• July 2013 Archive •

Nautical Wedding at River Dunes in Oriental

If nobody I know ever sees my new passport photo, I’ll be forever grateful.  It is hands down the most unflattering picture of me I’ve ever seen.  It even beats out the picture in my high school yearbook from Wacky Tacky Day when I wore a toupee and fake bubba teeth.  If it wouldn’t cost me $60, I’d consider ordering a new one.

In preparing for my upcoming vacation, I realized I never obtained a passport with my married name.  So, I made myself look cute, went to the local CVS, had my picture taken and expedited it off to the government along with a check that could have purchased me a new designer handbag.  Three days later I got an email stating my application for a new passport couldn’t be completed because I was wearing “headgear” in the picture.  By headgear they meant a cute tribal headband that matched my outfit perfectly.  My options were to submit written documentation explaining how the headgear was for religious purposes or send in a new photo.

So, I made myself look cute, went to the local CVS, had my picture taken and expedited it off to the government.  Because of time constraints, I felt rushed and didn’t even examine the new picture once the technician handed to me.  I really should have.  I don’t remember the lens being two inches away from my nose but according to the outcome, if she would have zoomed any closer, the picture would have been of my second layer of skin.  I can’t really explain what’s so wrong with it except that everything about it is awful.

My old passport with the adorable picture of an eager and anxious twenty-year-old about to live abroad for six months sits next to a new passport with a picture that serves as a rude reminder that I’m inching closer to thirty.  Regardless of how hideous the picture is, that little blue booklet is my ticket to a long overdue vacation filled with adventure and intrigue.

I don’t think Britt and Perry could take a bad picture.  They look absolutely stunning in the photos from their wedding day taken by the oh-so-talented Ginny Corbett.  Britt and Perry were married at the River Dunes Club in Oriental, North Carolina.  Despite the rain throughout the entire day, the sun came out just in time for the couple to wed at the chapel and celebrate under the market lights and stars in the bride’s aunt’s backyard.  It was the first wedding I’ve ever worked that I can say I saw dolphins as I was setting up for the reception.

An amazing team of vendors including the Harbor Club at River Dunes, Hot Locks, Ali Smith Cake Designs, Michael’s Florist, Celebration Photobooth, Ginny Corbett and Southern Entertainment worked quick under pressure to accommodate location changes and remained rock stars throughout the entire day.  Aside from being beautiful and super creative, the bride is also talented and recorded herself singing “Lullaby” by Billy Joel to have played during her Father/Daughter dance.  It was such a touching moment.

Let’s talk details.  Sailor rope bridesmaids dresses.  A coral reef necklace. Nautical place cards.  Custom koozies. Personalized Jones Soda bottles for the Root Beer Float station. A dessert buffet featuring sweets made by the bride.  Britt and Perry’s wedding was a nautical masterpiece filled with cute details from start to finish.  I felt honored to be a part of their wedding, to be a voice of calm admist confusion and to have had Britt’s trust to coordinate their day.  Their wedding was picture perfect.

River Dunes Wedding - Outer Banks Wedding Planner

River Dunes Wedding - Orangerie Events - Outer Banks Wedding Planner

Wedding Reception at River Dunes - NC Wedding Planner

North Carolina Wedding Planner - Outer Banks Wedding

Oriental NC Wedding - NC Wedding Planner

Groomsmen Gift Idea - NC Wedding Planner

Nautical Wedding Necklace - NC Wedding Planner

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

NC Coastal Wedding - NC Wedding Planner

Nautical Koozies - Nautical Place Cards - NC Wedding Planner

Coastal Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Charlotte Wedding Planner - NC Wedding Planner

NC Wedding Chapel - Ceremony at River Dunes - Orangerie Events

Wedding Ceremony at River Dunes - NC Wedding Planner

Wedding Ceremony at River Dunes - Nautical Wedding - NC Wedding Planner

Ceremony at River Dunes White Chapel - NC Coastal Wedding Ceremony

Charlotte Wedding Planner - Wilmington Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Nautical Bridesmaids Dresses - NC Wedding Planner

Nautical Bridesmaids Attire - NC Wedding Planner

Nautical Groomsmen Attire - NC Wedding Planner

Bridal Pictures on a Dock - NC Wedding Planner

River Dunes Wedding - Couple on Dock - Orangerie Events

White Wedding Bouquet - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Nautical Wedding Cake - Outer Banks Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Coastal Wedding North Carolina - Wedding Planner


Wedding Coordination: Orangerie Events

Photographer: Ginny Corbett Photography

Ceremony Location: River Dunes White Chapel

Reception Location: Private Home in River Dunes

DJ: Ben Suggs with Southern Entertainment

Photobooth: Celebration Photobooth

Florist: Micheal’s Florist

Cake: Ali Smith Cake Designs

Hair + Make Up: Hot Locks

xoxo, Priscilla
A Brunch Wedding at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill

Top of the Hill Wedding - NC Wedding Planner

I’m so blessed to meet and work with some of the most endearing, thoughtful and caring couples.  Their love for one another and happiness radiates from the first minute I meet with them.  I love when I leave a consult feeling excited and inspired.  Chelsea and Mike are no exception.  They are the perfect match for one another.  A balance of sweet and simple with a foundation built around their beliefs.  I came to adore them during our short planning process.

We only had four months to pull together their Sunday brunch wedding at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill.  Using the color palette of teal and coral, I started designing their wedding based around their vintage record themed invitations created by emdotzee DesignsBrides & Bouquets provided knockout gorgeous flower arrangements and decor.  The planter boxes filled with colorful blooms served dual purpose as both aisle decor and centerpieces.  Artylicious Cakes baked an array of delicious cupcakes complete with custom wrappers to match the wedding colors.  Instead of traditional place cards, we played off of the vinyl record invitations and showcased vintage records with table assignments written on each one.  If the wedding guests weren’t entertained enough by the photo booth provided by Hice Photography, the Jay Wright Jazz Band kept them dancing throughout the afternoon.

The beauty with the Top of the Hill lies not only in their amazing staff but within the versatility of the space.  We used the Great Room for both the ceremony and reception but during cocktail hour, guests were able to explore the Back Bar which included darts, foosball tables and games.  Top of the Hill served an appetite pleasing brunch buffet and custom mimosas.

You have to check out the bride’s vivacious and charming grandmother in the picture below.  She crashed the ribbon wand exit and couldn’t have lived it up anymore than she did.  It was a beautiful moment and one of many that the amazingly talented and beautiful Perry Vaile with Perry Vaile Photography captured throughout the day.  Once granny was in place, Chelsea and Mike left their wedding to a wave of colorful ribbon wands and with a smile on their face.

When I think back on Chelsea and Mike’s wedding day, I picture them just as they are reflected in the pictures below.  Happy.  Smiling.  Content.  I also think about the bride’s awesome shoes.  Hello pop of beautiful color!  My wish for them is that their love is as timeless as the vinyl records we used as inspiration for their wedding design.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Top of the Hill Wedding

Perry Vaile Photography - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Chapel Hill Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Pink Wedding Ring - Chapel Hill Wedding Planner

Chapel Hill Wedding - Wedding Party Picture - NC Wedding Planner

Planter Wedding Centerpieces - Succulent Centerpieces - NC Wedding Planner

Records Seating Chart - Planter Aisle Markers - Orangerie Events

Record Seating Chart Display - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Top of the Hill Back Bar Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Communion Wedding Table - Ceremony Wreath - Orangerie Events

Cocktail Table Flowers - Photo Booth Props - Top of the Hill

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Top of the Hill Wedding Ceremony

Top of the Hill Wedding Ceremony - Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

Cupcake Display - Top of the Hill Wedding - Orangerie Events

Jay Wright Jazz Band - Orangerie Events

Wedding at Top of the Hill - NC Wedding Planner

Ribbon Wand Wedding Exit - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Ribbon Wand Wedding Exit - North Carolina Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Planning + Design: Orangerie Events

Wedding Venue + Catering: Top of the Hill

Photographer: Perry Vaile Photography

Flowers: Brides & Bouquets

Invitations: emdotzee

Entertainment: Jay Wright Band through The Lincoln Agency

Cupcakes: Artylicious Cakes

Photo Booth: Hice Photography

xoxo, Priscilla
Holy Guacamole Recipe

Best Guacamole Recipe

I like to think I have a strong head on my shoulders.  One that is reasonable and non-judgmental and open.  I’m extremely liberal.  Especially considering my conservative upbringing.  The first concert I attended was for the Christian rapper Carman. (“Who’s in the house?  JC is!”)  I was in church a minimum of three days a week.  Certain channels that were on my cousin’s television didn’t exist on the TVs in my home.  Chase still can’t accept the fact that I’ve never seen the movie “Varsity Blues” which explains why I don’t understand the new car commercial with James Van Der Beek.

I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the way I was raised.  Some of my best qualities are a direct result of Mountain Grove Baptist Church and prayers before bed.  To a certain degree, I lived eighteen years in a small town bubble.  Shielded from heartbreak.  Pitying my friends who were suffering through their parent’s divorce.  Oblivious that a boy could like another boy.  And then one day, that bubble unexpectedly popped and I became exposed to a completely different world filled with imperfect people making risky decisions and hiding well-guarded secrets.  For the five years that followed my high school graduation, I was in life’s fast lane.  Since everything I thought I knew was a facade, I felt this sense of responsibility to be the stabilizer and to not shake things up more than they had already been rattled.  I pressured myself to do everything in the exact order that people expected.  Go to college.  Get a job.  Buy a house.  Get married.  And I did.

I’m a thinker by nature. I decipher song lyrics. I analyze people’s behavior to try and hypothesize the root of their actions.  I often think about where I was last year at this exact moment and where I’ll be next year on this same date.  I secretly wanted some insight without completely removing the element of surprise and decided to talk to an intuitionist.  I promise I’m not completely crazy.  I just wanted to hear a stranger’s take on my life and the direction I’m going.  A girlfriend had told me about this woman she talked to and was blown away by her accuracy.  The excitement and validity in my friend’s voice was contagious and I knew I had to have a session.

My first experience seeing a psychic was a joke.  It was my birthday.  I had spent the day at a winery and was a little (a lot) tipsy. At the end of our ten minutes I was stupidly surprised she knew how old I was until I played back the session I had secretly recorded and realized the second sentence out of my mouth was my birthday, including year.  This time around was legitimate.  Talking with this intuitionist was on a completely different level.  I spent one hour conversing with a stranger and hearing her talk so candidly about my family and me made me feel as if she had been a fly on the wall during our private conversations.  She offered precautions like advising I do a better of job of paying attention while driving because she sensed I’d be involved in a traffic accident while texting and driving.  The conversation offered hope that I’m fulfilling my life’s passion.  It gave encouragement to finally write that book my friends and family have been pressuring me to do for years.  It gave me a sense of closure that sometimes the only thing we can do is send love and light in the direction of someone struggling with their own happiness.  I took four pages of notes.  Notes that I intend to keep and evaluate in the future.  Notes that encourage me to do the things I’ve been putting off, try something new and finally face those decisions I’ve been dragging.

Maybe I drank the Kool-Aid.  Maybe I took my critical thinking a step too far.  Maybe I looked in the wrong place for answers.  I’m not trying to convince you to follow my path.  I’m merely recounting my experience and confirming that a lot of what she had to say was concrete and specific and kind of blew my mind.  Who am I to judge whether or not she has the ability to actually connect with my energy?  She could have been just blowing smoke but I inhaled it.  It’s a lot more fun to believe than it is to be a Negative Nancy.

Perhaps you don’t believe in psychics or intuitionists or those sort of voodoo things.  That’s perfectly ok.  You should, however, believe that the below guacamole recipe is one of the best north of the equator.  I whipped this up during a mexican feast at the Erwin household recently and received rave reviews.  Here’s to growing up slow or fast, easy or hard and double dipping in some amazing guacamole along the way.


3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced


1. In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated.

2. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice.

3. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve. Encourage your guests to scream “Holy Guacamole!”

Best Guacamole Recipe - NC Wedding Planner

Guacamole Recipe - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Guacamole Recipe - Priscilla Erwin - NC Wedding Planner

xoxo, Priscilla