Emily Katherine Events focuses on intentional planning for eco-conscious couples. No one-size-fits-all weddings here! Whether you’re having a private ceremony in the woods or inviting everyone to party all night, we are here for the details that make everyone know just whose wedding they’re witnessing! And by planning with intention we help to guide couples to make more sustainable choices, like composting food & flower scraps and sourcing locally. Progress over perfection is our mantra, and we know that each couple will make the decisions that are best for them – we’re just here to support you with the knowledge to make informed decisions!

Serving The Triangle and The Triad

Ellie & Taylor Chapel Hill Wedding – Video Credit: HoneyDew Films

I realized I wanted to plan events while I was in college at Appalachian State. I’d been organizing events for friends, family, clubs and other organizations since I was a kid, but it didn’t hit me ’til I was in school that this was something people actually did for a living! By the time I had this realization, I was mostly finished with my degree in Electronic Media & Broadcasting – I had thought I wanted to be a news anchor or radio host, but after 4 years in ASU’s super hands-on program, I was already feeling the burn out from that field.

 

When I graduated I was still not sure how I’d ever get into the event industry, but I saw a job listing with a Greensboro based wedding video company and thought that would be a fun way to use my degree. This was the best job I could possibly have found! I worked for four years as a videographer and editor, and in that role, I learned a TON about events and about myself! I saw around 180 weddings from behind the camera, working with great planners & not so great planners, and observed some weddings with no planners. I also learned by filming corporate events that my passion was 100% in the world of weddings – I love the love that radiates from everyone at a wedding! No boring board rooms or mega conferences for me!

Colorful wedding styled shoot at Lucky Strike Suite, Durham – Photo Credit: Kivus & Camera

In 2015 I finally took the leap and started Emily Katherine Events. My first few weddings were for family and friends, and pretty soon I started getting referrals for friends of friends. And once I started getting total strangers finding my work online, it really took off! By 2017 I had left my video job behind and was planning weddings full time. That’s also the year I had my first elopement – and I loved it!

 

What I’ve always marveled at and loved about weddings, is that no two are alike. Just as each couple is different, each wedding has its own unique flair. Even when couples choose to stick to some traditions, there are always ways we can make those their own. The first time I did a wedding with a board game reception, I was over the moon! Why should you have a dance floor if you don’t like dancing? Just because you’ve seen something at another wedding doesn’t mean you have to do it at yours! I love to encourage couples to do what they want and go with their gut – if that means setting up a video game lounge at the reception, go for it! If it means sneaking off before the end of the reception, that’s fine! And if it means skipping the reception altogether and opting for an intentionally planned ceremony with just your closest friends and family (or totally alone!), then I am here for it. I’m here for the love, here for the adventure, here for the celebration, whatever form it takes!

Colorful vintage inspo shoot at Norris House, Raleigh – Photo Credit: Ariel Kaitlin Photography

Q: What’s your title/position in your business? 

A: Emily Thomas: Owner, Wedding Planner, Improving Human

Q: What is your favorite thing about elopements? 

A: How happy and carefree the couples are! They know what’s important to them, and they aren’t afraid to do things their own way. I love the freedom that comes with throwing tradition out the window!

Q: Is there a wedding detail on your bucket list? 

A: I want to help with a camp wedding! I loved summer camp growing up, and my husband and I love camping together. I’d love to work with a couple who want to hike in and get married in the woods, and then camp out with a few friends/family! Or even a more traditional wedding, but with camp vibes at the reception!

Q: Tell us about your favorite elopement!

A: I was hired in January by a couple who knew they wanted to elope in February, they just wanted some help pulling together the few vendors they needed! I found them a photographer (they didn’t know where to begin), ordered their bouquet (she wasn’t picky, just knew what colors she wanted!), made an appointment at a hair salon, and made dinner reservations at a local restaurant! I also helped them decide which courthouse to go to (the Orange County one is so cute outside!). And then I tagged along to act as a witness and hold the bouquet during the photo session! It was so relaxed and fun!

Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

A: My Portuguese great-grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 7- neither of us spoke the other’s language, but I still love crocheting to this day!

Photo Credit: Rose Trail Images

“EMILY SAVED MY WEDDING! I can’t say enough good things about Emily! She was extremely understanding and helpful as we rescheduled our wedding during the pandemic. She is always punctual and quick to respond to my multitude of questions, she is respectful of our vision, and helped to execute it to perfection! I changed my wedding from 170 people to 15 due to the pandemic, and even with the reduced number of people, I still HIGHLY recommend to have her be the day-of coordinator, otherwise i would have missed so many nice moments with my family. During the planning stage, she helped us with plenty of unique ideas, and recommended the most wonderful vendors. We knew we could trust them because they were Emily approved. We also loved how Emily made great efforts to keep the wedding environmentally friendly. On the day of the wedding, she helped everything ran so smoothly, and was wearing a mask the entire time to keep everyone safe. She worked SO hard behind the scenes and helped everyone have a great time. I cannot emphasize enough what a blessing and life saver Emily was to our wedding day! And I would recommend her to help with anybody’s wedding, big or small!”

-Ellie & Taylor, 2020

Cozy winter elopement shoot at The Wedding Exchange

Photo Credit: Rose Trail Images

Modern Style, Inspo shoot at Norris House, Raleigh

Photo Credit: Ariel Kaitlin Photography

Micro wedding reception tent at Haywood Hall House and Gardens, Raleigh – Photo Credit: Stephen Thrift Photography

Blueberry farm micro-wedding at Windy Hill Farm, Cedar Grove – Photo Credit: Autumn Harrison Photography