Category Archives: Event Planning

Jul 02, 2019

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(photo courtesy of One Kings Lane)

In case you are like me and have been so busy all summer, that the fact it’s July Fourth already is blowing your mind, today we’re giving you easy tips on last minute hosting.  What to serve, shortcuts to take, and how to use what you have or gather what you need. The easiest table decor for the summer are bunches of hydrangeas (Trader Joe’s has great ones) in vases gathered through the house.

Food Collage

(photos by Nickie Stone and Corbin Gurkin)

One of the best things about celebrating the 4th of July is that it doesn’t have to be fancy. For heavier food options- store bought fried chicken, since it’s the season-local tomatoes sliced and watermelon slices are super easy sides, and of course, we have to serve shrimp- either peel and eat or cocktail style. When serving cocktail shrimp, I like to get take out bags of the pellet ice from Chick Fil A or Sonic and set up a display to keep them cold. Also, dress up chips and dips or cheese displays by bringing serving pieces of furniture outside for your set up.

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(photo courtesy of One Kings Lane)

If you are having a sit down dinner using disposable Bamboo serveware and plates is an easy way to avoid clean up, be good to the environment, and still look a little elevated. Available on Amazon in a flash!

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Cocktail Collage

(photos courtesy of One Kings Lane and Corbin Gurkin)

I of course, like to put thought into the bar and drinks we’ll be serving. A self serve bar that’s easily accessible is the best way to keep it easy and guests happy. If you don’t want to have everything available for cost purposes, the 4th is a great time to take advantage and go with a red, white, and blue theme. In the warmer months I substitute Rose for the “red”. Vodka sodas with a splash of fresh grapefruit and fresh blueberries are my perfect summer drink, but Gin and Tonics can work also. And, many of our local breweries do special summer releases and the cans were so perfect!

Happy Fourth of July!

7.02.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>

We are so excited to be able to bring this wedding to the blog now that it is featured in the Charleston Weddings Magazine. The father of the bride is my children’s pediatrician, and the wedding was held right here in our backyard, so it was special to me for many reasons… Corbin Gurkin took all of the gorgeous photos. The bride chose a Guipure lace covered gown by Vollaro available through Maddison Row here in Charleston, SC. Bring a traditional Southern bride, we chose to monogram her satin bouquet wrap in her favorite “something blue “color.

Being that it was a summer wedding, hearty boutonierres were best… And, since the bride’s family owns an angling store, locally made Brackish Bowties made perfect sense with their classic tuxedos.

For the mothers and grandmothers not wanting to carry any flowers or pin anything onto their lovely dresses, we made floral bracelets for them to wear… Kind of our version of a corsage!

The wedding ceremony took place at the church that the bride grew up attending, St. Philip’s (which also happens to be my church).  An illustration of the historic steeple graced the cover of the classic ceremony programs.
Afterwards the bride and groom received guests at Lowndes Grove Plantation… True Southern sports fans, we flew flags for both alma maters- Clemson University, and The Citadel. And, custom cornhole boards for both schools graced the front lawn for those wanting to squeeze in a quick round during cocktail hour.

Charleston’s “haint” blue, also the bride’s favorite color, was chosen as the palette. Luckily the perfect dresses were available at Bella Bridesmaids.
Each bridesmaid carried a custom monogramed bouquet.

Guests enjoyed classic favorites like prosciutto wrapped melon and tasteful sips at cocktail hour.
Where else can you enjoy a lawn party than a glorious home overlooking the river banks than Charleston?  A hanging swing bed allowed guests a fun take on al fresco seating…

We designed an entire “garden” tent for our bride, featuring greenery swags, twinkle lights, potted centerpieces, and a fountain (which served an over the top shrimp cocktail).

Jim Smeal’s sweet cake was perfectly pretty for a Southern garden with gum paste flowers and an elevated basketweave…Of course displayed on a garden table with fresh greenery.

Since this wedding was more of a Southern stations style vs a seated dinner, it gave us plenty of room to set up sitting vignettes and lounge seating.. This included lots of nooks and large “bars” for service, so that no one had to stand in line.

Even as the sunset, Lowndes Grove sparkled at night… With fairy lights on the lawn lighting the way for the send off… I love this sweet pic of the bride visiting with her grandparents at the reception.

The bride and groom were sent off with glowing sparklers and departed in a classic Rolls Royce that we dressed up with ribboned greenery…

6.25.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Press, Reception, Weddings | 1 Comment

We are thrilled to finally be able to share more details from this elegant black tie affair we did in Kansas City.  It’s currently featured in the new The Knot, Missouri magazine.. and was gorgeously captured by Tec Petaja.  We came to know our bride’s family when doing a wedding for her cousin several years ago in Greenville, SC. We are so lucky we get to end up designing weddings for clients who are members of the same family, we are doing her cousin’s sister in law’s wedding coming up this fall!

Lettered Olive crafted the paper suite and accessories, which included a custom wedding crest, hand drawn illustrations, and subtle patterns used throughout.

We also did a killer wedding welcome bag for this event.  A camouflaged LL Bean boat bag included a “mini bar” guests could indulge in without needed to break into the hotels, cocktails, accouterments, snacks, and even a canvas “cure kit” with hangover or other ailment remedy recipes and supplies.

The bride chose an Oscar de le Renta gown- the Luvi, and classic Manolo bridal shoes; and our groom wore a Ralph Lauren Purple label tuxedo.  Florals in creams and pale pinks worked well with the bridesmaids’ neutral full length gowns. 

Following a ceremony at the bride’s childhood church, the couple greeted guests at their reception held at the historic Union Square station.

We set the escort card table at the entrance to cocktail hour so that guests would surely find their names before getting too far into the party.  Plus the oversized floral urn was a lovely greeting for guests.

Amongst passed hors d’eouvres and cocktails, Leon Lane’s Inspired Occasions set up a decadent seafood display including oysters on the half shell, crab claws, and a caviar display with everything you could imagine going with it. 

Delicate lounge seating and cocktail tables made for a lovely cocktail hour, meanwhile a baby grand piano was brought in and placed on it’s own stage for live background music.

In the dining room, we built a display for the father of the bride to display and serve his curated wine collection… Decanters with handwritten tags allowed guests to make their own pairings during dinner. This is one of my favorite features from this wedding. Love always getting to incorporate personal details, but luxury touches like this take special to the next level.

In addition to one of our favorite pretty touches, carpet was laid in the dining room to help with acoustics in the vast hall. Fabric curtains were also hung and live greenery draped the ceiling to soften what could be considered large cold room. Soft linen topped the combination of long and square tables.

Mini table lamps in addition to candles provided ambient lighting.  Low and lush florals filled the tables, and fresh greenery was a sweet accent for each place setting. Lettered Olive created leather bound menu booklets with each person’s name branded as place cards.

A sweet and simple cake was accented with fresh greenery, and placed in the dining room to be easily cut with a good view for all, but served in the lounge afterwards to get guests up and moving.

Different seating vignettes allowed guests lots of areas to steal away for conversation and rest from dancing (even though the floor stayed packed all night). The feeling was to bring the outside in using fresh trees and greenery, and the bar was covered in fabric featuring a woodland scene.

After the bride changed into a Halston Heritage jump suit, the party was in full swing… Late night food was served from a mock “food stall” and branded boxes added a cute decor moment for what can sometimes be old hat.

Streamer bombs went off as the couple made their departure… Late night fun was had by all at the after party. We loved our time in Kansas City and can’t wait for the next family affair.

5.29.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Dresses, Event Design, Event Planning, Fashion, Flowers, Food and Drink, Photographers, Press, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>