• WED Archive •

North Carolina Wedding Planner Branding Video

I knew it was time for a new branding video. My life has changed significantly since the last one was filmed. And as with life, it is ever-changing. However, I no longer work out of the office in Wake Forest which means I don’t ride my bike down the middle of Main Street (not that I really did any other time than the day of that shoot), the style of weddings I plan has evolved and I no longer live in the house featured in my last film. I do still wear a fedora, shop at Forever 21 and I still ask Scottie to do spins for treats.

When I started thinking about the meaning I wanted the new branding video to portray, I kept coming back to the fact that I’ve really always known this is what I wanted to do. I really didn’t need to look further than my own memories.

As soon as the idea was conceptualized, everything else came naturally. I sat down to write the script and the words poured out of me because I was speaking from experience.  As a little girl, I would frequently look through my parent’s wedding album and dream about my own wedding. I would dress up my stuffed animals and orchestrate an entire wedding day for them and their fluffy friends. I embarrassingly but specifically remember a night in college acting out a mock wedding with some friends. And no, alcohol wasn’t involved. I just really liked weddings.

And now it’s my every day. I eat, sleep and breathe weddings. I get to work with awesome couples and plan one of the most meaningful days of their lives. I’m a front row spectator to their First Look and the last one to tell them goodnight. I’m able to utilize the detail-oriented side of my brain to make sure the place cards are straight and the favors are all facing the same direction and yet I get to use the creative side of my brain to do something unexpected like suspend a three-tier wedding cake.

When I say I was born to do this job, I mean it. I wouldn’t do it day in and day out if I didn’t love it and if it didn’t evoke an immense amount of joy and satisfaction with each conclusion of another wedding. And while I was in my twenties when I ultimately decided what was my life’s purpose and how to fulfill it, if I look back on my life, the clues were always there and I was destined to be on the path I am on today.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped to pull off this video shoot. I couldn’t have done it without their support. And that little 8-year-old star you see pretending to be me as a child is none other than my cousin’s darling little girl Madi. She did such an amazing job and was the most perfect little actress. If you know her and see her after watching this, please be sure to tell her what a movie star she was in this video. (Cute side note: She texted me on Friday and asked “When will my movie be available for the world to see?”)

I hope as you watch this video created by the masterminds at Heart Stone Films, it stirs a fire in you to go out and do what you love. Don’t chase money. Don’t chase recognition. Don’t chase conformity or complacency. Chase your dreams. Life is too short to not do what you know in your heart you should be doing. So turn up your volume and enjoy a snippet of why I do what I do. I hope you fall in love with this little slice of perfection titled “Wide Eyed Little Girl” as much as I have.


Orangerie Events from Heart Stone Films on Vimeo.

Videographer: Heart Stone Films

Venue: The Mims House

Hair: Joanne Maye + Blown Away Raleigh

Make Up: Perfection by Patricia

Cake: Ashley Cakes

Linen: CE Rental


xoxo, Priscilla
We’re Hiring

View More: http://almondleafstudios.pass.us/hannah_evan_wedding

Photo by: Almond Leaf Studios

I have been so fortunate over the years to have had many talented individuals join the Orangerie family. It has been bittersweet to see them come and go but I have always been proud to provide them with tools and experience and to then watch them succeed. Even now, I feel grateful to have the team surrounding me that I do and I treasure their loyalty to the business.

With the huge change taking place in my personal life, the time has come to officially bring aboard a part-time team member to help efficiently and effectively run the OE Headquarters as a part-time Wedding Coordinator.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone hoping to gain real-world wedding experience from a variety of platforms.

If you are interested in this position, or if you have a friend that would be interested, please thoroughly read the guidelines below and use the link at the bottom of the post to apply.

I am so excited to grow this team and am looking forward to hearing from you!

Position Requirements

  • High degree of creativity and passion for wedding and event planning
  • Someone who is organized and extremely detail-oriented
  • Someone with strong work ethic who is able to work independently, responsibly and can be trusted to complete tasks timely
  • Someone who can effectively handle and prioritize multiple clients and stay calm under pressure
  • Ability to be resourceful, troubleshoot and think creatively
  • Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and contribute to the Orangerie family
  • Strong familiarity with Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest
  • Ability to quickly learn new software to manage clients and records
  • Strong writing skills, as contributing to the Orangerie Events Blog regularly will be required
  • Experience planning and orchestrating special events and/or weddings

Important Information

  • This position will be compatible with another part-time or full-time job
  • You will be required to work Saturdays and weekends as well as some evenings for networking events, client meetings and team outings
  • This position will require in-office administrative work but the schedule is flexible
  • You will be required to commit to a specific timeframe in order to accommodate clients who have already  booked weddings through the remainder of 2016
  • Being a wedding planner is not glamorous and requires someone who can handle multiple projects, tasks and brunt work
  • You can expect a surplus of Sun Drop slushes

If you have read the above and feel you are the perfect fit, please apply here.

All applications are due by March 7, 2016 and interviews will take place the following week. We are looking to hire and have the right candidate begin work by the end of March.


xoxo, Priscilla
Crafted Coordination – A Kick Butt Workshop for Wedding Planners



November 21 – 22, 2015
Mims House – Holly Springs, NC

Register Now!

You have two options at this very moment. Option #1 is choosing to be lazy and read the CliffNotes as to what this blog is about. If that sounds up your alley, the next paragraph will give you the highlights and you can stop reading there resting assured you could at least make a “C” on the test. Option #2 is choosing to be a curious little kitten and wanting more than just a summary. You have full permission to be nosey, read the entire blog and get the inside scoop.

I am proud to introduce Crafted Coordination, a kick butt workshop for aspiring wedding planners and budding entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. The first conference will be held on November 21 – 22, 2015 at the Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The website will be live very soon and registration is already open. It’s really easy. Just click this link, sign up and learn how to ditch that day job and fulfill your dream of becoming a full-time wedding planner. And because I’m sweet as sugar, there’s a special discount for those early birds who register prior to October 5th. In summary, if you are toiling with the idea of becoming a wedding planner, if you are a new and aspiring wedding planner, if you’re someone in a creative field, if you’re wondering about how I started and have maintained a growing wedding planning business, you should sit your tush in one of the available seats at this one-of-a-kind workshop for wedding planners, by a wedding planner.

For those of you who decided to stick around and learn more, welcome. I feel like you deserve to learn a little bit about the motivation behind hosting Crafted Coordination. Starting any small business is tough. Starting a wedding planning business isn’t ridiculously difficult. Making a living by owning a wedding planning business is the tough part. I started Orangerie Events in 2008 with very little support. I closed my eyes and jumped feet first into an industry I knew little about and without a mentor. I had no clue what I was doing or what was in store.

I learned quickly how competitive the wedding industry is and specifically how protective wedding planners are in regards to their businesses. It was a waste of a good email to ask a fellow planner in the market for advice on getting started. To be quite frank, breaking into the industry is a lot like high school. Like changing schools in the middle of the year and becoming the new kid in class. You’re timid. You’re a bit clueless. You’re immediately judged and classified. And you’re very receptive to the divide between the outsiders and the cool kids. Finding where you fit in becomes the first hurdle and often times the first taste of rejection.

I made 3,423 mistakes. I tiptoed around the feelings of other planners in order to not make them feel threatened or betrayed. I listened to the gossip and frequently became the subject of it. I disappointed clients due to growing pains and poor judgement. I lost money. I cried, a lot. I barely escaped getting a divorce. And this past year, I was betrayed and burned by people within my industry and to an extent that made my head spin and question every single decision I had made in starting the business. I let it temporarily drag me down until one day I decided that I wouldn’t continue to succeed in spite of them but I would succeed despite them. And that’s when the little flame of desire to help others ignited into a full fledge inferno.

I don’t want to be like my predecessors. I don’t need to hold my secrets to success hostage. I want to inspire and encourage a new generation of wedding planners that fire each other up in a positive way and not in a “I’m going to burn your business cards” kind of way. I want to be transparent with exactly who I am and not hide behind a deceiving facade I’ve led everyone to believe is the truth through my pretty Instagram pictures and cute quotes. I guarantee this workshop will be open, honest to the core and full of real talk. I’ll discuss what I’m doing, how I do it, how to break into the industry, how much money I make, the tools I use, where my business is going, how I’ve made mistakes and how I built a brand that attracts my ideal clientele.

There will always be cliques within any industry and especially within the wedding world. And if I have to be in a clique, I want it to be a compassionate one full of people boasting community over competition. I receive hundreds of emails each year from girls in college, stay-at-home-moms and people working unfulfilling jobs who want to know how I did it and what they should do. Well now’s your chance for an unfiltered look behind-the-scenes and a rare opportunity to become BFFs with someone who has been where you are and is still swimming after jumping off the deep end.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at hello@craftedcoordination.com. Registration is officially open and stay tuned for the website launch announcement. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest and greatest happenings! I can’t tell you how excited I am to make a tiny contribution to the uprising of a community of connected and positive planners. Let’s do this! (And yes, Sun Drop slushies for everyone!)

P.S. – If you’re a vendor and would like to participate, please reach out! At the very least, please feel free to share this so it can spread like wildfire!

xoxo, Priscilla
Blush, Green and Gold Military Wedding at The Oaks at Salem

I have a secret super power. Don’t tell anyone. Very few people know but it’s quite incredible. I can change out of normal clothes and into lounge clothes at the speed of light. No joke. It usually happens within a matter of minutes after my key is inserted into my apartment door. I walk into my humble abode fully dressed in a stylish work-appropriate outfit and within 60 seconds, my bottom half is swimming in a pair of oversized Victoria’s Secret sweatpants while my upper half sports a 20 year old ratty, majorly ripped, faded but the softest you’ve ever worn in your life t-shirt. My ability to go from chic to frumpy has been compared to a magician who starts off wearing a white ice-skater-like leotard, shimmies down into a hula hoop and emerges in a sequined red ballgown. I can’t explain it. My name is Priscilla and I commonly mispronounce words, was in bed before the sun went down Saturday night and I legitimately look forward to putting on my pajamas.

If anyone could make a burlap sack look good, it would be Hope. And it’s not just because she’s stunningly beautiful on the outside. It’s because the inside matches. I had the delight of meeting Hope a few years ago when she came to work for Orangerie Events. I was mesmerized by her grace and poise and was delighted when she joined the team. And even though her time with the company wasn’t permanent, our friendship was and I was flattered when she asked me to coordinate her wedding day.

Hope’s wedding day was ridiculously beautiful. And a stark contrast from the day before. Seriously, during her rehearsal, most of us were wet and cold from the torrential downpours and abnormally cold temperatures. But the wedding day was a canvas of perfection. Strokes of sunlight beaming down. A Carolina blue sky. A blowing veil. A flawless bride and her dapper gentleman. Hope and Zach are basically the equivalent to Barbie and Ken somehow metamorphosing from plastic figurines to living human beings.

A heartfelt thanks to the dream team of vendors who made working this wedding so easy. And an extra pat on the back to Graham Terhune for continuing to blow my mind with his amazing photography skills. And in case you want a double dose of this stunner of a wedding, check it out on Style Me Pretty because that’s how we roll.

I hope each of you enjoy your evening tonight and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be glued to the television catching up on the Real Housewives of Orange County as they tackle Tahiti, in your three sizes too big sweatpants and two decades too old t-shirt of course. Until next time.

Bridesmaids Bouquets - Green Bridesmaids Dresses - Orangerie Events

Groom in Military Outfit - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin - Wedding Details

Oaks at Salem Wedding Ceremony - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Oaks at Salem Wedding Ceremony - North Carolina Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Oak at Salem Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Green Wedding Color - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

March Wedding in Raleigh - Orangerie Events - Oaks at Salem

Oaks at Salem Wedding - Priscilla Erwin - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events


Photographer: Graham Terhune

Coordinator:  Orangerie Events

Venue: The Oaks At Salem

Catering:  Belle’s Catering

Florist:  Brides And Bouquets

DJ:  McSound Productions

Videographer:  K2 Productions

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero

Cake: Sugarland

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Wtoo

xoxo, Priscilla
Five Tips for Attending a Bridal Show Video Blog

There’s an adorable video of four-year-old me singing “If I Had a Little Black Box” for my friends and family. Even at a really young age, I loved performing and being in front of a crowd. I was fortunate to have a best friend growing up who enjoyed the spotlight as much as I did and the two of us devoted all of our free time to writing songs, creating routines and dominating whatever talent show we possibly could with our in-sync dance moves and blended harmonies. (Shout out to the Hudson Middle School and South Caldwell High School cheerleaders who forced us to sing “Plane of Love” repeatedly on every bus ride.)

We honestly didn’t care what anyone thought about our performances. Hence the reason we dressed up as jailbirds and performed “Jailhouse Rock” or decked ourselves in army attire and performed “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” We frequently sang at local festivals, at church and even auditioned for a reality TV singing competition on CMT when we were in our twenties. Although we only made it past the second round, I was incredibly proud of us for trying and for putting ourselves out there.

I’m a bit more critical of myself than I was back then. It’s easy to watch yourself on camera and pick apart the flaws because they’re so visible. I cringed when I showed this pre-edited video to a friend to get their opinion. I was legit sweating. Like sweating to where the armpits on my shirt were wet. I’m a professional at hiding behind my words on a blog but a video blog is different.  It’s exposing. It’s vulnerable. It’s easily subjected to ridicule and judgement. It’s challenging. And that’s the very reason I’ve decided to embark on something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

So here it is. The very first of many video blogs. Go easy on us. We’re newbies and still learning how this is going to work. I can’t promise perfection. We’re going to stumble over our words, make weird faces and our country twang is going to be very evident. But I can promise we’re going to give you some helpful information with a fun delivery style in order to help you plan your wedding or maybe even just plan a weeknight dinner. Every month we’ll post a new short and sweet video for your viewing pleasure or perhaps for your comedic relief. Since we’re in the midst of engagement season and lovebirds are in the beggining stages of planning their wedding and more than likely going to bridal shows, we’ve decided to center our first video around our “Top Five Tips for Attending a Bridal Show.” We filmed this video while participating in a local bridal show and sincerely hope it gives couples some tips before they embark on the wedding show frenzy. Until next time.


xoxo, Priscilla
Orangerie Events Headquarters + Welcome Nicole

Can you believe we are 16 days away from Christmas? When and how did that happen? It’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my life. I have a confession. I didn’t put up a Christmas tree. How big of a Grinch does that make me? I contemplated it and I would still love to have one but it doesn’t make sense. Our apartment is small. Like really small. So there’s no room. And then we leave the week of Christmas for Hickory and we won’t even be in the space to really celebrate or admire it. So I’m brainstorming alternate ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Because you know what doesn’t make you sing “Fa-la-la-la-la?” Driving to Youngsville to pick up tubs of Christmas decor, squeezing a tree inside an already tight space and vacuumming needles every day due to being OCD.

Despite my lack of decorating, one Christmas gift did come a little early for me and that’s this gal.

Nicole Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Boys and girls, please meet my new and ridiculously awesome sidekick, Nicole Goodrich. Remember my last post when I announced the venue adventure with my partner Brooke and I claimed I would only be taking a certain number of clients from that point forward? I wasn’t joking around. That was for real and that’s where this fabulous chick comes in to play.

She’s taking over where I leave off and is my numero uno. I can’t even begin to describe what a rock star she is but honestly if I would have rubbed a magic lamp and asked for the most awesome wedding planner to join my business, the genie would have given me her.

To celebrate our joining of forces, we decided to do a little photo shoot at the Orangerie Events Headquarters, conveniently located in downtown Raleigh. I knew within a week of moving into Raleigh from Youngsville that having an office in Wake Forest wasn’t conducive with my life anymore and decided to relocate. Why not move a house and an office at the same time? Who doesn’t like a little chaos? And if it isn’t already evident by the clients we’ve worked with and the weddings we’ve produced, we aren’t your stereotypical wedding planning company and hence our office isn’t the standard girly or lackluster space. It’s an explosion of color and whimsy and imagination. And how about that fantastic chalkboard? My mother-in-law whipped that up in a little over an hour.  Unreal.  If you’re looking for chalkboard art or furniture design and rental, check out her buisness Oblige Designs. And if you’re ever out dining at the Busy Bee or grabbing a quick coffee at Joule, be sure to stop by and say hello because we’re right next door. We have Sun Drop slushes after all.

Our hats, or crowns, go off to Julie Livingston who masterfully captured our humble abode as well as our smiling faces. I hope you’ll enjoy an inside look at where we spend our time and read below to learn a little more about Nicole, who ironically enough, was born on Christmas Day. See how I brought this post completely full circle? Until next time my loves.

Orangerie Events Office - NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Wedding Planner Office - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin

Oblige Designs - Raleigh Chalkboard Art - Orangerie Events

Downtown Raleigh Office - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events Office Space

Orangerie Events Office Space - NC Wedding Planner

Priscilla Erwin Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Raleigh Wedding Planner Office - Downtown Raleigh Office - NC Wedding Planner

Sun Drop Slush Machine - NC Wedding Planner

Raleigh Wedding Planning Office - Orangerie Events

Nicole Goodrich - Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

Carolina girl born and raised, I set off to New York City after getting my degree at Clemson University. For more than 6 years, I had the pleasure of planning hundreds of weddings, corporate events, non-profit galas, mitzvahs and numerous other social gatherings.

Highlights of my career include the planning of Christina Ricci’s intimate star-studded Manhattan wedding, producing fashion shows for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, planning events for numerous Fortune 100 companies, and everything in between!

A self-proclaimed foodie, you can usually find me and my boyfriend Rob scouting out the newest restaurant downtown or whipping up something delicious in our own kitchen. My other passions include – Reality TV, Cupcakes, sparkling wine, and dancing! (I’m usually the first one breaking it down on the dance floor).

I absolutely love planning weddings and am so excited to be back in the south where the weddings are romantic, the food is delicious, and the couples are sweet as pie! My goal is to keep the planning process fun and allow YOU to be a guest at your own event. I can’t wait to work with you!


xoxo, Priscilla
Romantic Summer Wedding at Merrimon Wynne in Raleigh

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It is very possible that the teeny tiny Erwin family may be moving. Don’t freak. Nothing crazy. But we did receive an offer on our home. I suppose our technical classification right now would be “sale pending.” I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but should this deal transpire, I will certainly blog about this experience as well as how funny and ironic timing can be.

In the meantime, our lives are about to potentially significantly downsize. Should all go to plan, we’ll lose about 1,200 square feet and move into a one-bedroom apartment and begin the process of finding land and building a home. This reduction in space means a reduction in stuff. Therefore, I would like to give you advance warning that I’ll be having a massive yard sale on Saturday, August 16. I’m sure you’re puzzled as to why I’m telling you this far in advance but fear not, I have valid reasons.

  1. The yard sale will take place at my home. Which is in Youngsville. Which means even if you live in Raleigh, you need to actually make plans to travel into my neck of the woods since it’s not just a quick trip around the corner.
  2. I have a lot of wedding stuff that I’ll be unloading. I’m talking vases, candleholders, lanterns and all sorts of wedding knick knacks. I don’t want or need them anymore. So if you’re planning a wedding, you just might find some good stuff at my yard sale as well as some random things. Like 100 brightly multi-colored cotton napkins.
  3. A longer notice means more time for you to help spread the word. Seriously. Tell people. I don’t want to move what we don’t need and since we’ll be downsizing and simplifying when we do actually build, I don’t want it to sit in storage. I’d much rather it serve a purpose for someone else.

So take note, there’s a yard sale coming up soon and you should go. And if you don’t go, you should at least tell a friend. And if you don’t tell a friend, you should at the very least keep reading and check out this gorgeous wedding I had the honor of designing and coordinating at Merrimon Wynne in Raleigh last month.

I adored Sarah. She was soft-spoken with a heart full of grace. And she was trusting. She told me things she liked, details that sparked her interest and trusted me to pull it together. I remember meeting with her and her stating that she loved looking through wedding magazines and hoped for a wedding that would be as beautiful as those gracing the pages. Judging by these stunning photos from Robyn Van Dyke and the fact the wedding has already been scouted out by a wedding blog, I’d say it was a success.

Although their wedding was overall a romantic and organic display, Sarah and Cameron’s wedding was all about the details. Details that were meaningful and powerful. We filled the house with Bible verses and quotes about love. We added sprigs of rosemary to each place setting. A dessert hutch was styled with miniature desserts and props. Pewter chandeliers were adorned with fresh greenery. A custom backdrop was designed (by my talented mother-in-law) for the cake. Cheerwine favors were displayed perfectly for guests to take as they exited. Beauty is in the details and this wedding was no exception.

Trends are constantly changing. Especially in the wedding world. But Sarah and Cameron’s wedding was timeless. One of those that reflected a couple’s marriage and not just their wedding. As for other things constantly changing, a huge one is about to occur in my life and if you have any tips or tricks for moving everything you own, please feel free to share.

I couldn’t have timed the last few weeks more perfectly if I tried. And trust me, because I’m a planner, I’ve tried. Here’s to hoping every last one of those chickens shatter their shells.

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Bridal Earrings - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Bridesmaids Getting Ready - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Robyn Van Dyke Photography - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Merrimon Wynne Wedding - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Grooms Attire - Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

Groomsmen Getting Ready - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Groomsmen Polka Dot Ties - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Green Bridesmaids Dresses - Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

Garden Wedding Flowers - Wedding Bouquets - Merrimon Wynne House

First Touch Picture - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

First Look with Dad - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Bride and Dad - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Wedding Ceremony in Church - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Priscilla Erwin

Church Wedding in Raleigh - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

Wedding Party Pictures at Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Venue - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Chandelier with Greenery - Merrimon Wynne Reception - Orangerie Events

Decor at Merrimon Wynne House - NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Venue

Place Setting with Rosemary - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Cake Backdrop - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding - NC Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events

First Dance - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Wedding at Merrimon Wynne - Priscilla Erwin - Orangerie Events

Cheerwine Wedding Favor Display - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planners

Sparkler Exit at Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne Sparkler Exit - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Coordination + Design: Orangerie Events

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography

Ceremony Location: Church of the Apostles

Reception Location: Merrimon Wynne House

Videographer: Oak City Studios

Catering: Belle’s Catering

Flowers: Brides & Bouquets

Cake: Whole Foods

Band: Swingin’ Richards

Tent, Tables, Chairs & Lighting: Party Reflections

Linens: CE Rental

Custom Signs + Cake Backdrop: Jennifer Erwin

xoxo, Priscilla
Spring Wedding at the Merrimon Wynne House in Raleigh

I’m addicted to “Orange Is the New Black.”  Like completely addicted. I finished the first season last night and am itching to watch the next episode.  I think watching so much of it before falling asleep has infiltrated my subconscious because last night I had a dream that I was in a relationship with Beyonce’.

My friend Brooke had recommended I start watching the show months ago and I’m regretful I didn’t listen to her then.  She didn’t warn me that I would probably need tissues for the first episode.  Speaking of this amazing friend, she hosted a Great Gatsby themed 30th birthday party this past Saturday that I can’t wait to tell you about it.  It was the cat’s meow.  I’ll definitely go into greater detail once the professional pictures are completed but the short of the story is basically we treated her party as if we were movie stars and bought amazing dresses and had our hair and make up done.  We are not fans of spray tans as we almost had to change the theme to something more Jersey Shore-ish.  It’s easy to confuse a 50-gallon champagne fountain with a 5-gallon champagne fountain.  And finally, I’m blaming my aching knees on the high heels I was wearing while dancing and not on the fact that I’m getting old and it’s hard to drop it like it’s hot without pulling a muscle.

My past bride, Lacey, resembles one of the characters on the show.  Like a total doppelgänger.  Only Lacey is even more gorgeous than Officer Fischer.  Therefore, watching the show made me think about her and then made me think about finally showcasing her amazeballs wedding.  I was so excited to plan and design Lacey and Robert’s big day and ecstatic to work for the first time at the new venue in Raleigh, the Merrimon Wynne House.  When we started talking about her wedding, she had a few requirements.  First, it had to be colorful.  Bright and cheery.  Like a box of crayons came to life.  Secondly, the reception needed to be held under a canopy of market lights.  No tent.  I had to pull some major strings and send some frequent and repeated prayers to make that one happen.  And third, we needed to subtly incorporate birds without giving the groom a panic attack.  The result?  Well just take a look at the pictures below.  It stands among one of my favorite weddings I’ve ever had the privilege of planning.

The cast lineup for this wedding was incredible and the final result would not have been possible with each and every single one of them.  It also would not been possible with the sweet couple and their equally sweet family who welcomed me as if I was one of their own.  So if you need a little break from what you’re doing, scroll down and peruse the stunning pictures from Ashley McCray Photography.  If you want a longer break, go get yourself sucked into “Orange Is the New Black” and thank me later.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Merrimon Wynne House

Merrimon Wynne Wedding Venue - Raleigh Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events

Colorful Wedding Invitation - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne House - NC Wedding Planning - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planners - NC Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events

NC Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events

Wedding Welcome Table - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Lavender Toss at Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Ceremony at Merrimon Wynne - Orangerie Events - North Carolina Wedding Planner

Merrimon Wynne Wedding - Raleigh Wedding Planners - Orangerie Events

Wedding at Merrimon Wynne - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Groomsmen Attire - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

April Raleigh Wedding - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne Wedding Venue - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Colorful Rustic Table Setting - Merrimon Wynne Reception - Orangerie Events

Wedding Merrimon Wynne House - Reception Details - Orangerie Events

Colorful Wedding Flowers - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Wedding Under Market Lights - Merrimon Wynne Wedding - Orangerie Events

Cookie Wedding Favors - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne Wedding - Orangerie Events

Cake Cutting - Merrimon Wynne House - Orangerie Events

Band at Merrimon Wynne - Orangerie Events

Sparklers at Merrimon Wynne - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Wedding Getaway Car Raleigh - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Merrimon Wynne Wedding - Getaway Car - Orangerie Events

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Merrimon Wynne House

Planning + Design: Orangerie Events

Photographer: Ashley McCray Photography

Florist: Brides & Bouquets

Videographer: Silver Feather Studios

Custom Painted Wedding Signs: Jennifer Erwin

Ceremony Music: Arioso Strings

Caterer: Cook Shack

Cake: Cakes by Chloe

Linens + Rentals: CE Rental

Lighting: Peelman Productions

Photo Booth: Wake Forest Portrait Studio

Transportation: Elite Coach

Hair + Make Up: Nicole Murphy

Wine Barrel Rentals: Themeworks

xoxo, Priscilla
Beautifully Blush Wedding at All Saints Chapel and Stockroom 230

Does anyone want to buy a house?  No, seriously.  I’d really like for someone to buy my house.  Thankfully we aren’t in a position where we are on a time crunch to get it sold or in a financial crisis but I’m starting to get really excited about what’s next and the fact that I have no timetable as to when that’s going to happen is starting to annoy me.

We’ve had three showings.  Not bad but not great.  I’m hoping my freshly laundered undies sitting atop my bedroom dresser didn’t deter the last showing.  That’s what happens when you aren’t expecting a showing and are in a meeting when you get the “Can we show your house in 10 minutes?” call.  I’m also not complaining about having the house on the market because it’s given me an extended excuse to have Sany and her crew come in and clean the house from top to bottom every few weeks.  I can’t tell you how much I haven’t missed scrubbing the shower or mopping the floors.  It’s completely worth the eye rolls I get every few Fridays.

Speaking of which, next time I catch grief about having Sany clean the house, I’ll just remind Chase about how he recently got into a fight with a wasp on our front porch and cracked a gigantic piece of our siding with a broom.  I took less of a UFC  approach and went to the grocery store to buy wasp spray.  Take a guess at which method worked.

I think I’m most excited about simplifying our life.  We have so much wasted space for just two people and a canine.  We also have too much silly stuff.  Stuff just sitting in closets, in boxes and sitting in the attic doing absolutely nothing but collecting dust.  When we finally do move, I don’t want to take with us all of that stuff.  I’ll honestly probably sell every single thing I possibly can.  Except for my farmhouse dining room table that I didn’t tell Chase we were getting and just showed up with one day.  I guess a dining room table is a little more subtle than the new car I just showed up with on another day.  Did I ever mention how I have this deep-rooted issue with proclaiming my independence?  I’ve since learned those actions were really selfish and probably not the smartest decisions for a successful marriage.

Something tells me that Sarah and Luke aren’t going to have any issues with a successful marriage.  They are a seriously adorable couple.  There’s a few notable things that I adored about this couple and their wedding:

  1. They met at a bowling class in college at NC State.
  2. I introduced Sarah’s mom to Sun Drop slushies and she loved them.  So much so she asked for seconds during one of our meetings.
  3. The groom’s brother, who was the best man, gave the most heartfelt toast at the reception. I usually keep my emotions in check at weddings but I couldn’t help tearing up while listening to him speak about how proud their father would have been of Luke.
  4. Sarah looked drop dead gorgeous on her wedding day.  Not that she wasn’t beautiful every time I saw her but typically she came in straight from work and would be in scrubs with her hair up.  She was perfection in that gown.
  5. In lieu of a guest book, the couple had guests sign a canvas with the state of North Carolina painted in the center.  We placed the cutest little sign next to the painting politely asking guests to not sign on the state but around the perimeter.  I periodically checked throughout the night and I’m happy to report we made it until the last 30 minutes without having someone sign inside the state. Since I enjoyed the best man’s speech so much, I decided to let him get away with not following the signing rules.
  6. The Raleigh Trolley ran into the parked car of a guest about five minutes before the ceremony.  Ok, maybe I didn’t adore that about their wedding but it is something I’ll never forget.

It was a beautiful April wedding ceremony at All Saints Chapel with a reception following at The Stockroom 230.  Even though the couple maxed out the space with about 180 guests, Unforgettable Food Affairs had no problem providing an amazing dinner.  The couple opted to display the cutest cutting cake baked by Sweet Traditions by LeAneCE Rental provided the luxurious linens while Gregg Kennedy with Brides & Bouquets added a touch of romance with the personal bouquets and reception flowers.  He even voluntarily lent a helping hand in setting up the ceremony space.  Blue Light Entertainment kept the dance floor packed right up until the moment Sarah and Luke departed in a rickshaw provided by Crank Arm Rickshaw.  And during that departure, at the end of a long day, Sarah’s make up still looked flawless because Perfection by Patricia knows how to rock it.

Reliving this beautiful wedding day wouldn’t be possible without the amazing and talented Julie Livingston Photography.  I always enjoy working with someone with such a sweet heart, incredible eye and wonderful personality.  She’s a gem.

It’s the simple things in life sometimes.  A single rose sitting in a vase.  A shared affection for Sun Drop slushes.  Signing inside the state.  A baby’s breath bouquet.  A hug from a grateful bride at the end of her wedding day.  A house that fits.  Simple doesn’t mean boring.  I’m looking forward to making my life not any less significant but much more simpler.


NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Blush Wedding Inspiration - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

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All Saints Wedding - All Saints Chapel - Orangerie Events

Wedding at All Saints Chapel - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Stockroom Wedding - Wedding at Stockroom - Orangerie Events

Wedding at Stockroom 230 - Orangerie Events

Ceremony Location: All Saints Chapel

Reception Location: Stockroom 230

Coordination: Orangerie Events

Photographer: Julie Livingston Photography

Caterer: Unforgettable Food Affairs

Florist: Brides & Bouquets

Cake: Sweet Traditions by LeAne

DJ: Blue Light Entertainment

Linens: CE Rental

Lighting: Themeworks

Make Up: Perfection by Patricia

Rickshaw: Crank Arm Rickshaw

xoxo, Priscilla
Rustic Wedding at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst

As much as you can try to avoid and prevent it, life is always full of conflict.  We’re imperfect beings who have different ideas, tolerances, beliefs and expectations.  We see it on the news every day.  This person fighting with this person.  This country hates this country.  Voices escalate.  Tempers flare.  Bombs explode.

I hate conflict.  I loathe disagreements.  I despise sticky situations that make me uncomfortable.  When something with someone goes array and I know a confrontation is imminent, my brain goes haywire.  There’s a constant flood of lyrics streaming as to what I’m going to say.  The points I’m going to make are bulleted, clear and concise.  A few are bleeped out.  My confidence is through the roof and I have no doubt that after the altercation, the other person will be wishing they never messed with all 5’2” of me.  Okay, 5’1”.

But that’s in my head.  Reality is that I’m a pull-the-covers-over-your-head and brush-it-under-the-rug kind of person.  My palms become sweaty. My voice shakes. I become totally exposed and vulnerable.  The narrative I’ve mentally rehearsed comes out in the form of tears streaming down my face.  For the longest time I’ve viewed it as a weakness.  A flaw in my character that I can so easily become the punching bag and not the one handing out blows.

But the truth is, I think my inability to verbalize spiteful or harmful words isn’t a weakness at all.  Words are powerful.  They don’t bounce – they stick.  They can’t be retracted or taken back.  Once gossip or something negative leaves your mouth and lands on the ears of the recipient, you’ve risked them being twisted, repeated, or worse, remembered.

My honest prayer is that I use my words wisely.  To think before speaking.  To not judge someone because they sin differently than I do.  To let them marinate before I just spit them out.  To remember that if they are going to stick to someone, let them be words of encouragement, positivity and empowerment.  Let my words do good and not damage.  If what I have to say isn’t kind or delivered in a gentle manner, then let me be quiet.

Someone who has filled my life with the most inspiring words is Dorothy.  If ever I doubt myself as a wedding planner, doubt my ability to make another person happy or doubt what I’m doing with my life, I can count on Dorothy to remind me that I’ve done something right.  Her wedding was incredible.  Full of rustic details.  Full of personalization.  Full of romance.  Full of gratitude.

Dorothy did the work.  She hired her vendors.  She collected her decor.  She came to me for advice and guidance and on the wedding day, she trusted my team and me to bring it to life.  If you like a horse-drawn-carriage, dogs that serve as ring bearers, a wisteria Twilight-inspired draped pergola, wooden benches, hand painted programs, a vintage Volkswagen Beetle, mix-matched china and cotton napkins, carmel apple wedding favors or a reception set in the most elegant barn imaginable, this is the wedding for you.

I had the most enlightening experience getting to know Dorothy.  She has the most giving heart.  Evident by the souvenirs she sent to me from her trip to Dallas because she knew Chase was a Cowboys fan.  Her thoughtfulness is inspiring.  In addition to loving every minute of working with Dorothy, I can’t thank Brian Mullins Photography enough for the stunning pictures.  It was a pure delight to work with Brian and Jenn on the wedding day.

In a conflicted world, one positive word can outweigh a mountain of negativity.  I’ve had so many incredible clients, friends and family fill my inbox and phone with the sweetest sentiments recently.  This is my public declaration of thanks.  They have been impactful.  They have motivated me.  Your simple words have saved me.

P.S. – Be sure to check out Dorothy and David’s wedding featured on Southern Bride & Groom!

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Ceremony Location: Village Arboretum

Reception Location: The Fair Barn

Photographer: Brian Mullins Photography

Coordinator: Orangerie Events

Ceremony Music: Opus One and Army of Me

Carriage: Carriage Tours of Pinehurst

DJ: A+ DJ Service

Caterer: Southern Harvest Catering Company

Cake: The Bakehouse

Cupcakes: BlueBird Cupcakes

Rentals:  Heirloom Vintage China Hire + Richmond Rentals and Sales

xoxo, Priscilla