Katie and Omar’s Fearrington Wedding
Katie and Omar tied the knot last fall in the gardens and celebrated with a small gathering complete with dining and dancing on the garden terrace after. Katie shares the story of how she and Omar met (it’s so funny – reminds us of a scene from a rom com), their engagement story, and all the good stuff about their wedding day. Enjoy!
How did you and your partner meet?
The first weekend of October 2018, a young man was proposing to my cousin in Richmond, VA. So my future cousin-in-law/groom-to-be planned a surprise party hosting close friends and family. This young man just happened to be great friends and former teammate of Omar’s. So family and friends all showed up in advance to make sure we were all hidden prior to him poppin’ the question. Everyone hid in the basement while he asked to marry her. Omar and James knew almost everyone who had arrived. The second I stepped foot in the basement, two young men came running up to my mom (Big Val) and I to introduce themselves. He swears he stopped mid-sentence to run and talk to us. So this basement is where Omar met my whole family… my mom, cousins, aunts, already knew my uncle, and where I met his mom! We had an instant connection and ended up exchanging numbers at the end of the night. We kept in touch, and had our first real date soon after in Raleigh. He used a football game as an excuse to be there that weekend. The rest is history!
Tell us about the engagement?
We talked a lot about the future and what we wanted while we were dating. Omar knew he had limited insights on the engagement ring I wanted, so he bypassed asking my friends, and asked if I wanted to go with him to pick this out. It was surprisingly the best decision! Because of this there wasn’t the usual huge surprise of whether he is going to propose. I just wasn’t sure when. We had a nice trip to the mountains planned for 2020’s New Years. I was told that it wouldn’t be on this trip because the ring wasn’t ready yet! Made complete sense to me. Our first night on the trip we had dinner at the resort we were staying at. As soon as he asked “Do you trust me..” I knew what was happening and he stood up from the table, to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was surprising, I blacked out from the excitement!
What made Fearrington the place for you to say ‘I do?’
Fearrington has always been a special place for my family and me. In November of 1989, my dad reserved a private room in the Fearrington House and asked my mom to marry him. He would take us here as kids to get away from the Chapel Hill noise. We celebrated family here for my grandma’s birthday. Whenever we came, we saw our dad light up. There is something different about Fearrington. You can’t put your finger on whether it’s the fresh air or maybe warm smiles from everyone you pass. You can always find a friend whether it be a belted cow, goat or lovely people at the bookstore. My favorite part has always been those cows, and how we could run around the grounds. It was a small oasis where problems always seemed to melt away.
Describe the highlight moment of your wedding day.
I remember walking into the cocktail hour. I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped. We looked at each other in complete awe. We wholeheartedly trusted Fearrington’s staff to make our day stunning, we just didn’t think someone could be so incredibly talented. The pictures they share during planning sessions are gorgeous. They almost look fake. Until you show up on your wedding day and see it in person. The venue’s team is indescribable. It takes your breath away with:
● How the tables are arranged
● The food, from hors d’oeuvres to dinner
● How gorgeous their team plated meals
● How vibrant the lighting was
● The floral arrangements – Bett is so talented!
● The cake was gorgeous – Katherine is amazing!
● The biggest part – how well everything intertwines because of the synergy of all the teams at Fearrington.
What was the biggest surprise of the day?
● How smooth and stress free our day was. We actually got to enjoy each other. Fearrington’s team kept reminding us to soak it all in.
● How much time Fearrington spent on the details. The outcome was divine.
● How well Fearrington took our thoughts and ideas, and brought them to life. They were the perfect wedding planning balance of helpful and full of amazing ideas/suggestions. They were never controlling or opinionated.
● How stress free their team made our day! We didn’t have to worry about a thing (other than the marriage certificate and rings, which I did forget in the bridal suite)!
● How perfect their recommendations were. My favorite vendors were from Fearrington or recommended by Fearrington! They have unbelievable relationships with all wedding vendors.
What was your biggest surprise about wedding planning?
I enjoyed wedding “planning”, though I didn’t have to do much of it! I thought it would be hard trusting someone to organize our wedding. I pictured being super involved and anxious. That assumption was gone once we met Gilda. Gilda knows all the right questions to ask, and never misses a beat. She wants to get to know you in order to plan your perfect day – truly making it your perfect day! She reminds you that your perfect day can be anything you want it to be, but it’s no one else’s day. She advocates for her brides and grooms – she does a great job of making family members feel heard and magically removing them from getting in the way. She proactively prevents any stress and anxiety even with a global pandemic!
Gilda and her team works with you no matter your schedule. I worked 60 hour weeks, and Omar was getting his MBA at UNC. She planned around all of this. Her team took our likes and dislikes, and made a masterpiece out of it. It all came together beautifully, which was one of my biggest surprises as well. The flowers, cocktail hour, ceremony site, plated course, the cake. Everything about our day was divine.
Another surprise was how easy it was to change the wedding date. We were strange and actually moved our wedding date up. With restrictions opening back up, my family and Gilda were worried things would close back down. So we moved it from November to October! We went from a 100 person wedding pre-covid, to an expected 25 person wedding, to a 50 person wedding in October. If we didn’t go with Gilda’s idea, we would have ended up having a 15 person wedding in November.
Our final surprise was how safe it felt during the global pandemic, even with covid. Fearrington was so responsible for providing great safety measures that allowed us to host family and friends safely.
Anything you want to add about your wedding story?
I was so fortunate to have vendors who constantly reminded us that our wedding was all about celebrating our love. We felt surrounded by loved ones even with only 50 people allowed. We had the mindset “why wait? COVID can’t ruin this.” COVID honestly made us all come together more, made my friends and family support us more, made the celebration even more celebratory!
Our families worked so hard to make us feel so loved, welcomed, and supported. Our parents wanted the best for us, and they showed it through everything they did. From helping us plan, to wanting to give us the best – booking Fearrington, Krystal Kast, Arioso Strings, to always voicing their love for both of us.
I can’t thank my friends and family enough for going above and beyond to remind us that our wedding day/week/month/year was all about us. No drama. I truly hope everyone gets the experience we had. I wouldn’t change a single thing.
Photos: Krystal Kast Photography
Hair Stylist: Silvi Pereira
Make-up Artist: Erin Kelly
Wedding Gown: Stella York
Bridal Salon: Simply Stunning
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lulus
Groom’s Attire: Glenwood South Tailors