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August 2009

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Paperwhite
Written By: 
Nicole Noble
Photography By: 
Peter Frank Edwards

Crisp, clean, & contemporary design


Number of guests: 80-100
Cost: $100,000
Event Design: Tara Guérard

Today’s Charleston weddings are all about mixing the hospitality and charm of the Old South with modern aesthetics. Soirée by Tara Guérard did just that as they transformed the Gibbes Museum of Art’s intimate back courtyard into a garden of paper florals. “This ceremony and reception is for a young couple,” says Tara. “It’s fresh, it’s ‘green,’ and it still illustrates what people want when they choose Charleston.”

Setting & Décor
“A lot of young brides want traditional dress shapes with lots of flourishes,” says Tara of the Oscar de la Renta gown that inspired this bloom-filled reception. To get the look, the gals of Soirée crafted 60 flowers in various sizes and styles from recycled tissue paper and fastened them to everything from the fabric curtain sheers that formed the backdrop of the ceremony site to stems of champagne glasses. “You could organize a whole bridal shower around making these paper flowers,” says Tara.
Playing off the white paper decorations, she added mercury-colored tables, hurricane lanterns hung with platinum satin ribbon, gray silk pillows, white upholstered sofas, and white lacquer stools to create a polished scene.

Food & Drink
Because Southern weddings often feature hors d’oeuvres rather than sit-down dinners, Iverson Catering created hearty tapas, like shots of butternut squash bisque and walnut-encrusted goat-cheese fritters, as a nod to the tradition. The tapas were served from one bar while a second, fully stocked drink bar stood nearby.

Sustainability
Besides incorporating an abundance of recycled paper, Tara included other green elements amidst the event. Scores of beeswax candles were grouped throughout the site on tables and in lanterns to minimize the need for electricity. And opting for one downtown location for both the ceremony and the reception meant guests created a smaller carbon footprint as they could theoretically walk from their hotels to a single spot for the day’s events—never stepping foot inside a car.

RECIPES




RESOURCES

Reception Resources
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal
Catering: Iverson Catering
Design & specialty rentals: Soirée by Tara Guérard
Location: Gibbes Museum of Art courtyard
Signage calligraphy: Blooming Quill
Stationery: The Lettered Olive
Stationery calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones
Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals & Snyder Lounge

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