How did y’all meet?
Mark and I met in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Though we hung out in the same large group of friends, it wasn’t until late our second year that we could both put names to faces. Mark left to study abroad in Hong Kong the following summer and then I left for Chile, South America that fall. It wasn’t until we were both back the spring of our third year when we officially started dating.
Tell us about the engagement?
We dated for five years, two years of which were long distance, before we got engaged, but there really was no convincing needed for either of us after we started dating. On the night of our engagement, I was walking home from work and getting ready to cook Mark dinner after a week apart. I remember I had on my gigantic puffer jacket, my headphones in and walked into my studio apartment to find candles and flowers and a very nervous Mark all dressed up. I was so blown away, it’s exactly how I would have wanted it all to happen. After the proposal, Mark took me to my favorite restaurant in NYC and on Saturday morning, he surprised me with a trip to a bed and breakfast in the Hamptons. It’s a weekend I’ll play over and over in my head forever.
What made Fearrington the place for you to say “I do?”
We fell in love in Chapel Hill and will always consider it one of our favorite places on earth, so we knew we wanted to have our wedding weekend nearby. We chose February because I really wanted a winter wedding — both of our parents wed in the winter and I kept imagining a cozy, intimate setting, something so easily achieved on a winter night. Our ceremony and reception venue at Fearrington was just so beautiful on its own; it had the rusticity we wanted, the beauty of the outdoors and the smaller setting we desired for saying our vows.
Furthermore, it was a place Mark and I knew we could always come back to for special anniversaries and celebrations. But, it was meeting our day-of wedding coordinator, Gilda, and our décor and flower specialist, Mary, which made us feel so great about the decision. They make you feel like you’re the only bride and groom they are working with; they wholeheartedly listen to your ideas and totally seemed to get who we were and what we wanted for our wedding day, and they made planning so much fun!
Describe one of the highlight moments of your wedding day.
There are so many wonderful moments that I play over and over in my mind from our special day. I loved having that special time with Mark before our ceremony during our “first look.” I loved the sacredness of the ceremony and remember so vividly saying our vows. I loved entering the reception and seeing all of my amazing family and friends clapping and happy and then exiting to everyone holding sparklers and cheering for us. It really is such a surreal and happy thing to see EVERYONE you love under the same roof. That observation, more than anything, might be my very favorite take-away from the day.
Anything you want to add about your wedding story?
Just how grateful Mark and I are for all that the people at Fearrington who worked so hard to make our wedding day so very special. Thank you for your talents, your time and your sincere interest in making our wedding what we wanted and then some. We can’t imagine having said our vows anywhere else.
This wedding was designed and coordinated by Fearrington’s own Gilda McDaniel.