Category Archives: Cakes

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

One of the most stunning winter weddings I can remember is this celebration from 2013 in Oklahoma City. 525 people for a sparkling silver and gold, glamorous, personalized over the top New Year’s party. There are so many details I want to share from this wedding it was hard to chose our favorites. Liz Banfield was there with us to capture all of the twinkling tidbits.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The bridesmaids sparkled in two piece silver sequined tops and ballgown skirt ensembles from Synderela. Our friend, Julie Sabatino with The Stylish Bride, worked with the bride and designer to develop the custom creations.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The Brides’ childhood church was the perfect ceremony backdrop. We added our own special touches to their already lovely Christmas decorations, which included lush eucalyptus garlands, spruce wreaths, and glowing candle cylinders covered in custom laser cut metallic paper.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

One of the most stunning ceremonies I’ve seen, after the processional, the lights were dimmed and the rest of the ceremony was held by candlelight. Truly magical and you could feel the love in the room!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Wow, did Lettered Olive get to have fun and create some spectacular design for the wedding papers.  Gold metallic foil printing, laser cut papers, velvet finishes, and a pop up skyline were just a few of the details.  We love the way the bride wrote her name along with the grooms, so we used her signature as a detail throughout too just to personalize it even more.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

 These guest welcome bags truly showered the guests traveling from afar and  celebrating with them over a holiday weekend. A custom candle with printed matches, custom letterpress coasters and Veuve Clicquot splits, waters, favorite snacks and candies from the couple, and an “emergency” kit left the guests with everything they could need for a comfy stay.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Guests were greeted with a glowing welcome to the reception, where the exterior of the private club was covered in the wintry candle cylinders.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The finest details were not spared for this event. White gloved servers donning aprons in the couples’ custom monogram (and custom bowties) received guests with an array of offerings including Manhattans (where the couple reside) and Champagne.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The cocktail lounge was a sight to behold. Suede covered loungers with orchid “chandeliers” offered guests a place to gather, and the escort cards were mini versions of the paper covered cylinders with the names caligraphied on them, and displayed together on shelves for a statement wall!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The dining room shone in silver and gold. Lamplight and candlelight came together to create the most perfect ambient dinner experience, and while there were over 500 guests, it still managed to feel somewhat intimate!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Tables alternated complimenting pewter sequined linens topped with oversized clear crystal candelsticks and ones topped with soft silver suede and crystal lamps. All of the menus were backed in a gold laser cut velvet and place cards were gold name plates affixed to the letterpressed menus.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Two of my favorite little dinner details were the bride and groom chairs- embroidered with the handwritten names; and the first course soup served in these stunning gold bowls- fabulous!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

A spectacular 8 tier cake with handmade flowers by Fancy Cakes by Lauren out of Dallas, Texas.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The couple share their first dance as husband and wife on a dance floor covered with their custom “fireworks” design.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

This uber glam reception lounge provided the perfect pad for ringing in the New Year. The marble topped bar we built on site, and I always find the glassware to be an awful site, but we built a display for it, and it became a lovely backdrop.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The going away favors were a lovely packaged snack mix that included roasted dried black eyed peas- a traditional food said to bring luck to those who eat it on New Year’s day.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

If there was ever a perfect time for a sparkler send off and fireworks at a wedding, it’s on New Year’s. The couple drove off into the night as coordinated “sparklers” popped as they drove by in their vintage convertible. Happy New Year to all!

12.13.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Cakes, Dresses, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Dec 13, 2017

For today’s wedding Wednesday post, I’m sharing a special wedding that while small in size, it packed a pretty punch. Martha worked for me for years- first as my planner and cohort at Soiree, and then at Lettered Olive. She married her love, Jon whom she met through the event world, as he is a manager at Snyder Event Rentals. They married on a winter afternoon at the French Huguenot Church. Guests joined them for dinner at one of my all time favorite Charleston restaurants, La Fourchette (now closed).  Liz Banfield took all the pretty photos.

Individual calligraphied invitations were sent to every guest. Simple welcome boxes welcomed each guest to their hotel room. Miniature programs detailed the ceremony.

The bride wore a simple tea length dress as a nod to Audrey Hepburn, her favorite style icon. A simple all white bunch of gardenias, tulips, and ranunculus provided a delicate bouquet, and a red satin clutch brought in the pop of red seen in the wedding palette. The bride and groom saw each other for photos before the ceremony, so were able to walk together to their ceremony at the French Huguenot Church.

The intimate ceremony was accented with a gospel choir, and a stunning alter of blooming pear blossoms, and tall tulips en masse glowing by candlelight.

Guests enjoyed a perfectly Parisian dinner at La Fourchette restaurant. The simplicity of the white dinner linens and exposed brick provided a perfect backdrop for the glowing red florals and candles. Calligraphed names added to the menu cards doubled as place cards. Take home treats hand tied with red silk ribbon thanked guests for attending.
Individual miniature cakes by Jim Smeal were served to each guest for dessert. Our sweet Martha and Jon departed at the end of a lovely evening via rickshaw… sometimes the smallest and most simple weddings can be the most memorable.

12.13.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Cakes, Charleston, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, J'adore!, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, Weddings | Comments >>
Dec 13, 2017


So even though this luxurious fall wedding took place 8 years ago, it’s still one of my favorites so I love resharing with you on this wedding Wednesday. The couple were so fun, the mother of the bride owns a fabulous interior and gift store in Oklahoma, Bebe’s, and it was at one of my all time favorite venues, Drayton Hall.  Birds, branches, patterns, and rich colors round out the design theme for our bride who used Tony Duquette’s interior designs as her inspiration.  Her amazing dress by Carolina Herrera couldn’t have been more perfect with pattern that looked almost like branches or feathers..Our photographer was Liz Banfield.


We knew we would be using several vintage bird cages in the reception design, so Lettered Olive incorporated one into the save the dates. A bird on a branch “monogram” was also designed to be used throughout other printed wedding items such as the guest bag labels and welcome packet.

2971_10a-lizbanfieldThe bride and groom chose to do a private “first sight” moment at a Charleston park around the corner from the French Huguenot Church were the wedding was held.


We custom pleated silk ribbons to adorn the bridal bouquet from a photo the bride had saved from Martha Stewart Weddings many years before. Groomsmen boutonierres were made from berzillia berries and seeded eucalyptus, while the groom received a single coral charm peony bloom. Bridesmaids had a muted bouquet which played so prettily off of their chocolate brown silk taffeta dresses.


The groom’s grandmother’s Russian spiced tea recipe was printed on letterpressed coasters guests received at the bar, and the bride’s mother’s Bread and Butter pickles were made and packaged for guests’ favors.



Downtown Charleston’s French Huguenot Church provided the ceremony venue. Blossoming branches and glass vases full of oranges, kumquats, and seeded eucalyptus brightened up the candlelit alter. I loved the sweet and simple pew markers our flower team did, by lining the entire aisle with a dahlia bloom tied with the orange and white striped grosgrain ribbon we used throughout the wedding.


After the ceremony, guests were greeted at Drayton Hall plantation by an alfresco cocktail hour on the front lawn.


Guests were able to experience the historic property in it’s fullest by lounging on the front portico and wandering throughout the house. Unexpected takes on cocktail and app favorites included a pomegranate martini we called the “Blushing Bride’, and bite sized grilled pimento cheese sandwiches.


Die cut birds hung from branches inside the cocktail hour umbrellas served as the dinner escort cards.

dinner-collage 3019_35-lizbanfield

The uber cozy dinner tent had lots of glam touches, like ikat table runners, golden branches with twinkle lights, and pashminas in the wedding colors tied to each of the ladies’ seats in case they needed extra warmth. The head table was housed in an iron garden conservatory, and a birch log was hollowed out for the centerpiece.


The after dinner lounge housed eclectic furnishings and a vintage birdcage we filled with candles to serve as a chandelier over the dance floor.


Being in the middle of field requires that potty trailers are brought in. It’s hard to think about having potty trailers at a black tie glam wedding, so of course we have to deck them out so they fit the bill. Painted walls and unique design pieces kept the trailer looking as fab as the rest of the reception tent.


The gorgeous Jim Smeal wedding cake complete with a handmade nest topper, and birds perched throughout was housed in a vintage standing birdcage. The pale peach icing was so lovely with the setting.


A fabulous Jim Smeal dessert station also gave guests sweets to nosh on while dancing complete with mini pies, and woodland cakes topped with edible meringue mushrooms!




As the bride and groom departed guests blew whistles creating a “joyful noise”…

12.13.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Fashion, Flowers, Food and Drink, Interior Design, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>