Today, we are honored to have Chelsey Morrison of Gather Together Events on the blog! She specializes in private home weddings (which makes her especially equipped for work in historic homes!) and we know you’ll love her as much as we do!
Chelsea, thank you so much for joining us! Please tell us all about yourself!
I’m a Raleigh, NC native, College of Charleston educated (and I left a bit of my heart in that city). I married my college sweetheart, and we have two darling young boys and three hound dogs. We live in Mebane, NC. I founded Gather Together in 2010. We do 5-10 weddings per year – about half in the Triangle & Triad areas of NC, and half destination, mainly across NC and Southern VA. Our specialty is private home, outdoor, and tented weddings (but I ADORE a historic home venue!). Gather Together has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, Carats & Cake, Southern Bride & Groom, and many other places. We’ve been honored nine times with Triangle NACE Awards for best wedding and best event design. When I’m not working (ha!) I love to garden, travel, cook, and do pretty much anything with my amazing family & friends.
How did you get into wedding planning?
I originally wanted to be a chef! I LOVE to cook, but my parents said I needed to get a 4-year degree before culinary school. So I went to College of Charleston and fell in love with catering and special events. I remember a specific wedding on the water in Mount Pleasant at the bride’s parents’ home, and working there, I knew I was meant to do weddings. I worked for several venues and a catering company before moving to Durham, NC to work in corporate events and tourism. I had a lot of friends getting married at the time, needing my help and connections, and I decided it was time. Gather Together was born in 2010!
As a venue made up of two historic houses, we love that you specialize in private home weddings! What do you love most about the house setting?
What is not to love? Some of my best memories are from dinner parties and celebrations at our family home (thanks, Mom!). My favorite kind of at-home party is grand and welcoming, without being ostentatious. The foundation is hospitality and an unforgettable guest experience. I love the challenge of designing in a space that has quirks. It’s not a ballroom with four walls – it’s almost a living, breathing space. There’s a story and a special character to a home. Weaving in what is existing and using it in the design is so important. I love to think about the sense of place and the past events that took place there. McAlister-Leftwich is such a dream – character around every corner!
What is your favorite part of the planning and designing process?
My first favorite is designing the layout. I pay such attention to how it affects the flow of the party. A great layout is so important, and I imagine guests walking through, how they will move about the space, and where impactful details will be noticed. It’s great fun for me! My second favorite is the design plan presentation. In this meeting, we review the layout and look book with the client to give them the first glimpse of how their wedding will look and feel. It is pure delight and only matched by the feeling of seeing it all come together on the wedding day.
What advice do you have for couples on the hunt for their planner?
Find someone who shares your design aesthetic and values. For the biggest celebration of your life, you need a great listener who is not out to design for their social media following but to find out who you are and make that shine through in your event. Trust is a key component. After you’ve read reviews, checked references (always ask to speak to a past client or two!), and talked thoroughly with your planner, you should have a great feeling about moving forward with them. We absolutely love our clients and somehow always end up with incredible people with whom we love to spend our time!