Category Archives: Travel

Drayton Hall House

With Halloween less than a week away, I thought it appropriate to share my top “haunts” here in the historically Haunted city of Charleston, SC. Many if not all of these are open or available to the public for tours or viewing, so see for yourself if you dare.

1. Drayton Hall Plantation– not only is it a landmark under the National Trust for Historic Preservation (built in the mid 1700’s) and the fully executable example of Palladian architecture in the country, it’s rumored to have some permanent residents. I can speak from experience having done many many weddings here with breakdown lasting well into the late morning hours, there are some spooky sights and sounds, my staff can attest to this as well!

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2. Old City Jail (photo from nps.gov)

Built in 1802, the old Charleston County jail housed pirates, bank robbers, and the famed female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher until it closed in 1939. Now a part of the American College of Building Arts, it hosts tons of art events, fundraising parties, and ghost tours. We did a big bash here years ago, and it was super creep! You can hear all sorts of sounds and definitely get that hair on the back of your neck standing up feeling when you end up in some of the old rooms.

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3. St. Philip’s Church (painting by Patsy Tidwell)

This is my home church, so the haunted story here is one you’l have to decide for yourself.  But every ghost tour in town stops at the gates of our cemetery to recount the story of Sue Howard Hardy and the photo that an amateur photographer took…

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4. Blind Tiger Pub

Legend has it that the former speakeasy during Prohibition, hosts a few ghosts. One bar regular reported her hair being pulled from behind, and a bar manager recounted hearing footsteps crunching leaves in the rear patio area. One former general manager was closing up for the night, and had two of his friends sitting at a nearby table as he did so. All three saw the appearance of a woman wearing black walk through the area, only to disappear. More from ghostwriter James Caskey here.

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5. Dock Street Theater (photo by the Keadle Group)

Home to Charleston Stage, and many Spoleto performances now, the original Dock Street Theater building was once the Planter’s Hotel, the home of gambling and prostitution for Charleston’s one time elite gentlemen and those visiting our port of call.  One of the ghosts rumored to haunt this spot is a former “worker” Nettie Dickerson. You can read lots about Nettie and other rumored ghost Junius Booth all over the internet.

Happy Halloween from Charleston!

10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Pop Culture, Spotted!, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Oct 22, 2017

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photo by Leigh Webber

We posted this last year after Hurricane Matthew, but felt it was pertinent again after Irma swept through.  Millions are without power, massive flooding, building and tree damage, and devastation have been seen in popular honeymoon destinations throughout the Carribean. We were beyond fortunate here and are so thankful we weren’t among many of our friends and colleagues that had events scheduled for this weekend. Thank you as well to all of the clients and friends that reached out to check on us during this time. So, what would you have done if you were to have your wedding in any of the coastal areas affected by the storm? Today we’re sharing a few ideas and tips.

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photo by Leigh Webber

First of all, when you are planning your big day, think about your location and seasons. Do you want a winter wedding, but not an actual snowstorm that prevent guests from flying in? Do you want a beachside affair without hurricane force winds?  Do you have your heart set on getting married under a tent, but in the rainiest month of the year? We ALWAYS suggest checking the Farmer’s Almanac or Weather.com’s event planner tool if you aren’t aware of this information.

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photo by Leigh Webber

Be sure and know the “Act of God” clause in all of your vendor’s contracts. Most of our wedding community in Charleston particularly I’ve found bends over backwards to accommodate in situations like this past weekend, but deposits will be lost, printed materials will have to be reprinted, and tears will be shed. If the event can be rescheduled obviously most vendors that have the new date available transfer the deposit and any other paid amounts towards that. Does the same venue have another date for you- sometimes a  booking a date that is still open and very near to your original date can be done for a smaller fee.  Any vendors that require travel will obviously need to be rebooked (so it’s a GREAT idea when there is a slight risk to purchase the travel insurance offered by most airlines).  Having a wedding planner for these situations obviously reaps benefits.

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photo by Leigh Webber

People often ask about Wedding insurance… From what we have found there are many provisions to think about whether it will be right for you or not. In most cases, if a storm becomes a named storm that usually makes the coverage null and void (which would affect not only locations like Charleston and Florida with Irma this past weekend, but also places like New York and New Jersey a few years ago with Sandy!). Also, the total budget of the wedding can also make you ineligible for coverage- most of the time weddings over $150,000 aren’t covered.

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photo by Leigh Webber

This weekend so many stories have come out- some were rescheduled for a different date, some were moved to different locations (one from Charleston to Connecticut!), and we heard of a couple even marrying on their honeymoon. Here is how we handled some of our past disasters!

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photo by Adrienne Page

This couple married in the height of summer- July 7th at Brookgreen Gardens… their ceremony was schedule for late afternoon- often the same time as thunderstorms come onto shore. Right as the guests’ transportation was pulling up for the ceremony, a very dangerous lightning storm joined us. We staged the guests in a gift shop and covered area, and the rest were happy to stay comfortably on the buses until the storm passed. We had two crews- one wiping down all of the ceremony seating as soon as the rain stopped, and the other passing out umbrellas to guests at the buses…

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photo by Liz Banfield

Flooring and tenting when budget allows will always help. This wedding occurred at the tail end of a front that caused flooding of inland areas of Georgia. The yard and garden where most of the event was to take place was full of standing water, and a tent could not be put up on such soft ground and in such bad conditions. Luckily the day before the wedding the rain stopped, and tent company worked through the night to put it up for us to decorate. We had to purchase pine straw and other ground covering to put in some of the badly affected areas, and added flooring to the lounge for dancing. The expense ended up paying for itself as much of the event couldn’t have been salvageable!

10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Event Planning, Photographers, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

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We loved this seaside rehearsal dinner in downtown Newport, RI. It was the perfect compliment to the formal wedding held the next day, and a fantastic way to welcome guests in for the weekend. Held at a local restaurant, friends and family joined the couple for an intimate rehearsal dinner, followed by a dessert and dancing party for all guests. Corbin Gurkin captured all of the events of the weekend.

Rehearsal dinner Collage

Cocktail Hour CollageGuests enjoyed popular favorites like New England Clam Chowder and mini lobster rolls. Keeping in line with the sea colored palette, escort cards were nautical inspired flags displayed on a watercolored board.

044-2016_Stephanie_Peter_0094Keeping the decor natural and simple made the most sense for a nautical inspired feel. Table runners were of a french linen flour sack feel. Potted rosemary topiaries and simple hydrangea blooms dotted the length of the tables.

048-2016_Stephanie_Peter_0088One of my new favorite design elements are colored border linen dinner napkins. So simple but they lend such an elegant touch. And, how cute were these white nautical rope balls which we used to “anchor” the place cards. White ink on navy paper is an unexpected but pretty way to present the dinner menus.

scenery CollageNo seaside rehearsal dinner in New England would be complete without a lobster course.

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Spectacular views were offered as desserts and drinks were served to the tunes of a DJ so  the couple had many moments to enjoy chatting with guests before the big day…

10.22.17   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Entertaining, Events, Fashion, Flowers, Food and Drink, New York, Parties, Rehearsal Dinner, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>