Are y’all ready for some fabulous farm wedding inspiration? That’s exactly what we’re serving up this morning darlings and let me tell you, every bit is pretty as a peach. Thanks to the fab lineup of vendors including Chelsey of Gather Together, we’ve got a handful of photos from Sarah Der Photography that are sure to inspire any southern style soiree. And Bonus? We’re including a little interview with lovely Chelsey herself, to find out how she makes all the pretty happen!

SMP: Hi, Chelsey! Tell us a bit about yourself and Gather Together Events.
GT: Hello! I am a born and bred North Carolinian, who once lived in Charleston and returned to my home state six years ago. I started Gather Together Event Planning + Design three years ago after experience in catering, corporate events, and hotels. Those roles left me craving creativity in event design and deeper relationships with my clients. In three short years, Gather Together has brought me so much joy as a business owner, designer and planner. I work closely with each client and feel so honored to be a part of the most special day of their lives.

SMP: What services do you offer?
GT: Gather Together is a full-service planning and design company offering custom packages of services to clients. We try to provide just the right support our clients need, whether that’s wedding day coordination only, full-service planning and design, or somewhere in between. Anything wedding-related, we are there and ready to tackle: venue selection, vendor negotiations, budgeting, layout planning, event design… not to mention, we often help clients navigate through etiquette and family issues, and sometimes simply offer a hug and a shoulder to lean on when things get stressful!

SMP: Can you describe your process with each couple?
GT: Beginning the wedding planning process with each couple, the first thing to focus on is priorities: What is important to them? What are their values? What makes them tick? This is the very simplest basis to decisions. Love great food & drink, but don’t care so much about flowers? We will make sure your caterer is over the top awesome and that your centerpieces are simple, tasteful and just right for the budget. Do they value buying local? We will make sure the caterer and florist source from local farms, and use seasonal produce. Knowing a client’s priorities paves the way for all next steps: Deciding on layout and flow of the event, selecting vendors, planning the timeline and more.

SMP: Best part of your job?
GT: It is truly an honor and a pleasure to become so close with clients and be trusted with their wedding day. The best part of my job is, knowing that we only have one shot to pull it off, seeing everything turn out beautifully with the bride, groom, and guests having the time of their lives. Seeing all of the hard work come together is so rewarding. Thanks and love from our clients who we’ve become so close with means the world.

SMP: Favorite moment of a wedding?
GT: Without a doubt, the moment before the bride walks down the aisle is my favorite moment of a wedding. It is filled with so much anticipation, joy, and love. The bride sees all the people she loves, gathered together in one place, just for her and her groom. It is a quiet, sacred, beautiful moment. I am so blessed to be able to experience this. Yes, I almost always shed a tear of happiness.

SMP: Any advice for brides + grooms to-be?
GT: Besides hire a wedding planner? My advice would be, to plan for your marriage, not just your wedding. Be each other’s best friend. Love and forgive unconditionally.

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Summer
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Restaurant

From Gather Together EventsThe Farm & Factory styled shoot was inspired by the rich history of Durham, NC and the sweet charm of the South. The Cookery, a recently opened local kitchen and incubator for food entrepreneurs, was the perfect setting to reflect Durham’s manufacturing and tobacco industry roots. Constructed in the early 1900′s, the exposed brick walls, hand-crafted metal work, and exposed wooden trusses tell the story of Durham’s rich history. The bar features a tobacco warehouse shutter, its facade made from an old Durham water tower and its foot rail made of a track from Durham’s historic trolley line. Railings on the stairs and mezzanine are comprised of metal crescents from the historic Heart of Durham Motel, and the center piece is a catwalk from the old Liggett Meyers building.

The Watering Hole bar, featuring a “Rusty Nail” signature drink and the “Working Man’s Lunch” beer, was adorned with a saddle and coffee can vases. The floral palette softened the look throughout the room. Our “farm girl” bridesmaid wore a necklace made of fresh roses and greenery, and our bride donned a single bloom of Queen Anne’s Lace in her hair. The burlap covered farm table was decorated with milk bottles and crates holding garden roses, astilbe, herbs and other beautifully textured blooms. Chalkboard farm animals at each place setting brought a quirky southern farm detail.

The catering reflected a modern Southern menu, with items like the Dairy Maid Chevre and Beet Stack (and a behind the scenes perk that only we know—everything tasted as good as it looked!). Specialty lighting perfectly accented the space, including a custom created LOVE sign and a chandelier made of pipes and Edison bulbs. Beautiful chalkboard lettering complemented the style of the letterpress paper suite, and wood grain in the cake detail matched that of the invitations and favor tags. Bags of grits for the bride and groom’s exit accompanied the favors on the table–what better way to put a Southern spin on the traditional rice toss exit?!

Re-imagining one of our favorite cities proved great fun and we hope it lends creative and beautiful Farm & Factory wedding inspiration to real brides!

Photographer: Sarah Der Photography | Event Styling & Design: Gather Together | Venue: The Front Room at The Cookery | Floral Design: Tre Bella Florist | Catering: Donovan’s Dish | Decor: Farm & Filigree | Rentals: Party Reflections | Lighting: Get Lit Special Event Lighting | Paper: Shed Letterpress | Calligraphy: Write Handed Calligraphy | Cake: Details Cake Design | Favors: Big Spoon Roasters | Dresses: Tre Bella Bridal | Menswear: Bernard’s Formalwear | Hair + Makeup: Makeup for Your Day | Models: Lindsey Didsbury, Louise Rose & Mike Shannon

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