Tag Archives: wedding advice

0489.9817.09.2015.53. © Liz Banfield

photo by Liz Banfield 

We had to deal with quite a bit of rain while setting up for a large outdoor wedding this weekend, so it got me thinking about how to avoid some of the unexpected disasters that we’ve experienced in our many years of doing weddings. At one wedding, during the pre ceremony family photos a bride was holding an infant who had a bit of a diaper disaster, leaving quite the mess on her dress!

2015_Meredith_Tate_0612 (1)

photo by Corbin Gurkin

 Katherine McDonald, dress maven of LulaKate and Kate McDonald Bridal, tells us that (appropriately) baby wipes are the BEST kept secret to getting stains out of dresses and they have them on hand at all times in the studio.  Dusting baby powder or going over the water stain with white chalk and a small bristle brush helps distract from the removal of the original stain.  Luckily we keep a bridal preparedness kit on hand at all times and being a mom of 3 I’ve learned the wonder of baby wipes, so we dabbed out the stain and had her photo ready walking down the aisle!


photo by Corbin Gurkin

You are on weather.com everyday for two weeks leading up to your wedding. Planning, plotting, and praying for that sunshine and no rain report! Well, here in Charleston and the Lowcountry, outdoor weddings are one of the main reasons people choose to marry here.  But in our humid climate frequent showers are inevitable. We’ve had to hold a ceremony off for 45 mins, keeping guests under shelter and on buses until the rain stopped and we could dry off the seats. Here, large golf umbrellas helped shelter the guests and couple after a shower popped up at the end of the ceremony.


photo by Elizabeth Messina 

We keep a fleet of solid white umbrellas on our trucks for all of our outdoor affairs just in case…


photo by Elizabeth Messina

Here in Charleston, many couples elect to use vintage cars for their getaway. They obviously make for lovely photos, but can often be unreliable and finicky. We have had several situations where they simply didn’t start or had some complications and often we don’t know this until it’s time for the driver to arrive at the wedding to pick up the bride and groom!


photo by Corbin Gurkin


 Several ideas to avoid being stranded at the end of the evening are to schedule the car for at least an hour minimum prior to your wanting to leave. That way if there is a problem your coordinator or whoever has been your point person can have plenty of time to problem solve (hopefully without you being the wiser!). Another option is to make sure to have a back up- several of our taxi companies here have different or unique vehicles, and since it’s a taxi are readily available and often can be cancelled with little or no penalty. Or, does a friend or family member attending the wedding, have a cool car that they would be willing to let you drive around the block in just for the send off photo opp? Then, you can hop in another vehicle out of sight from the guests! You can always hop on the trolley with the rest of the guests to get home.

10.21.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Since we are in the height of  Spring wedding season, we’re sharing some takeaways on a variety of subjects that will hopefully make your wedding planning process easy and thoughtful.


photo by Corbin Gurkin

One thing we’ve started doing (and our photographers are thankful for it) is nicely tying off the ceremony aisle, and seating guests from the outside. Of course, we don’t ask which side anymore and guests are seated evenly on both sides of the aisle. But, we are having our ushers seat from the outside in- it’s easier to fill in, you aren’t having to step over people already seated, and keeps the aisle in pristine condition for the wedding party and bride’s entrance.


photo by Corbin Gurkin

Speaking of wedding parties, we are also seeing the thought that both sides have to match up is ending. People are asking the ones they are closest to to standup with them, whether their partner has an equal number or not.


photo by Perry Vaile

Another big factor couple take into account for during their wedding ceremony is music. Some of our very favorite musicians, Charleston Virtuosi offer many different instrument combos, and are able to play a wide array of music from Classical/Traditional to Jazz to modern Pop covers.  Some of our non traditional favorites for ceremony music – Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, All You Need is Love by The Beatles, and Viva La Vida by Coldplay.


photo by Perry Vaile

Another more popular musical component we see for a lot of our Southern weddings are gospel choirs and singers. From cheerful praise songs celebrating the end of the ceremony, to as seen here a vocalist singing an a capella version of the Lord’s Prayer during the ceremony. It’s a stunning and moving way to add more to the emotion of the day.

photos by Melanie Mauer

Also, we’ve learned to embrace obstacles… for this wedding on the couple’s farm with wide open space, instead of spending money trying to create a big ceremony focal point, we turned the barn on site into a backdrop.

photo by Liz Banfield

It also doesn’t have to be a father that walks a bride down the aisle… for this bride, it made more sense for her mother to walk her down the aisle… For some it’s a brother, grandparent, etc.


photo by Liz Banfield

One last takeaway for you… We have done this trick for a couple of our weddings with large guest counts, to avoid a line or perhaps missing the “guest book” we place bags with the printed ceremony programs, a blank card, and pen for guests to write a note to the bride and groom. We’ve hung birdcages from branches for guests to drop the notes in, or designed custom boxes for the notes, but it’s a great way to ensure everyone has the opportunity while you are waiting for the ceremony to start!

5.15.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Event Design, Event Planning, Photographers, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Today, we are talking with our beautiful bride, Candice. She and her husband will be celebrating 5 years this April, but their wedding is still fresh in my memory as one of the most fun and beautiful ones we have ever done!  She and her groom were so fun and easy going and we had a blast planning together! See what she thinks can help keep perspective to all of you currently planning your big day!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

What was your favorite part of planning your wedding?

Working with the Soiree team was such a treat. I never doubted any decision they were making so that took a lot of pressure off of me. I also love surprises so leaving some of the decisions up to Soiree made the overall experience even more exciting for both me and Graham.

What was the biggest challenge during the planning process?

In the beginning I was stressed over the fact the wedding date we had chosen was Bridge Run Weekend, which is a hugely popular date in Charleston bringing in thousands of  people. I knew hotel rooms would be more expensive for our guests and potentially limited around town. Luckily, it all worked out, we were able to secure “blocks” in enough time so we were guaranteed a certain quantity of rooms at a certain price before all of the runners started booking them all.?

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

What do you miss the most now that it is over?

Your wedding day is probably one of the only days you get to spend with all of your family and friends that you love so much in one place at one time.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

What is the moment that when you think back on your wedding you remember the most?

We decided to have a seated dinner. It truly gave Graham and I a chance to relax and the opportunity to slow down and really take in such a special evening. Secondly, the dancing! I loved our band, Party on the Moon, and surprise entertainer Tone Loc!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Is there anything you would do over and what? Would you wear the same dress?

I honestly can’t think of anything I would change. I would definitely wear the same dress, especially the shorter party dress I changed into for dancing. To this day it is my favorite dress of all time.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Tell us about your engagement.

We were vacationing in Cabo with a few of our closest friends. Towards the end of the trip, Graham asked me to walk with him one morning on the beach nearby the house we had rented. To my surprise he popped the question! We later headed to Nikki Beach and spent the rest of the day celebrating with our friends!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Candice and Graham were married in April of 2011 at Runnymede Plantation outside of Charleston, SC. Thank you to Liz Banfield for the images of their big day!

3.01.16   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Reception, Uncategorized, Weddings | 1 Comment