Category Archives: Dresses

Jun 25, 2017

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Oh, how I miss doing weddings at Drayton Hall Plantation.  It still remains one of my all time favorite locations, which you will see from this wedding from the archives. This wedding has a modern art deco feel, which put against the Federalist architecture of the plantation made for a really lovely juxtaposition. Liz Banfield captured all of the lovely imagery.

Bridal Collage

The art deco feel started with the details in the bride’s Carolina Herrera dress and hairstyle… an old wedding wives tale is to have all of the bridesmaids sign the bottom of the brides shoe, and whomever’s name is worn off first by the end of the night will be the next to get married (Miu Miu shoes).. This bride’s something blue was her bouquet!

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On the National Register of Historic Place, what amazing photos to have, as taken in the Plantation house ballroom.

Printing Collage

All of the letterpress printing was done by Lettered Olive. One of my favorite ideas was in the save the dates. There was a large amount of information to put in the save the dates, and not wanting guests to put it aside- we made a “tear off” piece that everyone could put on their fridge or daytimer with the date and location.

Guest Bag Collage

Guest welcome bags were canvas shoe travel bags making these something guests would want to leave with instead of leaving in the hotel. Custom printed snacks and waters filled the bags, along with a mini Archipelago “Charleston” candle with custom matches.

Floral Collage

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Bridesmaids carried white flowers with just a hint of color, while the bride carried the pop of color- for the bride that loves color, this is a great flip flop idea. For moms, and other special ladies who may not want something pinned onto their dresses or carry something, a bloom “corsage” tied to the wrist with satin ribbon or pinned on a purse is a great alternative!

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Ceremony Collage 8871_5a.@LizBanfield

The wedding white ceremony included a white carpet runner, a scatter of petals at the alter, orchid strands draped down the aisle, and chandeliers hung from the grand ok. An arch made of willow branches and lilac made a simply pretty focal point.

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The couples two “babies” made a guest appearance at the end of the ceremony for photos…

8866_15a.@LizBanfield Lounge Collage

After the ceremony, guests kicked off the reception in a cocktail lounge, and lounge seating set up on the riverbanks for a little eye candy.

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A custom Boutique tent was the pretty entrance way into the dinner tent…

Tabletop Collage

Playing off of the art deco look, tables were set with an array of mixed centerpieces surrounding Knoll acrylic dinner club lamps. Menus, escort cards, and other signage are made from etched acrylic… Guests wanted to keep all of the printed materials!

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The amazing cake by Jim Smeal was octagon shaped and mimicked the art deco pattern on the bride’s gown. It’s hard to tell her, but it had the faintest hint of light blue and lavender shimmer playing off of the printed items… LOVE!

8856_2a.@LizBanfield Dancing Collage 8856_4a.@LizBanfield

When guests finished dinner, we pulled back the curtains for a big reveal of the all white after dinner lounge. It was so warm and inviting with a glow that was breathtaking. All white arrangements of Oriental lilies even gave the room and irresistible fragrance.

Silly string Collage

For a truly different and festive send off, we made custom silly string containers which guests sprayed at the couple as they made their way to the getaway car.

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For one take on the traditional, the couple departed in a vintage Rolls Royce tied with oversized paper flowers…

6.25.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Dresses, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

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We’ve recently had several of our brides mix and match bridesmaids dresses in completely unexpected and super fashion forward ways. It helps of course, that they are in the Bridal design business… So, we asked the ladies of Dee Hutton (both recent brides and business partners, whose weddings were featured in the current issue of Brides Magazine) for their top tips on how to pull a mix and match bridal party off successfully.  All the images are Corbin Gurkin.

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We’ve always disliked the word “bridesmaid dress” or “maid of honor dress”. If you think about it, in any other context, if you went up to someone and said “wow, what a beautiful bridesmaid dress” or “you make such a beautiful bridesmaid”, it’s almost an insult…We think that bridesmaid lines should be about making the most important girls in your life look & feel their best. In our opinion, the goal is to have them get the compliment “wow, you look beautiful” not “wow, you’re a beautiful bridesmaid”.

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To be honest, control is key to pull off a high fashion different bridesmaid line. Being comfortable saying yes or no and giving hard guidelines is important to achieve a flawless high fashion bridesmaid line. Traditional bridesmaid dresses and the ease that goes around that process is there for a reason, so with all the moving parts that go into a wedding, make sure you really care about spending the time and effort to have your bridesmaid line make a splash because it does take a bit more work.

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Pinterest can be your best friend in wedding planning but especially in this department. Finding an image of a bridal party that you love & want to re-create is super helpful because then you’ll have an image to pass along to your bridesmaids so they know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and it will be even easier to assign colors/fabrics etc and achieve the look you’re going for when everyone’s on the same page.

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The bridesmaid line that I designed for my wedding is very different from the one I designed for Steph’s wedding. For mine, I basically wanted to take the traditional idea of a bridesmaid line and turn it on its head. I really wanted it to feel like an incredible runway show, with each piece being a surprise and different from the one before & after. Because I mixed fabrics and put everyone in a different color, making sure that all the different shades of colors went together beautifully was incredibly important. I focused on making each bridesmaid look incredible independently and as a group. To pull this off, assigning each bridesmaid a color would be my suggestion and then as each girl finalizes their dress, create a mock version of your bridesmaid line using pictures of their dresses to make sure that it’s all coming together ok. Not only will  that incentivize ladies to get moving on choosing their dresses, but it also allows them to find a dress that they are obsessed with and would wear again to a black tie party. For me, the bridesmaids and their gowns were the wow factor of my wedding and stood out because there was no other color worked in to the decor.

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Steph’s wedding was more traditional as Steph is very traditional in nature. Her wedding was based around the idea of pastels, so I took the idea of a traditional pastel hued all chiffon bridesmaid line and blew it up to feel like a collection of gowns that a designer was showing together. Each style was different and all the bridesmaids walked down in a line starting with a bright mint, to ice mint, to blues, to periwinkles to lavenders and then finally to pinks (it was a beautiful gradation of colors). To re-create this, I would again assign colors but also pick one fabric that all the dresses are in (i.e. silk chiffon etc). I wanted Steph’s bridesmaids to fit seamlessly with the decor of her wedding/reception tent and just be an extension of the pastel wonderland aesthetic that she was going for.

6.25.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Beauty, Bridal, Bridal Style, Dresses, Event Design, Fashion, New York, Weddings | Comments >>
Jun 25, 2017

Because we clearly have Spring fever, and we are working on a new and exciting project that the mother of this bride is helping with, (our You Tube channel, stay tuned), today we are sharing this sweet and lovely wedding. The reception was at one of Charleston’s hidden gems, and there was definitely elegance but also graceful casualness that only hometown Charlestonians can offer.  Photos are by both Gayle Brooker and Corbin Gurkin.

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Traditional engraved invitations were accented with vintage sailing stamps as a nod to the yacht club where the reception was to be held.

Bridal Collage

A family heirloom locket held photos of the groom, so the bride could “see” him before seeing him at the church. While a mostly pale blue and green palette was chosen to reflect the water and surroundings, the bride wanted some sweet pastel colors brought in to brighten things. White tulips, perfect in Spring make happy boutonierres.

The bridesmaids wore varying pastel silk gowns by Lula Kate (available through Bella Bridesmaid),and carried perfectly plush bouquets of peonies, sweat peas, and tulips.

The bride and her maids got ready in her childhood home, which was a perfect backdrop for pre ceremony photos, especially with the family pup. The bride wore a custom gown by Carol Hannah.

Wedding party Collage

Being a proper 6pm church ceremony, the gentlemen were in white tie and tails. All of the couples’ special little friends were honored as flower girls and ring bearers.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom rode separately to the reception (about 45 minutes outside of town) together to have time to reflect on the ceremony and the day. I love when couples can take some private time together.

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Out of town guests were treated to the best of Charleston. The bride, who works for the Charleston CVB included locally made tea and sweet tea vodka minis. Along with cheddar biscuits her mother makes, and Charleston Benne Seed wafers.

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Guests were treated to one of the best kept secrets with a reception at the Sea Island Yacht Club in the tiny coastal village of Rockville, SC.

Scenery Collage

The scenery here is hard to beat, river views, coastal marshland, and ancient live oaks.

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A coastal map of the Lowcountry served as the couple’s guest book. Guests could sign well wishes, and the map is now framed and hanging in the couple’s home.

Greenery Collage

Bright greenery was used to cheer up the floral arrangements, as well as some of the quirky parts of the old yacht club. The mantles were such a great focal point, but obviously in warm months we didn’t need a fire, so we covered in lush greenery for more decor.

Food Collage

This cocktail reception offered local favorites like Crab cakes, mini chicken tarts, and a nod to the couples Mexican favorites- mini margaritas and tuna tacos.

station Collage

Not being a seated dinner, displaying the food needs to be as thoughtful and elegant as the food itself. Stations on the grand porch had marsh views, and were tailored with lamplight and handmade signage. Our shadowbox bars were filled with gardenias, which all of the ladies just loved!

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Cake Collage

A floral cake by Jim Smeal was a show stopping centerpiece accented with family silver vessels of different spring flowers.

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As the sun set, guests enjoyed the party both inside and out.

Wishing lanterns were released over the water as the couple left off of the dock by boat.

6.25.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Charleston, Dresses, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Photographers, Reception, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>