Soirre's Tips for Stylish Entertaining
October 10, 2007

I am so excited to introduce today's first post. The lovely and oh-so-talented Tara Guerard of Soiree, and the best selling wedding book Southern Weddings, is giving us some ideas as to how to infuse your wedding or event with details that your guests will remember for years to come.

So, without further ado, here's Tara!

Entertaining Ideas from Tara Guérard of Soirée


The first thing that I tell my brides is that we want to create an event that is special, memorable, unique and, most importantly, representative of the bride and groom. I like to play “investigator” to find little details about the couple’s relationship that I can turn into something that can be shared with the wedding guests. One of my favorite stories was about a couple who had met over coffee and then continued to meet at the same coffee shop during their entire courtship; so, I used coffee beans to anchor their place cards.

*It’s important to remember that wedding details aren’t all about grand flowers and towering ice sculptures. Those may be the first items guests see, but they aren’t what guests are drawn to. The small and thoughtful details are what are remembered and give a glimpse into the personal lives of the couple.

So, whether it’s with place cards, napkins or a sweet treat to go, it is of the utmost importance to make wedding details uniquely yours – and make it fun! Here are some of my favorite Soirée Secrets…

*Display seating cards in a unique fashion. We had a recent bride who wanted an invitation sent in a custom printed box. We took the same box idea and put custom letterpressed menu cards (fit to the box exactly) and the card telling them at which table they would be seated inside. They were then wrapped in a paper that was custom printed from the invitations, and had calligraphied name tags tied to them. They were organized and displayed in the same printed boxes that were given as guests checked into their hotels. They were all amazed at the details carried throughout the weekend.

*For a more casual affair, don’t forgo extraordinary details. For the invitation to a small and intimate affair, we created a calligraphied letter instead of a traditional invitation. We addressed guests by their first names – which was the first indication of what an intimate affair it would be. We also gave the guests at the seated dinner individual wedding cakes and with intimate seating everybody could talk, make toasts and enjoy the company of the bride and groom.

*A consistent color palette is key. We used Tiffany blue and white for one wedding – from the bengaline linens to champagne with scoops of blue-tinted lemon sorbet. The save-the-date cards from The Lettered Olive and guest booklets came in a Tiffany blue envelope and stickers for the gift boxes and labels on bottle waters gave a nod to the signature color as well.

*Take color cues from the great outdoors! Use mossy green tablecloths of velvet with orange mums in large vases filled with nests of curly willow as the centerpiece for an early fall wedding. With this theme, we had the ring bearer carry a little bird’s nest instead of the traditional pillow for the rings.

*To present the butler cards, we made a “tree” from live branches and hung cards from the limbs.

Thank you so very much, Tara, for taking the time to share these really wonderful ideas with us! Your work is forever inspiring brides and grooms to create a chic and thoughtful wedding. And, to readers...the fun is just beginning!! Check back a little later today for a couture style board made to reflect the perfect details mentioned above.