HOLIDAY PARTIES WITHOUT THE WORK

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I love parties.  I love going to them, throwing them, and decorating for them.  I love all of it.  My kids and I love all the fun design, planning, staging, and creation that goes into throwing a great party.  We love to open our home and invite our friends and family to enjoy the party that we create. We love it all.

Enter the holidays....enter the time crunch.

While I love throwing parties, including throwing parties during the holidays, I know that life can get hectic and there is not always time to create a party at home.  It might be the fact that you cannot get the house in order, cannot plan all the events or assemble all the pieces that make your typical parties so fun.  Sometimes, there just is a time shortage.

Enter: Gathered Marketplace.

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For those of you that are unfamiliar with Gathered Marketplace, let me educate you.  Created by two lovely women here in Fayetteville, Amanda Elias and Meagan Riggs, their mission is to grow togetherness between people in our community.  Whether that be through a personal party or a community event, they are refocusing our time to what matters most: being with one another.

Gathered Marketplace can plan and throw your holiday party (or any get together!). They can help you figure out a location (which doesn't have to be your home but it CAN be!), a theme, and even activities.  I am not referring to your typical party games.  These ladies are full of creativity and they can create workshops, projects, and more for you and your friends.  You don't have to think of anything - Gathered can figure it out for you.

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One recent event they hosted was a workshop on making your own Magnolia Garland.  What a perfectly southern thing to learn!  Friends gathered, enjoyed wine and appetizers, and learned a new skill, all while spending precious time with one another.  I recently attended an event organized by Gathered and a friend.  Our workshop was on making floral leis.  We had a luau  to attend the following day, and we arrived with our freshly created carnation leis from our Gathered workshop.  Not only were the leis gorgeous, we were able to learn a new skill while spending time together at our Gathered event.

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Gathered Marketplace works with local farmers to source incredible fresh florals and greenery.  Each time they create a floral event, you can be sure that the floral stems and greens will delight.  However, their expertise is not limited to florals, but believe me, you'll want to try to include them if you can. 

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If you still feel like a party is just too much, you can attend one of Gathered Markeplace's many pop-up events.  One of my favorites was the evergreen pop-up shop that they just hosted at Leclair's General Store (which is amazing and will be having its own post shortly - check them out!).  There these talented ladies provide us with fresh floral stems, seasonal arrangements, and more.  You can meet your friends there, enjoy the time with one another, and knock out some holiday decorating in the process.  The options are endless!

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Allowing someone to help you plan your holiday party (or any party) might feel defeating at first; perhaps a feeling that you could not "do it all".  However, once you have Gathered step in, you'll have so much fun that you might never turn back.  Not to mention the fun your friends will have - they will likely request more of such events in the future! Beyond parties, I know I contemplated just having them stop by to decorate my house with fresh greenery for Christmas; they'd probably agree to that if you asked with a little southern charm!

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If you are not lucky enough to live in Fayetteville and have Gathered Marketplace to serve you, then be sure to check out what might be available in your community.  Enlisting help can save you a lot of headache and stress, and you'll still be able to enjoy those moments you crave with friends and family.  I know that Gathered Marketplace does a beautiful job helping to create those memories.  If you have not attended one of their events, grab a few friends and get there.  You won't regret it!

Have you attended a Gathered Marketplace Event?  What did you think?

- Casey

Workshop Photos by Jamie Pope Photography and all other Magnolia styling photos by Lola V Photography; Evergreen photos by Light and Cedar Photography Co.