Some of the most fabulous events we’ve seen over the last decade have been orchestrated by the highly capable hands of Tara Guérard and her firm, Soirée, in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve featured some of her weddings over the years, as well as a captivating arrangement in shades of vibrant pink that she created for our Summer 2011 cover.
Flower: How would you describe your style 10 years ago, and how has it changed? Tara Guérard: I think it’s still similar—still elegant, simple, and tasteful. I would say I am better at creating ambience and maybe a little more organic, but it’s still very tailored, like always.
Who has been your greatest inspiration? Kelly Wearstler! I love her style and she is a fellow South Carolinian, so I like that as well.
What has been one of your favorite projects to date? Honestly, I can’t say I have just one. Every wedding is special to me. I still cry at every father-daughter dance.
If you weren’t an event designer, what might you be doing? Designing hotels. I want to design the perfect bar and lounge. Or maybe just throwing porcelain pots— that’s my backup plan.
If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be? Dorothy Draper, Patsy Cline, and Julia Child—smart, talented, creative, and interesting women that I imagine were fun, too. My favorite quote by Dorothy Draper from her book, Entertaining Is Fun! How to Be a Popular Hostess (1941): “The first requisite for such a party is good liquor. The second is plenty of it.”
One of your most memorable meals was. . . At Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s wedding. It was a 20-course tasting menu and was the best meal I’ve ever had.
When and where are you happiest? On a hot summer day, out on the boat cruising the Charleston back rivers with my three children, sipping on a vodka-soda with just a squeeze of fresh grapefruit, and watching the sun set.
Favorite places to go when you need to refresh, and why? Italy for the food, flowers, scenery, and design—it’s just about perfect. If I just want to rest and eat, then my favorite: the One & Only Resorts’ Palmilla Los Cabos in the Baja Peninsula.
Are there any trends you wish would return in your profession? No more after parties! I wish that when the wedding reception was over, the bride and groom were whisked away to start their honeymoon.
Where do you see yourself in 2027? In my wildest dreams, I’d win the lottery and move to Italy. In reality, I’m not so sure. I have so many big dreams for a successful future that it sounds like maybe I should hire a life coach to help me do those things.
By Alice Welsh Doyle
Get step-by-step instructions for Tara’s pink flower arrangement featured on the cover of Flower.
See more of Tara’s designs at her site, Tara Guérard Soirée, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.