Named one of Vogue’s Top 5 Wedding Planners in the country, Tara Guérard has earned a widespread reputation for creating spectacular settings to celebrate one of life’s most anticipated occasions.
Her exceptional ability to bring each bride’s unique vision to life has led to two best selling books, a custom letterpress studio with eco-friendly paper, and offices in both Charleston and New York City. It’s no wonder celebrities like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively turn to Tara to make their big day a VIP soiree!
We sat down with the style expert to learn how she makes every wedding special, her biggest obstacles, and why she loves both city life and country living!
How did you get started as a wedding planner?
19 years ago, I had this genius idea of starting my own company to design parties. Weddings were not on the agenda as a type of event to plan, but after my first one I did for a friend of a friend, I was hooked.
You’ve been named one of Vogue’s 5 Star Wedding Planners You Need to Know. What sets you apart from other wedding planners?
Hmmmm…that is a hard one to answer because I have many talented friends in the industry. If I had to pat myself on the back, I would say experience might be helpful. To date, I have planned and designed over 500 weddings…that is a lot of grey hairs to pull out. Our attention to detail is a tad abnormal and my controlling nature sometimes helps makes things sorta perfect! I am laughing out loud over here…I am going with just being completely nuts.
Which famous wedding has inspired you the most and why?
Sanjay Gupta for sure! I love learning about all the different cultures and religions in the world and Indian weddings are one of the most beautiful to design. The colors alone are the most inspiring.
You planned Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’s wedding in South Carolina. What details were most important to them on their big day?
Not to breathe a word.
What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as a business owner?
Trying to be this person I aspire to be AND be a mom and wife. Have not even come close to succeeding yet.
You set the bar for high end weddings. How do you keep your ideas fresh and unique for each client?
That is easy! Every client is unique and different in their own special way and I am passionate about making their day the most memorable and the best wedding that any of their guests have ever attended.
What was the biggest highlight from your own wedding?
Just being so much fun! We danced all night.
You have offices in both Charleston and New York City. What do you like the most about each city? The least?
They are nothing alike and that is what I like the best. New York is inspiring at every corner and keeps me on my toes. From trying new restaurants, checking out the design of a new hotel bar to the latest fashion in Bergdorfs and everything in between….the world feels as if it is at your finger tips. If I didn’t have the New York office, I would be stuck between home and behind my glass wall at my desk in Charleston. I’m always busy, but New York gets me out. Charleston, well, I wouldn’t want to call anywhere else home. It is beautiful and southern. Small town. Just the way I want it.
What tips do you have for young people interested in joining the industry?
Work in catering first! You have to know the ins and outs of proper food etiquette. You can’t throw a good party without having this foundation.
What are your best tips for brides and their bridesmaids on the big day? What’s the most important thing to keep in mind?
For the bride, she needs to remember that it is the marriage that is the most important and that you need to have a good time with all your family and friends. For the bridesmaids, remember that it is not about them on this one day and be a hostess (the best way to define the job) for the day.
Be sure to check out our Instagram tomorrow @bellabridesmaids to see a day in the life of Tara Guérard!