Category Archives: Event Design

Jan 19, 2018

Liz Banfield recently sent this wedding we did together back in 2004… It was one of our first big scale productions and was in Columbia, SC.  I loved so much working with this client because she and her husband were so dear, but looking at these pictures I also remember everything that went into doing this wedding and I thought it would be fun to share today…

Our bride went with chartreuse and chocolate as her color palette and had a bit of modern sensibility… So, we designed these octagonal chocolate brown invitations, and I think they were ahead of the times- and a preview into the creation of Lettered Olive, our sister printing company.

Because the bridesmaids’ dresses were chocolate brown and white, we had hoped to use chocolate cosmos in their bouquets, but when they came in looking terrible we had to improvise… We covered large buttons with chocolate brown velvet and they looked so great!  The couples’ puppy needed a cute floral collar too of course, since he would be walking down the aisle with them. And, the historic Columbia church looked pretty as a picture with lush white floral wreaths adorned with chocolate brown ribbons.

 We used the velvet buttons again in the pretty wreaths on the historic mansion’s gate… I know Liz and I are both big fans of the photos of the brides navigating thro

As guests arrived to the tent for dinner and the lounge, a large orchid covered tree with chartreuse octagon place cards with stunning chocolate brown calligraphy took center stage,  Jim Smeal brought us this pretty octagon and orchid monogrammed wedding cake, and a focal point of the lounge was our bar lined with orchids… This was one of the first bars we started to design and build on our own- using a special material for the bar top, fabric bottom, etc. I love seeing how our look and design has changed and developed over the years.

One of my favorite service elements we brought to our clients was having the wedding cake precut and served for them at dinner- the couple could have the ceremonial cutting, but having a lovely piece of cake served to you, perhaps garnished is so much nicer than watching the big thing get butchered in the middle of the tent.  The tent was covered in cow hide rugs, draped in greenery, and accented with velvet linens, pillows, and ottomans.

After the couple enjoys dancing with their guests, friends and family saw them off with a sparkler send off- still remains classic to this day!


1.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Event Design, Event Planning, Reception, Travel, Weddings | Comments >>
Jan 19, 2018

Winter coupleSo, you’ve decided to get married in the midst of freezing temps yet potentially stunning winter weather photo opps? An unseasonably cold winter so far here in the Southeast, has me thinking about winter wedding style, since we don’t have a chance to experience that often.  Today, I’m sharing just a few of my favorite picks for winter wedding style and design ideas.


photos by Corbin Gurkin and Liz Banfield

Of course, the number one accessory brides go for on their wedding day in colder temps is some kind of fur (faux or not) wrap or jacket. Some brides are able to use a vintage one as their something “borrowed” from their mother or grandmother, but if not, lots of lovely finds are on places like etsy, ebay, and even local antique stores!

photo by Corbin Gurkin

For a recent wedding, the bridesmaids wore white- white faux fur coats which added a hint of chic to their already fabulous emerald green gowns…

White Fur Wrap

photo by Liz Banfield

I love this faux wrap option from for your bridesmaids- which you could gift to them!

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Guests love the chance to break out accessories they may not get many chances to, and I love seeing them embrace the opportunity!

Boots of course are mandatory! I love these Silver Hunter boot options (photo by Liz Banfield, taken from A Crimson Kiss), or you could get the sky blue as your something blue. Or furry snow boots like the ones from Rachel  A Clingen’s bride.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Adrienne Page

photo by Adrienne Page

Bouquets can be a place to show some seasonal love as well. Anything from an all white formal arrangement, to one bringing in elements and seasonal greens. This lush white mixture we did includes seeded eucalyptus, cotton blossoms, a mixture of white blooms, cypress greens.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

photo by Liz Banfield

If you can’t guarantee snowfall, or your event is taking place inside a venue you can create snow like branches out of pre strung cymbidium orchid strands.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

To create this winter wonderland, clear twinkle lights give guests the illusion they are dining under snowflakes …

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

photo by Liz Banfield

Of course, candlelight is key – and to give these an illusion of snowflakes, we wrapped clear glass cylinders with laser cut paper mimicking snowy patterns..

1.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Event Design, Fashion, Reception, Weddings | Comments >>

We have been waiting to share this oh so pretty Winter wedding at Montage Palmetto Bluff with you for a while, and since it’s was just featured on Martha Stewart Weddings, we finally can! Filled with so many custom details, the tailored crispness of the color palette and seaside location created a perfect “winter” wedding in the Lowcountry. Photos by Corbin GurkinLettered Olive did an amazing job of creating a fresh and young take on a traditional wedding invitation suite… While the rectangle shape, paper, and black calligraphied ink fall along the modest vein, an embroidered emerald green velvet belly band, gold edging and a whimsical monogram add a modern vibe..

With the wedding take place at a full service resort, simple wedding welcome gifts fit the bill… Take home dopp kits, and Christmas plaid koozies were tokens of appreciation complimenting the snacks and bottled waters.

The bride wore a gown by Oscar de la Renta, and shoes by Jimmy Choo.  The lace long sleeves were stunning!  The couple opted for a first sight moment before the ceremony in the Chapel.

We wanted to set the tone for the English garden feel early on, so the exterior doors of the chapel were adorned with boxwood greenery, and a floral archway.The architectural lines of the grand windows in the chapel essentially created a “trellis” for us, so filling it with flowers seemed the natural thing to do.  Adding a bridal white aisle runner helped absorb the sunlight on the wooden floors and soften the grand space.

Green and white flowers are my all time favorite palette to work with… And, with the Emerald green bridesmaids dresses, it couldn’t have been more perfect. Dainty Lily of the valley for the bride and groom, and lush and wild mixtures of hearty and dainty for the girls. The old Plantation ruins served as the backdrop for the cocktail hour… Guests were able to enjoy a lovely lowcountry day and sunset before heading into the dinner and lounge tent into the wee hours. You  know I love to make sure the exterior of our tents are just as pretty as the inside… it’s’ the first thing your guests see, wow them before they even walk in the doors… And, for this tent, we wanted to bring the outside in, so along with the greenery garlands draped from the ceiling, and garland covered lanterns, a greenery trellis wall served as the background focal point for the large tent.Small greenery wreaths with embroidered banners served as the table numbers.  Velvet menu books emblazoned with gold name plates were big wow getters on the tabletops. Simple touches like tailored linens with contrasting piping really finish the look. Mixing the flower and candle heights and holders give a layered look that’s not messy…

Again to break up and soften the extra large tent space, carpeting was laid, and a raw wood “shiplap” wall was built… Shelving to hold the glassware has the tent looking more like a custom built home than a wedding tent!
A patterned dance floor in the wedding colors became the focal point of the lounge and worked so well with the velvet upholstered sofas and benches… A textured white cake layered with Jim Smeal’s artistic gum paste flowers provided a stunning centerpiece…

And for those who prefer to take their cake home with them, waxed bags printed with the couple’s custom monogram were passed out late night sweet treats. The band performed behind a silhouetted wall, keeping in line with the super finished aesthetic.

After a sparkler send off, the couple drove off into the night in a greenery draped golf cart… the true goodbyes came after the couple hosted their guests for a brunch the following day.

1.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Cakes, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Photographers, Press, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | 1 Comment