Day-of Wedding Coordinator

“ALWAYS” | Laura & Steve’s Romantic Winter Wedding | The Cookery – Durham, NC

Romantic Winter Wedding Portrait Downtown Durham

Laura and Steve “Always” dreamed of having a magical wedding day, and on an early December evening, they turned The Cookery in downtown Durham into a romantic winter wonderland, thanks to the talents of renowned DC florist Kevin Canfield of K Aubrey Flowers, a close friend of the Bride & Groom.  The delicate wintery whites of their candlelit ceremony were the perfect contrast to the warm navy and gold tones used throughout the cocktail and dinner receptions.  Family and friends were treated to delectable appetizers and a savory dinner buffet expertly prepared by Durham Catering.  Following a champagne toast and traditional cake cutting ceremony,  Laura and Steve danced the night away with their family and friends to the sounds of DJ Damien Maass.  The Newlyweds could not have asked for a more perfect beginning to their “Always”.

All Photographs Courtesy of Brian Mullins Photography

Laura & Steve’s All-Star Wedding Team

Venue: The Cookery – Durham, NC

Photographer: Brian Mullins Photography

Floral and Decor Design: K Aubrey Flowers

Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination

Caterer: Durham Catering

Bar Service: The Cookery

DJ: Damien Maass DJ & Video Service

Photo Booth: Spark Photo Booth

Rentals: American Party Rental

Officiant: Bob Bennett

Hair & Makeup: 140 Salon & Blow Dry Bar

Chalkboard Artist: Marika Wendelken Calligraphy

Cake: Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop

Hotel: The Durham Hotel

Transportation: US Coachways

All Photographs Courtesy of Brian Mullins Photography

Katherine & Dan’s May Wedding at Merrimon-Wynne House | Raleigh, NC

Griffin Hart Davis, Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination, Merrimon-Wynne House

Katherine, a native of Wake Forest, NC, wanted her wedding day to be a reflection of her Southern roots with a touch of her and her fiancé Dan’s fun, laid back personalities.  The historic Merrimon-Wynne House in Downtown Raleigh, with its quintessential mix of old Southern Charm and modern elegance, was the perfect setting for their Memorial Day Weekend wedding, and the weather was as equally as beautiful as the bride.


Katherine’s favorite wedding moment was having her and Dan’s closest family and friends all in one place to celebrate their marriage, which was poignantly commemorated in a post-ceremony photo taken by the immensely talented Griffin Davis of Griffin Hart Davis Photography.  Their guests were treated to a delicious meal expertly prepared by Rocky Top Catering and entertained throughout the evening by Eddie Leonard Productions.  It was the Father of the Bride, however, who brought down the house when he shared a hilarious letter written by a 13 year-old Katherine while she was away at summer camp.  It was a glimpse into the love and laughter that will undoubtedly be at the core of their lasting relationship.

Congratulations, Katherine and Dan!  It was the perfect wedding for a loving couple who could not be more perfect for each other.  Thank you for allowing Chestnut & Vine to be a part of it!


Katherine & Dan’s All Star Wedding Team

Ceremony/Reception Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House

Photographer: Griffin Hart Davis Photography

Floral Design: Watkins Flowers of Distinction

Wedding Coordination: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination

Catering: Rocky Top Catering

Officiant: Ben Poston

Linen/Dinnerware Rentals: CE Rental

Decor Rentals: Homemade Bride

Hair/Makeup: Parlor Blow Dry Bar

Cake Design: Christi Butner

DJ: Eddie Leonard Productions


All Photos Taken by Griffin Hart Davis Photography

All Photos Taken by Griffin Hart Davis Photography

Julia & Corey’s Spring Wedding | The Graylyn Estate | Winston-Salem

Graylyn Wedding Day-of CoordinationThe Graylyn Estate is a hidden gem located minutes from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.  As soon as they set their eyes on the main house of this historic property, Julia and Corey knew it was the perfect setting for the elegantly romantic wedding day they envisioned.

The sun shown brightly in the estate’s White Garden Terrace as the couple read their personal vows to one another before their families and closest friends. The Terrace’s natural beauty was magnified by the stunning floral bouquets crafted by the incredibly talented team at Green Bee Floral Designs.  During the cocktail hour, guests were treated to a signature cocktail inspired by the Disney Cruise Line cocktail they were treated to on the night of their engagement.  After enjoying a delicious meal expertly prepared by the Graylyn’s catering staff, Julia and Corey were especially excited to cut into their 4-tier lemon-blueberry wedding cake that was surrounded by 4 white chocolate satellite designed by Regi Originals.   The evening finished with a fun night of dancing hosted by A&A Disc Jockey Service and a grand sparkler exit down the cobble stone driveway in front of the estate’s main house.

Congratulations, Julia and Corey!  You successfully pulled off the perfect wedding that you always wanted.  Thank you so much for choosing Chestnut & Vine to be your day-of wedding coordinator.  It was an absolute honor!



Julia & Corey’s All-Star Wedding Team

Ceremony/Reception Venue: The Graylyn Estate

Photographer: Danielle Flake Photography

Floral Design: Green Bee Floral Designs

Wedding Coordination: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination

Catering: Graylyn Estate Catering

Lighting Design: Sound Illusions Events

Hair/Makeup: Updo’s Studio

Cake Design: Regi Originals

DJ & Photo Booth: A & A Disc Jockey Service

Officiant: Reverend Kenny Compton (Groom’s Cousin)




Jenn & John’s Fall Wedding at Duke Gardens | Durham, NC

Upon meeting Jenn for the first time, I knew immediately that this was going to be a fun wedding to coordinate, and it did not disappoint.  Jenn has an enthusiastic confidence and delightfully personable charm that makes everyone around her feel at ease.  So, it is no wonder that the quiet, reserved John wasted no time asking Jenn to be his partner in life, and just as quickly as they got engaged, the couple found themselves on the wedding planning fast track when a cancellation allowed Jenn to have her dream Fall wedding at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, NC.

Jenn and John could not have asked for a more gorgeous October day on which to exchange their vows in front of their closest family and friends.   A soft glow of sunshine encircled the Arboretum at Duke Gardens making it the perfect backdrop for the couple’s wedding ceremony. During the prelude, guests found themselves unconsciously humming along with the string quartet before realizing they were listening to the songs of Snow Patrol and other popular modern artists not often associated with either wedding ceremonies or orchestral music.  A highlight of the ceremony was when Jenn was walked down the aisle by her parents to a bridal march arranged especially for the couple by Jenn’s sister and Maid of Honor, Amanda.

The evening continued with cocktail and dinner receptions catered by Durham Catering and music provided by All Events DJs, who helped kickstart the fun by inviting the newlyweds to have their first dance as husband and wife – a dance that perfectly captured Jenn & John’s unique personalities and will forever be remembered by their family and friends.

Congratulations, Jenn and John!  Thank you for including Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination in your special day!  It was one I’ll never forget.

A Special Thank You to RGB Insights for Sharing Their Incredible Photographs with Us





Jenn & John’s Wedding Team

Ceremony/Reception Venue: Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Photographer: RGB Insights

Floral Design: Pine State Flowers

Wedding Coordination: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination

Catering: Durham Catering Co.

Decor Rentals: American Party Rentals

Officiant: Perfect Ceremonies – Reverend Phran Gacher

Calligraphy/Chalkboard Design: One Fine Morning Lettering & Calligraphy

Hair/Makeup: Blo Salon – Brier Creek

Cake and Cupcake Design: The Cupcake Bar

Ceremony Music: Audrey Cook Quartet

DJ: All Events DJs

Lighting: Get Lit – Special Event Lighting

Transportation: Carolina Livery Services

And a Personal Shout Out to Christa for Introducing Chestnut & Vine to Jenn and John!

Sarah & Christian’s Fall Wedding at Cross + Main | Youngsville, NC

Joyner Park Wake Forest, NC Wedding Photo

On a gorgeous, sunshine filled Fall afternoon, Christian and Sarah were the first couple to be married at the newly christened Cross + Main (formerly The Boondocks before it was purchased by Rocky Top Catering) located in the quaint downtown of Youngsville, NC.  The bride and groom, who relocated from North Carolina to Oklahoma so that Christian could continue his training with the U.S. Marine Corp, have Sarah’s parents and sister to thank for finding this small town gem 22 miles north of Downtown Raleigh.  Cross + Main’s exposed red brick and pristine wood floors, which were immersed in a flood of natural sunlight, formed the perfect backdrop for an endearingly romantic wedding.  

It was important to Sarah and Christian to make their wedding a family affair.  They were married by the groom’s cousin under an archway built by the bride’s father that was cloaked with sheer draperies sewn together by the bride’s mother, and their siblings, nieces and nephew were all members of their wedding party.  During the cocktail hour, the entire wedding party was shuttled to nearby Wake Forest for a photo session in Joyner Park.  The majestic Carolina Blue sky made their outdoor photoshoot absolutely perfect.  Once the wedding party returned to Cross + Main, guests were welcomed into the reception hall that was beautifully decorated with cranberry and navy linens and gorgeous floral centerpieces masterfully designed by Youngsville’s own Brandi’s Bontanicals.  After a fun evening full of dancing and laughter, the newlyweds exited under an archway of sparklers that led them to their getaway car – an immaculate 1941 Packard Sedan owned by a local couple that the bride’s parents just happened to meet at a car show.  It was the perfect way to end a wonderful celebration of such a sweet, thoughtful and loving couple.

Congratulations, Sarah and Christian!  Thank you for entrusting your wedding day to Chestnut & Vine.  It was a pleasure to work with you both and to see all of your hard work come to fruition.

All photos courtesy of Photographs by Stephanie

Cross + Main Wedding Details Photo Cross + Main Wedding Rings

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Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination

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Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination

Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination

Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination Joyner Park Wedding Photos Wake Forest Day-of Wedding Coordination

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Cross + Main Wedding Father-Daughter Dance Cross + Main Wedding Mother-Son Dance

Cross + Main Sweet Memories Wedding Cake Cross + Main Sweet Memories Wedding Cake

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Cross + Main Bride and Groom First Dance Day-of Wedding Coordination

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Sarah & Christian’s Wedding Team

Ceremony/Reception Venue: Cross + Main | Youngsville, NC

Photographer: Photographs by Stephanie

Floral Design: Brandi’s Botanicals

Wedding Coordination: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination

Catering: Cannon Catering

Bartending Services: POUR Bar Services

Decor Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Hair/Makeup: Joanne Maye Makeup Artistry

Cake Design: Sweet Memories Bakery

DJ: Avalanche Sound & Lights

Transportation: Carolina Livery Service

Classic Car: Chad & Demi Goldman


YOU’RE ENGAGED!!  And not even 5 minutes after sharing your fantastic news, the notorious question is inevitably asked … “When’s the wedding?!”  It’s a natural response.  Everyone who loves you is excited for you and wants the celebration to start right away and to offer their input.  As a newly engaged bride, it is easy to get swept up into the excitement and feel rushed to choose a location and date just so you have an answer the next time it’s asked.  If you don’t know when and where yet, it’s okay!  By politely telling your loved ones that you and your fiancé are relishing the excitement of being engaged and that you’ll let them know when you are ready to discuss the details, you have officially set the tone that this is YOUR wedding.

Now this isn’t to say that you aren’t going to involve your loved ones in the planning process, but the key to having your dream wedding is never losing sight of the fact that this is a special occasion to celebrate you and your fiancé. The ceremony and reception should be a reflection of your unique relationship, so let your personalities shine!  Let it be known from the beginning that you and your fiancé welcome input and advice, but ultimately the final wedding decisions belong to the two of you.  Time and time again I hear tales of regret from brides who gave into their family members’ wishes instead of sticking to what they wanted.  All they can recall from their wedding day is that they were made to do something they didn’t want to do.  If you are feeling the pressure to do what others want just to keep the peace, ask yourself, “In 20 years will I remember this as my wedding or their wedding?”  If the immediate answer isn’t “my wedding,” it might be time to use your “I’m the bride” card.

(WARNING: Don’t abuse your “I’m the bride” card privileges. Overuse will earn you the dreaded bridezilla title.  Keep an open mind when receiving well-meaning opinions and advice because often they are both helpful and inspiring.  Your wedding will be more fun for you and everyone else involved if you are a joyous, appreciative bride instead of a scary, unapproachable diva.)

Have you used your “bride card” appropriately but still feel like you aren’t being heard? Hire a wedding coordinator!  Wedding coordinators are experts in taking the tension down a notch and playing the role of mediator.  Chestnut & Vine prides itself on being the bride and groom’s strongest advocate for making sure they get the wedding THEY want while also looking for compromises that will satisfy both the opinion givers and the happy couple.

In the end, if you are open to your loved ones’ opinions but ultimately stay true to you and your fiancé’s wedding vision, you will have the perfect wedding.  However, as you bask in the glow of marrying the man of your dreams and throwing the celebration of the year, don’t for a second think that you are now off the hook.  For not even 5 minutes after returning home from your honeymoon, inevitably the second most notorious question will be asked … “So when are you having a baby?”

Bridal Show Mania

Last Sunday Chestnut & Vine participated in its first Southern Bridal Show and Expo at the NC State Fairgrounds presented by Forever Bridal Productions.  Thank you to all of the brides and their entourages for stopping by our booth to learn about our day-of wedding coordination services.  It was especially fun to meet the valiant grooms who braved the wedding mayhem to support their beautiful brides.  These ladies have found keepers!

It was easy to differentiate between the first-time bridal show attendees and the veteran bridal show experts.  The veteran attendees wasted no time and got right to business.  Here are some great “Bridal Show Survival” tips that I observed during the show:

    • PRE-MADE LABELS with your name, fiancé’s name, wedding date, e-mail and phone numbers are a must.  Not only will this prevent hand cramps from writing your contact info a hundred times, the vendors will not have to guess if your e-mail address contains an “e” or a “c”.  You may have won a free massage or a full-photography package, but you’ll never know because we couldn’t read your handwriting.
    • LIMIT YOUR ENTOURAGE to 2 or 3 members.  Any more than that becomes a chaotic scene with the bride’s attention being pulled in too many directions.  Instead of collecting solid information about vendors in our area, the bride leaves with an overwhelming case of brain fog.
    • Speaking of your entourage, BRING A GOOD LISTENER and A RECENT BRIDE with you.  You will get bombarded with a lot of information in a short amount of time.  A good listener will help you remember the important details and refresh your memory of who you liked and why when you debrief on the car ride home.  A recent bride will provide helpful tips on what she did but more importantly what she WISHES she had or hadn’t done.  I lost track of how many Matrons of Honor told me their biggest regret was not hiring a day-of wedding coordinator.  (So learn from their mistake and hire Chestnut & Vine asap!)
    • YES AND NO” BAGS.  Start the sorting process before you head home.  Like a vendor?  Put their marketing materials in the bag you are holding.  Not interested in another vendor’s services but feel rude refusing their literature, put it in your friend’s bag.  Just don’t forget which one is the YES bag when you get home.
    • AVOID THE CROWDS by meeting with vendors during the fashion shows.  When you first arrive, stroll through the isles to get your lay of the land.  Then while the masses are watching the entertainment on the main stage, visit the vendors that interest you most.  We are thankful for the company and have more time to give you the attention you deserve.
    • Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!  And if you are wondering how in the world you are going to bring all your ideas and vendors together for your wedding day, hire Chestnut & Vine to help you sort it all out.  Sorting through the chaos is what we do best!


When discussing Chestnut & Vine with potential clients, I am often asked (1) exactly what is “day-of wedding coordination,” and (2) what made you decide to focus solely on “day-of” services?   What better place to address these questions than here on “The Corner of Chestnut & Vine”?

“Day-of Coordination” is wedding industry lingo for when a couple hires an organizer to implement their wedding plans for them.  In other words, the bride and groom choose their theme, colors, venues, vendors, menus, entertainment, decorations, etc. themselves, but then they hire a coordinator to handle all of the event details the weekend of the wedding.  “Day-of” is a deceiving description because the coordinator actually begins working on the wedding details well before the big day arrives.  For instance, I meet with my clients 6 weeks before their wedding day to discuss timelines, exchange contact information for vendors/venues, review transportation plans, and identify details that they may have overlooked.  In the weeks leading up to the wedding, the day-of coordinator drafts the wedding weekend schedule, contacts all of the vendors, and confirms that all of the details will be conducted as planned.  When the wedding weekend arrives, the day-of coordinator oversees the set-up process, keeps the wedding timeline on schedule, handles last minute emergencies, distributes gratuities, and then sees that the gifts and centerpieces are transported to a designated location.

As a recent DIY bride, I relate well with engaged couples who develop their own wedding day vision and want to be in charge of the planning process.  Many DIY brides and grooms find themselves in a last minute panic and are unable to fully enjoy their wedding day because they didn’t hire a professional to handle the final details for them.  A friend once confided to me that she should have hired a day-of wedding coordinator because it wasn’t until the end of her reception that she realized there was no one to pack-up the centerpieces or load the gifts into the car.  Instead of having a big send-off at the end of the night, she and her bridesmaids were scrambling frantically around the hall in their formal gowns collecting centerpieces and carrying large gifts to the parking lot.  This is taking DIY to an unnecessary extreme and is a guaranteed buzz kill for the bride and groom, the wedding party and their guests.  Hearing numerous stories like my friend’s made me realize that day-of wedding coordination is an untapped niche that I am excited to serve.

Welcome to “The Corner of Chestnut & Vine”

Chestnut & Vine’s newly designed website is finally here! This project has been months in the making, but I think you will agree that it was well worth the wait! This blog, “The Corner of Chestnut & Vine”, is where you will get my perspective on various wedding trends and planning tips, as well as meet my amazing clients. In case we haven’t had the chance to meet yet, I’m Erin McCauley – owner and founder of Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination. I moved to Raleigh, NC over six years ago on a complete whim that turned into the best decision of my life because it is here where I met the love of my life, became a wife, a co-parent to my step-daughters, and started my own small business. It also doesn’t hurt that the weather is much better in North Carolina than it is in the Midwest.

Even as a kid growing up in Springfield, IL, I’ve always been a planner who loved to make lists and work on projects. I honed my planning skills as a student at Indiana University (GO HOOSIERS!) where I was on the Steering Committees of the two largest campus events, IU Sing and the Little 500 bicycle race. During my time at IU I learned the importance of teamwork, compromise, leadership, and being organized. It is also where I realized my passion for event planning.

Over the years I ventured down a number of paths that enhanced my event planning skills. I was a training coordinator for the Walt Disney Company; an event coordinator for the Indiana University Foundation, and a campus activities director at several universities. Through a twist of fate, I was presented with an opportunity to venture down a new career path as a paralegal for a large law firm. As someone who embraces change, I decided to go for it. My legal career has improved my organizational skills, expanded my understanding of contractual agreements, and given me the flexibility to volunteer for organizations that benefit from my event planning abilities. However, it was during the planning of my own wedding that I realized how much I missed planning events on a regular basis and working with vendors to create an unforgettable experience. In fact, I had such a great time planning my own wedding that when it was all over, I found myself eager to help others plan their weddings. Hence the creation of Chestnut & Vine.

I love helping couples identify the little things that make their weddings uniquely them and then handling all of those details so that they can fully enjoy the biggest day of their lives. Engaged couples can also depend on my legal expertise to help them better understand and negotiate vendor contracts. My ultimate goal as a wedding coordinator is to make sure that my clients and their guests have as much fun as my husband and I did on our wedding day, and our guests will testify that we all had a blast.

Hopefully this gives you some insight in to who I am and how much joy I get from coordinating weddings for my clients. If you have any bridal related questions or come across interesting wedding articles, send them my way, and please keep an eye out for more posts on “The Corner of Chestnut & Vine.”

P.S. A huge thank you to Drew Schlosser and his talented team at Solution Design for the outstanding job they did on Chestnut & Vine’s logo and website. I could not be more pleased with how it all turned out. If you are in need of professional branding and/or web design, please check out their portfolio at Their work does not disappoint.