Category Archives: Entertaining

Dec 13, 2017

Today, we are sharing a very easy and affordable way to turn your tabletop into holiday perfection. It’s so easy we were able to whip this up in our office before a little holiday Soiree lunch. We used things readily available, and often lying around. This time of year when decorating at home or the office, I’ve found that I often have to trim bottom branches of the tree, or pieces fall off the pine garlands.  Taking these and doing something different with them instead of tossing them is what inspired this idea!

My kids love pears, so we always have them around the house. So, we took pears, and the extra tree trimmings and spray painted them gold.  Of course, Copper (our new favorite metallic), rose gold, or silver would all be lovely as well.  I took the color inspiration from the plates I wanted to use, so if you’re stuck making that decision, look there for an idea (or a napkin, table linen, or whatnot).

While you may not favor them for everyday table use, colored candles can be an easy way to add an out of the ordinary pop of color. I’ve been seeing them more and more at local gift store, etc, but our favorite source for them is Creative Candles.

The rest is up to your imagination to play… We took a very small dish for stacking our centerpiece, but a large clear bowl, or something with embellishments would all be really lovely. I always like mixing candles- votives with tapers, etc to fill up the table, use enough so that a bright overhead light isn’t necessary.

And, of course, there are so so many ways to embellish or “juge” up each place setting. I always find that this is one of the main ways at our weddings that makes guests feel special. Seeing their name written in a special way, or on a unique item (a leaf, a stone, or maybe even a ribbon used to tie the napkins). These looked great mixed on the table, and were straight from the yard- a simple camelilia bloom, or a sprig of your favorite greenery.

We’d love to see some of your favorite tabletop designs, share with us some of the ones you were proud of, or loved creating.

12.13.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Interior Design, Parties | 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 >>

Paperwhite centerpiece/Tara Guerard/Corbin Gurkin

I love having simple blooms throughout the house during the holidays. These paperwhites are a favorite and can make a great centerpiece or focal point for entry tables, buffets, mantles, bar tables, and more. They typically take about 4 weeks to bloom, so we’re showing you how so that they are good and ready for your holiday home. Thank you to Corbin Gurkin for the photos.

Paperwhite centerpiece/Tara Guerard/Corbin Gurkin

Gather your supplies- You’ll need a container of some kind, make sure it’s something fairly sturdy or solid that can hold the weight. I like to use these black river rocks to anchor the bulbs and give the roots something to grow around- but you could use anything you may have or what’s available at the craft store (glass beads, granite rocks or pea gravel). The plants can topple a bit once they start growing, so the anchors are key. And, I do polish off the top with some moss to hide all of the parts.

Paper white centerpiece/tara guerard soiree/ corbin gurkin

Set your “anchors” in the bowl or vessel you have chosen and arrange as many bulbs as will fit on top of the anchors with the sprout opening facing upwards. Be sure to give it a good watering, but only until the water reached right below the base of the bulb. If the bulbs sits in water for long they can rot. Check water levels frequently, and water when water gets about an inch below the rocks. Be sure to keep the planting in a cool darker place out of direct sunlight.

Paperwhite centerpiece Tara Guerard/ Corbin Gurkin

Finally, cover with the moss to hide the bulbs, rocks, and roots. They should take take root within about 3 weeks at which point they should moved to where they can get sunlight. Viola!  I find that a centerpiece is often forgotten when you are hosting as you are setting tables, grocery shopping and preparing food, and hosting your guests. This is something you can do now and set and forget! Or, that’s always something you can ask and offering guest to bring instead of a bottle of something.  Happy Holidays!

12.13.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Etiquette, Flowers, Gifts, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>