Category Archives: Cakes

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.

10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, New York, Reception, Weddings | Comments >>
Oct 22, 2017

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Now that it is truly officially fall, I wanted to share some of my favorite fall wedding details, which will also help me get in the mindset for designing for the season’s weddings!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

We used seasonal fruit and flowers for the decor on this cake, mini pears (purchased through a local produce distributor) and seeded eucalyptus were the perfect accents for the spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

I love the deep rich colors and multitude of textures that you can get in fall foliage. Lots of grasses, blooming shrubs, and heartier plants are perfect for filling in on flower arrangements. Of course, many roses are available year round so they add the needed softness for wedding arrangements. I also like to play with the different types of containers to give that seasonal look- we used stained wooden planters as our centerpiece containers on the tables.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Shrimp and grits have become a staple at Southern weddings, but in the fall quail shows up on many menus throughout Georgia, and North and South Carolina.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

For this wedding, the mother of the bride is famous for her banana walnut bread, so as favors she made mini loaves for all of the guests. Along with her famous apple butter. Packaged in peach baskets, these were the picture perfect fall favors.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Gayle Brooker

For this seated dinner wedding in late October, the pale pinks and peaches were warmed up for the fall season with moss greens, and golden hues. I also anchored the tables by using a heavy suede material for the linens. They were so soft and luxurious to sit against!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Gayle Brooker

What I look forward to the most for fall weddings are the food options. I love love love soup, so passing individual versions for cocktail hour is a great option, or here we served a trio of soup “shots” plated beautifully as an appetizer course.

I think this detail always makes for fantastic photos, and if it’s a simple dinner party that you are hosting, this is a great way to give your guests a special touch. Hollow out a small pumpkin and place the soup vessel in for serving.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Gayle Brooker

Red wine will definitely be a favored drink at the bar in the fall. We used the couple’s personal wine collection here for guests to be able to sample new varietals throughout the evening. Or, you can talk with your caterer about pairing different versions of reds throughout the dinner.

Something else to think about is instead of passing a “speciality drink” you could set up a speciality bar or station. Decanting the drinks and setting them out with identifying tags is perfect for a self serve station..Or having a bartender serve a few chosen cocktails is a great way to keep it simple.

photos by Velvet Raptor, Gayle Brooker, Liz Banfield, and Elizabeth Messina

10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Reception, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

I’m thrilled to share this vintage Charleston wedding we did several years ago, because the bride was personal to me. Not only did I babysit her years and years ago, but we’d also done her big sister’s wedding in the early days of Soiree.  The wedding was a simple and lovely garden party with lots of personal details. The bride wore her great great grandmothers dress which remained nearly intact from her wedding day! Photographs are by Gayle Brooker

Food stations were scattered and seating vignettes created throughout the garden to keep the guests moving and offer a change of scenery.

September and October while still very popular and seasonably warm in Charleston, are the months when a slight chill can creep in at night. We draped soft blankets over the lounge sofas to keep guests cozy as the air chilled after the sun went down.


Lanterns and string lights are lovely during the day and give a glowing ambience into the evening. Behind the bars, calligraphied mirrors listed the cocktail offerings.

A bountiful and textured mix of flowers created the ladies’ bouquets. The bridesmaids’ gowns took a note from the one shoulder design of the bridal gown.


One of my favorite items by Lettered Olive are our champagne collars. The bride and groom’s silhouettes were used throughout many of the printed items. Custom wine labels were printed and used to create a pretty bar display.

Each food station offered lovely and composed dishes to allow for easy guest movement and conversation like this Lowcountry seafood trio…


Smaller tiers of the bride’s favorite coconut cake from Peninsula Grill was built onto custom stands. Guests received crafted rose petal bags for the send off at the end of the evening.

A party in the garden can still be lovely even in the evening with great lighting… String cafe lights and glowing candle lanterns gave the perfect night time ambience.


The bride and groom departed in a fabulous vintage Jaguar convertible…We always like to do something a little fun with our Just Married signs so using the couple’s silhouettes we had used throughout the rest of the wedding printing seemed like the perfect vintage touch for this wedding.


10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Flowers, Food and Drink, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Weddings | Comments >>