Category Archives: Weddings

Aug 20, 2018

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

We have shared several of our favorite outdoor ceremony set ups with you, but realized how pretty that many of the churches we have been lucky enough to work with are so lovely too.  Yes, we don’t always have as much freedom to add design elements as we would outside, but sometimes the buildings themselves have pretty elements that can be recreated. Just like the wood elements in this chapel on Sea Island, GA. The antique hardwood floors and ceiling beams added just enough rustic to this formal affair.

photos by Corbin Gurkin

 I have a certain affinity for this church, since it’s the church in Charleston that my family attends, St. Philip’s. This is a centuries old church has grand details like marble floors, a stained glass picture window, and wooden balcony box seating. The wrought iron gates outside are just asking for gorgeous greenery and blooms.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

One of my other very favorites in Charleston is the French Huguenot Church. It’s an intimate space, so guests will get to really be a part of the ceremony, and the architecture is stunning. They do allow weddings of visitors and non members, making it ulitmately appealing for many of our destination clients.

photo by Liz Banfield

The inside of this Catholic church makes you think you could be in Florence, Italy- spectacular!

photo by Liz Banfield

This church in San Antonio, Texas featured a grand gothic stone front, making it lovely for portraits of the bride and groom.

photos by Perry Vaile

The chapel at Palmetto Bluff is everything..Truly special and serene.  We love to add gracious touches to the front entrance, and of course soften the inside.

photo by Liz Banfield

This church in the Hamptons, had that true New England feel with the shingled exterior and woody gardens. The interior boasted super details like a domed penny tiled ceiling windows, gorgeous stained glass, and vintage lighting.


8.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Interior Design, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

Bride and groom color

Today for Wedding Wednesday, we head to Sea Island, Georgia for this natural beauty. This was one of my favorite weddings to design, I love the location, and this bride had fantastic personal taste and style (see her custom made Austin Scarlett gown). Liz Banfield took all of the pretty photos. Since there are so many pretty images, we’re going to make this into a 2 part post. But, you can see more in the meantime over at Martha Stewart Weddings.

Stationary Collage

For the couple’s save the date, Lettered Olive designed a custom monogram incorporating some of Sea Island’s local flora and fauna.  That theme plays throughout much of the rest of the paper and wedding designs.  Ceremony programs were passed out to guests on trays lined with printed paper used in the programs and matched the invitation liners. Notice the Elvis Presley stamps on the reply cards- a nod to the bride’s hometown of Memphis, TN.

guest bag

Guest bags were a canvas zipper pouch full of a mix of goodies and items from the groom’s native, Australia, and the U.S.- including a homemade chocolate chip cookies made by one of the bridesmaids’ mother.

flower Collage

Orchids are a favorite of the bride’s and her mother also had them at her wedding, so it was nice to continue that tradition.  Special family members like grandmothers wore wrist flowers versus having to carry something.

Church exterior

Church Collage

bride and groom church window

The ceremony took place at a chapel at Frederica, and with the architectural elements of the church, Liz was able to get some spectacular images.

door and draping

Guests made their way to the Ocean Forest Golf Club for cocktails, dinner, and dancing.

Cocktail Collage

Edwards fountain

Sea Island is known for the Spanish influence in its architecture… The Club opens up onto a courtyard with a grand fountain, since our cocktail hour was to take place there, we incorporated the fountain by making cushions for guests to sit on and enjoy.

Cocktail hour Collage

The elegant cocktail hour included little enclaves for guests to grab a drink and sit and enjoy conversation.

bride and groom walkingBride and groom portrait

The couple takes advantage of the sunlight and scenery to get portraits and some moments alone to take in the day.

Place card Collage

Since the venue itself is full of pretty scenery and architecture, we really wanted to incorporate some of it into the design elements. During cocktail hour, guests picked up their escort cards at a table anchored by a  simple but lush floral arrangement. Escort cards are held in place by pieces Georgia granite.
Dinner tent overall


The dinner tent was swathed in blue fabric, reminiscent of the traditional porch ceilings in the South.  To bring the natural feel of the overall wedding design to the tent, trees were “planted” throughout and created a wall between dinner and the dancing portion of the tent.

Dinner Collage

Guests dined under strands of orchids accented by candlelight. Taking a note from the centerpieces, fern fronds decorated each place setting… Modern brass flatware keeps the table elegant but not fussy.


Cake Collage

wedding cake

The wedding cake by Jim Smeal included intricate patterns similar to the windows at the Chapel where the couple were married. The hand made icing flowers add that feminine frill just perfect for a wedding cake.

Bride and groom first dance

The couple takes the floor for their first dance as husband and wife.

Cocktail bar

Ok, now this is one of my most favorite things we’ve ever done!  We created a half moon cocktail bar with copper tops. Then, we had Spoonflower print fabric with the brides’ favorite painting from the St. Regis bar in New York.  I mean…

Nighttime Collage

Landscape lighting sets a moody tone for guests dining and dancing into the wee hours. To announce the bride and groom’s departure, a Dixie jazz band paraded everyone out to the front of the venue for the send off.

B&W couple

After a quick change in to a departure dress by Anaesia, guests tossed rose petals at the bride and groom…

Car Collage

A vintage convertible decorated with lush greenery made for a one of kind getaway..


8.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Event Design, Event Planning, Fashion, Flowers, Food and Drink, Photographers, Reception, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Aug 20, 2018

photo by Corbin Gurkin

It’s Tuesday “tip” day so today, we’re going to share some ideas on how to serve more fun party food or typically casual items in more elegant or fun ways. Seafood is one of the most consistent items we are seeing served at parties… From weddings to corporate events. Here, we did a twist on shrimp cocktail, serving it in a garden fountain seems to make an old idea new and fresh!

photos by Corbin Gurkin 

It’s always great to make things super easy for your guests- whether you have 500 or 5… So, if you want to really impress even at a small party, try displaying some of your snacks over ice.  Both Sonic and Chick-Fil-A have started selling their pellet ice by the pound, so find a cool container (we like to build wooden boxes that are easily set on tables) and add your own ice… Crab claws are already half shelled, oysters on the half shell with pre sliced lemons and mini Tabasco have been hits for us in the past. Lobster or crab salad can go in individual dishes or glasses so guests can just grab and go.  Oh, and if you do build your box, make sure you cut a small hole and run a plastic hose from the bottom to a bucket to drain the water as it melts…

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

For another seafood ice station, the bride’s family grows watermelon, so we froze slices of watermelon into ice blocks to give an element of design.

photos by Corbin Gurkin

Biscuits are big big big in the South, and with guests coming from all over the world we have to make sure we present them in a manner that all would approve (and even try for the first time!) So, chicken biscuits typically reserved for a drive through instantly become a  hit served on silver at a black tie wedding! BBQ can be messy, but when already assembled onto biscuits and served late night – guests will be following the servers around to get one!

Ice Cream Collagephotos by Liz Banfield

Ice cream is a constantly requested late night sweet treat at our weddings. So, we’ve tried to make it fun, but having many flavor selections in a custom ice station and guests can request what they want- kind of a like a real scoop shop.  Miniature cones or ice cream sandwiches served to guests on the dance floor offers a way to cool off and curb a sweet tooth!

Fries Collagephotos by Liz Banfield

The old standbys- hamburgers and hot dogs and fries are still popular hits when served up in creative ways.

cheese plate

Another fun late night snack that is somewhat unexpected is a cheese cart. We wheel out a variety of cheeses, crackers, and spreads and serve up custom little snacks to guests.

Carnival Collagephotos by Liz Banfield and Adrienne Page (top)

And, novelty items typically reserved for kids’ parties are always a hit with grownups too. S’mores made easy, donuts served up on cocktail plates, or a pretzel station dressed up can all offer fun bites that still work with black tie!

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