Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Art & Culture: Weddings by Tara Guérard

Anyone who ever dreamed of a wedding, dreamed of one of these weddings: society confections quite beyond the means -- and perhaps even imaginations -- of mere mortals. Yet somehow, the perfection and expense displayed in the dozen weddings profiled here does nothing to detract from both the usefulness and beauty of Weddings (Gibbs Smith).

Author Tara Guérard calls herself an “event designer” and, if Weddings is any indication at all, she’s a pretty good one. Her creds indicate the same thing: in 2005 Modern Bride Magazine selected her as a Top Trendsetter and her work has been featured in every magazine one would think it would be important for her to be featured in: Food & Wine, Southern Living, InStyle Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and many others.

Guérard’s sense of style and what's right for every occasion shows up again in Weddings, a book quite unlike any other I’ve seen on this topic. Absolutely absent are the endless worrying lists that clutter other wedding books: when to book, when to send, when to fret and -- most worrisome of all -- how much the whole thing might cost. Guérard’s book is about none of that. What we have here are gorgeous photo spreads -- magazine and modern album quality -- of weddings in progress.

Included are telling detail shots: letterpress name-tags, perfectly coordinated gift bags, stylishly careless centerpieces, perfect food, perfect food, perfect food. There are hints at how some of the wedding transformations were accomplished: yards of fabric here, spray-painted boxes there, ribbon and gift-wrap fetchingly placed: Guérard shares her secrets and some of her sweetest moments in a way that is both unobtrusive and highly instructional. Included are a few recipes and countless great ideas.

If you’re a wedding planner or even planning a single perfect wedding, I’d recommend Tara Guérard’s Weddings. It will give you some hard and fast ideas and -- even more importantly -- a firmer grip on possibilities.

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