Category Archives: Food and Drink

Jul 19, 2018

Since it’s finally live on Coastal Living, we are thrilled to finally be able to bring you this gorgeous beach wedding we did at a private home on Sea Island, GA…Our couple, Ryan and Allie married at a historic chapel before celebrating with friends and family at a family member’s beachfront estate.  All photos by Corbin Gurkin.

Our bride chose a an airy Amsale confectionary gown, and paired it with feather adorned Jimmy Choo heels.

We designed our bride’s bouquet in the punchy palette with coral charm peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and delicate greens as airy accents. I was able to find the perfect vintage ribbon from my collection to hand tie the blooms.

I am loving this somewhat newer tradition of brides saving their full look from their girls for a big reveal. Kind of like a “first look”.For the bright and sunny ceremony, coral wreaths welcomed  guests at the doors and matched the abundant alter arrangements.  Lettered Olive designed modern ceremony programs with metallic gold edging featuring a custom monogram used on their wedding printing.


The bridesmaids wore custom poppy colored high low gowns by Patti Flowers out of Dallas, Texas (where our bride lives).

We love a home wedding, and encourage our clients to use all of their home when hosting. Guests entered through the front door (with the wedding monogram in orchid blooms), and proceeded outside for the festivities overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Cru Catering traveled to Sea Island with us because getting to use our trusted vendors off site is so important. Of course we had to have servers as part of the decor in custom embroidered aprons and silk bowties. The rose looked so pretty served on poppy paper lined trays. A garden fountain hosted fresh shrimp cocktail, and mini foods were passed perfection.

The mother of the bride had the fun idea of using different sayings throughout the decor- like here on the cocktail napkins and also on the lounge pillows. Sayings like “Champagne is Always the Answer” and “Nobody puts baby in a corner” were a big party hit with the guests. Since this wasn’t a seated dinner, we wanted to make sure to not fall short in the decor department.  Stations running the length of the tent held multiple food components, and an oversized bar ensuring there are no lines. So, we covered the fronts of the marble topped stations with fresh greens and ombre rose panels.
Seating was a mixture of al fresco tables and lounge seating vignettes were guests could converse while enjoying a plate and drink.

The dance floor was the focal point of the main tent, so it needed to make a statement. During the planning process our bride showed me a photo of a ribbon installation over a dining table. So, we decided to do it in the ombre pinks over the dance floor. The ocean breeze had it fluttering all night.  The dance floor also added to the vibrant design with a custom monogram decal.

In order to preserve space and the cake (by keeping it cool in the AC), we created a “picture window”. We utilized a big bay window overlooking the tented space by setting up the cake cutting there. The bottom of the window featured a huge floral installation to give the look of the cake placed in the middle of an indoor garden.

A pool house and pool on property was converted into an after party space… by adding a DJ booth and custom made light installation featuring the couples wedding hashtag. Of course, we had to curtain all of this off as a surprise for the guests and the bride and groom.   A mobile bar was set up on the beach for guests to get their feet in the sand…

For the sake of tradition, the bride and groom departed by sparklers and golf cart, but did a quick change and returned to the after party… The couple’s friends DJ’d and guests ate sliders while dancing.

7.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Dresses, Event Design, Flowers, Food and Drink, Photographers, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Jul 19, 2018

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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!

7.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Jul 19, 2018

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photo by Liz Banfield

 One of the most popular topics that remains at my speaking engagements or questions we receive are how to look at food serving and displays in new and different ways. So, we’re sharing some ways we have styled food or incorporated it into the decor… Like above- for a wedding with stations and over 400 guests, we had to make the food accessible and interesting. We took a garden fountain from a hardware store, sealed and treated it with food safe materials, and then turned it into a cocktail shrimp focal point.

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photo by Liz Banfield

We find cocktail hour and passed hors d’eouvres an easy place to get creative. Of course, the trays you use can be customized and you’ve seen us talk about printing paper liners to fit your look.. but ask your caterer about different ways to present the food. Here, mini tacos are served in lime wedges that can also be used to squeeze atop the taco for a bit of extra flavor.

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photo by Corbin Gurkin

I feel like a big part of my job is to make sure that guests have a fun and and seamless experience. So, again, for receptions where the guests aren’t served a plated dinner, finding ways to serve the food is important. Here, shot glasses are filled with hummus and veggies are placed in them for a quick pick up option.

photo by Liz Banfield

photos by Nickie Stone and Corbin Gurkin 

photos by Liz Banfield

Another popular item we are playing with are cheese or antipasta displays during cocktail hours, or even as late night food around the dance floor area.  We have been using different pieces of furniture to create a display, which works well for a self serve function. We have also built tall lucite tables with butcher block tops for some cocktail hour antipasta displays, I love how guests can access them from all angles.  And we have a marble topped push cart that we use often for serving, so doing a classic glamorous cheesecart after dinner is one of my favorite things to do!

photo by Liz Banfield

Late night food is still a big request we are seeing. If you are wanting to serve some of the good old standards, you can do it in a new and refreshing way… here, French Fries make their way around the dance floor in paper popcorn boxes, which also helps cut down on the greasy finger effect.

photo by Gayle Brooker

Even something like chicken wings are elevated and elegant served individually in dishes.

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photo by Corbin Gurkin

Sometimes food can make an impact just being used in an unexpected way… For a bride whose father grew watermelons- we had our ice sculptor put slices in ice for a pop of color on a seafood display.

photo by Liz Banfield

This couple chose pies over a traditional wedding cake.. Individual pies in an array of flavors were displayed on tiered stands, with printed flavor flags!

photo by Virgil Bunoa

Our bride wanted to have a champagne station with different mixers and embellishments… A rented bakers rack made a pretty and unexpected buffet.. If guests have to serve themselves, than better make it thoughtful, right?

7.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>