Giving Thanks

As we hurtle towards the holidays I thought I’d take a moment to sit down with the ladies behind the curtains of Gather Together to talk about what makes Thanksgiving so special to them.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

Chelsey: I can't think of a favorite, because Thanksgiving is always so much fun. I just love having a house full of great people and great food! In addition to our large family, we usually have a handful of friends - the more, the merrier.

Kat: We always hosted family at my parents' home and one year mom & dad forgot to turn on the oven! The turkey was our final course, but we all laughed and snacked on side throughout the afternoon. It ended up being a ton of fun and we had a funny story in the end.

Which dish can you not live without on your Thanksgiving table?

Chelsey: My dad makes sauerkraut balls: sauerkraut, sausage, cream cheese, breaded and fried. They are so addictive! Also, it wouldn't be a gathering of my family without wine and charcuterie.

Kat: This is a toss up between my momma's mashed potatoes and my sister's pumpkin pie! 

Do you and your family have any interesting/unique Thanksgiving traditions?

Chelsey: Before the blessing, we say what we are each thankful for. It might not be very unique, but is always so reflective and emotional, and puts everything in perspective.

Kat: We always watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while we cook. It's not Thanksgiving without the Rockettes high-kicking in front of Macy's or seeing Santa Claus bring up the rear of the parade. 

Will you be watching football? Who will you be cheering for?

Chelsey: There is a football game on Thanksgiving?

Kat: Go Seahawks! 

What’s something that you are thankful for this year?

Chelsey: I am thankful for my rockstar team!  That includes my amazing Gather Together girls, as well as my wonderful hubby and supportive family and friends. I am so lucky to have them all in my life.

Kat: I am thankful for my growing family. I gained a husband, my in-laws, a nephew and a niece this year! 

From all of us at Gather Together – We wish every one of you dear readers a holiday chock-full of love, graciousness, reflection and laughter (and elastic waist pants).

Happy Thanksgiving! Til we Gather Together again,


Real Wedding: Amy & Will

It's always a treat to share real weddings on our blog! Today feature's Amy & Will's beautifully classic wedding and reception. A delicate, white palette with highlights of greenery and soft pinks, the feel of this wedding was timeless. Will and his gents sported white dinner jackets and Amy's maids looked polished in a gorgeous metallic. Not to mention Amy's stunning illusion-neckline gown. The couple married at Saint Mary's Chapel and the reception was held at historic Merrimon-Wynne House. We love how the couple's classic style came through in all the details and we adore that they included their sweet pups in their portraits. The day was surprisingly warm for a March wedding and the talented Kristin Moore captured it all perfectly! 

You can also see more of Amy & Will's gallery featured on Style Me Pretty. Enjoy! 

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Amy & Will's was gorgeous, right? A lot of this is thanks to all of the fantastic vendors who worked hard to bring it all together! 

Ceremony Venue: Saint Mary's Chapel  |  Reception Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House  |  Officiant: Rev. Rick Clayton  |  Catering: Beau Catering  |  Flowers: Greg Warren Flowers  |  Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery  |  Photography: Kristin Moore Photo  |  Videography: Inkspot Crow Films  |  Rentals: Party Reflections  |  Paper & Printing: Paper Buzz  |  Ceremony Music: Hayes Barton Methodist Church  |  Reception Music: Horizon  |  Transportation: White Horse Transportation  |  Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar  |  Planning & Design: Gather Together, LLC 

Til we Gather Together again,


Is your training personal enough?

The world of exercise can be overwhelming. Bylines in magazines promising quick fixes, fad diets, 3,000 steps to the perfect crunch… Wait, aren’t crunches actually bad for you now?! All of those machines (am I the only one terrified of venturing into the forest of weights and wires?!) I recently began working on my fitness again after a fairly long hiatus. I may or may not just have celebrated my second anniversary of marriage… And of abandoning my gym membership. Happy pounds! Amiright?! Ahem. And I know so many of you brides-to-be are thinking about starting, or already have started your Get Fit For The Wedding plans. This week we've got some inspiration/advice for you from someone way more qualified than me!

Kevin Perrone, a personal trainer and old friend, is here to talk to us about the advantages of training with a professional over going it alone. After all, your body is an awesome, unique machine; it deserves to be entrusted to someone whose job is to make it run its best.

How many sessions do you think you need? 

- Many people think they need to see their trainer at least 3 days a week. This isn’t necessarily true. I see some clients 3 days a week, some 2, and some once a week. For others, following an assessment and establishing that their form is safe and acceptable, I’ll write up individualized programs for them to follow at home. Then a month later we reassess and adapt the plan as needed.

How many times have you started to get back into shape only to get hurt? 

- A good trainer will evaluate your current ability and then tailor your program around any limitations. A trainer isn’t just there to tell you what exercise to do but to watch you the entire time, ensuring good form and safety. Because any exercise you do is a skill, having a set of professional eyes to evaluate and provide feedback is the best way to make sure you're doing it right. The time and potential pain saved by not suffering unnecessary set backs are huge benefits.

How many times have you promised yourself that you’ll get to the gym 4 days a week? How many times did 4 days become 2? And then 1?...

- Paying for a trainer has the benefit of attaching more value to your exercise goals. You can’t improve your fitness if you don’t spend the time. Knowing that you have to meet someone at a specific time is a great way to make sure your workouts remain a priority.  

How many times have you felt stuck in a rut and bored with your workout?

- Did you know that while you do get better at a specific exercise the longer you do it, you also burn fewer calories doing it? You’re not getting the biggest burn you can by just going through your normal routine. Trainers make sure you’re always switching things up to challenge your body and keep workouts fun and engaging.

Do you see training as a cost rather than an investment?

- When you pay for a trainer you’re not just paying for an hour of time; you’re paying for their knowledge. You’re getting information on how to be stronger, leaner, healthier, and more mobile from now to the foreseeable future.  There's a saying that "a good teacher costs a lot but a poor teacher costs more." Taking the time to learn correct form with appropriate exercises is an investment in your future body and health that will continue to appreciate.

There are thousands of exercise plans and programs floating around on Youtube, in magazines, on DVDs… The problem is that they are not tailored to you.  Personal training provides professional guidance, accountability, and accommodations for the individual so you can get the best results possible.

Not to mention you get your own personal cheerleader!!

Kevin Perrone: H/FS LMBT #8991 is a personal trainer and massage therapist operating out of a private studio in Durham. For more information you can contact him at 

Til we Gather Together again...