Winnie and Arnie’s Fearrington Wedding
How did you and your partner meet?
We met in graduate school as we both started a new phase in our individual lives. Arnie had just gotten out of the Army and Winnie left the financial services industry to find a new career path. We both enrolled in the MBA program at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill in August 2013. While the exact date and place of meeting is still a matter of debate, what was not debatable was that we became fast friends. We undeniably got along well and spent our 2 years in grad school studying, learning, working hard but also having fun. We had nights out dancing at our favorite but now defunct bar, Fitzy’s, and we enjoyed travelling with our group of friends and taking advantage of all the experiences and events UNC, business school, and the Triangle had to offer. After graduation, we both moved to New York City to start our new careers. A fun year later in New York, we began to realize how special our relationship is. That summer, Arnie asked Winnie to be his date to a friend’s wedding and it was then that our adventure together started.
Tell us about the engagement?
It’s an annual tradition for us to visit all the fun holiday activities around New York City. In November of 2021, we learned that the Winter Village at Bryant Park had a new installation of winter igloos that we wanted to experience so we made a reservation to go the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was an unseasonably warm late fall day, and we kicked off that Saturday just like any other Saturday with an early morning workout, joining our friends for their annual 5k fun run in Central Park. Arnie kept the day relatively normal to avoid any suspicion with a stroll before dinner to Little Island, yet another new outdoor attraction in the city, followed by dinner at Sevilla, an old-school Spanish restaurant in the West Village that does not take reservations. After dinner we headed uptown to the igloos where Arnie seemed uncharacteristically anxious. As we were settling into our igloo and enjoying the atmosphere, Arnie pointed out that our hostess was arriving with our winter libations. As Winnie turned around, she was surprised with some special guests he invited to help with the proposal – Arnie’s brother and his girlfriend. They were ready with champagne and cameras out. As Winnie turned back around, that’s when she realized Arnie was on one knee and the rest is history. We celebrated with snacks, champagne, mulled wine, music, pictures, videos, phone calls and closed out the evening with cocktails at a speak-easy bar. It could not have been a more perfect day!
What made Fearrington the place for you to say “I do?”
We have always loved Chapel Hill and it clearly holds a very special place in both our hearts. When we set out to look for venues, we knew that we wanted to bring our loved ones back to the place where we both met but finding the right venue was the tough part. We toured Fearrington and fell in love with the serenity and beauty of the space, not to mention the romantic and relaxed feel we got from the barn. When we met Gilda, we were sold and signed on the dotted line. She was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, genuine, and competent. We were confident that she would help us plan a beautiful ceremony, reception, and day.
Describe the highlight moment of your wedding day.
The best part about our day, other than the wedding, was having all the people we love and care about in one place. It was amazing to share such an important moment in our lives with them. Three months later, and we still hear from our guests about how the wedding was among the best many of them had been to! While the comments include all aspects of the weekend, the food is what they rave about the most, and how it was hands down THE best food they’ve had at a wedding.
What was the biggest surprise of the day?
The biggest surprise was how beautiful everything was and seeing all the plans come to life. We knew Fearrington was amazing but the day and the setting was just perfect – from the areas where we got ready, to the ceremony, to the cocktail hour in the Garden Terrace, and finally the reception in the barn. It literally was a dream come true. It was beyond surreal.
What was your biggest surprise about wedding planning?
The biggest surprise about wedding planning was how easy it was. Gilda is the consummate professional! Every detail, every request and change – Gilda made it happen. Not only that, Angela understood how much elegant simplicity we wanted in the flowers and she made that happen and Corinna delivered the most beautiful, delicious wedding cake. The combination of the planning, execution, and the relationship we developed with the team there made the whole planning process legitimately enjoyable! The whole team was just the crème de la crème.
Photos: Krystal Kast
Video: Heritage Weddings
Hair and Makeup: Wink Hair and Makeup
Wedding Gown: Vielle Gown by Wtoo by Watters, Sandra Dress from East Meets Dress
Bridal Salon: BHLDN, East Meets Dress
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid, Jenny Yoo
Groom’s Attire: Bonobos
Ceremony and Reception Music: Bunn Company