Category Archives: Event Planning

I can’t believe we finally get to share this Fall Fenwick Plantation wedding with you, now that the new Charleston Weddings Magazine is out on newsstands.  This is the 3rd daughter from a family that we have done all three weddings for, which I love because they were all so different and fun to design. This one is full of soft and feminine touches but using lots for rustic and natural elements. Thank you to Corbin Gurkin for all of the photos. Lettered Olive created a landscape scene reminiscent of the grounds at Fenwick Plantation (currently on the market if anyone is interested!), which was printed as the envelope liner on the classic letterpress invitations. Canvas “baskets” were printed with a handdrawn map of Charleston, with all of the weekend festivity locations noted. A custom printed puzzle also gave guests more information about the weekend events. Local snacks and treats filled the basket, including the groom’s favorite fortune cookies, but more on that later…

The bride wore a lace mermaid style gown by Eddy K with a keyhole back and a veil from BHLDN.

Bridesmaids wore gowns from BHLD, and the groom’s suit is from H Stockton in Atlanta.

Letterpress programs were fashioned into fans for the outdoor ceremony, luckily we had a warm beautiful day! After walking down a petal lined aisle with oversized magnolia pieces, the couple married under a magnolia and floral arch.

Cocktail immediately followed in the garden, where guests were greeted with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails named by the couple.  Going with the garden theme, a “planted” escort card display was designed. Galvanized metal tags were calligraphied with guests names and planed in a moss covered box. Dinner under the clear top tent featured a lovely head table with the palest pink linen, and curated tabletop of flowers, differing candles, and elements like antlers and other curios.

Afterwards in the lounge tent, both the wedding cake and a grooms cake were cut. The bride chose a chocolate covered confection by Jim Smeal displayed with a custom monogramed linen… Due the groom’s love of Chinese food, Jim also created a to go box cake with gum paste fortune cookies on top.

The after dinner lounge featured several different seating arrangements for guests to gather… In addition to our traditional bar setup, we built a beer tap wall for the guys… Loved this new addition and it was a big hit with guests… Featuring 4 of the couple’s favorite selections. 

After a night of dancing and mingling with friends, the couple departed to a sparkler send off, in a vintage British convertible.  Congrats Mary and Reid!

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Fashion, Flowers, Food and Drink, Press, Reception, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Dec 11, 2018

I’m so excited to be able to finally share this gorgeous garden wedding we did for our former intern, Carleton. She married at her parents home in Birmingham, Alabama which featured the ceremony on the front lawn, and an alfresco style dinner overlooking the back. You know how much I love a home wedding.  Carleton is also the niece of Flower Magazine founder, Margot Shaw, who has always been such a great supporter of Soiree. See more of the gorgeous details over on Over the Moon. All photos courtesy of A Bryan PhotoLettered Olive worked closely with our client to make sure the simple and chic feel she wanted was delivered. 

Carleton chose the Greenhouse gown by another favorite friend, Lela Rose. For her it was the perfect mix of modern and classic…

While, the groom, Gael, wore a custom made Ralph Lauren tuxedo, the ladies were asked to chose their own dress within a color palette…. The look was so curated and worked perfectly with the “gathered greens” bouquet we did for each of the ladies.

The scenery, weather, etc was just so perfect for this garden ceremony. A simple arbor waited at the end of a blanketed aisle of rose petals. Greens attached to chairs acted as “pew markers”. Mini jute totes placed on each chair included blank note cards and pens asking guests to leave well wishes for the couple- in lieu of a traditional guest book. After a cocktail hour throughout the house and garden, guests make their way to the back lawn for dinner featuring family style tables and open air scenery.

Keeping in line with the simple at home feel, we wanted to do something different instead of an escort card display. Hatch Cove Designs and Lettered Olive worked together to create a watercolor illustration of the home and tables with the guests names in their places. This  also became a lovely piece of artwork for the couple’s new home.

The tablescapes married the French and Southern influences seen throughout the wedding.  Sweet garden roses and ranunculus were dotted with greens and fresh lavender peppered throughout. Handwritten and hand tied menus sat atop French lace patterened plates and 100 percent linen tablecloths.

After dinner guests enjoyed a lounge, bars, and dance tent with seating areas hidden throughout trees and secret spots.  To keep the intimate feel to the day, wedding cake was served inside the home’s dining room in petit comité. Before all guests finished their dinner, the couple gathered with their families in the dining room and cut the cake while a pianist played “La Vie en Rose,” a nod to the Groom’s French heritage. I think it’s so important for the couple to steal a few moments away from the larger crowds to soak in bits and pieces of the day here and there. After the cake cutting, a horn line (as a nod to the Southern heritage) came and lead the couple through the dining area to get guests up and out of their seats, and got them to the dance floor.  The first dance song, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli was the perfect way to kick off the dancing.

The couple was sent off by biodegradable confetti and French “jut married” sign…

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Photographers, Press, Reception, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Dec 11, 2018

HolidayBuffet

It’s that time of year again, the revolving door of parties, some of which you are a guest, and some of which you are hosting.  Today, I’m sharing tips on how to host a dinner buffet, which is great for groups. This will help you set up an efficient and beautiful spread that guests will enjoy and will work in any space large or small.

My top tips:

photo by Tec Petaja

-You want to have plenty of the healthier options like the veggies and sides set at the start of the buffet. Set your meats last (which are also the pricier selections), so that guests fill their plates with the veggie options.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

-Just a reminder- make sure that each dish has it’s own serving utensil for guests’ ease. You’d be surprised at how many times I forget these and am scrambling last minute, or I’ve gone somewhere and seen this as well.  I like to set out all of the dishes and utensils with them I’m planning on using in the order they will be displayed ahead of time so that all that’s left is to put out the food. Tara Guerard Soiree place setting

-Roll up a fork and knife in your linen or cotton napkins and tie with a cute ribbon, etc for a cute decor detail. Set these at the end so that guests can pick up last. So easy to have both hands for serving and then grab a roll up on your way to a seat. Don’t be afraid to mix your napkins as well, if you don’t have enough of one one style or color. Adding a bit of decor and detail to them will make for a pretty set up.

photo by Peter Frank Edwards for Charleston Magazine

Keeping in line with the self service, (which to me is a no brainer for parties larger than 15 people) have a fully stocked bar cart or buffet to serve as a bar.  Make sure you have a variety of everything, I think one of the true essences of a good hostess is having something for all of your guests… I personally know red and white wine drinkers, champagne drinkers, vodka, scotch, and even beer drinkers, so be able to serve them all, and even a fun non alcoholic “mocktail” or nice flavored sparkling water.

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Etiquette, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties | Comments >>