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 




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

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!

View More:

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

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites13

First Look - groom

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites16

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites22

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

View More:

View More:

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites17

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites23

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites18

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites19
View More:

Carrington Clevenger -Buck Favorites20

 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 






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.


Courtney Originals3



Courtney Originals4


Courtney Originals6



Courtney Originals7


Courtney Originals2


Courtney Originals1



Courtney Originals5



Courtney Originals8

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











Huffington Post Article: Planning a Wedding with a Southern Twist

Huff copy

We were so honored to be asked to contribute to an article in the Huffington Post Weddings about Southern Weddings! You can read the article here!

We thought we would post all of our thoughts that we sent below 🙂 

Whether you were born and raised in the South, a relocated Northerner, or live on the west coast, here are my top tips for adding a little southern charm to your wedding!

The key to any Southern wedding is warm hospitality and mouth watering food!

Why not host a Low country boil welcome dinner for your guests? Or a pig pickin’ for your southern rehearsal dinner? At the reception start by greeting guests with Mint Julep, Arnold Palmers, and goat cheese topped fried green tomatoes. We love having menus with a southern twist. You can serve a plated appetizer of shrimp and grits. Follow it with a delicious entrée duet of filet served with a crab cake or a rack of lamb with collard greens served over a sweet potato smash.

For dessert, of course,  design the the gorgeous wedding cake to match the lace from your mothers wedding gown. Any true southern bride knows much fun it is to surprise her new husband with spectacular groom’s cake. What a fun way to bring in his hobbies, favorite team, and interests to the reception.

My other tip for a southern wedding is to get your guests outside! We have gorgeous weather and even better Magnolia and Weeping Willow trees to say “I Do” under. If you are getting married at a church have an outside cocktail hour with live music and great food! Of course, always make sure that you have a rain plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with your outdoor plans.

Southern weddings are all about being with family and friends and throwing a wonderful celebration as a newly married couple!

- Erin

Yeah! Leah and Austin’s Wedding on Southern Weddings Blog!

SW Leah copy


Yeah! Leah and Austen’s sweet and sassy wedding is on Southern Weddings Blog! When Leah told me she loves glitter and seersucker I melted! I loved working with with this couple. They could not have been nicer, more gracious, and more fun! Leah and her mom were so open to ideas and so ready to plan this fantastic wedding!

Leah copy

Thank you to my friend Nancy Ray Photography for these gorgeous images! Stay tuned for their whole blog post on here soon!!


So excited to be part of Southern Weddings again!!

We are so excited to be a part of Southern Weddings Magazine again this year! I was so happy when I heard their launch part for V5 would be at one of my favorite places the Carolina Inn! I loved seeing all the SW ladies. What a great night!! I just love this magazine! I love the thoughtfulness, tradition, and focus on what matters in weddings!

In case you missed Emily’s bridal shower that I designed and planned you can check it out here!

Make it pretty!

Emily from Southern Weddings Magazine Surprise Shower!!

I was so thrilled when I was asked to hep plan this surprise bridal shower for the Southern Weddings Creative Director, Emily Ayer. What a fun event to plan! Nicole with SW gave me some insight into what Emily loved, miniqature things included! Heidi Werner, Director of Catering of The Carolina Inn created this beyond delicious menu, Cyn Kain was there to capture all of these gorgeous images, and Amber of Amber Housley created these adorable mini invitations! I had so much fun choosing the linens and goodies for this shower!

Emily was totally surprised!

Take a peek at the full recap of Emily’s Mini-Inspired Bridal Shower on the Southern Weddings Blog 🙂

Thank you to Cydney English for helping with the flowers!!

What a fun day!!! Congratulations Miss Emily! I am so glad to know you!