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.

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!

NC Themed Out of Town Bag or Welcome Bag!

A lot of brides struggle with what to put in a guest welcome bag. Have no fear! Here is a list of ideas to help you start planning!

First, a great idea is to set a theme to your welcome bag. It can be the location of your wedding, or where you are from originally if your having a destination wedding. Research what the town is known for, or what your favorite items are from that town. Here are ideas for a North Carolina Wedding.  We chose some of our favorite NC fun finds!!  The classic Cheerwine, molasses cookies, and a cookie shaped into the NC Tarheel logo. Some of the other items, including the koozietote, and croakies are some of the top southern favorite items in the area. I love this personalized crossword puzzle, I think it’s a cute idea to let your guest get to know you a little better. Other town themed bags could include a map of the area, or events that are going on that weekend. It’s important to add a welcome note with any instructions that the guest might need to know, transportation pick up times, or the time of the wedding, etc. Remember to thank your guests for coming and let them know how excited you are for them to be a part of your special day!

Best Wishes!

Purple and Gray Weddings

How much do I love Purple and Gray together? Let me count the ways…

I love everything about this combination. Gray is going to be a HUGE trend in 2009 and 2010. It is so versatile. You can use it to accent with yellow, navy, pink, greens, and so much more. I will definitely be posting more combinations soon! I love jewel tones, I am obsessed with them!

Here is an inspiration board I put together.

Oh Vera, you never do me wrong! This dress is sensational and sets the whole look and feel of the wedding!

I think this dress by Kenneth Pool is divine.

The men can be so very dapper in this classic tux (Shirt; both by Isaia. Bow tie; Pocket square: both by Brooks Brothers. Shoes by Calvin Klein Collection. Cuff links by Dunhill.)

The weather outside is frightful!

Hi all! Recently I saw these Hot Cocoa Favors from Gracious Bridal. How cute are these?? But I was on a mission to find a DIY version to make them more personal and and less costly (which we love right?).

Then I found these on the fabulous Style me Pretty. What I love is that you can do them in your wedding colors and your wedding font! they can be adorable favors or in your Out of Town bags!


Heavy Card Stock
Muslin Bags
Thread / Sewing Machine
Corner Punch Tool
Cellophane Envelopes
Resealable Glue Strips
Individual Hot Coco Packets
Recipe for Homemade Marshmallows


1. Print pattern onto a card stock and trim to 3.75 x 3″ then round the right side corners with a corner punch tool. (You could use any patterned paper for this project and just mount it to a card stock with spray mount.)

2. Print the smaller labels onto a card stock. I used a silver metallic to coordinate with our wedding colors. trim each one out using an x-acto knife and ruler. Then hole punch (only half) on either side for sewing.

3. Line up pieces of paper with the left edge of the muslin bag and sew with a coordinating thread color. I used my basic sewing machine to do the sewing and they turned out well.

4. For the note inside we printed a greeting onto the same silver card stock and rounded the edges with a corner punch tool.

5. The homemade snowflake marshmallows were made from a recipe found at

We packaged the marshmallows in cellophane envelopes with a re-sealable glue strip to maintain freshness. Add individual hot cocoa packets in similar colors to complete the gift!

Don't get swamped with your To Do's!

What a great idea! Throughout the planning process, even the most organized bride can border on Bridezilla. Let’s face it, there is  a lot to do and it can be overwhelming! But the geniuses over at Whomi came up with these great To Do Pads! 

People want to help you with your planning but they often don’t know how. Can it get any easier?? 

French Influence!

Hi All!

I was reading Chesapeake Home magazine, which is always inspiring with its fantastic colors and textures. They were highlighting Fleur coutoure – French floral designs. I completely fell in love with these intricate wrapping, the colors, and of course the lush textures.

Fleur couture. In addition to deriving inspiration from history and nature, French florists are influenced by haute couture fashion, which creates incredible excitement and innovation in their designs. In my strolls through the Parisian fashion district, I noted how the new trends – structured, architectural shapes, strong, primary colors, exquisite hand-detailing (ruffles, layers, pleats), etc. will provide rich inspiration for nouvelle bouquets this season. To create the fleur couture style, use fashion-forward colors in chic monochromatic combination, incorporate layers of textures (including a variety of natural materials), and add special flourishes and finishing touches (plaid ribbons, tweed wraps, jewel accents) fresh from the fashion runways.

These were done by the wildly talented Laura Dowling.

Kermit was wrong!
It is easy being green!

I recently went to a great event for Chix in Business. It was the The Business of Living and Working Green. It was held at McKinney & Silver, which is a completely awesome space in the American Tobacco Campus

I am so excited to have had a great sampling of Green Planet Catering. They feature foods that are locally grown, pesticide and hormone free, and meet our high standards of quality really fantastic and fresh.

So this all got me thinking about how you can plan a green(er) wedding. Here are some tips:

Use Caterers that Use Locally Grown Food

With industrialization, our food is now grown and processed in fewer and fewer locations, meaning it has to travel further to reach the average consumer’s refrigerator. Although this method of production is considered efficient and economically profitable for large corporations, it is harmful to the environment, consumers and rural communities. Your food will taste so much fresher!

Recycle Your Decor

Decorate your ceremony space with items you can reuse at the reception, whether it’s topiaries that go from the altar to the entryway or arrangements that decorate the program table and dress up your guest book area. You’ll save money and waste less. When the evening is over, plan to donate the pieces to a church or hospital. Call ahead to see if you can arrange a pickup from your site.


The key to a wedding that’s eco- and style-conscious is to simplify. Reusing accents or materials doesn’t just save money, it saves resources. Work with what is in season and what you’ve got nearby and feel good about your efforts

Use Recycled Paper

You can’t completely dismiss the wedding invitation. So instead, use paper that has a high-recycled content or is made from an alternative fiber, such as hemp or bamboo. I LOVE Woman Craft: These 100 percent recycled invitations are handmade by women working to overcome homelessness and other hardships.

Choose Vendors That Care

Teamwork is what makes a wedding possible. When hiring your pros, make sure that their personalities are compatible with yours — and that they are open to creating a socially conscious wedding. Other tips:

Keep It Local

Whenever possible, use local resources for your wedding. Besides saving on transportation (both of goods and people), you’ll be supporting small businesses and your local economy. If you are using larger or corporate vendors, do some online research into their practices, and support those that behave responsibly.

Get Help

A wedding consultant is a huge asset — she will save you time, share her/his vast experience, and hook you up with the right vendors for your style. Even better? One that specializes in (or is at very least familiar with) planning a green wedding.

Fall is here!!

I love Fall!!I grew up in PA, so I love when it gets chillier. I absolutely love Fall Weddings! I think it is because of the decor options. Weddings to me are all about texture and colors. In Fall, why not incorporate some crushed velvet, burlap, or twigs.

There are so many great ways to incorporate the season. I love reds, browns, oranges, golds, and green. But, you can also use softer colors. I am currently in love with grouping pale blues, pale pinks, light gold, and brown together. It is a elegant, classic, and simple.

I saw this cake on Martha Stewart and love it:

I love carrying over that look into the centerpieces, but the possibilities are endless.

I love this idea of using white pumpkins and gourds and white candles. How fun is this??

Play up fall produce in your food. Why not use a pumpkin soup and an apple orchard salad?

These are just a few thoughts about fall. There are so many unique and fabulous ideas!