Lauren & Peter

Lauren and Peter tied the knot on September 5, 2015. These newlyweds said their ‘I dos’ in the Garden Terrace and danced the night away in the Fearrington Barn.

How did you and your partner meet?
In Fall 2010, Pete was a third-year at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and I had eagerly moved overseas for a one-year Masters program at the same school. As a part time job, Pete was a bartender at the university’s student union, and I luckily went into that same bar when my friends and I headed out for a drink one night. After trying desperately to identify his accent (Northern Ireland!), I asked a mutual friend for his number. I then joined Pete’s “academic family,” a centuries-long university tradition of integrating new students into social circles. We spent all year dating and agreed to continue our relationship even when I graduated and headed back to North Carolina. We spent the next year and a half flying overseas to visit one another, Skyping every day, and planning how we would finally end up in the same place. In January 2013, Pete received his visa and finally moved to beautiful Chapel Hill!

Tell us about the engagement?
On Sunday, April 26, 2014, Pete interrupted my intense day of studying to ask if I wanted to “go for a walk.” He had chosen our favorite lake in Raleigh, a place that we had frequented over the previous year to discuss our goals and our future together. To his surprise (because I was seriously nervous about a test that week!), I didn’t hesitate, said “sure!” grabbed my coat, and was ready to go. With the moral support of our dog, Cooper, Pete waited until he found the “right bench” – the last bench before we got back to the car – got on one knee, and asked me to marry him. It was simple, sweet, and perfect.

What made Fearrington the place for you to say “I do?’
Pete’s family had never visited North Carolina, or the United States, so we knew that we wanted to give them a truly Southern experience. While we had thrown around a few ideas, we kept coming back to all of the wonderful things that we had seen and read about Fearrington. We visited Fearrington for a tour in June 2014, and we fell in love with it immediately. The gardens were lush and fresh, there was live music playing outside of The Goat, and we instantly fell in love with the size and beauty of the Barn – does it get more Southern than farm tables?!

In addition, as two individuals who spent year(s) living in the rainy conditions of Scotland, we knew that we needed an excellent rain plan. When we saw the covered space and realized that it was more stunning than some of the main event spaces that we had seen online at other locations, we were hooked. Finally, we knew we were in good hands when Gilda, our wedding coordinator was immediately attentive, sat down with us on numerous occasions to make our vision come true, and could even provide suggestions for every vendor and services that we needed: DJ, quartet, photographer, etc. We have never once questioned whether or not we made the right choice; Fearrington was the perfect wedding space for us!

Describe the highlight moment of your wedding day?
Apart from the obvious highlights of seeing one another for the first time, dancing together to our favorite country song, and enjoying a perfect day with friends and family, we couldn’t settle on just one. So, here are two highlights . . .

First, we have two words: the food. Honestly, it has now been four months since we tied the knot, and our friends and family will still randomly look at us and just say, “Gosh – your wedding food was so darn good!” Our stations provided our guests with incredible variety, and everything was fresh and cooked perfectly. We loved watching Pete’s family try sweet tea for the first time, and the macaroni and cheese was pretty much the crowd favorite. While Pete and I definitely had the opportunity to taste some of the delicious dishes, he and I have loved many dinners at Fearrington since our wedding to make sure that we get to taste everything!

Second, we’ll never forget the moment that we entered the reception and finally saw the finished product. The white banners were integrated with dazzling lights, the wild flowers on the tables were the perfect shade of pale pink, and the brown chairs were the perfect “Southern barn” touch. We were both stunned. Gilda executed our vision perfectly, and we are forever grateful.

Anything you want to add about your wedding story?
When we chose September 5, 2015 for our wedding, we knew the first person that we had to call! My paternal grandmother’s birthday is September 5th, and we were excited to tell her about our decision and secretly plan some surprises for her throughout the weekend. Because her favorite cocktail is a “7&7”, we served these delicious drinks to all of our guests and called them “Grandma’s Go-To” in honor of her special day! It was so kind of her to share her day with us, and we wanted her to feel extra special throughout the weekend.

In addition, Pete and I will never forget the moment that we left our reception. After we ran through the tunnel of sparklers, we started walking towards The Inn when we spotted a bench right near the parking lot. We decided to take a quick seat, and we soon realized that we were hidden but could still watch all of our guests go to their cars. It was such a special, quiet, intimate moment, and we’ll never forget sneakily watching our friends and family depart from our special day. Then, after we returned to our room, we were delighted to find that the incredible Fearrington staff had cleaned our room, left a slice of every layer of our wedding cake (note: we ate them all that night and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite), and had gifted us with a delicious bottle of champagne. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

This wedding was designed and coordinated by Fearrington’s own Gilda McDaniel. Photography by Krystal Kast Photography.

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