Haute Country

Haute Country | Soirée by Tara Guérard stages a dream outdoor reception that mixes rustic elements with high style.

Number of guests: 100 Estimated cost: $150,000 For a local nature-loving couple, nothing would do but an autumn reception at Sand Creek, their friend’s oak-lined family farm on Edisto Island. So, taking her cues from the naturally beautiful backdrop, event designer Tara Guérard of Soirée delivered the relaxed atmosphere the couple desired without sacrificing style. INVITATIONS & FAVORS Guérard created a willow branch motif, which she repeated in the stunning table centerpieces and for the letterpress invitations, menu cards, favor tags, and place cards. For the potentially breezy outdoor wedding, the designer made a practical solution aesthetically interesting by using sheets of galvanized tin from a local hardware store, which she cut and taped to the menu card. “They have weight so I didn’t have to worry about the wind blowing them away. You can buy as much as you need and cut it to the size you like.” SETTING & DÉCOR Rather than renting a tent, Guérard spotted the potential of the enormous tractor shed in the middle of a pasture. “It had this great breeze, and the bride loved that her guests could eat dinner and look out at a 360-degree panorama of fields, cattle, and trees,” she says. For the seated dinner, guests dined under the canopy of a “willow tree” decorated with spider and Kermit mums at tables draped in luxurious green velvet. Indian wooden benches were custom-covered in the same fabric and scattered with oversized throw pillows. “The linens were simple,” she says, “but having plush fabric made the tables so rich and elegant.” “When a party is comfortable, guests will end up staying and enjoying themselves more,” says Guérard. To increase the comfort level, she added vignettes of lounge areas throughout the whole party. After dinner, guests relaxed on chocolate leather love seats and ottomans, to which Guérard added velvet pillows in shades of olive green. Covering the cement floor with seagrass area rugs created individual “rooms.” FOOD Chef James Burns of J.B.C. Catering whipped up a sumptuous menu, which included cornmeal fritters passed in individual cast-iron skillets. Going with satisfying comfort foods, the menu was Southern, yet rustic, with passed platters of lamb chops, venison sausages, pork tenderloin, and duck confit with herb-roasted po­tatoes. The family-style seated dinner allow­ed guests to pick and choose the foods they liked best and eat at their own pace. TIPS “When you keep everything the same color but add different textures, the effect is so simple and elegant,” says Guérard. “For instance, choose a monochromatic color palette, but pick linens or fabrics with different textures. At this wedding, it was mossy shades of green. This made the details really stand out.” RESOURCES

  • Design & Florals: Soirée
  • Invitations: The Lettered Olive
  • Furnishings: Snyder Party Rental
  • Food: J.B.C. Catering
  • Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal