Cocktail Party Perfection with Tara Guérard From Soirée

When it comes to planning the perfect cocktail party, we couldn’t think of anyone better to advise than Tara Guérard from the sophisticated southern party planning atelier, Tara Guérard Soirée.  Located in Charleston, South Carolina, Soirée offers stylish wedding and event design with Tara herself at the helm.  Since the season of celebration is upon us, we felt that these super savvy tidbits from Tara would be the perfect way to help you prepare for an autumn of cocktail chic.

Read on for Tara’s expert advice on effectively entertaining at Cocktail Hour and plan your own Tara Guérard-inspired soiré


1.   Location, Location.   Location is first and foremost. Consider your guest count—if you’re expecting over 12 people, make sure that the spot you choose for the bar is not right in the front door or in any high traffic area. I often set up the bar at the furthest spot in the room—it pulls guests in and creates a better flow.

2.  Full Scoop.  Don’t forget an ice scoop or tongs. You do not want guests using their hands or a glass to scoop ice.

3.  Lemon Squeezy.  Pre-cut lemons and limes are a must!

4.  Keep The Pretty in Party.  Provide great glassware and pretty linen napkins. Don’t skimp here, hostesses! (

5.  Bar None.  You don’t have to have a “bar” or bar cart.  I often set up my kitchen counter as a bar.  Try a garden table—or a potting station from your yard.  I have even turned a cabinet into a bar.  (

6.  Not Shaken- Stirred.  Do not provide straws because it is not actually proper to drink from straws.  Instead, offer a drink stirrer.  (

7.  Chill Out.  Make sure white wine, beer, and champagne are chilled appropriately. Semi-chilled anything just doesn’t hit the spot!

8.  Cheers!  I always say,”a drink in hand makes a happy guest!”

These tips originally appeared on