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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.

http://tidwellpaintonart.com/

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!

10.23.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Pop Culture, Spotted!, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>

We have been waiting and waiting to get this sweet intimate wedding we did at Palmetto Bluff out to you.  Liz Banfield shot this punchy fall affair featuring lots of texture and color, and of course we loved the sweet French Bulldog fur baby that the couple had to include in their big day, so adorable.

I love when brides want to carry a colorful bouquet…Pale pinks and apricots in blooms like tulips, ranunculus, scabiaosa, roses, stock, and gerber daisies were mixed with natural elements like succulents to make for gardeny gathering for our laid back bride. 

Bridesmaids and groomsmen were swathed in graphite grey… The warmer tone of this grey was a nice compliment to the peachier palette. I’m liking this look for the ring bearers, a classic navy blazer, crisp white dress shirt, and blue dress pants. Appropriate for this age group.

Lettered Olive designed all of the classicaly designed printed pieces. The save the dates featured die cut edging, and an image of the Palmetto Bluff oak trees draped in spanish moss. The pale pink envelopes with the black calligraphy was just a small twist on tradition that paid off. The letterpress invitations featured our custom wedding monogram.  Guests were welcomed with custom printed map totes of of the resort filled with all branded goodies, of course.  Ceremony programs were die cut in fashion of Southern fans- due to the size of the quaint chapel some guests would be seated outside and October is still quite warm here in the South.  Heel Savers were also offered to protect ladies’ shoes from sinking into the lawn. And leading the way down the aisle were the handsome little guys carrying our custom Here Comes the Bride flags.

As a treat to the guests seated on the lawn of the chapel, a local gospel choir serenaded the couple as they exited the church as husband and wife. Aren’t the pink agate slates so stunning with hand written calligraphy as our wedding signage???? Baskets of flip flops were placed around the dance floor for guests wanting some relief before dancing…


Because of the sail cloth tent which is different than some of the frame tents we typically use, swaths of gold, pinks, and peach add some dimension and color to the ceiling and brighten up the more neutral design throughout the lounge tent. A large round bar with a copper top, displayed glassware, and live greenery made a fun focal point in the tent.  Love a round, accessible from all sides, means no lines! And, you are able to hide all of the bottles for a decluttered design.

The ruins on the grounds make for one of our favorite backdrops- glowing with candle lanterns, guests danced in the lounge as the sun went down.

Cake was passed on lovely plates with printed napkins to guests in the dancing tent along with mini Kahlua milkshakes… Sparklers were passed out with custom printed matchbooks by Lettered Olive for the send off… The happy couple drove off into the night after the “Best Day Ever”…  You can see more of this wedding on Inside Weddings.

 

10.23.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Press, Reception, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

Halloween has snuck up on us fast this year!  Today, we want to share tips on hosting an “elegant” Halloween soiree… Maybe you want to host a neighborhood or supper club dinner, or even a celebration of something in collaboration around Halloween. We hope these tips help give you some spooky yet sophisticated ideas… Thank you to Liz Banfield for the ghostly images.  Set your color scheme.  It doesn’t have to include orange- for ours, keeping it elegant meant using black, white, and silver.

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Obviously, this theme could work well with a cocktail party, a dinner party, a roaming party or drop in, so lots of options here. The food and beverage can play hugely into the decor. We found simple black and white trays, but using vintage silver ones could play into a “haunted house” theme also. “Deviled Eggs”, or “Devils on Horseback” are easy and simple food items that add effect- there are so many fun options here and recipes galore online. For a fun bar design- we hollowed out large pumpkins painted silver, and put our speciality cocktail (Black Widows) containers inside. Great for a serve yourself, or if you have a bartender make sure they are in costume of course!

dinner-collage

For this seated dinner party, standard black linens work and are a great backdrop. We painted mini pumpkins white for the seating cards which looked just so pretty. Easy and affordable centerpieces were large glass vases with silver painted pumpkins and pillar candles. We used white pea gravel to hold the candles in place and not slump. Large taper candles in candelabras would be perfect and lovely too, and once the wax starts dripping you have a perfect spooky look.

Of course, what’s Halloween without costumes.. You know there are always those that get in the spirit and those that can’t or don’t. I like the idea of ordering nice and lovely masks online and having them there for guests so no one feels left out.

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Candy and desserts are essential of course. We used many different clear glass vessels and vases and set up a variety of crowd pleasers- bulk candies, individual wrapped, cupcakes, cookies, etc.  Then, we staged black take out containers for guests to fill up their own take home boxes.  For decor, we took some of the more expected items, but used them in unexpected ways- skulls were displayed in pretty cloches, dollar store tombstones look mysterious with great lighting and a smoke machine. Colored light bulbs can go a long way for little cost.

Don’t forget your playlist- spotify can help curate something different so the typical tunes don’t dull the party.

 

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