BY TABATHA RENEGAR
Experience is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the wedding industry. And, with good reason! When you turn over any portion of your most important celebration to a professional, you want to know that they have the acumen, temperament and professionalism that comes with extensive experience.
Here in the Triad, you would be hard-pressed to find a team with more experience than Gidley + Schafer!
Born and raised in North Carolina, Lucy Gidley’s event experience spans decades. This includes her work at the Adam’s Mark hotel in downtown Winston-Salem, her 10+ years as Director of Catering for Salem College and, most recently, Director of Catering for Bermuda Run Country Club. Lucy has been instrumental in more successful wedding events than a person can count.
Lucy’s work on a variety of events at Bermuda Run connected her with native Washingtonian, Christy Schafer. As an active club member and long-standing community volunteer, Christy is that one person that everyone calls on for help managing events large and small! Christy is just as passionate when planning a small, private dinner as she is a fundraising gala or women’s club event. And, with her experience in television and as a director of marketing and public relations, she’s no stranger to quick thinking and creative solutions!
Fate stepped in when, in the fall of 2016, Christy began planning a wedding that she was thrilled about but also knew she would want assistance with – her daughter’s! Knowing Lucy from the many events they collaborated on in the past, Christy pulled Lucy in as the coordinator who would see the vision through and allow Christy to be the mother-of-the-bride on the wedding day. Looking back on the planning of that wedding event, they both say now that they “just clicked” and when it was over they looked at each other and said “we need to do this!” Thus, in the summer of 2017, Gidley + Schafer Events was born!
When asked what their inspiration was for melding their vast professional backgrounds into a wedding and event planning business, they said their friendship. Right from the start, they recognized each other’s gifts and strengths and how well they complemented each other. Lucy and Christy knew that those strengths, combined with their talents and passion for seamless events, would be the ideal formula to offer a new bride, her family or anyone planning an event.
Gidley + Schafer – that’s Gidley plusSchafer – were called upon for their first official wedding event for a June 2018 celebration at The Sky Retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. They received more accolades for their work than we have room for, but what stood out from those compliments was how the family said that “Lucy and Christy knew what we needed before we did.” That is the beauty of experience, and with Lucy and Christy working on an event, you have decades of it on your side!
Gidley + Schafer Events is a full-service event planning business with a variety of packages designed to meet the needs of their clients. From “day of” event management to a full service “soup to nuts” relationship, they pride themselves on an obsessive attention to detail and the ability to find unique, out-of-the-ordinary items for their clients. When asked what the most rewarding part of their job is, Lucy is quick to say “…the fun we have with it because it’s not like work! We are comfortable and just enjoy every aspect of the planning.” Christy chimed in and said “…at the end of the event, seeing our clients so satisfied” is what she finds so rewarding. They both agreed that many brides who think they are going to manage all the planning and execution themselves don’t know what they’re getting into. Lucy and Christy enjoy being able to take it on, allowing the bride and her family to enjoy the planning experience as much as the day, while Gidley + Schafer Events handles every finite detail behind the scenes.
When not knee deep in décor procurement, finalizing menus or sourcing floral arrangements, you’ll find Christy entertaining friends and family or in the kitchen, honing her culinary skills while Lucy plans her next trip as she has a deep love of travel and is happy to go anywhere, any time!