• November 2014 Archive •

The Start of Something Good: The Leslie-Alford-Mims House


You know when people tease you? Leak tidbits of information slowly until they finally reveal their big announcement?  Yeah. It’s frustrating.  All the little ploys to suck you in and pique your interest.  Playing off your curiosity.  Heartless I tell you.  So are you ready to hear my big news?  Are you sure you’re ready cause it’s a doozy?  And for the love of all that’s good in the world, stop thinking I’m pregnant.  Ok.  You asked for it.

My dearest, hippest, kick butt, cat-loving, amazing friend and I are opening up a wedding venue. 

Gosh it feels so good to get that off of my chest and project it into the world. It almost makes it even more real.  As if the town planning meetings and COAs and money searching didn’t make it real enough, this finally solidifies that it’s actually happening.

I’m sure you have lots of questions. And I will entertain each and every one.  Probably not today since it’s my birthday but in due time, I will answer all of those looming and lingering question marks.  For now, I’ve put together a nifty list of the expected questions I think I’ll receive.

Where is the venue? What it is?
The Leslie-Alford-Mims House (affectionately known as the Mims House) is a commanding landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, visible from Main Street in the heart of downtown Holly Springs. It is the most noted historic landmark in town, having weathered nearly two centuries and a two-week occupation by Union troops during the Civil War and having served as the home-place of George Benton Alford, founder of the Town of Holly Springs.  And aside from the historic value of the property, it’s absolutely gorgeous and is presently undergoing a gigantic facelift to make it even more beautiful.  Did I mention it has 24 rooms and more than 7,000 square feet?

Are you quitting Orangerie Events?
Absolutely not.  Orangerie Events is my baby and my passion and will forever be my number one priority.  However, I have decided that in order to give my couples a better experience, I will limit the number of clients I personally work with each year.  By taking a select number of brides, I will be able to better serve them while balancing the beginning of a new venture. And Orangerie Events isn’t just about me. I have an incredible team behind and alongside me ready to take the reins and grow the business. I’ve recently brought on board a partner, who you will be introduced to very soon, that I’m literally pinching myself that I’ve been able to land her. She’s going to become a recognizable and resounding face for the company and I can’t wait to see where she takes it.

So, as a wedding planner you work at a lot of different venues and are even on their preferred vendor list. Does this mean you’ll stop recommending those venues to your brides?
I won’t lie. The Leslie-Alford-Mims House is stunning.  And with options for an outdoor ceremony, indoor/outdoor reception, custom-design bridal and groom’s suite, it’s an amazing location to host a wedding. But it won’t be for everyone. And it might not be the right price point. Or in the right location. Or the appropriate style. And as a planner, I do what is best for my clients and what fits their needs and desires. So no. I’ll never stop recommending the other amazing wedding venues in the area because this spot won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

I’m getting married. Can I get married at your venue?
Yes. Absolutely. We would love to give you a tour (as long as you don’t mind a bit of construction) and introduce you to the Mims House. We’re officially accepting bookings for 2015 and you’ll be able to meet and greet with us at the Forever Bridal Show in Raleigh in January.

I know there are millions of other things I didn’t address but I hope I’ve at least made you a teeny little bit excited about what’s in store.  Our website is in progress but our email is up and running so feel free to reach out if you’re interested in setting up a tour, asking a question or if you just want to high five us.  And while you’re at it, and since it’s my birthday, would you please like, love, hug and kiss all of our social media outlets?  Not to give you a guilt trip or anything but it is my 30th birthday.




Now go and run and tell your friends to tell their friends that there’s an awesome new spot to get married or hold a conference or a rehearsal dinner or a luncheon and then blast it all over your social media because we all know someone who knows someone who is getting married.

And here’s to waking up a year older. Starting a new adventure that I have tons of experience with and yet am clueless all at the same time.  Blowing out the inferno of candles and realizing I already have everything I could ever wish for.

xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do for 30 [ Update ]

Where do I even begin? To say things in my life have changed would be a drastic understatement.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s no excuse for the massive length of time stretching between my last post and this one, but it does at least offer a little insight into my negligence.  Evolution. The only word I can think of to describe the last few months of my life.

The most pressing and impending change happens in a mere few days when I shed the “2” before my age and pencil in a “3.”  30. Years. Old. How is that even possible? When I mention it to people who ask, especially those older than I am, they look at me as if I have no idea what’s in store.  Like I’m oblivious.  Like I’m overreacting.  And maybe I am.  But all I can really compare it to is how different I am than a decade ago. How a lot happens in the span of ten years. People get married and divorced. Babies are born and loved ones depart. Career paths divert and twist and turn. Houses are sold and homes are built. Bed times get earlier and eye circles get darker. Life happens the same as it did when I was twenty, only my risks are a bit more calculated, my decisions more selfless and my rose-colored glasses a little tarnished with experience.

Contrary to the underlying tone of fear, I’m extremely excited about my birthday and facing a new decade head on. I just also feel a strong sense of pressure. Pressure to grow up. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”  It keeps replaying in my head. As if 30 is a wake up call that some tough decisions need to be made because wasting time is a waste. As if it’s time to put away the childish games and foolishness, focus on what’s important, create a tangible future and stop pretending that I don’t know any better.

That picture of the future has changed dramatically now that we sold our house. That’s right folks. I no longer live in the middle of Egypt. We sold our oversized house, a lot of what we owned and simplified our lives down to a one-bedroom apartment.  A concept we intend on carrying into our next transition which will be building a tiny house. Not like a smaller house but an actual tiny house. 700 square feet of purposeful and intentional space filled only with the things we use and need. No wasted rooms. Environmentally efficient. Not too big. Not too little. Just right.

But for the foreseeable future, I plan to celebrate the dawn of a new age.  Set aside my fears about outgrowing my twenties. Stop worrying about the changes that have happened and the changes to come. Instead, I intend on surrounding myself with the people I love dearly, escaping the formalities of every day and indulging in all of the things that make me happy. And live in those moments. Soak them up like a sponge. And yes, I’ve already started celebrating and will probably spread it out for at least a few weeks.

And remember my “Thirty for Thirty.” Wait. You thought it was “Thirty before Thirty?” My bad. You were probably under that impression because that was my grand plan before my life got tossed into a blender. So I spent some time the other day and went through the items on my list, made some necessary modifications and decided completing the thirty items while being thirty was just as good as completing them before November 5th. So below is the revised list with some additional strikethroughs such as:

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. See Garth Brooks in concert.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge. Go to a hookah lounge? Let’s take it up a notch and create one at a wedding! While I still want to go to an actual establishment, designing a lounge for a recent wedding was equally as gratifying.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam. 20/20 baby!
  16. Attend an aerial class.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly. I recently decided to suprise my grandparents with a visit and took my Nana flowers. That time spent with them exploring their garden and checking on my Paw Paw’s bees was invaluable.
  18. Go to church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Go to hot yoga.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends. November 13. November 13. November 13. I just keep repeating that date beacuse I cannot wait for a weekend of no-thinking, genuine fun and stupid shenanigans.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Ride a train. I spent this past weekend in Gatlinburg with my family and we celebrated Halloween on the Great Smoky Mountain Train. It was definitely an experience I will always cherish and remember. Especially my future step-father’s dance moves.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.Priscilla Erwin - Raleigh Wedding Planner
    P.S. – With all the changes happening, I have an extreme itch to change my hairstyle. I’ve done the color thing and I know I’m better a blonde. I’m done with the bangs. I’m wildly attracted to the “Lob” trend right now and I need you fine folks to talk some sense into me because I have appointment on Friday and the temptation is real.  And yes Mom, I already know your opinion. To cut or not to cut?
xoxo, Priscilla