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.

Carly + Earl | Prestonwood Country Club Wedding | North Carolina Wedding Planner


Gold Invitation Suite

Carly was a classic beauty and timeless bride. She and her mother were such a delight to plan with throughout the process. It was important to both Carly and Earl that their marriage remain the center focus of their celebration. They wanted to incorporate details that were personal to them and their relationship. They chose Prestonwood Country club since Cary is where Carly grew up! She also has her new monogram embroidered into her gown for her walk down the aisle, which also happened to be in blue! In bringing Carly’s vision for her wedding day to life, she knew she wanted a classic and elegant theme, but wanted to bring the outdoors inside the reception. We were able to do this through gorgeous centerpieces, cool hedging, and warm amber uplighting to illuminate the space.

Classic Cap Sleeve Gown

Gown Monogram

Crystal Bouquet Accessories


The crystal detail added to her bouquet was just stunning. We wanted to maintain that timeline feel but add a surprise element of  old world glamour.

Bridal Preparations

Church of the Good Shepard Wedding

Raleigh Groom

Blush Bridal Party

Classic Bride North Carolina

Church of the Good Shepard Wedding

Raleigh Bride and Groom

Downtown Raleigh Wedding

Blush Bouquet

Downtown Raleigh Bride and Groom

Dressing up the ballroom at Prestonwood isn’t hard – it is such a beautiful space in it’s own rite. We chose a color palette that played on its classic style and enhanced it with a little bit of glamour. Partnering with Fresh Affairs we sprinkled the ballroom with alternating height centerpieces, creating dimension and flow throughout the space. Carly loved warm classic colors, tying in ivories, blush tones, and pops of champagne sparkle n the linens. Incorporation the fresh greenery, ruscus, into the centerpieces brought the essence of summer indoors and added a natural texture.

Prestonwood Country Club Wedding

Gold Rim Charger

Gold Place Setting

Carly selected calligraphy Myra Jestor of Well Addressed Calligraphy for all of her paperie. We wanted to highlight her pristine craftsmanship into the reception. We added classic floral place cards and custom bar signage created by Myra as well as a stunning mirrored seating chart displayed on hedging during cocktail hour.

Prestonwood Cake

Prestonwood Wedding

Prestonwood Ballroom

Live Wedding Painter

Carly + Earl were gifted with a live painter for their reception. Maggie was able to capture the gorgeous space and the couple’s first dance! What an amazing keepsake.

Prestonwood Country Club Decor

Custom Wedding Koozie

Prestonwood Ballroom Wedding

Sol Fusion definitely brought the party for Carly + Earl’s reception. Everyone was on the dance floor having the time of their life! We loved bringing in this classic black and white dance floor to jazz up the space.

Sol Fusion Band

Krispey Kreme Favor

Carly and Earl wanted to send their guests home with a classic Carolina treat – what could be more fitting than Cheerwine and fresh Krispey Kreme doughnuts, both born in NC!

Prestonwood Grand Exit

Southern Grand Exit

Raleigh Wedding Car Service

Thank you to an excellent team of vendors who assisted in creating the perfect wedding day for Carly + Earl!

Event Planning + Design – Erin McLean Events

Ceremony – Church of the Good Shepard

Reception – Prestonwood Country Club

Photography – Robyn Van Dyke Photography

Florals – Fresh Affairs

Rentals – CE Rental

Hedging – Classic Party Rentals

Specialty Bar – Themeworks 

Transportation – A Formal Affair 

Reception Music – Sol Fusion Band 

Lighting – Total Production Services 

Calligraphy + Signage – Well Addressed Calligraphy

Exit Transportation – Carolina Car Service 

Live Painting – Maggie Kuhn 




A Holiday in the Pines | Event Design | Carolina Wedding Planner

Winter Tablescape

If  you could plan your idyllic dinner party for your closest friends, where would it be? We had this vision of a Southern afternoon holiday affair under the Pines of Eastern North Carolina. Sure, some might think we are crazy, but that is the beauty of it. With the weather on our side this year, this vision could be real. What could be more beautiful than a crisp white table set for 6 in the midst of such an organic setting. Bringing together the delicate sequin lace in the linen and the unexpected pop of rose gold stemmed champagne glasses and flatware against the rustic forest floor taking  your guests  on a journey to a scene from the iconic children’s book, “The Mitten”. You might even expect to see a mother doe stop by to say hello.

Christmas Dinner Party

Christmas is a time for magic, a time for visions to come to life in the pages of  children’s storybooks. Why not bring some of that magic to your holiday celebration? Think outside the box, bring a little of the unexpected to your table. Incorporate metallics or create an organic centerpiece from greenery out of your own back yard. Choose a talking pieces like a candelabra or interesting ghost accent chairs. Your guests will love your thoughtfulness and your table will exude a warmth and glow that makes the holidays so special.

Crisp White Table

Gold Calligraphy

Hand lettering your dinner menu is another way to make your guests feel like they are being treated to something unique – something special. Incorporate place cards and a signature cocktail to welcome them to the table. We incorporated the pine and bright blooms to warm the table and compliment the earthy metallics at each place setting.


Dinner Party Details

Creating events that engage guest’s senses through textures, smells, colors, and a true experience from start to finish makes us happy. The holidays make us happy. Bringing the two things together is fantastic. Treat your family and friends to something that will make a lasting memory. Whatever that vision may be in your heart. Merry Christmas friends!

Gold Menu Card

Winter Dinner Party

Fuschia Peonies

Photography – Graham Terhune Photography

Design + Florals – Erin McLean Events

Flatware + Linens – CE Rental



Megan + Austin | Southern Pines Wedding – Private Home Wedding | North Carolina Wedding Planner


When Megan and Austin came to us, they were so excited to have the opportunity to get married at Megan’s family’s home. If there is one thing we love planning it has to be private home weddings! Formally known as Knollwood House, the Radigan home is nestled in the long leaf pines of Southern Pines, North Carolina. With a lush golf course as the back drop, Megan and Austin would be married under strung chandeliers surrounded by their closest family and friends. As preparations for their wedding day began, we started with a concept of a open air  black and white affair with the warm glow of chandeliers hanging from the trees lighting up the night. As Megan’s vision evolved we incorporated lush centerpieces overflowing with gorgeous fuchsia peony blooms, warm ivory garden roses, and cascading greenery to tie in the outdoor theme.




Southern Pines Groom


Fuschia Bouquet

Keeping with the black and white theme, the bouquets were tied with simple black and white stripe ribbon for a classic touch to the bright color palette! We even snuck in some structured greenery with the addition of succulents to the bouquets.

Lilac Bridal Party



Southern Pines Outdoor Wedding

Ceremony Chandeliers


Often times our grooms only have a few requests for their wedding day, leaving most of the big plans to their bride to be – for Austin, it was his favorite cocktail to be a focal point of the day.  The request fit perfectly into the vision adding complimenting metallic element to each place setting – pairing nicely with the gold charger and gold flatware. Each guest was treated to their own copper Moscow Mule mug to take home and we didn’t stop there. Donovan’s dish whipped up several different renditions of the Groom’s favorite libation as a passed cocktail treat!



We added dimension to the space by mixing in a champagne sequin linen – always a eye catching favorite!



Bringing the vision of a home wedding to life is always such a treat for our team. Perhaps it is the personal meaning it gives to the space or a family opening up their home to be transformed into an ideal wedding day — either way, we get to work with the bride and groom to change a familiar spot into the wedding day they have always dreamed of , literally right in their backyard.

Classic Bride and Groom

First Dance Tent Wedding

Clear Tent Wedding

Moscow Mule Cockatil

Southern Pines Ceremony

We would like to send out a big “thank you” to all the vendors that collaborated to bring Megan + Austin’s wedding day to life. Cheers!

Planning + Design – Erin McLean Events

Florals – Erin McLean Events

Photography – Photos by Kristopher 

Venue – Knollwood House (Parent’s Home)

Ceremony Musicians – Elegant Ensembles

Reception Music – Bunn DJ Company

Catering – Donovan’s Dish 

Tenting + Rentals – Party Reflections

Lighting – Total Production Services

Transportation – Resort Valet 

Bakery – C-Cups CupCakery 

Photobooth – TapSnap

- Erin

Sarah + John | Blush + Gold Bay 7 Wedding | Durham Wedding Planner


Ah! What can I say about this couple except that they were such a pleasure to spend the last year planning with! Sarah has such a kind heart and her relationship with John was just as soft and sweet as the blush and gold tones she chose for their wedding day. From the gold lined envelopes to the gold foil cocktail napkins, each detail was chosen with thoughtfulness. On their wedding day, Sarah and John were very traditional and chose to see each other for the first time as she was walking down the aisle. When they arrived to Bay 7 and John helped his new wife out of the car, you could see how much joy they had in their hearts!






Sarah’s bouquet by Fresh Affairs was overflowing with blush and ivory roses that smelled as lovely as they looked. Sarah had her sisters join her as her bridesmaids, wearing gorgeous blush lace gowns.


Sarah Kelleher1

Sarah Kelleher

The couple’s warm glow translated into the magical glow of their Bay 7 reception space, accented with floating candles, soft ivory linens, and pops of pink in their centerpieces.


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Sarah Kelleher4



Sarah + John treated their guests to The Angus Barn’s world famous Chess Pie at the end of the evening and were sent off on their new adventure together in the glow of a sparkler send off!

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A big thank you to the team of vendors who brought Sarah + John’s day to life!

Planner: Carrington, Erin McLean Events

Reception Venue: Bay 7

Catering: The Angus Barn

Photography: Callie, Nancy Ray Photography 

Florals: Fresh Affairs

DJ: Randy, Bunn DJ Company 

Rentals: CE Rental

Lighting + Draping: Get Lit Special Event Lighting

Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery 

Church: St. Matthews Catholic Church





Jorie + Brian | Merrimon Wynne Wedding | Raleigh Wedding Planner


bride - merrimon wynne house

 Jorie is such a natural beauty! Her unique style translated so beautifully with the Merrimon Wynne House as the backdrop. She and Brian wanted a laid back, fun, and fanciful wedding celebration — we think her bouquet captured that essence perfectly. She chose a mix of pastels and wild greenery to give it such an organic look and feel. The illusion neckline and lace detail on her Ivy and Astor gown were stunning.


rose gold wedding rings

The couple chose rose gold for their wedding rings – very on trend for 2016!




Another trend that we love — mix and match bridesmaid gowns. We especially loved the color pairings Jorie chose for her bridal party. Her maids carried complimenting bouquets adding to the “boho chic” style of the wedding day.








 Jorie and Brian treated their guests to lawn games as dusk fell on their reception. The couple danced away under a chandelier adorned tent to the sounds of jazz tunes from Adrian Duke.




How delicious do these mini mason jar dessert shooters look! Just the perfect amount of Southern inspired touch!




Thank you to the great team of vendors that came together to make Jorie + Brian’s day happen!

Planner: Nicole, Erin McLean Events  

Venue: The Merrimon Wynne House

Catering: Donovan’s Dish

Photography: Morning Wild Photography

Makeup: Michelle Clark

Hair: Parlor Blow Dry Bar

Florist: Embellished Blooms

Reception Music: Adrian Duke

Rentals: Party Reflections

Cake: Kaiya Ramsey 


EME Happy Hostess Series | Tips For Hosting a Festive Thanksgiving | Signature Cocktail

Can you believe it is already time to start planning your holiday calendar?! For many of our “Type A” friends,  that calendar has probably been planned for quite some time, but for those of us who still have some Ts to cross and Is to dot, we have some hostess tips that will have you singing a thankful song!

Fall Tablescape

Photo by Nancy Ray Photography

We love the idea of hosting friends and family for the Holidays. I grew up spending those specials days at my grandmother’s house, which many of us Southerns did. I remember the smells of fresh made biscuits and honey ham baking in the old white ovens that I am am fairly certain they don’t make anymore. Now, it is up to us to be the hosts and hostesses, some times for family and sometimes for friends, also more recently dubbed as “Friendsgiving”.

While planning a lovely Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming, we encourage you to keep it simple and add just a few elements that make a big impact on your guests. We are kicking off the week before Thanksgiving with our first tip for making your guests smile from ear to ear at your next holiday gathering.

Tip 1: Welcome guests into your home with a fresh signature cocktail!

What a fun way to celebrate the arrival of your loved ones than to offer a lovely signature drink! We suggest choosing something with a classic and festive flare that will appeal to all of your guests. Little ones attending? consider choosing a drink that can be done with sparkling grape juice or a splash of Sprite so they can feel included in the hospitality! We love selecting a recipe that uses fresh ingredients and a bright garnish for extra cheer. Here are a few fanciful concoctions that will do just the trick —

Sparkling Pear + Cranberry Cocktail 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons dry cranberries
  • 1/2 cup organic pear nectar
  • 32 ounces Moscato d’Asti wine
  • 8 small sprigs fresh rosemary

How to Make it:

  1. Put cranberries in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons warm water. Soak until cool, about 15 minutes. drain, pat dry, and refrigerate until serving.
  2. Divide pear nectar evenly among eight tall champagne glasses. Add cranberries, and then gently pour the Moscato d’Asti into the glasses. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig.

Sparkling Pear

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living | Photo By Kirsten Strecker

Apple Cider Mimosa

What You’ll Need:

  • Apple Cider
  • Champagne
  • gold and silver sprinkles for rim of glass
  • apple slices for garnish

How to Make it:

  1. Dip the top of each champagne glass into water and then dip in the sprinkles to coat.
  2. Pour each champagne glass ½-3/4 full with apple cider.
  3. Top with champagne
  4. Garnish with apple slice


Recipe courtesy of The Cookie Rookie | Photo courtesy of the Cookie Rookie

Pumpkin Pie Shooters

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 oz whipped cream vodka
  • Marshmallow fluff
  • Graham cracker crumbs

How to Make it:

  1. Dip the top of your shot glasses in marshmallow fluff until the rim is coated.
  2. Dip the coated rim in graham cracker crumbs until marshmallow fluff is completely covered.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, creamer, vanilla and whipped cream vodka to your blender.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour pumpkin pie shots into graham cracker rimmed shot glasses.

Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Recipe + Photo Courtesy of A Night Owl Blog

Want to add a little more flair to your welcome cocktails? We recommend a stylish new serving tray to display your libations. For a reasonable but eye catching find, run out to your nearest Homegoods, Pier One, or Target location — you’re sure to find the perfect addition to your hostessing kit.

Have a favorite holiday drink that your friends and family love? We would love to hear about it! Visit us on Instagram at @erinmcleanevents or on Facebook at Look for Holiday Hosting Tip #2 coming soon!



Heather + Nate | Southern Summer Wedding | Chapel Hill Wedding Planner

Chapel Hill Wedding

Planning from Chicago was no challenge for Heather and Nate as they dreamed up a perfectly charming and chic wedding day at The Carolina Inn. They embraced Southern charms such as peonies, lace, blush pink, pictures at the Old Well and a surprise visit from the UNC mascot (arranged by the Groom as a gift to his Bride!). These sweet touches were enhanced with an amazing party band, Krispy Kreme Doughnut favors, and an exit on a pedicab. All the details were gorgeous but the spotlight was definitely on the couple and their families. Not only do Heather and Nate look like they are straight from a photoshoot, the love and respect they have for each other was inspiring. dnd the way they interacted, included and honored their parents while planning, was just as sweet as their relationship. What an honor it was to see these two wonderful people join together!

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites21

Wedding Details

Invitation Suite

Getting Ready Wedding Day

Heather put a six-pence in her shoe for good luck on her wedding day – such a unique and special touch!

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The Groom and groomsmen were pinned with fresh ranunculus accented with a rose bud and ruscus. The perfect boutonniere for a summer wedding celebration!

Southern Bride

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First Look - groom

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Heather’s bridesmaids wore long flowing blush gowns that paired perfectly with their bouquets tied with satin ribbon.

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 Thank you to Heather + Nate for allowing us to be a part of their celebration and to all the vendors that made it happen!

Venue – The Carolina Inn

Planner – Erin McLean Events

Photographer – Britta Marie Photography

Florist – University Florist

Ceremony Musicians – Save the Date Music 

Cake –Sugarland

Band –Liquid Pleasure 

Mascot – UNC Chapel Hill Athletics

Bride + Groom Transportation – Greenway Transit Pedicap 






New York Bridal Fashion Week 2015

Last week the Erin McLean Events Team jetted off to New York City for Bridal Fashion Week 2015!  In a whirlwind of fantastic events, sites, and experiences, we got to get a taste of all things Bridal in store for 2016.


First on the agenda – swooning over the lovely feminine and flowing gowns coming from the runway in the spring. Our favorite go-to designers and some newer artists flooded the runways with soft silhouettes, stunning painted designs, feminine hues, and floral accents. Also on trend – modest midriffs and cut-outs. We are in love!

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Photos by The Knot | Designs by Carolina Herrera + Romona Keveza

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Photos by The Knot | Designs by Pnina Tornai + Austin Scarlett

Fashion Week 158

Photos by The Knot | Designs by Hayley Paige + Alon Livne

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Next on the agenda – scoping out the New York Flower District. We couldn’t make a trip to the city without perusing through what we consider to be floral heaven. Even though we only caught the tail-end of the day’s market, the sidewalks and store fronts were teeming with scents of dahlias, fresh cut roses, and all the rest of our favorite blooms (which is of course all of them). The city treated us to a perfect warm sunshine filled Fall day for our self-guided tour which we topped off with a visit to Baked By Melissa for a mini cupcake treat!

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Sunday was capped off with a little soiree hosted by our favorite ladies at Be Inspired PR. The EME team was so excited to be a part of the annual Tassels and Tastemakers networking celebration at Lugo Cucina in Manhattan. We were treated  to music from The Matchmaker Band (so good!), a showcase of bling from Simon G, and of course tasty sweets from Magnolia Bakery!

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On Monday, we headed Downtown to one of our favorite spots — Kleinfield’s Bridal for the Pnina Tornai show — also spotted, Kleinfield’s own Randy Fenoli, Danielle + Kevin Jonas, and the NFL’s Devon Still and his Fiance, Asha Joyce. The team all agreed that the show favorite was a gorgeous silk crop-top gown accented with a feminine neckline and perfect bow detail.

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A trip to #NYBFW wouldn’t have been complete without the crown jewels of celebrations – we were honored to attend Martha Stewart Weddings Market Party AND The Knot Gala at New York’s Public Library. Both were alive with celebration and industry pros, showcases of top-notch vendors, and of course plenty of sparkle and champagne! We had the pleasure of chatting with Nine Cakes who’s designs were front and center at The Knot as well as so many other industry friends.

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Our team met for a #NYBFW recap session at a little Parisian brunch spot in the West Village,  Buvette, on Tuesday morning before heading back to Raleigh. We can’t wait to see all the trends, new ideas, and excitement come to life with our 2016 clients. We are already counting down to next year!

XOXO – The Erin McLean Events Team





The Carolina Inn Wedding | Chapel Hill Wedding Planner | Katie + Scott

Chapel Hill Bride

These lovebirds were so much fun to work with! Katie and Scott wanted a classic black and white affair at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill – but boring need not apply. On a cool spring day in May, Katie donned a beautiful lace gown and married Scott in Chancellor’s Ballroom framed by a gorgeous archway of greenery, hydrangea, and garden roses.  Despite a little drizzle the couple took full advantage of the ground at the Inn – capturing a romantic moment at during their first look.

Lace Veil

Southern Wedding Details

Southern Bride

Southern Groom

Groom First Look

First Look

Southern First Look

Peony bouquet

Ceremony Space - Chancellors Ballroom

Chancellors Ballroom Ceremony

Reception Decor - Hill Ballroom

Hill ballroom was filled with the scent of blooming hydrangea and lush ivory linens donned the table tops. Guests were greeted to the reception with fresh baked gold macarons escorting them to their seat. Everyone danced the night away to the sounds of  Jupiter Jones, a band the couple picked after seeing them perform locally at one of their favorite hot spots. The night was capped off with rose petals floating through the air, as the bride and groom made their exit into the night!

Macaron Escort Cards

Hydrangea center piece - Hill Ballroom

Ivory wedding decor

simple wedding cake - champagne sequin


Katie and Scott chose a  simple cake design but brought it to life with a happy champagne sequin linen and the glow of candle light!

Grand exit rose petals


Planning + Design – Erin McLean Events 

Florals – Tre Bella 

Photography – Cyn Kain Photography

Videography – Oak City Films 

Venue – The Carolina Inn

Cake – Ashley Cakes

Hair + Makeup – Makeup For Your Day 

Reception Music – Jupiter Jones

Rentals – CE Rental 

Favors – Sugar Euphoria 

Ceremony Musicians – Elegant Ensembles

Paperie – Wiregrass Weddings

- Erin


Courtney + Joe | Charlotte Wedding Planner | Erin McLean Events


Courtney & Joe were such a sweet couple to work with. They are the type of couple who’s joy and love is contagious. This translated to a purely fun wedding weekend. The inspiration for their wedding day literally “stemmed” from a simple but so lovely stem of fresh lavender.

Courtney’s favorite color and the perfect representation of the sweet smell of a spring day in North Carolina, we incorporate the lavender theme throughout. From the detail of the couple’s invitations, bridesmaid dresses, and Courtney’s stunning bouquet, to a chic lavender champagne signature cocktail and a fresh lavender toss send off at the end of the evening, the inspiration was carried seamlessly throughout the day.

Courtney & Joe’s chic style was accented by the clean and crisp feel of Separk Mansion and framed by the perfect spring evening shining off a crystal chandelier as they said “I do”. We chose a champagne sequin linen for Courtney & Joe’s headtable to capture the couple’s charismatic energy. The couple and their loved ones danced away to Old Crowe Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheel, as an ode to their alma mater and the place they first met, while sipping champagne from family heirloom flutes. It was truly the perfect amount of charm that captured the couple’s personality and made for a magical wedding day for Mr. & Mrs. Norton.


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Congratulations to Mr & Mrs. Norton! We loved planning your special day and we hope your life is filled with many more! Thank you to all the vendors that made this dream possible.

Coordination + Design – Carrington,  Erin McLean Events

Ceremony & Reception –  Separk Mansion

Florals- Pink Petunia Floral Designs

Catering + Cake- Southern Gourmet

Rentals- CE Rental / Creative Solutions

Photography- Katherine Elena Photography

DJ – Split Second Sound

Transportation – Holiday Tours / Royal Limo