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Proof a Garden Party Wedding Doesn’t Have to Be Outdoors

Leave it to Erin McLean Events to plan and design a garden party-style wedding…and to do it all in just 8 weeks. With the use of cascading greenery and metallic accents, she transformed a classic ballroom into a reception any guest would die to attend. Laura Gordon photographed and you can dive right into the gallery this way.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Classic

From Erin McLean EventsCelia had her heart set on an outdoor wedding, but planning for an August wedding day made that dream seem a little out of reach. Not only that, but because of Adrian’s medical school schedule, we needed to plan this wedding in a little less than 8 weeks! Never fear, why don’t we create an enchanted garden party in the iconic Hill Ballroom at Carolina Inn? Celia and Adrian were sold, so after being married in the newly reopened Duke Chapel in all its restored glory, they would dance the night away among flowing florals, glowing tablescapes, and the incomparable sounds of The Sleeping Booty Band.

Introducing blush tones ranging from the palest pink to soft ivories, paired with cascading greenery and metallic accents, the ballroom transformed into a lovely look never before created. With the addition of boxwood bars, barely golden chiffon runners, and a cake oozing with lush blooms, Celia and Adrian’s vision for an outdoor wedding day came alive indoors.

We brought in a crisp white dance floor and staging to bring the look together and of course provide ample room for celebration once Sleeping Booty Band kicked off the night!

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Photography: Laura Gordon Photography | Cinematography: Jeff Brewer Films | Event Design: Erin McLean Events | Event Planning: Erin McLean Events | Floral Design: Lily Greenthumb's Wedding & Event Design | Cake: Ashley Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Duke Chapel | Reception Venue: Carolina Inn | Hair + Makeup: Makeupforyourday | Calligraphy: Well Addressed Calligraphy | Entertainment: Sleeping Booty Band | Rentals: I Do Linens | Rentals: Themeworks Creative | Rentals: CE Rental | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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When You Marry in a Train Depot and It’s Totally Chic

Luke and Sara currently call D.C. home, but when they began planning their wedding there was no question they’d return to their Southern roots. They decided on a fall affair in downtown Durham’s historic freight train depot and threw the party of a lifetime – live bluegrass and local craft beer included. Tre Bella Florist translated Sara’s “fairy meets lumberjack” vision and Graham Terhune didn’t miss a beat behind the camera. More this way!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Modern

From the bride… Shortly after getting engaged, Luke & I started talking about how we wanted our wedding day to look and feel. We quickly settled on a few important things – we wanted good drinks, great music, and the wedding to take place in the fall in North Carolina. We currently live in DC, but knew there was no place we’d rather say “I do” than our home state. North Carolina holds such a special place in our hearts and we were incredibly lucky to find vendors we felt represented all the things we love about home.

The ceremony and reception both took place on the platform of Belt Line Station, an old freight train depot and historic site in downtown Durham. The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of ours. To share our love of bluegrass music, we hired a spunky, local band to play while guests arrived and during the cocktail hour. We stocked the bar with our favorite craft beers and the chef was able to use local ingredients she bought at the Durham farmers market in the menu.

I jokingly coined our vision as “fairy meets lumberjack” and, despite the silly description, our vendors were able to pull it off! We wanted the flowers to be a bit messy and wild to complement to the rustic yet urban setting of the venue, and full of reds, oranges and blues to celebrate the fall season. We incorporated organic elements, like copper, wood and glass accents, into the decorations and table settings. Our venue coordinator even picked fresh rosemary to top the place settings.

Putting the wedding together was truly a family affair! My father made all the wooden signs for the event (which Luke & I then painted ourselves) and we turned Luke’s parents’ house into ‘wedding crafts central’ during the weeks leading up to the big day. Luke’s sister even baked hundreds of spicy cheese straws – a southern staple and family favorite – for the welcome bags. Instead of cake, we opted for pumpkin, apple and buttermilk pies made by a family friend. In addition to the stellar bluegrass band, Luke put together an iPod playlist that kicked things off with our first dance (If Not for You, by Bob Dylan), followed by an awesome reception mix that got everyone out, and kept them, on the dance floor.

We knew we wanted the day to be filled with things that spoke to our personalities and our history as a couple, but more than anything, to be surrounded by the people we love. Our wedding was a perfect, intimate gathering of family and friends who have loved and supported us unconditionally for the 7 years we have been together, and we couldn’t be more thankful to have spent that special time with them.

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Photography: Graham Terhune Photography | Floral Design: Tre Bella Florist | Wedding Dress: Theia | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Triangle Catering | Makeup: Cassidy Bennett | Hair: DB Sutton | Band: The Counterclockwise String Band | Wedding Venue: Beltline Station | Bride's Jewelry: Sara Gabriel | Dessert: ABC Pie Company

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
An Aqua-Infused Garden Wedding That Will Make Your Hearts Happy

Say goodbye to the days of awkward aqua hues (I’m looking at you, 1980’s) and hello to a new version of one of your fave colors.  It’s the POP of pretty that’s making this wedding sing, along with beautiful details from A Swanky Affair and gorgeous blooms from Tre Bella Florist.  Fall in love with every colorful moment captured by Casey Rose Photography in THE VAULT.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Al Fresco

From Casey Rose Photography… When Ben, an attorney in NYC, planned his proposal to Leah, a lawyer in the same firm whom he had met at Duke Law School, he knew it had to be memorable. He decided to trick her into coming to his family cabin under the guise their was an emergency at the house. Being more of a city girl, Leah hated the cabin and dreaded making the journey in the freezing winter temperatures, but agreed to go with Ben. When they arrived, Ben had a surprise picnic awaiting them. Even at the site of the candles and champagne, Leah still thought it was for the workers who were supposed to be coming to help with the fallen tree emergency. She couldn’t understand why Ben would choose to propose in a setting that was not her favorite place.

Then Ben told her that he chose that location because it represented everything that made Leah uncomfortable. He wanted her to know that even in darker days – he would always stand by her side. He knew marriage was never easy, but always worth it and he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his days with her.

When it decided to rain every day before the week of their planned outdoor garden wedding, Leah and Ben were content with their Plan B. They knew that even in darker days, their marriage and vows would be the focus of the day. Their positive attitudes were rewarded by sunny skies for the entire morning and afternoon of their wedding. When the final picture was taken, a clasp of thunder and lightning greeted them in celebration and as all the guests and wedding party ran to the tent, they knew they had the most perfect day.

As Reverend Malcolm Roberts said in his blessing, “If you don’t believe in miracles, all you had to do was witness the end of Leah and Ben’s vows.”

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Photography: Casey Rose Photography | Cinematography: Jon Clark Weddings | Coordination: A Swanky Affair | Event Planning: A Swanky Affair | Floral Design: Tre Bella Florist | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Details Cake Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal | Catering: The Catering Company of Chapel Hill | Hair + Makeup: Onloktion Makeup Artistry | Lighting: Get Lit Special Event Lighting | DJ: Bunn DJ Company | Groom's Attire: Ermeneglildo Zegna | Officiant: Rev. Malcolm Roberts | String Quartet: Elegant Ensembles | Transportation: Eco-Style Transportation | Hotel: Kings Daughters Inn | Venue: Sarah P. Duke Gardens | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Ice Cream: The Freezing Pointe | Rentals: Party Reflections

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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