Featured: Style Me Pretty Living

Remember our Merrimon-Wynne photoshoot with Katherine Miles Jones Photography? Yes, this piece of lovely right here. Well our day was made earlier this week when one of our favorite blogs, Style Me Pretty Living featured it, alongside a profile of Gather Together! Check out all of the behind-the-scenes pretty and Chelsey's interview here

We want to extend another great big thank you and enormous amounts of credit to all of the vendors who helped make this photoshoot possible!

Photography: Katherine Miles Jones Photography  |  Location: Merrimon-Wynne House  |  Floral: Watered Garden Florist  |  Rentals: Party Reflections, Inc.  |  Linens: Party Tables  |  Hair & Makeup: Makeup For Your Day

Cheers!

-Katherine

Lighting 101: What does lighting bring to the party?

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

Chances are when you start planning an event, lighting isn’t going to be the first thing you think of. You know you need it, but its importance tends to take a back seat in a lot of peoples planning process. The question we posed this week to Terri Watson of Get Lit was How do we make the most of the lighting options available to us? Lighting is a major player in creating the atmosphere and mood you want at your event, and Terri kindly took the time to explain a little of how she finds and draws out the lighting potential at the events she lights up…

Functional lighting

The prevalence of LED bulbs is increasing, but they have a long way to go to achieve the desirably warm amber glow of the incandescent bulb. Strategically placed specialty wash lighting adds a candlelit glow to the air and can highlight the architectural elements that attracted you to your wedding venue in the first place.  For example; when placed in front of an exposed brick wall, amber wash lights show off the texture and variety of warm tones.  A white and modern space takes any color for any mood. The entire ambiance of an event is influenced by its lighting whether you opt for elegant low level lighting, or colorful, pulsing light shows.  

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHERINE MILES JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHERINE MILES JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Spotlights focused on a specific detail, such as your wedding cake or flower arrangements bring attention to the fantastic work of your vendors.  Without this visual cue to your guests to look, these elements could fade into the background.  Much attention and care has gone into selecting these details, they should be celebrated!  Spotlights are a fantastic lighting-design touch that help your guests experience your event the way you intended it to be experienced. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIN MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIN MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

A note about candles: a flame provides a lovely, flickering point of light that draws the eye but does little to illuminate the surrounding area. The guests around the table may reflect a bit of glow, but table floral arrangements surrounded by candles fade into shadow.  Your flowers will appreciate a light from above to really become the visual centerpiece of the table. 

Decorative elements

Creativity is the key to any unique event that reflects your personal style and lighting is no exception. Lighting fixtures themselves set the tone for an event with their individuality: traditional crystal chandeliers, modern metal orbs or cubes, Victorian brass and velvet, round paper lanterns, art deco detailed pillars glowing with light or exposed Edison Bulbs all tell a different design story. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITEBOX PHOTO

PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITEBOX PHOTO

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY

We are also seeing a resurgence in strand lighting such as market bulb lights strung across an open sky, or simple twinkle lights against tent draping to become an elegant ceiling.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

Neatness counts

As you experience an event, and look at your reception photos for years to come, we want you to notice the effects of the lights, not the equipment itself!  Fixtures installed to provide functional light should blend into the background, as should the cords. Expect white fixtures and cords in a white tent and expect them to be neat and hidden from view whenever possible. And don’t be afraid to speak up if they aren’t!

Power play

Nothing kills the mood faster than a power outage during the Cupid Shuffle/Macarena/intense-groomsman-danceoff.  To prevent this it is crucial that someone plans ahead and considers the power needs of all of the vendors providing services at your event.  Power is a limited commodity, but can be supplemented by bringing in generators, if needed.  Knowing your needs ahead of time is key, and your event planner, in partnership with your venue manager and lighting professional, will be able to help you with this.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

Thank you so much, Terri! To see more of Get Lit's fantastic work, please visit their website

'Til we Gather Together again...

-Fay

3 Fall Signature Cocktails

As the weather gets colder and the nights longer, thoughts of pumpkin spice and cinnamon float into my head. Also thoughts of whiskey and firepits, but maybe that's just me! For all of you fall brides, and autumnal cocktail junkies out there; we have a treat for you. The wonderful bar manager of Alivia's Durham Bistro (who also happens to be my wonderful husband... I know, I am a lucky lady) has come up with three signature cocktails to spice up your fall parties, weddings, or Sunday evenings at home. And yes, I did get to taste them; and yes, they are as good as they look!

The Gold Rush: This one is my personal favorite. It has a snap from the freshly infused ginger syrup, a smooth whiskey finish (do you see a trend? I am a whiskey girl!) and the sweetness is cut perfectly by a squeeze of lemon.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix 1.5oz of Maker's Mark, 0.5oz of ginger syrup (infusing your own syrup, while awesome, is not necessary for a great cocktail!), and 0.5oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Shake well.

Rim a rocks glass with ginger infused sugar (again, you can buy this if you don't want to make it), and fill the glass with ice. Strain the cocktail shaker into the glass and top with Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale (not any old ginger ale will do for this one. You need the good spicy stuff!) Finish with a twist of lemon and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Spiced Martini: How decadent and scrumptious does this little one look?! It was so pretty I didn't want to drink it. But I managed, in the name of the Gather Together Blog. You're welcome.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice mix 2oz Absolut Vanilla Vodka, 0.5oz Pumpkin Spice Syrup and 0.5oz Bailey's Irish Cream and shake well. Rim a martini glass with cinnamon and strain the shaker into the glass. Top with a teaspoon of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Garnish with a whole cinnamon stick and serve.

Dublin Mule.png

Dublin Mule: This one will make you yearn for a tryst around Ireland with your sweetheart, and would be perfect for a couple taking a European honeymoon!

This one should be served in a copper mug, but I've substituted a mason jar to show you that it would still be aesthetically pleasing to your guests without the extra expense of traditional mugs. 

In an ice cold copper mug filled with ice, mix 1.5oz Jameson Irish Whiskey and 3oz ginger beer, squeeze in several lime wedges and add them to the drink. Garnish with an extra wedge if desired and serve.


 If that didn't whet your appetite then I don't know what will. And while you ponder your signature cocktails, keep the name in mind. It's a super quick and fun way to personalize your wedding bar. Use inside jokes, plays on your names or heritage, puns significant to you. Use it as an opportunity to shoutout a special person, time, or place in your lives.

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Der Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Der Photography

And make sure it's a drink you or your significant other enjoy. Every time you make it at home you'll be reminded of your day and all the fun you had!

Salut! 'Til we Gather Together again...

-Fay