Category Archives: Event Planning


This pretty bride and her pretty plantation party make for a perfect Wedding Wednesday post. She and her groom celebrated with a ceremony downtown at First Baptist Church, and dinner and dancing afterwards at Runnymede Plantation outside of Charleston. The navy and white set a formal yet fun tone and Corbin Gurkin was on hand to capture all of the beautiful images. Here, I do love that the bride and her girls had such a lovely backdrop for the day while getting ready. It does make for photos that help set the tone for the day…

Bride and groom Collage

A bride in all white Vera Wang and a groom in a classic tuxedo is pure perfection.

wedding party Collage

Flowing navy Monique Lhuillier dresses were accented with cream and peach garden rose bouquets. The bride worked in fashion at Ralph Lauren, so the groomsmen all sported custom loafers with their tuxes.

Bridesmaids on bus

The bride and her ladies ride a Classic Charleston trolley to the church, luckily Corbin is right behind to capture this sweet moment

Ceremony Collage

Simple ceremony decor like floral wreathes and a custom aisle runner give a sweet touch without overshadowing the meaning of why everyone is there.

ceremony programs

A custom monogram designed by Lettered Olive is used throughout the wedding papers and design.

guest box Collage

Guest welcome boxes contain a mixture of the couple’s favorite treats and local goodies. Custom printed cups are perfect for the morning bloody mary’s using Charleston’s Fat and Juicy mix.

Cocktail hour Collage

Once at Runnymede, guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the lawn… We customized the wedding everywhere we could, down to the blue and white striped bow ties, and printed papers lining the trays serving the food.

Escort cards

Caligraphied escort tags on papers printed in the different colors and patterns were pinned to a board for guests to find during cocktail hour.

Dinner tent Collage

I’ve been really into designing the outside of a tent as much as the inside lately. I mean, really you see that first and foremost, so why wouldn’t it be lovely as well, instead of some big white rigid structure. To enter the carpeted and greenery draped dinner tent, guests walked down a boxwood lined pathway and under a custom fabric awning.

tent garland

The head table’s centerpiece was a garland adorned with flowers running the length of the table and spilling over onto the floor.

Table Collage

Graced with perfect weather that day, the tent opened up onto the plantation grounds overlooking the river and the ruins of the old plantation house.  A crisp blue and white palette allowed the soft pastels in the flowers to pop.

Cake Collage

Jim Smeal’s pastel and metallic gold cake with simple florals was a centerpiece of the dinner tent. We like finding a way to have a captive audience for the cake cutting without having to interrupt the flow of the party. So, if you can cut it and have the servers pass out as the dessert course without delaying the dancing, that’s a good way we have found to do it.

lounge tent

Guests retreated after dinner into a lounge full of conversation nooks and dim lighting, draped with glowing golden fabric.

Late night Collage

A late night food bar of sweet treats even included Charleston’s cult favorite donut truck, Diggity Doughnuts.

Getaway Collage

The bride and groom said farewell to guests with a classic sparkler send off, and drove off into the night in a classic convertible car as fireworks made for a grand finale.

2.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Charleston, Entertaining, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Photographers, Reception, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Feb 20, 2018

photo by Corbin Gurkin

With as much dreaming, pinning, and planning that lead up to the wedding, you can’t imagine how quickly that last moment comes- the send off!  Today for a little Monday fun, we wanted to share some of our favorite send offs for the past several years… We are still getting lots of requests for sparklers, because as you can see, they make for pretty pictures!

photos by Liz Banfield

And if we are doing sparklers, we of course like to come up with some kind of detail to dress them up or customize them a bit… Both the lighters and sparkler sleeves here are by Lettered Olive.

photo by Liz Banfield

Our bride, who threw an ultra sleek and modern affair, went with one traditional element at the send off- a rice tossing… See, her maiden name was Rice so it was sorta perfect. And, we actually didn’t use real rice, but orzo pasta, because of the birds..

photo by Liz Banfield

For this couple who married in Alabama, and were naturally huge football fans, guests shook pom poms at the couple as they were leaving to the Auburn chant song. Oh,  and before leaving this bride changed into her mother’s wedding dress.

photos by Liz Banfield 

For this sophisticated fete on Sea Island, GA, a classic dixieland Jazz band, led guests outside for a rose petal toss. As the couple departed in a classic convertible, coordinated fireworks exploded down the driveway- a gorgeous statement, we by Corbin Gurkin

For this wedding featuring custom flags throughout the wedding design, guests waved miniature versions of the same flags during the send off… This was perfect for a venue that didn’t allow any tossing of items or any type of fireworks…

photo by Liz Banfield

Many years ago at a wedding for a client that wanted to do something a little different, we had a balloon release with custom balloons in the wedding palette colors…

2.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Charleston, Event Planning, Photographers, Reception, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Feb 20, 2018


This breathtaking ceremony took place under the oaks at Drayton Hall Plantation. This bride was all about glamour and wanted a modern flair for her southern plantation affair. So, we added luxe details including chandeliers covered with spanish moss dripping from the branches of the old oak overlooking the pond. Swaths of orchid blooms draped along the aisle runner of plush white carpet.  An arch of floral covered branches in footed urns framed the spot where the couple tied the knot.

accessorie collage

Great little takeaway for upcoming and future brides- have all of your bridesmaids sign the bottom of your wedding shoes, and the first name to rub off will be the next to get married.  The guest welcome bags were canvas shoe bags (which made it easy for out of town guests to take home) filled with hotel room essentials, including a “Charleston” candle by Archipelago.  This braid/bun combo was a bridal hair showstopper!

flower girl aisle couple and dogs

This couple made a great point of including loved ones on the big day- Small nieces acted as flower girls, and the couple’s two golden retrievers made a guest appearance for photos.

tent collage

After the ceremony, guests walked the grounds of Drayton Hall towards the riverbanks where they entered a cocktail tent full of plush lounge furniture, candlelight and chandeliers.

printing collage

Lettered Olive was loving being able to mix up materials for this bride- the menu cards, escort cards, and table names were all etched acrylic signs. In lieu of a guest book, guests were asked to take a polaroid photo and write a note which went in a box for the couple to have at home..

lounge overall

After dinner, guests entered an all white and silver swank lounge for dancing. It had been sealed off during dinner, so the big reveal really wowed the guests. The Casablanca lilies used in the centerpieces filled the room with their scent which was an unplanned but pleasant surprise detail!

cake collage

Inexpensive and comfy asian slippers took place of flip flops for guests needing to change out of their high heels. This mod octagon shimmering cake by Jim Smeal was definitely a stand alone centerpiece. Guests not wanting to indulge at the party, were given slices in boxes that they could take home with them.

lounge center shot

Intimate seating lining the edges of the dance floor allowed for cozy conversation and quick break to rest!

Silly String collage

Having a fun couple allows us to get really creative, which is of course, fun for us. For the send off, everyone “Got Silly at Hilary and Will’s Wedding” with custom covered silly string cans.

getaway car

The vintage getaway car was adorned with paper flowers in the brides’ colors. Loved the throwback to weddings when decorating the car was a really big deal!
Thank you to Liz Banfield for all of the gorgeous shots!

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