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Meet Your Team
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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. They bring extraordinary knowledge, confidence and commitment to what they do. Why trust your special day with anyone else?

Testimonials

  • Everyone that has gotten married and played any significant part in the planning process knows just how… More >

    - - Fearrington Bride, June 2015

    Everyone that has gotten married and played any significant part in the planning process knows just how stressful and challenging it all can be. When choosing the venue where your special day will take place, it can be very overwhelming to figure out how all the various pieces will come together in a smooth, elegant way. This is where the Fearrington weddings team came in and made the entire process not only a dream, but a dream come true. Gilda was our wedding planner, who was essentially our fairy godmother throughout the process. She knows her product like the best of them, and knows exactly how to tailor each individual element, both in the scheme of the overarching plan, as well as in the finite details that pull everything together. Her patience, grace, and confidently positive attitude instill an incredible sense of ease and contentment in the bride and groom-to-be. She knows when to be stern, so to keep things on track, but also when to ease off the gas pedal a bit, so to allow you to develop your wishes and articulate the vision you are seeking to fulfill. Gilda’s expertise allowed us to sit back and breathe a considerable sigh of relief in the midst of the (sometimes chaotic) planning stages of the wedding. She is an absolute pleasure to work with and was the glue that brought our fairy tale wedding together. We can’t imagine having gone through it all without her.

    - - Fearrington Bride, June 2015

  • It was most certainly a pleasure working with you as well and, as you promised, you did "make everything… More >

    - Mother of Fearrington Newlyweds, June 2015

    It was most certainly a pleasure working with you as well and, as you promised, you did “make everything happen!” It was a truly wonderful wedding with the blessing of gorgeous weather, family and friends together, and all going perfectly beautifully. Best of all was the joy of the bride and groom from beginning to end and their contagious mood that led to a great time had by all!

    You are truly remarkable in your organization, communication, attentiveness to detail and attention to your clients! We appreciate all your efforts and accommodation from the bottom of our hearts. If there were only a Best Wedding Planner Award, we would nominate you immediately!!

    The image of the joyous bride and groom standing before us at the ceremony will remain close to my heart forever as well as the many wonderful memories of the entire wedding weekend. Thank you so very much!

    - Mother of Fearrington Newlyweds, June 2015

  • I just wanted to send you a quick note to say how very thankful we are for your help in making my daughter… More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, June 2014

    I just wanted to send you a quick note to say how very thankful we are for your help in making my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding such a joyous and memorable event!!  The weekend could not have been more perfect, or your facilities and services more outstanding.  They said it was everything they dreamed it would be and could have possibly hoped for ~ truly a “fairy tale wedding”!!  What more could a parent wish for their daughter and son-in-law than such a wonderful beginning to their marriage?

    We also want to thank you for making our guests feel so welcome and comfortable during their time at Fearrington.  We heard nothing but praise for your accommodations, food, flowers, and general atmosphere.  Fearrington is an extraordinary wedding venue with an exceptional staff!!  We could not have asked for a more professional and friendly group of people!  Please extend our gratitude to everyone who contributed their time and talents to creating such a wonderful experience for us!

    You all are truly remarkable!!

    - Mother of a Fearrington Bride, June 2014

  • "It  was such a pleasure working with you and Fearrington.  It was a great choice and I will recommend… More >

    - Mother of a Fearrington Newlywed, April 2015

    “It  was such a pleasure working with you and Fearrington.  It was a great choice and I will recommend Fearrington to anyone who wants a beautiful wedding! I appreciate your quick responses anytime I had a question. My husband and I plan to make visits when in the area.”

     

    - Mother of a Fearrington Newlywed, April 2015

  • "Just wanted to say thank you again to you and your staff for the awesome, effortless guidance you shared to… More >

    - Parents of Fearrington Newlyweds, April 2015

    “Just wanted to say thank you again to you and your staff for the awesome, effortless guidance you shared to make the newlyweds’ wedding ceremony and reception the best that it could ever be. The whole event was spectacular! We could not have chosen a more simple but elegant venue to hold our wedding ceremony and reception. Everything was spot on, perfect in every way! Our guests have not stopped talking about the whole event. Thank you so much for all that you have done for us. The memories will be with us for a lifetime.”

    - Parents of Fearrington Newlyweds, April 2015

  • We wanted to thank you so much for being the glue that brought and held the wedding of our dreams together.… More >

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

    We wanted to thank you so much for being the glue that brought and held the wedding of our dreams together. You single-handedly allowed us to actually step back, kick back and truly enjoy our wedding. We are incredibly grateful for your ability to make such a huge day in our lives stress free and absolutely memorable. We could not be happier with your energy, grace, and personal touch which always made us feel welcome and special. We will be singing your praises for years to come. Thank you!

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

  • We wanted to thank you as well as the amazing staff at Fearrington for working tirelessly to create our… More >

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

    We wanted to thank you as well as the amazing staff at Fearrington for working tirelessly to create our beautiful wedding day – everything was perfect and beyond our expectations! We can’t thank you enough for a gorgeous celebration.

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

  • Thank you for an extraordinary wedding! You all, with Gilda's amazing capacity to shepherd us, have made a… More >

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

    Thank you for an extraordinary wedding! You all, with Gilda’s amazing capacity to shepherd us, have made a truly spectacular memory for us. We’ve been told by more than one guest that it was the best wedding they’ve ever attended. That is high praise (especially since none of us are young anymore!). There’s no hyperbole in their sentiments. You all do a lovely job and I could not have asked for anything better.

    - - Fearrington Newlyweds, March 2015

  • "Gilda, I can’t thank you enough for helping us to create such a memorable event. It was comfortable and… More >

    - Fearrington Bride, March 2015

    “Gilda, I can’t thank you enough for helping us to create such a memorable event. It was comfortable and enjoyable and I had absolutely no worries for the day. You made it all come together beautifully. It was a truly delightful event for everyone who was there and we have gotten very very nice comments about all aspects of the wedding including the your leadership, the food, the venue, the flowers- as well as the weather and my Dad’s sense of humor. All combined to bring off an amazing event.

    It will not surprise you to know that I often asked myself during the planning WHY I was doing such a big event. The day you shepherded into being put all thoughts of that question to rest. It was perfect and I know why it was important. It created a memory and a certain knowledge of this union – for us, and for our families, friends and colleagues. Thank you so much!”

    - Fearrington Bride, March 2015

  • Thank you times a million for making our wedding day everything we dreamed of (and more)! The Fearrington… More >

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, January 2015

    Thank you times a million for making our wedding day everything we dreamed of (and more)! The Fearrington team never ceases to amaze us with their kindness and thoughtfulness  – we were absolutely spoiled! Our wedding day was a dream come true.

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, January 2015

  • "A belated thanks for the incredible job you do every day. I had no idea what goes into wedding planning,… More >

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, January 2015

    “A belated thanks for the incredible job you do every day. I had no idea what goes into wedding planning, what logistics and emotions. For the level of professionalism and grace under fire, everything about the wedding was incredibly reasonable.

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, January 2015

  • Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude to you and your staff for making our wedding reception a… More >

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, December 2014

    Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude to you and your staff for making our wedding reception a night to remember. From the beauty of the barn, to the beyond amazing food, and the wonderful way we felt taken care of. Everything exceeded our expectations. It won’t be long before we return for dinner or another night’s stay! We suspect that many of our guests who were introduced to Fearrington for the first time will do the same. Thank you for what you do – and more importantly – how well you do it!

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, December 2014

  • Gilda, words cannot express how thankful we are for all that you did for our wedding! We truly enjoyed… More >

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, December 2014

    Gilda, words cannot express how thankful we are for all that you did for our wedding! We truly enjoyed planning the whole day with you. You were so helpful with ideas and suggestions and very patient through all of our emails and questions. Our big day went so smoothly thanks to you and we appreciate it so much! Besides focusing on the ceremony, you took care of everything else and took so much stress off of us. We had the most perfect wedding day!

    People keep calling and emailing to tell us how amazing the evening was and what a fantastic time they had! We hope to stay in touch and maybe plan another part with you down the road. Thank you again so, so much and happy holidays!

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, December 2014

  • I don't even know where to begin! Thank you for everything - it was perfect. The whole day went off without a… More >

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, November 2014

    I don’t even know where to begin! Thank you for everything – it was perfect. The whole day went off without a hitch and we are so so so grateful to you. You took such incredible care of us and such incredible care of our wedding and we can’t stop marveling about it all. Thank you. Please know that we will always remember our wedding day as the most magical day of our lives. Thanks to your incredible efforts.

    - Fearrington Newlyweds, November 2014

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.

Erin Day, Wedding & Special Events Coordinator

Before heading to Fearrington, Erin worked as the Associate Director of Special Events for the National Parks Conservation Association and spent five years planning events for Georgetown University Law Center. With six years of independent wedding planning under her belt and her personal experience as a Fearrington bride, Erin will ensure your day is perfect from planning to your grand exit!

Mary Stevens, Floral Designer

Originally from the Philadelphia area – home to America’s top public gardens – Mary was in the her vocational high school’s horticultural program, then worked in flower shops for years. But the traditional styles she encountered in the floral trade failed to ignite her passions. A career transition to IT followed, but “then my one true love wooed me back” and in 2001 she joined Fearrington, adding grace and beauty to so many weddings since.

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 Fearrington House in 2005 as Executive Sous Chef and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. 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.

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.