Category Archives: Reception

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

If you are looking for wedding inspiration, there is no question that decorating with greenery right now is hot, almost unavoidable, therefore clients are asking for it. We are huge fans of decorating with greenery due to it’s heartiness allowing some decorating in advance and the ability to go far on impact and less on cost. Here are some of the many ways we have incorporated it into some of our designs.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

This chuppa fashioned from magnolia leaves is balanced with a sweet floral swag, and could easily be replicated on a smaller scale by gathering greenery available in your neighbor’s or your yard.

photos by Tec Petaja

Greenery on large scale can be quite impactful… Full, lush, and oversized centerpieces were perfect on this stark modern rehearsal dinner table. And, as part of a lighting installation fill in a clear top tent and soften the space in this wedding dinner tent.

photos by Liz Banfield and Tec Petaja

Place settings are a fantastic area for using greenery… We used a stem with waxy leaves as a place card that tucked nicely into the napkin as an embellishment. For a rehearsal dinner, a leaf was hand painted and wrapped around the menu cards. Finally, as a modern day “doily” a fatsia looks chic on a charger for a party with a tropical vibe.

photo by A Bryan Photo

Greenery for sure adds depth and dimension to floral bouquets, but i LOVED the ones we did that were all greens… Something different and unexpected and still super stylish.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfieldphoto by Liz Banfield

This labor of love took the rustic cakes to the next level. The linen was covered in galax leaves hand glued over a couple of days, but it was well worth it!

photos by Liz Banfield

So simple and easy, yet looks so thoughtful once it’s executed. Using many different types of leaves (aspidistra, fern, monstera) for decorating passed hors d’eouvres and cocktails is a favorite of mine. I love the idea of using leaves instead of doilies to hold food items into place. Also makes for unique presentation.

photos by Corbin Gurkin, Liz Banfield, Corbin Gurkin

A favorite spot of our is on chair backs. Just a simple swag on the back of the bride and groom chairs (or a monogram made from greenery), against wooden chairs adds a thoughtful touch. For a Christmas wedding, greenery wreaths and embroidered ribbons dictated the table numbers for dinner.

10.15.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Reception, Weddings | Comments >>
Sep 17, 2019

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Even though it hard to think about heavier or more savory items right now when temps are soaring, many of you in the planning process now are most likely having a fall wedding and planning the details now… Do you know what you are serving yet?  Here are some of our favorite fall flavors from recent events and some serving ideas for you. Above, our wedding at the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt, CO worked with us to plan a menu totally based on seasonal items especially local items.  Spice rubbed pork belly over savory slaw served on tasting spoons made a pretty presentation for cocktail hour.

photos by Liz Banfield

Heavier items blended with lighter fare work well after summer. For this Palmetto Bluff wedding, pimento cheese biscuits, fried shrimp with a smoked tomato sauce, and she crab soup (that may not look the best on it’s own) is dressed up in mini containers and served up on custom paper lined tray.

photos by Liz Banfield and Squire Fox (bottom right)

Switching out standard flavors for ones typically associated with fall are something to think about… To change Southern Ham Biscuits, sweet potato biscuits are used instead. Lighter items like seared scallops and a vichyssoise are served on rustic wood platters… Definitely discuss how things will be presented or ask to see the caterer’s selection during your meal planning process.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Another consideration instead of traditional displays or passing are mobile displays. We have a wheeled cart that we offer up to our clients often- whether for desserts, cocktails, or whatnot. Here, it’s used as a traditional cheese cart with accoutrements. This offers so much flexibility on items, and you don’t need to go overboard as you would on a display.

photos by Liz Banfield

Don’t get us wrong, we still like an abundant display.. We built these custom acrylic tables that we can top with surfaces like wooden butcher block or marble slabs depending on the design.  This antipasta display by Peter Ambrose was full of different containers, flavors, and seasonal herbs… photos by Corbin Gurkin

We do still see requests for multi course dinners, and there are ways to do this after a cocktail hour without leaving guests so stuffed they are uncomfortable.  Guests at this Charleston wedding enjoyed an artfully presented spinach salad, local fish with a rustic sauce, and then roasted tenderloin and asparagus with au poivre is about as traditional fall as you can get, but in delicate portions leaves guests with just enough.
photo by Adrienne Page

If you are planning for stations versus a seated dinner, smaller already plated dishes are how we like to suggest our caterers handle this. It makes it easy for guests to walk right up maybe with a drink already in hand and grab something easily… And of course to customize a standard wedding dish at this point- shrimp and grits, we replaced the shrimp with quail.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Of course, you can’t forget the dessert… If you have always wanted a chocolate cake now is the time to serve it up… Love this design by Jim Smeal for one of our fall Charleston events.

9.17.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Cakes, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Reception, Travel, Weddings | Comments >>
Aug 27, 2019

photo by Jose Villa

I guess one of the design elements we are most known for are our bars.  I’ve preached for years that a bar makes the party, it must be big enough to accommodate lots of bartenders (so that there are no lines) and easy to get to, sleek and clean on top (don’t display those beer bottles and plastic straws!), and of course look amazing.  We typically like to add some lower lighting through lamps, lanterns, candles, etc. depending on the look, and also custom printed cocktail napkins from Lettered Olive. For the cocktail hour bar above, custom printed fabric featuring a design used throughout the wedding decor covered the bottom and was topped with cut butcher block for a designer yet approachable feel.  Umbrella trim from Boutique Tents.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

Of course, not only must they be good looking, they also must be functional.  We either build or rent different types of shelving or units that dress up the glassware storage- get creative, it doesn’t have to be just a table with a white polyester linen on it.  And, sweet details like matching bow ties or aprons for your bartenders pretty much nail it every time.

photo by Ryan Ray

One of our recent and most liked bar comes from a wedding we did at a plantation here in Charleston. A large square bar (so that it’s approachable from many different sides) is covered in custom printed fabric. Sleek marble on top gives it a elegant finish, and a floral topped glass storage unit takes this bar to an over the top decor moment. We also made custom lamps to hang from trees which swayed along with the spanish moss.

photos by Corbin Gurkin

For a summer time coastal wedding, live greens and florals were the way to go here. The couple’s name was even spelled in fresh blooms on one of the reception bars. Ombre rose panels were so fun yet impactful.

photo by Liz Banfield

This client loved the wall mural at the famed Bememlmen’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel in New York. So, we created our interpretation and had it printed on fabric to cover the bottom of this oval bar topped with custom cut copper.  This was definitely a reception showstopper.
photo by Lauren Bailey photo

For a light and airy tented reception at a historic property in Atlanta, GA, a white wedding bar was topped with delicate greens to add a little element contrasting the starkness. A cluster of woven lampshades draped from greenery garlands gave it a modern garden look.

photo by Tec Petaja

8.27.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Events, Food and Drink, Interior Design, Photographers, Reception, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>