Meet The Team

Meet The Team
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The Best Wedding Vendors - The Little Black Book

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What Is A Grand Chef?

The culinary world’s top international accolade, earned by Colin Bedford in 2012!

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Brides write us regularly to tell us how they valued working with our wedding planners and staff and how their competent yet unobtrusive efforts allowed them to relax and enjoy their special day. Fearrington has one of the most experienced wedding teams in the business. Many started out in our catering and kitchens, so they know how all the parts come together to make your wedding special, and they bring an  extraordinary knowledge, confidence and commitment to what they do.  Why trust your special day with anyone else?

Testimonials

  • Ladies - There are truly NO words in my vocabulary to let you know how thrilled I was with every single thing about the wedding and everything leading up to it. The 2 of you are... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, February 2014

    Ladies -

    There are truly NO words in my vocabulary to let you know how thrilled I was with every single thing about the wedding and everything leading up to it.

    The 2 of you are amazing individuals & I love you both. Your gifts and talents are so well put to use in the positions you are in at Fearrington, I’m so grateful we got to be the beneficiaries of your talents.

    Thank you a million times over for creating the wedding of [her] dreams. The comments we have gotten have been overwhelming & I wish I could share every single one of them with you.

    Love to you both

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, February 2014

  • Hi Cheryl-Anne, I just wanted to thank you so much for this weekend. We truly had the most perfect wedding day. Thanks to you and all of the staff at the Fearrington, our wedding... More >

    - Fearrington Bride, December 2013

    Hi Cheryl-Anne, I just wanted to thank you so much for this weekend. We truly had the most perfect wedding day. Thanks to you and all of the staff at the Fearrington, our wedding was the best day of our lives. It was such a relief to be worry-free and stress-free throughout the whole process because of your hard work. Every little detail was planned and well thought out – our day was better than we imagined it would be. We are so impressed with the Fearrington and I know we will be back on our anniversary every year! I will recommend Fearrington to anyone who will listen to me :) My parents and my family all thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our wedding day perfect. Thank you for everything!

     

    - Fearrington Bride, December 2013

  • Dear Gilda, I am so glad you were by our side during the whole wedding process. Because of you, the wedding was stress free and just perfect. You truly are remarkable and... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, August 2013

    Dear Gilda, I am so glad you were by our side during the whole wedding process. Because of you, the wedding was stress free and just perfect. You truly are remarkable and extremely exceptional at what you do! Your help, guidance, kindness, and expertise played a huge part in making it an unforgettable evening. All we heard day after day are glowing compliments about the weekend and Fearrington.

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, August 2013

  • My most sincere thanks to you and each of the many individuals who made my daughter's wedding this past Saturday an absolutely fabulous event for all. I have had so many positive... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, August 2013

    My most sincere thanks to you and each of the many individuals who made my daughter’s wedding this past Saturday an absolutely fabulous event for all. I have had so many positive comments about the setting and the excellent food. But what guests did not get to experience that I did was the calm professionalism and yet such caring interactions from everyone at Fearrington. You would think that this was a family business, we were one of your first customers, and that this was a fun, unique event for you too. Everyone took the extra time to make sure everything was just right.

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, August 2013

  • Dear Gilda, I simply can't thank you enough for everything you did to make the wedding so perfect. From the pre-planning to the rehersal to that tense hour as we watched the... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

    Dear Gilda,

    I simply can’t thank you enough for everything you did to make the wedding so perfect. From the pre-planning to the rehersal to that tense hour as we watched the weather deteriorate, you kept us on an even keel. It truly warmed my heart when you went out into that downpour to move the arbor flowers to the terrace. And then being everywhere with umbrellas for us while getting soaked yourself, down to all the details of the reception including serving food – you’re the best. Thank you again for all of your help to make a truly magical evening for all of us.

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

  • Everything was so beautiful for the wedding and the reception was lovely.  We were so pleased with the food, flowers and cake.  Really, the food was outstanding! The whole... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

    Everything was so beautiful for the wedding and the reception was lovely.  We were so pleased with the food, flowers and cake.  Really, the food was outstanding! The whole package that The Fearrington offers is terrific.  We had so much fun at the spa, and also in the suite. Thank you again.  Our memories will be happy and with us forever!

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

  • Our wedding was magical! and we are so grateful for your help in pulling off all of our ideas and putting them together cohesively. At every moment of our wedding day, I felt like... More >

    - Fearrington Bride, July 2013

    Our wedding was magical! and we are so grateful for your help in pulling off all of our ideas and putting them together cohesively. At every moment of our wedding day, I felt like you had everything under control… and of course you did! I just cant say enough positive words to express how we felt about working with you and your team.

    - Fearrington Bride, July 2013

  • Gilda, I couldn't let another hour go by without telling how absolutely WONDERFUL everything was this past weekend. You are such a delight to work with in every way...So calm,... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

    Gilda, I couldn’t let another hour go by without telling how absolutely WONDERFUL everything was this past weekend. You are such a delight to work with in every way…So calm, easy, fun – and yet, so incredibly professional and en pointe!!  We thoroughly enjoyed every part of the process – and have you and your colleagues to thank for that. The flowers (please thank Mary!!!)  & food were superb – as was every individual who so graciously offered to help.  The total package!

     

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, July 2013

  • Dear Gilda, Fearrington has beautiful rooms, color-filled gardens, soulful Belties and a rustic barn but you are the magic! There are not enough thanks or words of praise to send... More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, June 2013

    Dear Gilda, Fearrington has beautiful rooms, color-filled gardens, soulful Belties and a rustic barn but you are the magic! There are not enough thanks or words of praise to send to express how you helped us orchestrate Elana and Christophers wedding day – it has been truly a pleasure to work with you for over a year. I have such wonderful memories! While I am a bit sad that it is ‘over’, I know that the magic will continue with you at the helm!

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, June 2013

  • ...the ceremony and party in the barn are unrivaled. From the service, to the food, to the table decorations, the overhead lighting and the fabulous organization - the evening... More >

    - Family of the bride and groom - May 2013

    …the ceremony and party in the barn are unrivaled. From the service, to the food, to the table decorations, the overhead lighting and the fabulous organization – the evening could not have been any better.

    - Family of the bride and groom - May 2013

  • Hi Gilda,   I just wanted to let you know how amazing I think you are- you made my wedding absolutely spectacular and I can't thank you enough.  EVERY guest commented on how... More >

    - Bride, April 2013

    Hi Gilda,

      I just wanted to let you know how amazing I think you are- you made my wedding absolutely spectacular and I can’t thank you enough.  EVERY guest commented on how fantastic you were and my friends that are getting married later this year (not at Fearrington) were so jealous :)  My parents, who had never visited Fearrington before, were very impressed with you, the staff, Mary, Krystal, Jill, John- everyone who helped set up, hold the umbrellas, etc…it was such a team effort and we could tell that everyone who works at Fearrington must really enjoy it.  Many people even said it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to.

      Even with the rain (which actually turned out to make the wedding more unique and fun!), it was the best day of my life- and a day Scott and I and our friends and families will never forget.  Thank you so much for all your hard work- you have one very happy bride!

    Love and gratitude to you!

    - Bride, April 2013

  • Gilda, Jill, Mary, and the entire Fearrington Team - Thank you all so much for everything you did to make our wedding day absolutely gorgeous! Your talents are greatly appreciated... More >

    - Bride and Groom, March 2013

    Gilda, Jill, Mary, and the entire Fearrington Team – Thank you all so much for everything you did to make our wedding day absolutely gorgeous! Your talents are greatly appreciated and it all would not have been the same without your creativity, hospitality, and professionalism. Much gratitude!

    - Bride and Groom, March 2013

  • "Gilda -- Where do I even begin...it's hard to explain how thankful I am for you making one of the best days of my life perfect. I think about my wedding everyday and feel so... More >

    - Fearrington Bride, January 2013

    “Gilda — Where do I even begin…it’s hard to explain how thankful I am for you making one of the best days of my life perfect. I think about my wedding everyday and feel so happy, it was better than I ever imagined. But beyond my wedding being so well designed and managed through and through, I’m most thankful that I had the opportunity to work with you and such an amazing team. Thank you for being my rock and for trusting me, guiding me, and supporting my husband and I through this process. We loved every minute and will certainly be back to visit!

    - Fearrington Bride, January 2013

  • Dear Cheryl, Thank you for all of your help to make our bridal shower so lovely. Everyone had fun and the food was yummy. Lisa and Alyce took very good care of us. Their service... More >

    - Future Bride, March 2013

    Dear Cheryl,
    Thank you for all of your help to make our bridal shower so lovely. Everyone had fun and the food was yummy. Lisa and Alyce took very good care of us. Their service was wonderful! Lisa knew just what to ask to make things go off without a hitch. She even thought to ask what sort of music we wanted. I would not have known to ask! Please tell both Lisa and Alyce thank you for me.
    Also, the flowers were absolutely beyond perfect! Please tell Mary thank you. There were lots of compliments for the arrangements. Mary’s selection of flowers was exactly what I had hoped for.
    Cheryl, thank you for pulling it all together and working out all of the details with us! You also were the best!

    - Future Bride, March 2013

Meet the Team

Gilda McDaniel, Special Events Manager

From the initial contact through to the reception, Gilda will assist with coordinating all the details for your memorable day. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gilda has been at Fearrington for over 20 years, first working in McIntyre’s, then managing The Market Café (predecessor to The Fearrington Granary) before becoming a wedding planner in 1997. View her blog!

Cheryl Anne Kast, Weddings & Special Events Coordinator

From your very first meeting to the end of your special event, Cheryl-Anne will guide you through all the details of your special day. Cheryl graduated from the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, South Africa with a Culinary Arts degree. She joined Fearrington in 2006 at the Fearrington House Restaurant and Inn before becoming a special events coordinator. View her blogs.

Mary Stevens, Floral Designer

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Mary was surrounded by a large family of avid gardeners which started her interest of all things natural. Since 2001, Mary has traveled around the world to secure the highest quality floral vendors for Fearrington bridal parties, including several cutting gardens right here. She and her team of talented artists work with each couple to create a one of a kind experience for each celebration. View her blog!

Emma Isakoff, Chocolatiere and Cake Designer

Originally from Washington, DC, Emma joined the Fearrington pastry team in 2013. She received her B.A. at Skidmore College and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Boston for Pastry and Baking.  In the past year Emma has worked as a pastry line cook, as well as in pastry production. Recognized for her passion for cakes, Emma was promoted to Cake Designer in 2014.  She looks forward to creating a vision for your special day!

Whit Brannon, Catering Manager

Whit Brannon, a local hailing from Chapel Hill, NC, began working in hospitality at the age of eighteen, at local restaurants such as Bonne Soiree and Bin 54. He came to Fearrington in the spring of 2010 as a member of the wait staff at The Fearrington House Restaurant. He assumed the role of Catering Manager in 2014.

Colin Bedford, Executive Chef

A native of England, Colin came to the The Fearrington House in 2005 as Executive Sous Chef. Colin’s culinary interest began early on, taking him to The Castle Hotel, Niagara on The Lake and Prince of Wales Hotel. Colin partners with local farmers, using the finest ingredients from the region and our gardens.  In 2012, Colin was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Chateaux. Read more about Colin here or view his blogs!

Maximilian Kast, Wine Director

Max joined The Fearrington House in 2007 as Sommelier, and within a year was promoted to Wine Director with responsibilities for the beverage program for the entire property. He organizes and hosts Fearrington House’s popular wine dinner series. And he also teaches popular and inexpensive wine and beer classes at The Fearrington Granary Restaurant. Read more about Max here or view his blog!

Tom Whitaker, Executive Sous Chef

Hailing from Hexham in the North East of England, Tom began his culinary education at Queen Elizabeth High School. After working in some of the top restaurants in the region, Tom moved to the United States in 2006 and began working at The Fearrington House. Tom became Executive Sous Chef in 2009. View his blog!

Thomas Card, Sous Chef

Originally from central New York, Thomas trained in some of the region’s best fine dining establishments until 2005, when he then relocated to Emerald Isle, NC to refine his culinary skills with fresh sea food and local produce. Thomas then moved to Raleigh to join the opening team of the Umstead Hotel and Spa. After four years Thomas left to join The Fearrington House as a Sous Chef in 2011.