October 2017

Dendy and Devon by Gayle Brooker

Summerville, SC is a town steeped in Southern tradition and history. After moving to Manhattan, and becoming celebrity dermatologist and skin care consultant for Elizabeth Arden, Dr. Oz, People Magazine, etc Dr. Dendy Engleman met her dream man. He popped the question, and they headed South where she wanted to share her hometown with her nearest and dearest. Thank you Gayle Brooker for the gorgeous photos.

Church exterior/Tara Guerard Soiree/Gayle Brooker Photography

The ceremony took place at her childhood congregation, a classic Episcopalian church outside the Historic district.

Orchid Boutoinerres by Tara Guerard Soiree

The bride really wanted to bring in a modern perspective representing her life in New York to play against the traditional feel typically seen growing up in Summerville. A bold green and warm chocolate color palette was selected and lots of natural elements like greenery, branches, dried lentils, mosses, and berries were used throughout.

Orchid bouquets by Tara Guerard Soiree

Orchids in the greens and browns used throughout compliment the bridal bouquet cascading and lush with branches, berries, and orchids in different varietals.

Cocktail seating on the lawn by Tara Guerard Soiree

Simple potted phalenopsis orchids in moss covered pots were the perfect centerpieces for the cocktail tables covered in green and chocolate silk scattered amongst the lawn.


Signature drink for a couple living in New York but marrying in South Carolina?  Manhattans, obvi.

Monogram wedding cake (Jim Smeal); tent design by Tara Guerard Soiree

The wedding cake by Jim Smeal was a stunning centerpiece in the tent. The tiers were accented by hand made samples of lace from the bride’s dress, and a custom icing monogram designed by Soiree and Lettered Olive.

Wedding lounge by Tara Guerard Soiree

The dance tent and lounge were modeled after some of the couples favorite Manhattan clubs, but with wedding elegance of course! My favorite is a clear top tent which allows the space to feel bigger and more open but the temperature has to be just right (can you say greenhouse chic??)

Wedding bar by Tara Guerard Soiree

Had to make one of our signature bars, of course. Tops were custom wood to keep in line with the fall design and the couples monogram designed by Lettered Olive was used on banners to decorate large spaces like this bar, pillows in the lounge, printed items, and the cake. The most important thing though is that it’s accessible from many angles for many people- NO LINES!

The Woodlands wedding reception by Tara Guerard Soiree

The Woodlands Resort was a classically elegant 5 star resort with amazing architecture and equally amazing food (it’s since closed and become a private home).  We added some draping and lighting to the exterior for some drama which kinda ended up being a scene stealer.

Bride and Groom send off

The knockout couple ended their evening (after a quick change by the bride into a going away shortie dress) with a traditional rice toss before heading off into married life together.

7.15.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, New York, Reception, Weddings | Comments >>

Drayton Hall House

With Halloween less than a week away, I thought it appropriate to share my top “haunts” here in the historically Haunted city of Charleston, SC. Many if not all of these are open or available to the public for tours or viewing, so see for yourself if you dare.

1. Drayton Hall Plantation– not only is it a landmark under the National Trust for Historic Preservation (built in the mid 1700’s) and the fully executable example of Palladian architecture in the country, it’s rumored to have some permanent residents. I can speak from experience having done many many weddings here with breakdown lasting well into the late morning hours, there are some spooky sights and sounds, my staff can attest to this as well!


2. Old City Jail (photo from nps.gov)

Built in 1802, the old Charleston County jail housed pirates, bank robbers, and the famed female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher until it closed in 1939. Now a part of the American College of Building Arts, it hosts tons of art events, fundraising parties, and ghost tours. We did a big bash here years ago, and it was super creep! You can hear all sorts of sounds and definitely get that hair on the back of your neck standing up feeling when you end up in some of the old rooms.


3. St. Philip’s Church (painting by Patsy Tidwell)

This is my home church, so the haunted story here is one you’l have to decide for yourself.  But every ghost tour in town stops at the gates of our cemetery to recount the story of Sue Howard Hardy and the photo that an amateur photographer took…


4. Blind Tiger Pub

Legend has it that the former speakeasy during Prohibition, hosts a few ghosts. One bar regular reported her hair being pulled from behind, and a bar manager recounted hearing footsteps crunching leaves in the rear patio area. One former general manager was closing up for the night, and had two of his friends sitting at a nearby table as he did so. All three saw the appearance of a woman wearing black walk through the area, only to disappear. More from ghostwriter James Caskey here.


5. Dock Street Theater (photo by the Keadle Group)

Home to Charleston Stage, and many Spoleto performances now, the original Dock Street Theater building was once the Planter’s Hotel, the home of gambling and prostitution for Charleston’s one time elite gentlemen and those visiting our port of call.  One of the ghosts rumored to haunt this spot is a former “worker” Nettie Dickerson. You can read lots about Nettie and other rumored ghost Junius Booth all over the internet.

Happy Halloween from Charleston!

7.15.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Pop Culture, Spotted!, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Jul 15, 2018

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Happy Halloween! This was such a fun night for our couple from this week’s Wedding Wednesday. Their rehearsal dinner fell on Halloween, so they embraced it and threw a killer party at a Historic (and sometimes creepy) downtown venue, the Confederate Home and College.  Liz Banfield was there to capture all of the “gory” details.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Invitations by Lettered Olive were custom designed in an elegant macabre tone. The Spooks and Sprits afterparty for all out of town guests brought in a silver foil printed Raven as a darker nod to the wedding’s Bird and Branch theme.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

White painted pumpkins were the obvious choice for displaying the dinner seating cards.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Painted silver pumpkins gave a bit of elegance to the dining table centerpieces. Surrounded in a glass vase with candles placed on black linens gave the room quite the glow.






Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Pretty tablescapes for dinner. Printed menus that doubled as place cards were served up in black envelopes with silver calligraphy.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

We had fun with the cocktail hour and appetizers, serving traditional fare like “deviled eggs” that also worked with the Halloween theme.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Black Chinese to go boxes were perfect for anyone wanting to take advantage of the Trick or Treat station offered.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

No Halloween is complete without candy, so we had a trick or treat station for guests to take home sweets. Lots of artifacts and creepy items in cloches helped accent the spooky decor.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Guests were encouraged to get into the spirit of the evening and wear some kind of costume to the afterparty. The bride and groom did a quick transformation after the actual dinner.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Even the servers and bartenders got in on the fun. Here a zombie bartender serves “Black Widow” cocktails out of silver pumpkins to willing guests.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Custom carved silver pumpkins like this one (which greeted guests to the after party) with the bride and groom initials were sprinkled throughout the venue and grounds.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Guests partied the night away in the foggy haunted graveyard. A chamber music quartet played appropriately spooky tunes

7.15.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Events, Food and Drink, Rehearsal Dinner, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized | Comments >>