Category Archives: The Lettered Olive

Oct 08, 2019

It’s a been awhile since we checked in just to introduce ourselves and give you an update on who we are! Thank you to Liz Banfield, since the last time she was here we were able to have her update our headshot, shot in our new office. (speaking of, stay tuned for a fresh new website coming soon!).  

This is me, Tara, and I’ve been doing weddings now for over 20 years, and I still love my job! It makes me beyond happy to create an amazing day for our clients totally based on their personalities. It allows me to really tap into that Psychology degree I received from the College of Charleston. When I’m not working (which isn’t very often!), I love spending time with my family. I have three children who are growing up fast, and a new puppy that gets into everything!

Erica Missel is our Executive Director. Erica works directly with all of our clients and vendors to deliver the best of the best to our brides. Erica is a Southern girl from the upstate of South Carolina, but has stayed in Charleston after graduating from the College. She was recently put all of those planning skills to the test on her own wedding to her husband, Charleston. We very recently welcome, Bri Hughes, back to Charleston from Maine as our new Logistics Manager and Assistant. She will be keeping this train on the track, and we are thrilled to have her. Make sure you introduce yourself to her! Kate Little, our former coordinator, is back with Soiree managing our social media and blog.

Karen Simon, our Director of Sales, and Becca Smith, Creative Director create everything that is Lettered Olive, our sister stationer. Karen comes to us by way of NOLA, and when not working, she and her boyfriend like to travel, or just hang out with their pups.  Becca, who resides in North Carolina is an accomplished graphic designer previously in the corporate fashion and textile market. After doing the printed materials for her own wedding, she knew she needed to make the move. 

Susan Irvine, a NC native with a background in Studio Art, comes to Soiree as our Production Manager. Overseeing the set up of all of the signature Soiree details helps ensure our Brides have their perfect day. William Johnson, our construction manager is why I can sleep at night on the weekends of events. The safety of our staff and all of our clients is ensured having a former firefighter on scene, and his son who also works for us and an EMT! Heather Santucci (who is also my nanny), is the longest running Soirette yet! When I started doing my own flowers, she was my buyer at the local wholesale florist. Now, she is my head floral designer.

So thankful for this team of mine… Soirettes rock!

10.08.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Event Planning, Spotted!, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, 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 >>

We have been waiting until we could share more of this wedding with you, since it’s currently out in the new Charleston Weddings Magazine. So many things contributed to such a pretty day for these clients- perfect weather (and a perfect sunset to match), the florals we got from our growers were stunning, Lettered Olive did some gorgeous work, and of course a stunning location and couple!  Corbin Gurkin’s work of course, goes with out saying as well… 

Lettered Olive designed the most lovely paper suite for this wedding weekend.  The save the dates were a two sided card featuring an engagement photo of the couple and introducing the custom monogram that would be featured again throughout the wedding decor. The invitations featured a custom floral designed envelope liner in a green envelope with copper ink. 

Our bride’s Anne Barge gown was the perfect look for the formality of Lowndes Grove Plantation.  We were so in love with the floral variety we received for this weekend, like the most perfect cabbage roses…

Bridesmaids wore a neutral palette with dresses from Nouvelle Amsale, except for the matron of honor’s floral dress to accent the floral paper design. Lush, full, but airy florals fit the “rustic with an elegant polish” feel our bride was going for…

The men went with a modern take on the traditional suit opting for bowties instead of the long ties typically worn with suits (from Joseph A Banks).

A traditional ceremony was held at the French Huguenot Church downtown… 

Afterwards the couple welcomed guests at Lowndes Grove Plantation. I love that the couple opted for a “first site” before their ceremony, so that way Corbin was able to steal them away for some photos featuring the spectacular views the venue has to offer; without missing much of their cocktail hour with guests. 

A variety of seating was featured throughout the house, utilizing the sweeping porches and interior drawing rooms as guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before dinner under a tented oyster tabby. 

A simple fabric and floral board featured guests’ seating assignments with lovely calligraphy by Hatch Cove Designs

The dinner tent featured glass walls to utilize the gorgeous view of the river and sunset. Wooden barn tables were softened with layers of of airy florals and candlelight… One of our favorite design elements from this were the napkins that were printed with the handwritten dinner menus of the evening, tied off with fresh rosemary sprigs.

One of the biggest parts of my job when designing a wedding environment is thinking about the areas not to see in addition to creating what you do see.  We wanted to hide an unsightly area on the side of the tent, and since we weren’t using any fabric draping our fabric walls would have looked out of place. So along with Snyder (our rental company) we built a wooden barn style wall.   Jim Smeal did his magic once again with a design featuring the florals from the printed materials.

The couple did their first dance just as sunset light was coming thru the glass walls which was perfect timing for the dancing to kick off… After a lovely sparkler send off, the couple departed in a nostalgic VW Beetle van for a perfect finishing touch!  Thank you again to Charleston Weddings Mag for the constant support.

 

8.13.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Cakes, Charleston, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Photographers, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>