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.


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


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 


Erin + Carrington 




Lauren + Jeff | Classic Southern Summer Affair | Duke Gardens Wedding

Blush bridesmaid dresses

Talk about a classic Southern affair. This lovely Duke Gardens summer wedding was just perfect. Lauren + Jeff have immaculate taste. From the blush and gold reception details to the heirloom WWI cake cutting sword, this couple treated their guests to a gorgeous night of music and sparkling cocktails.  The weather was perfect and the bridal party was glowing in floor length blush gowns – perfect for summer. Jeff and Lauren, both Duke grads, chose to do the non-traditional first look on the campus where they first met. With their wedding party looking on, they got to share a sweet moment together before exchanging their vows.

Duke Gardens Wedding

Classic North Carolina Wedding

Classic Lace Wedding Gown

Southern Bride

Getting Ready Bridal Photos

The Mrs. Box

Lauren’s stunning solitaire was right at home in her new Mrs. Box.

Minted Invitation Suite

Classic Groom Boutonniere

Ivory and Blush Lush Bouquet

Lauren’s bouquet was a gorgeous mix of warm blush and ivories, a compilation of dahlias, garden roses, hydrangea, and ranunculus.

Blush Bridesmaids

Ivory Bridesmaid's Bouquet

Duke Gardens Wedding

Duke Gardens Wedding Ceremony

Southern Outdoor Wedding

Duke Bride and Groom

Heirloom Family Wedding Photos

Gold Table Numbers

Grooms Car Cake

Classic Ivory Buttercream Cake

Southern Signature Cocktail

Among all the pretty details were these custom bar signs created for the bride and groom. Guests were treated to Singapore & Stormy cocktails – an ode to the Groom’s upbringing in Singapore and Georgia Peaches for Lauren’s Southern roots.

Greenery Table Runner

Bride and Groom Headtable

First Dance Bride and Groom

Cake Cutting Duke Gardens

Pom Pom Grand Exit


A big thank you to all the vendors who brought Lauren + Jeff’s day to life!

Wedding Planning – Carrington, Erin McLean Events

Photography – Callie Davis, Nancy Ray Photography

Venue – Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Catering + Cake – Catering Works

Videography – Twenty-One Films

Florals – Tre Bella Florist 

Ceremony Sound + Reception Music – Bunn DJ Company 

Ceremony Musicians – Justin Hoke Duo

Hair + Makeup – Makeup For Your Day 

Ceremony Officiant – Barbara Lodge

Rentals – CE Rental

Transportation – Carolina Livery 

Lighting / AV – Get Lit Special Event Lighting




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!

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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

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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





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





Anne + Alex | North Carolina Outer Banks Wedding | Erin McLean Events

Southern Wedding Planner

Sweet, Simple. Southern. Anne and Alex embodied these 3 attributes and wanted their wedding day to reflect those things. Which is why they wanted a Beaufort Wedding. Beaufort, NC is the epitome of simple southern perfection. The Beaufort Historical Site reception was the perfect backdrop for their Spring wedding night. Framed by newly bloomed azalea and the ocean air, the Historical Site had just the right amount of vintage southern charm  that the couple was looking for. We couldn’t get enough of all the details that fit just right into the feel of their dream wedding, from the weathered signage, and quaint Ann Street Methodist Church to the fragrance of a Southern Spring coming into its own, the scene couldn’t have been more ideal.

Anne + Alex envisioned a southern wedding that honored their roots. They chose classic attire, from the bow ties down to the classic cut champagne bridesmaid dresses, they hit the mark. Greenery draped chandeliers, a candlelit tent, and heirloom family photos brought the scene together. Sweet southern perfection.

Southern Church Wedding

NC Coast Wedding

Vintage Wedding


Southern Bridal Party

Beaufort Historical Site Wedding

Outer Banks Wedding Planner

Outer Banks Wedding

North Carolina Bridesmaids Dresses

Golfcart Getaway

Coast Weddings

Beaufort Wedding

Tent Wedding Decor
Beaufort Tent Wedding

Garden Wedding

Alex + Anne chose a very classic cake topper and simple greenery to accent their dessert spread. We LOVED how these details paired with family heirloom photos dating back generations.

Southern Charm Wedding

What southern wedding isn’t complete without fresh baked biscuits and mason jar cocktails?

Southern Wedding Details
Beaufort Historical Site Wedding

Outdoor Tent Wedding

Beach Tent Wedding

The couple and their loved ones danced away to classic beach music under the twinkling tent lights that lit up the night.

Tent Wedding

Wedding Favors

The couple chose a homemade limoncello as a “thank you” to their guests for celebrating with them. Such a unique and yummy favor idea!

Tent Wedding Exit

Beaufort Historical Site Tent

Wedding Exit

How amazing is this exit?? A vintage, paneled surfers dream car – we couldn’t have chosen anything more perfect to cap off a beautiful night in Beaufort!

Beach Grand Exit

Thank you to all the oh-so-lovely vendors that made this beautiful day possible!

Coordination, Florals, +  Design – Erin McLean Events

Ceremony – Ann Street United Methodist Church

Tented Reception – Beaufort Historical Site

Catering – Belle’s Catering

Linens – CE Rental

Band – The Brothership

Photographer – Nancy Ray Photography

Hair & Makeup – Lula Hair & Makeup

Baker – Sugarloaf Bakery

Tenting – Chair and Equipment Rentals


- Erin











Jennifer + Whitfield’s Stockroom Wedding – Raleigh Wedding Planner

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Ah, this couple!! We had so much fun planning their winter Stockroom wedding! Jennifer and Whitfield wanted a wedding that was elegant and classic, but reflected their fun personalities. We chose a neutral palate and incorporated some great textures to add interest. I had a first at this wedding, we lost power during the ceremony! Eek, not that I panicked, well maybe for a brief  moment. But the guests didn’t miss a beat. Everyone took out the flashlights on their phones and lit the way for the couple to get married!   It was fantastic!

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Thank you to an outstanding team of vendors!

Reception: The Stockroom

Caterer: Belle’s Catering

Wedding Planning and Design : Erin with Erin McLean Events

Photographer: Megan Kime Photography

Rentals: CE Rental

Cake: Ashley Cakes

Florist:Tre Bella

DJ: Bunn DJ Company, Randy Bennett

Hair & Makeup: Makeup For Your Day

Transportation: White Horse Transportation

- Erin

Sarah + Andrew’s Carolina Inn Wedding – Chapel Hill Wedding Planner



Sarah and Andrew were married this November in a gorgeous Duke Chapel Wedding Ceremony and a wonderful Carolina Inn Wedding Reception. Sarah and Andrew are just the sweetest couple. Their families made the planning so enjoyable and fun. They are huge UNC fans and we had a great time tying it into the reception. Sarah and her mom wanted a classically elegant wedding that also showed the youthfulness of the couple.

When we started discussing the wedding design we knew we would have to have two separate spaces to accommodate the guest count. We designed the reception space to reflect the classic elegance of this couple. By using champagnes, different textures of satins, gorgeous linens, and a multitude of ivory florals, the dinner reception was stunning!

After dinner guests were ushered into the dance reception where we incorporated some fun blue sequin linens, a delicious gelato bar, and some great uplighting!




The ties and cummerbunds were custom made for the family by Julian’s in Chapel Hill. Such a great keepsake.

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How adorable are the favor mugs? We had coffee in half and hot chocolate for the other half!





We worked with a fabulous team of vendors for this wedding!

Venue: The Carolina Inn

Ceremony: Duke Chapel

Wedding Planning and Design: Erin McLean Events, Erin McLean

Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography

Florist: Fresh Affairs

Cake Baker: Cinda’s Creative Cakes

Rentals: CE Rentals

Band: Voltage Brothers

Lighting: Total Production Services

Inviations: Maria Scheel Invitations





EME Welcomes Karen Lee to the Team!

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We are so excited to announce that Karen will be joining the Erin McLean Events family! We love her fun energy and enthusiasm and we are excited for what she will bring to the team.

 1.     What did you want to be when you grew up?

After I found out that I couldn’t be a mermaid, I wanted to be a chef.

2.     What makes you good at your job?

I’m very detail-oriented and good at editing. I can usually spot a typo at a quick glance.

3. What do you love most about planning weddings?

Unexpected details. I like finding ways to make things pretty and interesting with props and decorations that others maybe wouldn’t have thought of using.

4. What is one thing people might not know about you?

I love online shopping so much that I usually have to go to my apartment’s office at least 3 times a week to pick up packages.

5. What do you love about NC?

As someone who enjoys the mountains and the beach equally, I love the NC has both and I can get to either in just a few hours. Almost all of my family is here, too, so that doesn’t hurt.

We are so excited to welcome Karen. If you are planning to attend The Sutherland Bridal Showcase tonight, come and find us and say Hi!

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The Oaks at Salem Wedding – North Carolina Wedding Planning

Stephanie and Ted were married at The Oaks of Salem on a warm, fall afternoon. The ceremony was under a willow tree next to a picturesque pond, it was the perfect setting for such a romantic and special occasion! With homemade caramel apples for all of the guests and a delectable dessert table, the guests were fueled to fill the dance floor! What a fun couple!

Thanks to Kevin Milz for the beautiful photos!

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Thank you to the great team of vendors that came together to make this event amazing!

Wedding Planner: Erin with Erin McLean Events

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Oaks at Salem

Photographer: Kevin Milz Photography

Clergy: Barbara Lodge

Caterer: Belle’s Catering

Florist: The English Garden

Dessert Bar: Erin McLean Events

Hair and Makeup:  Makeup For Your Day

DJ: KMDJ Company

Invitations: Cute Buttons


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Stephanie and Ted were such an amazing couple to work with! They  had so much to celebrate and great friends to celebrate with!  Their Oaks at Salem wedding turned out beautifully and I couldn’t be happier for them. Thank you again for letting me be a part of your special day – I wish you the best in your future endeavors!