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Archive for April, 2011

Royal Wedding!!

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Many modern DIY brides wonder if hiring a wedding planning is necessary. Between wedding blogs, magazines, and TV shows it might seem like planning your own dream wedding is easier than ever. However, a wedding planner is an experienced professional who understands the wedding industry on a much more detailed level. Hiring a wedding planner can be one of the most crucial steps to achieving the wedding day you’ve always imagined. Here are just a few reasons why we believe hiring a knowledgeable wedding planner is so valuable…

1) A planner can save you valuable time searching through vendors: Weddings take more time to plan now than ever. Between work, family commitments, and quality time with your fiancé, fitting in enough time to search through vendors can be overwhelming. Instead, let a wedding planner do the work for you. A wedding planner is very familiar with the style and quality of the work of vendors in your area including caterers, photographers, and venue sites. By working with a planner to select your vendors you’ll ensure that you’ve hired the most reliable and experienced vendors without having to spend endless hours searching the internet and meeting for consultations.

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Gray Photography

2) A wedding planner can act on your behalf with vendors: Not only is a wedding planner one of the best resources for selecting and hiring quality vendors, but a professional wedding planner can act on your behalf when it comes to communicating with your vendors.  An experienced wedding planner has worked with numerous vendors and maintains strong working relationships with these wedding professionals. This means your planner will maintain contact with your vendors throughout the planning process to ensure all the necessary steps to achieve your dream day are being completed.

3) A planner can help you develop a realistic budget, stick to your budget, and help you avoid costly mistakes: Weddings can easily cost far above and beyond what you might think. Depending on your wedding date and venue there can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars of unexpected costs. However, an experienced wedding planner understands all the possible costs you might incur and can help you plan your budget accordingly. A good planner will never over spend. Rather, she’ll work to help save you money.

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Life Photo

4) A wedding coordinator from a venue site is different from an independent wedding planner: While many wedding and reception sites include a “wedding coordinator” this person does not offer the same services as an independent wedding planner. A wedding coordinator is generally the catering manager of your venue and his or her job is to oversee that everything pertaining to the facilities runs seamlessly. While the coordinator offers a helpful service, it is not the same scope of services an independent wedding planner can offer you such as vendor negotiating, budgeting, and etiquette guidance.

5) A wedding planner understands the value of timelines: Wedding planners understand the importance of both a wedding planning timeline as well as a wedding day timeline. Throughout the planning process, your planner will stick to a planning timeline, not allowing any detail of preparation to go overlooked. In addition, a planner is an invaluable asset come wedding day to coordinate vendors and serve as a “team captain” to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Photo Courtesy of Nick Pironio

6) A wedding planner take the stress off you, your fiancé, and your families: No bride wants to be hassled as the go-to person for questions and unexpected problems that arise come wedding day. Hiring a wedding planning to manage your big day will allow you, your fiancé, and your families to relax and completely enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.

Photo Courtesy of Martha Manning Photography 

Thinking about hiring a wedding planner? Give us a call or send us an e-mail and we’d love to schedule a time to talk with you about your wedding day needs.

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Heather and Joe’s Duke Chapel wedding and Carolina Inn reception had the perfect vibrant spring color palette. This was such a fantastic couple to work with! They were so much fun to plan with!
We love to create custom inspiration boards for our couples when we began the planning and design process. Here’s a peek at Heather and Joe’s inspiration board:

Who doesn’t love seeing inspiration turn into an exquisite reality? Here are some of our favorite images from Heather & Joe’s wedding inspiration turned real wedding day.


Thanks to Kevin Milz for these amazing images.

Love the sash and brooch on Heather’s strapless lace gown. Heather’s dress was from one of our favorite wedding gown boutiques, Tre Bella Bridal in Durham.

Heather’s vintage inspired red shoes were the perfect little bit of colorful fun peeking out from under her dress.

Shorter length cocktail dresses are a great option for bridesmaids because they are sure to be worn again.

Ask your photographer to take plenty of detail pictures. It’s easy to overlook the detail elements of your big day when you get caught up in the excitement of your wedding and reception.

What an aisle to walk down! Duke Chapel is one of the most sought after Durham wedding venues.

The faithful bridesmaids lend a hand in bustling the bride’s gown.

The bride and groom decided to enter their black and yellow reception ballroom to the Steeler fight song “Black & Yellow” to pay homage to their favorite team.

The English Garden provided these dazzling floral arrangements. Next to the black linens, these yellow roses are very vibrant. And the height of these arrangements created an impressive effect without blocking guests’ view.

The stationary was incredible for the wedding! We mimicked the design on the cake and used the coupled monogram. This fantastic cake design is from Swank Cakes.

Guests also enjoyed pink sherbet at this southern class Carolina Inn reception.

As favors, the couple chose to give guests Bone Sucking BBQ sauce (a favorite of the groom’s) and deliciously sweet maple cookies from the bride’s home town.

Congratulations, Heather & Joe!!!

xoxo, Erin

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What’s the difference between a wedding coordinator, a wedding planner, and an event designer?

The terms “wedding coordinator”, “wedding planner” and “event designer” are often used interchangeably. However, there are distinct services offered by each. Allow us to simplify the process and explain the basic differences between wedding coordinators, wedding planners, and event designers.

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Life Photography

Wedding Coordinator

A wedding coordinator’s main responsibility is to be present the day of the event to make sure all the vendors are in place and that all the logistics run smoothly. Think of the coordinator like a back stage director, she’s there to make sure everything goes according to plan when it’s show time.

Many wedding coordinator services are referred to as “day of coordination”. However, coordination actually begins at least a month before your wedding day. Your wedding coordinator will meet with you to create a day-of timeline, confirm vendors, and go over details of how you want things set-up and orchestrated for your big day. When it comes to making sure everyone and everything is ready and in place on your wedding day, the wedding coordinator is on the job!

Photo Courtesy of Hadar Goren 

Wedding Planner

A wedding planner’s work begins months before your wedding day. She’s the one to contact once the ring is on your finger and you’re ready to make your dream wedding day a reality. Wedding planners are generally responsible for all the planning aspects and preparation for your wedding day. Tasks such as selecting and booking vendors and developing and sticking to a budget are all a part of the wedding planner’s job.  In addition, many wedding planners also act as wedding coordinators since they are highly involved with the planning process and understand your wants and needs for your big day.

Photo Courtesy of Nick Poronio

Event Designer

The event designer is responsible for understanding your wedding day vision and making it a reality. Event designers, like other professionals in the design field, create a “vision” for your wedding day. Much like an interior designer can take a client’s inspiration and create a whole room, an event designer can take your inspiration and create a whole event. Event designers work in close conjunction with floral designers, rental companies, and caterers to craft a truly custom event. In fact, many event designers also offer additional in house design services such as floral design or linen rentals.

While there are differences between the roles and responsibilities of wedding coordinators, wedding planners, and event designers, many wedding professionals offer a mix of these services if not all three. Just remember to ask your wedding consultant exactly which services she offers, don’t just assume.

Here at Erin McLean Events we offer all three services to our brides. Whether you’re looking for someone to coordinate logistics the day of, or you need someone who can transcribe your vision into a breath-taking reality we’re here to help. Give us a call today. We’d simply love to talk about your wedding day!

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Vera Wang’s first collection of 2012 has recently been unveiled. Vera Wang paid homage to the Paris Opera and Edgar Degas for her Spring 2012 bridal collection and as expected it is beyond gorgeous.

I am in love!

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We live for this stuff!!

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