Book It

Book It | Reception magic, flower power, and common sense advice

In Weddings by Tara Guérard (Gibbs Smith, December 2009, $30), we get what we always crave when we peek at the author’s work—more, more, more! Those who cherish Tara’s first tome, Southern Weddings, will be happy to see that the South’s premier wedding designer (and Charleston’s own) is as innovative, classic yet chic, etiquette-smart, and lavish as ever in these new events illustrated with the ever-evocative images of photographer Liz Banfield. Pick up a copy and you’ll not only take in ideas large and small, you’ll also get schooled on theme, palette, and how details make a special day into a Big Day. Look, too, for recipes and tips to make your wedding eco-friendly—stylishly so, of course. (For a recent wedding she designed, click here.)

Speaking of talent, Heather Barrie of gathering—floral + event design is another one of Charleston’s many event designer gems. (See “Citrus Goes Chic,” page 134). She and I paired to create Southern Bouquets (Gibbs Smith, April 2010, $24.99) with frequent contributing photographer Peter Frank Edwards. The premise? Simplicity rules. We used only blooms that grew in our own gardens, John’s Island ditches, and on plantation grounds (picked with permission), and then shot them in Charleston cottages, courtyards, and cobblestone street manses. We hope you’ll find fresh and easy ideas for your bridal luncheons, wedding showers, receptions, and brunches.

Last, in this day of wedding websites, e-vites, texting, bridezillas, bottom lines, and TMI galore, it’s time that we heard some back-to-basics etiquette advice. Enter Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding (Norton, January 2010, $24.95). A common question: Can I fire a bridesmaid? Answer: Maybe. Thank goodness there’s someone to step in to remind us all how to, as one staffer often reminds me, “act right.” After all, we are hostesses of the country’s most polite city, aren’t we?