December 2016

Tara Guerard Soiree

For years, making big New Year’s plans was all consuming, and with so much build up I found myself finding it more and more of a letdown. Now I’ve gotten to the point that we’re still recovering from Christmas and a nice low key evening maybe with a few friends sounds perfect! Today I’m sharing a few ideas for hosting a small impromptu cocktail party at home.

Tara Guerard Soiree

There is a great feature on about the 5 things you don’t know about champagne but should. I totally agree with their tip about finding a brand that you enjoy and serving that. I’m a big Veuve Clicqout fan, it’s a nice recognizable brand that fits with the occasion of New Year’s Eve, but not over the top, and a flavor that I prefer over many of the flashier brands. And I chose to forgo a champagne cocktail on New Year’s for the sake of simplicity and duration into the evening, but popping a store bought dendrobium orchid head into the glass offers an elegant touch.

Tara Guerard Soiree

Serving easy but substantial food is key. It’s of the old Charleston cocktail party tradition that whatever food you serve can be eaten with just a cocktail napkin, no plates or forks, etc. Sliced ham with assorted rolls/bread is a long time staple. So, maybe for a fun and easy twist for a smaller gathering, try already assembled and displayed ham biscuits. You could get really creative and add a decorative element like wrapping them in wax paper and tying them.

Tara Guerard Soiree

Another easy and hearty idea is making a big batch of a simple soup (like tomato basil) and putting it in votive candle holders or espresso cups that guests can quickly and easily pick up and sip.

Tara Guerard Soiree

I do think that people do enjoy having some kind of sweet treat. Classics like brownies, mini cheesecakes, rice pudding all work with the elegant vibe of New Year’s Eve and this could be the piece that you order out or delegate.

Tara Guerard Soiree

With the weather that we’re having this year, I completely plan on taking advantage of being outside. Set up an outside lounge or dining table and load it up with candles, you’ll be able to hear and possibly see all of the homegrown fireworks!

Tara Guerard Soiree

Don’t forget your sparklers.. Cheers and Happy New Year’s!

2.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Feb 20, 2018


So Christmas is over, but the tree and greenery still smells so holiday-ey. If you happen to be hosting a New Year’s celebration, we have a quick and easy idea on recycling some of your greenery into festive votive candles for the evening’s affair.


To start with, inexpensive clear glass votives from a craft store, etc is all you’ll need. I also prefer that the candle be an off white, versus a bright white. Any greenery you may have from a wreath or Christmas tree would work here. I also like using some kind of chording, string, or ribbon to finish it off and give it a pretty touch.

You’ll need to place double sided scotch tape around the body of the votive candle.



Lay a thinnish strand of your greenery atop the double sided sticky tape.


Do leave a little tiny bit of the ends loose and not taped down all the way…


Wrap your ribbon or whatnot through and tie in a knot to secure and then finish off with a bow, or hand tied design of your choosing.


Trim any excess of the greenery ends…


 Mix in and place on the dinner table, or cluster in groups on a serving buffet, bar cart, restroom, etc. Guests will note your clever touch, and you will enjoy the ease of this project! Happy Tuesday. Thank you to Lucy Cuneo for the photography.

2.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>


I’m finally excited to be able to share one of our favorite weddings from last year. Featured in the new Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, this at home Greenville, SC wedding was lush, light, and airy. Brooke, our bride, couldn’t imagine her wedding anywhere else. So, following a ceremony on the back lawn, a tented cocktail hour and four course seated dinner, were followed by dancing well into the evening. Corbin Gurkin provides the lovely photography.



Embroidered handkerchiefs were given to all of the ladies. The bride also had a vintage handkerchief of her grandmother’s pinned inside her gown to serve as her something old.


Our bride wears a custom gown by Nardos Imam. The lace jacket seen here was removed during dinner and dancing lending formality to the wedding ceremony.




Lettered Olive paired many lovely design elements into the printed materials.  The green custom monogram was carried throughout much of the wedding decor. A straw tote filled with many of the couple’s favorite things (including a handsome box of Russell Stover’s candy as a nod to the groom’s family), served as the guest welcome gift.


A luxurious and lush all white bouquet of peonies, lily of the valley, roses (both of which were carried in their mother’s bouquets) was accented with delicate lambs’ ear.




The ceremony took place on the bride’s family’s back lawn, and was anchored by a traditional floral arch.



During cocktail hour, guests received their dinner escort cards, which were enterlaced by swags of hanging garlands.

dinner-collage 2015_brooke_david_0996 dinner-table-collage

Dinner for 375 guests was served at a mixture of rectangle and square tables. Tabletops were mixed with tall and low candlelight and low overspilling floral arrangements. I love when we get to use Clematis in season, I find it such a beautiful wedding flower. The floral motif china was the perfect fit for this event!


We love making our tent entrances vibrant and welcoming, which keeps the guests excited about the progression of the evening.


A breathtaking floral wall was crafted as the photo booth backdrop. And, to fill the massive expanse of the clear top tent, and provide a tailored finish, we created a lush greenery wall as the backdrop for the band’s stage.


Over the dance floor hung custom lanterns we made from a green and white floral fabric perfectly scouted for this event! Greenery garlands hide the unattractive cords.


In the after dinner lounge, guests enjoyed cake and a night of dancing. The expansive half round bar provided a perfect perch for those wanting a break from the dance floor.


The brides’ shorty feather dress by Nardos Imam and flip flops were the perfect attire as the bride and groom departed by fireworks directly for their honeymoon! What better way for this couple to further celebrate this gorgeous marriage but the birth of their first child! Congratulations Brooke and David on your first year of marriage, seeing your special day on the pages of Martha Weddings, and the birth of sweet Mae.


2.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Event Design, Event Planning, Fashion, Photographers, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>