Category Archives: Food and Drink

Dec 03, 2019

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.

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

I am thrilled to share this Fall Fenwick Plantation wedding with you, now that it is officially fall in the south.  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!

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

We so loved our time in upstate New York, for this glamorous couple’s wedding weekend. Troutbeck provided a spectacular setting, and while we can’t wait to share more of the wedding details later, we thought some of the details from the sweetest rehearsal dinner would be fun. Um, and how fabulous is our bride’s pant set? Jose Villa was with us all weekend to capture all of the gorgeous imagery. 

We worked with Heirloom Fire catering out of the Berkshires .  Their process and aesthetic was so perfect for this, and we loved their whole feel. 

They set up their entire cooking get up so that guests can watch and be part of the experience.  It’s like a super chic campfire… The proteins are grilled or smoked onsite, carved, and served up family style preciously from foraged greenery.  

The most beautiful red snapper was grilled and filleted on site, and many of the guests enjoyed speaking the the chefs about their process.

Their tomatoes rivaled some of our most beautiful down here… pretty as a picture.

A blueberry buckle was grilled in cast iron skillets and served family style at the end of dinner.

In lieu of individual cards, Lettered Olive created a watercolor of the tables with guests names placed at the corresponding seats.

Wooden farm tables were softened with linen table runners, collections of Italian terra cotta pots filled with various herbs, and curated wooden pedestals for the family style platters.

Lettered olive printed the evening’s menu on cotton napkins which were dotted with fresh rosemary.  Leather drink coasters were imprinted with guests’ names, acting as place cards.  Dreamy…

A good time was had by all..

Also loved this delicate pour over coffee experience available upon guest request after dinner.  Everything that Heirloom fire did was so thoughtful, and added details to service and presentation which is sometimes hard to come by in the event catering world. 

After dinner, the intimate friends and family crowd were joined by the remaining wedding guests for a Welcome Party tented on the adjacent lawn. A modern jazz band from Elan Artists, more fun late night food, and desserts were provided. 

Of course, we had the prettiest s’mores station!

10.29.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Rehearsal Dinner, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>