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.


Sara + John | Modern Day Cinderella’s Ball | Chapel Hill Wedding

Summer Outdoor Wedding

It doesn’t take much to see that Sara and John are in love. It also doesn’t take much to see that they just might have been a prince and princess in love in another life. When Sara first came to us dreaming up her wedding day, she wanted something that effortlessly brought a classically timeless vision with a modern and young twist to together.

Calligraphy Invitations Navy
Carolina Inn Bride

Dapper Groom

Gray Groomsmen Attire

Lace Wedding Gown

Navy Jcrew Bridesmaids

Legacy Wedding Photos

Chapel Hill Catholic Wedding

Chapel Hill Catholic Church Wedding

Popsicle Cocktail

With the quintessentially Southern Carolina Inn as their backdrop, we wanted to capture a romantic feel with a clean edge. Incorporating acrylic as a focal point of Sara & John’s design and combining with the unique structure of cascading orchids, and texture in alternating place setting designs against a very traditional ballroom brought Cinderella’s Ball to life and into 2016!

All White Wedding

Acrylic wedding details

Calligraphy Seating Chart

Unique Seating Chart

Southern Wedding Ideas

Sara + John were absolutely magazine worthy on their wedding day – a stunner of a couple!

Acrylic Seating Chart

Favorite element of design, perhaps ever, this hand lettered custom built acrylic seating chart by Well Addressed Calligraphy, and dreamed up by EME and Watered Garden. It was the perfect focal point of the colonnade and teaser to the elegant ballroom design inside.

White Ballroom Wedding

Navy Place setting Details

Yellow House Calligraphy and Purple Puddle Stationery created the perfect navy menu card to accent each place setting.

Cinderella Wedding Inspiration

White Orchid Centerpiece

These dripping orchid centerpieces by Waterd Garden were to die for – adding acrylic tables numbers, creamy linens and loads of candle light brought the ballroom to life!

After Party Design

There is a twist though, because instead of turning into a pumpkin after dinner, we welcomed guests into an after party sparkling with gold sequins and vibrant fuchsia blooms to dance the night away. To cap off a night made out of a modern day fairy tale, guests were treated to what can only be described as a Southern princess’ favorite treat, Bojangles made from scratch chicken biscuits. If you don’t know what we are talking about, then you haven’t truly lived.

Old Well ballroom Wedding

Gold Sequin Wedding

Fuchsia Wedding Design Uplighting

Gold Grooms Cake Design

What’s a sparkling gold after party without a Guinness inspired groom’s cake dripping in dark chocolate?? Guests were also treated to a full array of decadent chocolate treats and a yummy Gelato bar!

Pink Peony and Gold Sequin Detail

Bojangles Late Night Snack

Family Wedding

Sara & John’s bond with their families was one of the best part of planning with them. Their love for each other and genuine joy being around each other was contagious!

Old Well Ballroom Wedding Design

From the beautifully paired ivory, creams, and whites of dinner to the bold metallics and pinks of the after party, Sara and John’s wedding day was a spectacular spectrum of elegance and glamour, surprising their loved ones at every turn. As guests departed for the evening Sara and John were cheered off into the night to the glow of sparklers lighting up the night.

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Sara  + John were also recently featured in Southern Bride & Groom Magazine!

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Heart Stone Films did an incredible job capturing the essence of the day – watch S+J’s highlight film here!

 

This magical night was an amazing collaboration of an a-list team of vendors!

Planning  + Design – Erin McLean Events

Ceremony Venue – St. Thomas More

Reception Venue – The Carolina Inn 

Photography – Perry Vaile Photography

Videography – Heart Stone Films

Florals – The Watered Garden 

Rentals – CE Rental 

Hair + Makeup – Makeup For Your Day 

Band – Sleeping Booty Band

Cake – Cinda’s Creative Cakes

Gelato Bar – Sugarland 

Sound + Lighting – Total Production Services 

Ceremony Music – Elegant Ensembles

Transportation – EcoStyle Transportation

Photobooth – Shutter Booth 

Cheers!

Erin + Carrington 

 

 

 

Lauren + Ben | An Old Southern Tradition | The Carolina Inn

Southern Bride

As we begin a new season of the year and welcome the cooler breeze and cozy scarf weather, we can’t help but reflect back on some of the fantastic weddings we were so fortunate to be a part of this summer. One that is particularly top of mind today — Lauren & Ben’s Southern Summer wedding, steeped in tradition, simplistic beauty, and a whole lot of fun. This couple knew how to play their cards right. Not only did they summon up some good old Southern folk lore to chase the rain away, they were blessed with a breathtaking double rainbow to prove it. How you might ask, did the forecast of 100% chance of rain on L+B’s wedding day turn into a sunshine filled afternoon as they said “I Do”? Well you’ll have to keep reading to find out their secret…Miss Dior wedding day

Traditional Wedding Bands

Plum Pretty Sugar Robes Chapel Hill Bride

Lauren had immaculate taste right down to these lovely little robes by Plum Pretty Sugar for her posse of ladies! We love the bright pops of color and all the sweet matching smiles the girls donned on L’s day. Shout out to Makeup For Your Day for the gorgeous wedding day hair + makeup!

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Chapel Hill groom

Ben’s father served as his best man, their relationship and closeness was so evident throughout the week – such a great touch to include family in your wedding party!

Southern groomsmen North Carolina

Carolina Blue Bridesmaids

Lauren chose a soft blue hue for her bridemaids’ gowns by Amsale, reminiscent of her Alma Mater , UNC Chapel Hill. The bright white and blush bouquets filled with peonies, hydrangea, and of course peonies, were created by the ever talented, Tre Bella Florist. Lauren’s gown may have been the crown jewel of the day, so elegant and quintessentially Southern. A design by Romona Keveza, and chosen from Traditions by Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina, the lace sleeve detail was breathtaking and Lauren was absolutely stunning in it.

Romona Keveza Bride

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Father Daughter First look

Have you ever seen a daddy look so proud. Love this shot captured by Nancy Ray Photography just moments before Lauren walked down the aisle!

Southern Gentleman Groom

University Presbyterian Wedding Chapel Hill

So I promised you the secret to sunshine on your wedding day. True to Southern tradition and proved to be accurate by Lauren + Ben, they buried a bottle of bourbon the month before their wedding day in the place they were to be married.  So once the vows were said and the knot was tied, Ben and his new Father-in-Law dug up the bottle and toasted to the good weather and the new Mr. and Mrs. Leader! When all the guests were safely to the Carolina Inn for the evening’s festivities, the clouds released and Chapel Hill was sprinkled with a sweet spring rain and capped off with the most amazing double rainbow right above the Carolina Inn for all to see.

Bury the bourbon tradition

Wedding day rainbow

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Entryway Centerpiece peonies Hydrangea White and Blush

All of L’s details were as classic and beautiful as she was. Mixing warm ivories, hints of gold detail, and easy flowing greenery, the Hill Ballroom was transformed into a magical space to dance the night away!

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Did you catch that? Another nod to Southern heritage? The Mint Julep cup made a subtle appearance in some of the couple’s cocktail arrangements sprinkled throughout the reception space.

Ashley Cakes Design

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One of my favorite personal elements that we brought into Lauren + Ben’s design was a nod to both of their sweet Pups, Millie and Riggs. Each had their namesake on a signature craft cocktail that guests sipped on throughout the evening. The Champagne inspired Millie and the Bourbon inspired Riggs. 
Signature Cocktails Carolina Inn

Southern Bride Glamour

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Lauren’s mom Shari, surprised her with the most amazing wedding day gift! A live painter to capture Lauren + Ben’s first dance, the end result I am sure is not front and center in their living room!

Dan Nelson Live Painter

Sweet Father Daughter Dance

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Wedding Swag

One last little treat for guests. TWO southern delicacies, Krispey Kreme doughnuts AND Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Guests were thrilled. I can think of a better night cap than that!


southern wedding favors

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Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Lauren Leader! Wishing you a lifetime of joy and sparkling happiness!

Carolina Inn Sparkler Exit

Thank you to a fantastic team of vendors who collaborated on L+B’s wedding!

Lauren and Ben were also recently featured on Style Me Pretty!

Planning + Design – Carrington, Erin McLean Events

Photography – Nancy Ray Photography

Ceremony Venue – University Presbyterian Church

Reception Venue – The Carolina Inn

Florals – Tre Bell Florist

Band – Groovetown Band

Cake – Ashley Cakes

Rentals – CE Rental

Live Painter – Dan Nelson

Transportation – Carolina Livery

Gown – Traditions By Anna, Romona Keveza

Bridesmaids Gowns – Amsale

Hair + Makeup – Makeup For Your Day 

Calligraphy – Well Addressed Calligraphy

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Kate + Michael | Magnolia Wedding Magic | The Carolina Inn

Green Wedding Details

If there ever was a classically stunning bride, it was Kate. Every choice she made for her wedding added to the elegance of the day. Guests must have known they were in for a treat when they opened their envelopes to find a lovely magnolia inspired envelope holding their invitation. She and Michael didn’t disappoint. Kate donned a beautiful lace gown that fit her just perfectly — paired with a glittering pair of Jimmy Choos, every girl’s wedding day dream. Gifted with a beautiful day full of summer sun, the couple said I do in Chapel of the Cross, a gorgeous church in the heart of Chapel Hill. As they made their exit from the chapel, the afternoon light was just perfect for what turned out to be jaw-dropping portraits captured by Nancy Ray Photography. Kate’s wedding day inspiration came from her Alma Mater, Wake Forest, where the campus is dotted with magnificent magnolia trees at every turn.

Lace Gown

Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes
Magnolia Invitations, Calligraphy

The hand created invitations were done by the talented Page Palmer, of Penned By Palmer lettering. One of our favorite invitation suites to date. 
Classic Bridal Details, Carolina Inn Bride

One-Shoulder Navy Bridesmaids

Summer Navy Bridesmaid Dresses

How amazing is the sunshine in this photo – Kate was married with her best friends by her side in floor length navy gowns. We loved the one-shoulder detail!

Ranunculus boutonniere

Chapel of the Cross Wedding Program

Chapel of the Cross Wedding Ceremony

Chapel of the Cross Wedding

This photo is one for the wall – just beautiful!!

Ivory Peony Bouquet

Kate chose a simple ivory bouquet of lush peonies for her day. They paired perfectly with her gown and her classically elegant taste.

Father Daughter first look

Navy Bridal Party

Ivory Ballroom Design

Magnolia Chair Swag

Calligraphy Escort Cards

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Kate and Michael said their good-byes under a flood of ivory rose petals from family and friends!

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Thank you to a fantastic team of vendors who worked together to bring this day to life!

Planning + Design – Erin McLean Events

Ceremony Venue – Chapel of the Cross

Reception Venue – The Carolina Inn

Florals – Tre Bella

Photography – Callie, Nancy Ray Photography 

Calligraphy – Penned by Palmer

Invitations – Sealed Design Studio

Cake – Ashley Cakes 

Hair + Makeup – Ceremony Salon 

Band – 10 Spot, Sam Hill Entertainment 

Transportation – A Formal Affair 

Rentals – CE Rental 

- Erin

Elisa + Craig | Social Media Sweethearts | Chapel Hill Wedding

Southern Weddings

Not many couples can say they met through Instagram but such is the case with Elisa + Craig – #howcuteisthat? You never know what can come about when you start “following” someone on social media! What came about for these two was a Great Gatsby-inspired wedding tailored to the couple’s romantic vision of gold, white and timelessness.  Elisa stepped straight off the runway in a stunning gown and picture-perfect hair and makeup (Can we say Old Hollywood at its best!?) while Craig sported a classic black tux. In fact, you may recognize this gorgeous couple as they are featured in the ad on the back cover of Southern Weddings Magazine and a blog feature!

Groom's Gift

Lula Hair and Makeup Stylist

Carolina Inn Bride

Bridal Shoes

Groom Cuff links

Chapel Hill Groom

Yellow gold wedding bands

Bridal Party Selfie

Groomsmen

Floral Crown Flower girl

Carolina Inn Bride

yellow rose bouquet

Carolina Inn First look

Chapel Hill Bride and Groom

Hill Courtyard Ceremony

The Carolina Inn was the perfect backdrop as these L.A. based Sweetheart’s said “I do” in front of gilded magnolia leaves and a family-made cross adorned with floral garland. Music played a major role in the celebration as many relatives and friends (You may even recognize some famous faces!) serenaded them throughout the ceremony and reception. Personal choices to incorporate a prayer circle during the ceremony and to dance to a live version of “Endless Love” stood out as unique pieces of the celebration.

Anne Hill Courtyard Ceremony

Champagne Bridesmaids Dresses

We loved the Bridesmaid’s champagne lace dresses and the adorable Junior and Petite Bridesmaids! Signature cocktails served on the Front Porch, a mirrored table assignments sign, sweet thank you notes to guests and an oh-so-glamorous cake were lovely touches.

Signature Cocktail Front Porch

Carolina Inn Bridal Party

Old Well Ballroom Decor

Old Well Ballroom Draping

Gold Wedding Cake

Bridal Party Introductions

Toasts Old Well Ballroom

Old Well Ballroom Photobooth

Carolina Inn Grand Exit

Grand Exit Chapel Hill

One thing was abundantly clear through this wedding day – they are surrounded by love and blessings. Such an adoring family, supportive and fun friends, and the way they look at each other is nothing short of an epic romance.  Mustang Grand Exit

Planner – Tia, Erin McLean Events

Venue – The Carolina Inn

Photography – Grain + Compass

Hair + Makeup – Lula Hair and Makeup

Videography – Grain + Compass

Florals – Barbara Long

Reception Music – The Local DJ

Rentals – CE Rental

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Lorea + Kyle | Lovely Blush Garden Wedding | The Carolina Inn

Blush Garden Wedding

Lorea is a true Southern lady with an infections laugh and great style. She met her sweet groom Kyle while working together on Capital Hill. We playful called the theme of her wedding was blush and bashful with just the right dash of gold glitter.

Blush Invitation Suite - Smitten on Paper

When we started designing her wedding it was clear that Lorea and Kyle wanted their wedding to have an effortless elegance. We used greenery and soft blush peonies as the floral inspiration. The florist used gorgeous green garland that mimicked their fun and pretty invitations.

Classic Carolina Inn Wedding

Hill Courtyard Wedding

North Carolina Bridal Party

Blush Peony Bouquet
Navy Bridesmaids Chapel Hill Wedding

The Carolina Inn Hill Ballroom Ceremony

Hill Ballroom Ceremony

Following a tearful and sentimental wedding ceremony the wedding guests made their way to the Front Porch of the Carolina Inn and were met with passed fried green tomatoes, lamb lollipops, beef bourguignon, and more scrumptious appetizers. Guests were then ushered into the the gorgeous black and white floor reception with plenty of rose gold sequin and garland. The guests danced all night and the bride and groom made their joyful sparkler to close out the evening.

Champagne Sequin

Tall Greenery and Blush Centerpiece

Ashley Cakes Classic Butter Cream Design

Carolina Inn First Dance
Classic Blush and White Cake
Old Well Ballroom Toasts

Old Well Ballroom Draping

We loved the simple elegance of adding soft ivory draping in the space!

Late Night Snack Cheerwine

Lorea + Kyle wanted a sweet Southern treat for their guests to snack on a the end of the evening — Cheerwine, a native of North Carolina, and doughnuts were the perfect send off!

Carolina Inn Grand Exit

Sparkler Exit Carolina Inn

This wedding and sweet couple were something out of our planning dreams all the way up to this fabulous little number Lorea changed into for their grand exit! Thank you to all the vendors who made this night so magical!

Planning + Design – Erin, Erin McLean Events

Florals – Tre Bella Florist

Venue – The Carolina Inn

Photography – Graham Terhune Photography

Rentals – CE Rental

Cake – Ashley Cakes

Ceremony Musicians – Elegant Ensembles

Videography – Heartstone Films 

Paperie – Smitten on Paper 

Reception Music – Another Level, Sam Hill Entertainment

Gown – Mikaella Bridal 

Bridesmaids’ Gowns – Bill Levkoff

Transportation – Carolina Livery 

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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!

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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!

View More: http://brittamariephotography.pass.us/heather-and-nate

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.

View More: http://brittamariephotography.pass.us/heather-and-nate

View More: http://brittamariephotography.pass.us/heather-and-nate

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View More: http://brittamariephotography.pass.us/heather-and-nate

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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 

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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

 

Meredith + James’ Carolina Inn Wedding | Erin McLean Events | Chapel Hill Wedding Planner

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When I first spoke with Meredith + James, they said their focus for their wedding day was to be hospitable to their guests, for the family to really enjoy it and to have a seamless flow. Right off the bat, I knew this was a gracious couple who came from amazing families and would be a joy to work with! As if that weren’t enough, their taste was impeccable and the entire event was stunning. Each and every detail was unique and hand-picked by the couple and even the perfect spring weather fell in line perfectly with their vision.

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

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And the dress – a chic art deco feel completely covered with sparkles.  It was accented beautifully by her earrings and bouquet!

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

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Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

 

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Sometimes the simple elegance of garland and peonies says it all for a ceremony. Loved the draping of the ceremony space with greenery and these perfectly blooming Bridesmaid’s bouquets.

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

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Carolina Blue, crisp white and lots of silvery greenery filled the reception space. I loved seeing all the tulips!

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

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Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

How much fun is this party dress and his open bow tie with suspenders?! Meredith + James were having so much fun at the reception, I could barely coax them into exiting through rose petals and onto a UNC golf cart. None of us wanting this night to end!

Meredith Petty & James Hughes

Wedding Coordinator: Tia, Erin McLean Events

Venue: The Carolina Inn

Photography: Exum Photography

Florist: Special Arrangements

Cake: Ashley Cakes

Videography: Reel Weddings

Ceremony Music: Save The Date

Reception Music: Groovetown Band

Hair/Makeup: Mina’s Studio

Rentals: TCS Events

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Lauren + Mac’s Carolina Inn Wedding | Erin McLean Events | Chapel Hill Wedding Planner

Lauren envisioned a beautiful garden theme for her wedding day and there couldn’t have been a more perfect setting than the Carolina Inn in summertime. But Lauren + Mac didn’t just choose the Inn for its charm and beauty – they also had a sentimental reason, they met there! We loved the tying in the soft blush, pinks, and greens with the theme – it couldn’t have turned out more perfect!


  This lovely cake by Sweet Memories bakery was the perfect fir with the garden party!

 

 


 



 

Wedding Coordination: Erin McLean Events

Ceremony and Reception: The Carolina Inn

Florals: Bride and Erin McLean Events

Photography: Julie Livingston

Cake: Sweet Memories

Officiant: Barbara Lodge

Band: Peter Lamb

Hair/Makeup: Makeup for Your Day

- Erin

 

 

 

 

Colleen + Dale’s Blue Zone Wedding – Chapel Hill Day of Coordinator

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The light was magnificent as it came through all the windows at this Blue Zone wedding overlooking Kenan Stadium! A traditional church ceremony started the day and the Bridal Party and guests traveled via trolley to the reception. Colleen and Dale kept their wedding day fresh and classic!

Cooper Wedding

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We loved the blue and gray palette that was accented with white and green florals. The Blue Zone added a modern backdrop and a surprise guest joined cocktail hour – the UNC mascot, Ramses!Cooper Wedding4

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Glass vases, metallic linens, and mirrored table “numbers” created the right amount of shiny touches to add a little glamor to the reception.Enhanced_0819

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Best wishes Colleen and Dale, what an amazing night of memories! Thank you to all the vendors who worked together to make this wedding so beautiful.

Day of Coordinator: Tia, Erin McLean Events

Venue: Upper Club at The Blue Zone

Caterer: Rocky Top Hospitality

Photographer: Carden’s Design

Florist: The English Garden

Baker: Simply Cakes

Reception Music/Photobooth: Triad DJ and Events

Transportation: Historic Salisbury Trolley

Rentals: CE Rental

Hair and Makeup: Mina’s Studio

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