing enough to have a permanent place on the kitchen fridge. A keepsake for you and everyone you love to remember your special day and your unique love!

PhotoCredit: StyleMePretty, GreenWeddingShoes, WeddingChicks, Etsy, 100LayerCake, ElizabethAnneDesigns, GreyLikesWeddings and Snippet&Ink

How would you incorporate your theme, colors and personality into your wedding stationary?

Make it pretty!

DIY Friday: Gold Leaf Champagne Flutes

PhotoCredit: GlamourAndGraceBlog

We came across this craft on another blog and we absolutely adored it! Although we haven’t had the chance to do the craft ourself, we really wanted to share it with you! This is a really great idea for a wedding. To use those glasses on your wedding day, and then pull them out on your anniversary would be so cute!

This craft is relatively simple with little time and supplies needed.

A gold leafing set that comes with the sheets and adhesive.

Wax Paper

2 Brushes – 1 for applying adhesive, and a soft one to smooth the edges of the gold leafing once it is applied

Champagne Flutes

First you will want to make sure that your champagne glasses are clean and dry. Then, with your paint brush, paint whatever shape that you want with the adhesive on the glass. You can do hearts, your initials, or even your wedding date!

Let the adhesive dry completely (it will look clear). This will take about 20 minutes.

After that, take the gold leaf and a piece of wax paper back-to-back, holding them both. Place  the gold leaf over the dried adhesive shape with the wax paper up. Press firmly on the wax paper to ensure the gold leaf sticks to the adhesive.

Use your fingers to pull away the larger chunks. Then, with the clean, soft brush clean around the edges. Some sets include a sealant for the gold leaf, at this point you can paint sealant on to help prevent the gold leaf from flaking.

And that’s it!

Thank you Glamour&Grace for the inspiration, we really love this DIY craft!

Make it pretty!


We’ve Won! The Knot: Best of Weddings 2013!

We are extremely excited to tell you all that we have won The Knot: Best of Weddings 2013 award! This is an award that is given based off of reviews of past brides. Thank you SO much to our  brides for taking time to write reviews. This award means so much to us to know that we will be listed as a top wedding planner in the triangle and triad area. The Knot is the place to be for brides. The magazine is gorgeous and amazing, and online is a never-ending encyclopedia of information broken down by location and type of service. You can search through photos via color, and get some great inspiration for your wedding. At Erin McLean Events we strive to go above-and-beyond to deliver the best service ever and help you have your very own perfect wedding day. We are so proud to have won this and know that we are achieving this goal for our brides. We are looking forward to this year of growth and great new things. Thank you again to all of our wonderful brides for allowing us the opportunity to work with you on your wedding and writing the reviews that helped us achieve this award so that we can bring many other brides happiness on their big day.

Come and See Us at The Carolina Inn Bridal Show!

What are you doing on Sunday? If you are newly engaged, or have a friend or family member who is, you should come to The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase. This showcase features 75 premiere vendors who will be able to answer any of your questions that can help with all aspects of your wedding planning.

Stop by and chat with photographers and view samples of their work, check out stationary for wedding invites, sample wedding cakes, view wedding decor and much more under one roof. Another great thing to check out is the runway show. At 1:30PM and 3:30PM there will be a runway show featuring the latest trends in bridal fashion including gowns, shoes and accessories.

Our table will be set up in the Chancellor’s Ballroom. Be sure to stop by, we would love to chat and answer any questions you might have about the planning process or about getting married in the city. See photos of past weddings we have done and find out what services we offer. Best of all, we have a great gift for all brides to be!

Tickets are $15 per person, and they are available to purchase here. We were able to nab some extra tickets to give away to a few lucky people who would like to attend. If you would like to have your name in the running for free tickets, simply share this article by clicking “Share” on the Facebook post that brought you here. The lucky winners will receive and inbox message saying that they have won 2 tickets!

In preparation for the showcase, you may want to have some specific things you are looking for, or specific questions for certain vendors. One of the questions we get most often is, “what should I do after I get engaged?” Besides attending this Bridal Showcase, here are some other things to focus on after getting engaged.

Get a Wedding Planner. You know yourself better than anyone. Are you organized and able to stay on top of things? Will you be able to balance work and planning? If you know exactly what you want and can handle all the planning, consider a day-of coordinator to take the reins and execute the details on the day of your wedding.

Nail down your personal style. This is the fun part! Grab bridal magazines, spend hours on Pinterest and get inspired. Do you see your wedding as traditional, eclectic, modern or vintage? Consider the smaller details such as the cake or centerpieces first and observe what sort of style you are drawn towards to get an idea of what this might be.

Register. Before the engagement party and bridal shower, go out with your fiancé and register at a few stores. That way people will know exactly what to buy you and can even buy your wedding gifts in advance when they are picking up your engagement/ bridal shower gifts.

Set a BudgetThis will most likely change, especially because you may underestimate some wedding costs. You will have to sit down with each set of parents and figure out exactly what everyone is contributing and think of a reasonable number to get what you want within reason and without breaking the bank. If you decide to hire a wedding planner then they will help you with this. If not, be very meticulous of recording ALL expenses and checking to make sure you are staying on track.

Book the venue. Once you have set the number of guest and have an idea of your budget, start visiting venues. Go to a variety of places and have a list of questions to ask at each one. Try to picture your big day there and find what you feel is a good fit.

Book the Photographer. One of the most important parts of the day is getting amazing photos to remember it by. Start doing research into different photographers and set up meetings. Are you looking for candid shots, traditional shots, artsy shots? Photographers are booked a year or more in advanced, so make sure you don’t wait too long to start looking and booking!

To see the full post on what you should do after you’re engaged, click here.

Make sure to put this date in your calendar, we would love to see you there!



Inspire-Me Monday: Sweet Dessert Tables!

The holidays have been over long enough to start craving treats again! That’s why today we are tantalized by these treats and digging on these delicious displays! A really great dessert table is always a unique and memorable part of a wedding. It can be a great tie-in to the overall theme and decor!

PhotoCredit: ThingsFestive, RuffledBlog, GreenWeddingShoes, TheEveryLastDetail, CynthiaMartyn, TheKnottyBride & StyleMePretty.

What do you think makes a dessert table fun and unique? We would love to know!

Make it pretty!

Wedding Tip Thursday! Maximizing your venue space

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So many friends and family…and coworkers, and parent’s friends, and neighbors, and oh-my-gosh-all-my-single-friends-are-bringing-dates and then those college friends you never thought would make the trip all RSVP yes…

What can you do when your “yes” pile outgrows your reception space? First and foremost, talk to your resources – this is a great time to call in the expertise of a professional planner, your caterer and your contact at the venue. And consider some of these options:

1. Use long banquet-style tables for seating. You can fit more people in any space using rectangles instead of rounds.

2. Design your layout to include tables on the dance floor. I suggest seating your younger, party-going friends at this table. Let them know in advance that their table will be removed during the cake cutting (while all your guests focus on you and the Groom feeding each other) and then they can plan to mingle at the bar and hit the dance floor!

3. Switch from a seated meal to heavy hors d’oeuvres and provide seating for a portion of your guests. Set food stations and bars throughout the space to encourage mingling and be sure to do your first dance early so the dance floor is open all night. (This option is yet The 31-years old Smirnow and also the 35-years old Surmacki, natives of Warsaw and Szczecin, correspondingly, have since been detained and asked by Machester government bodies for his or her supposed roles in starting a 36-hour denial-of-service attack from the Manchester-based online online best casino earlier this year. another reason not to offer entrée choices as part of your response card. I always recommend choosing one entrée – a duo such as filet and salmon is lovely – and then offer a vegetarian choice by request.

4. One last option, if your venue has a large outdoor space, is to rent a big, beautiful tent. It could add to your expenses but work with your venue to see what they can still provide (tables, chairs, etc.) and then rent additional items as needed. This is one way to actually add square footage to your reception space.

And last but not least, don’t panic. You have options! Not everyone can be as overwhelmingly popular as you and your fiancé so enjoy the party (and the wedding gifts) and remember – the more the merrier!

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Erin McLean Events wins Brides Choice Award 2013! | NC Wedding Planner


The Bride’s Choice Award is given away annually through Wedding Wire. This award is in place to recognize local wedding vendors who excel at taking care of their clients and providing top-notch services in the industry. There are a variety of categories, including an award for top wedding planner.This award is always so special to receive because the win is a direct correlation to the quality, quantity and consistency of client reviews. It is so heart-warming to know that we are providing a service that people appreciate and that they feel we helped make their wedding day as beautiful, special and amazing as it possibly could be.

We want to thank all of the brides for leaving reviews that led to winning this award. We appreciate each and everyone one of you, so thank you for your kind words!

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We can’t thank you guys enough as you continue to choose us as your trusted sidekick to tackle the planning, design and coordination of your wedding day. We are excited that we have remained in the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide, and we are planning to keep it that way!

We are excited for all of our 2013 brides and having another great year in 2013!

Inspire-Me Monday: White with pops of Color!

Today we want to share some timeless inspiration. White with pops of color is clean, yet fun – and it is so versatile to a variety of patterns and color schemes.


PhotoCredit: WeddingChicks, CynthiaMartyn, ElizabethAnneDesigns, StyleMePretty and MarthaStewartWeddings

What color would you use as your “pop” with white?

Make it pretty!

Castle Ladyhawke Wedding – North Carolina Wedding Planner
Luxury Wedding Planner

Justin and Bernie were married on October 20th at Castle Ladyhawke in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. It was the perfect time of year for a gorgeous mountain-side ceremony and reception. All of the leaves were changing color, which was the perfect backdrop for such a romantic event.

It was a pleasure being able to work with Bernie and Justin on their wedding. They were so fun to work with! We never stopped laughing throughout the whole planning! Their wedding featured a wine-tasting cocktail hour and an incredible menu. And when it was time to dance, everybody was on the dance floor! You can just tell how much fun everyone was having and how they were enjoying themselves and celebrating with the newlyweds.

Wedding Planner NC

Wedding Planner NC


Erin McLean Events

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Raleigh Wedding Planner

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How sweet is this ring bearer and flower girl?

Asheville Wedding


So happy when my couples love the finished product!

Wedding Decor

I have a great team of vendors to thank for helping make this such an amazing day.

Wedding Planning and Event Design: Erin McLean Events

Photographer – Kevin Milz

Caterer – Belles Catering

Hair & Makeup – Makeup For Your Day

Florist – The English Garden

Cake – Tiffany’s Baking Company

Band – MVP

Linens: CE Rentals 

Papergoods: Cute Buttons

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Thank you Bernie and Justin for letting me be a part of planning your wedding!! You both are so perfect for each other!!