Season’s Greetings: Winter Splendor

Season’s Greetings: Winter Splendor | Gathering Events creates a reception dinner that marries Italian and French influences

Number of guests: 150

Estimated cost: $55,000


For a bride and groom in love with their Italian and French heritage, Heather Barrie of Gathering Events + Design set a romantic wintry reception in silver and blue at the Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. Steeped in tradition, the event unites the cultures of both families in beautiful and unexpected ways.



Barrie introduced the European theme of the wedding with stunningly detailed invitations by Courtney Gunter Designs. White Italian cotton paper by Magnani Pescia was printed with an interlocking design in pewter and accented with frost-blue French knots. “We liked the idea of incorporating the French knots into this gorgeous pattern. The silk added texture, and we were able to tie it into the entire reception,” says Barrie.



The color palette comprised icy silvers and arctic blues, which were warmed by a crackling fire, candlelight, and dozens of antique mirrors. The rustic wood-paneled room was transformed into a series of historical vignettes, using antique furnishings topped with mirrored doors. And rather than cover the aged wood, Barrie accented it with antique linen runners.



The bride and groom asked Trae Wilson of Granville’s Catering to incorporate several family recipes, from the Italian white bean, carrot, and rosemary soup to the French roasted veal with demi-glâce, into the menu. Served as a buffet, the dishes were presented atop vintage platters on an antique table. “We wanted to keep the lines simple and clean, and Trae’s ceramic serving pieces were incredibly elegant,” explains Barrie.



It’s always a beautiful touch to use heirloom linens or furniture to evoke family heritage (and occasionally cut the cost of rentals). However, Barrie reminds brides to never use anything they’d be devastated to see ruined or lost. Several rental companies offer vintage-looking linens, and antiques shops will often allow local designers to rent mirrors, chandeliers, or other items for a percentage of the sale price.


Vendor List:

  • Invitations: Courtney Gunter Graphic Design
  • Location: The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation
  • Mirrors: Hines Studio
  • Hand-dyed textiles: Paige Hathaway Thorn
  • Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals
  • Catering: Granville’s
  • Cakes: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal