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Happy Holidays!

Merry Navidad!

2010 has been an incredible year! It’s got a few more days left too… I just know it will be magnificent! In a whirlwind, 2011 will be here- I don’t want it to get here without saying a few things to all of you:

Thank you to our amazing family, friends, and supporters for your faith and confidence in Swann Soirées. We are who we are and where we are because of YOU!  A very special Thank You & Shout Out to our military & their families; We love, appreciate, and believe in you, not a single day goes by that we aren’t proud of you and your sacrifice.

May the spirit of gratitude and grace of humility find us in good health all through the holidays and new year!


The Swann Squad: Brenda, Megan, Sherry, and Interns Ania & Jess



Herb Infused Wedding Inspiration Board

Although my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has looked over its shoulder and said “I’ll see ya next year,” the images and smells of my sage butter roasted turkey, thyme andouille sausage stuffing, rosemary red potatoes, and lavender pound cake are still lingering in my mind…and definitely on my waist. When you’re a foodie, like me, there was no denying what I’ll be sharing on our  Inspire Me Monday blog post: An herb-infused wedding!

There’s so many fun, creative ways to put together a herb themed wedding! The scent of rosemary, sage, basil, mint, thyme, and lavender can invigorate the senses visually and aromatically. As the board suggests, bundles of herbs can serve as a name or place card holder. For favors, the options are limitless! You can concoct a salt and herb rub or seasoning. If you’d like a sweeter approach, get a little gourmet by marinating herbs such as rosemary or thyme in honey and include a food or drink recipe that incorporates your personalized gift. Herbs are a beautiful and surprising addition to floral arrangements as well; centerpieces, boutonnieres, bouquets, and even ceremony decor.

During my wedding planning, at the consultation with the florist, we discussed how I LOVE herbs and wanted a natural look to the arrangements and bouquets. I shared with her how I envisioned the dinner napkins to have fresh sprigs of rosemary tied-on with colorful plaid ribbon….the ribbon complimented the flannel shirts worn by the  groomsmen. Our venue was surrounded by pine trees that hovered over a beautifully manicured garden area. I wanted  my flowers to embrace the allure of our natural setting; therefore,  elaborate floral decor was unnecessary. The florist did an amazing job with my requests! There were sprigs of sage, mint,  thyme, and lavender accenting the gorgeous bouquets, and at the ceremony, bundles of herbs wrapped in twine designated family seating.

Foodie or not, flirt with all sorts of herb inspired ideas for your wedding…it can make for a tantalizing experience for your guests!

Happy Wedding Planning and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!



P.S. – Remember that these ideas are not only inspiration for your wedding but for your everyday occasions too. At my 30th birthday luncheon, I baked a bag of lavender shortbread cookies for all of the guests to enjoy. They were yum yum!


Mint Bout | Herb Centerpiece | Peach & Rosemary Sprtizer, Herb Infused Honey, Herb Place Card, Rosemary Sea Salt Favor

Inspire Me Monday: Polka Dots & Ruffles

Living only four blocks away from Balboa Park, I think I’ve explored every inch of it…and EVERY inch of it offers endless inspiration. During one of my night walks, I found myself staring off into the Sculpture Garden, located in the San Diego Museum of Art. The unrestrained and expressive sculptures reminded me of my childhood and of my attempts at art: crayon doodles that could have been used as inkblot tests, Lego structures that never could stay upright, and Play-Doh moldings that made my parents’ heads tilt in confusion – they didn’t know whether to praise my work or question it.

Peering in through the gates, I was convinced that one day, I’d have a bride and groom who wold want a youthful, playful reception. At this fun and interesting outdoor venue where polka dots, ruffles and colorful candles would adorn the tables, cotton candy would be waiting for you at your seat, an ice cream truck stationed outside would be stocked with ice creams and candies from yesteryear, and midnight snacks of In-N-Out burgers and fries would assure everyone goes home with happy full bellies. I think the kid in everyone would surely come out to play!


Sherry Tarrant


Green & white polka dot fabric for napkins | Chloe ruffle linen from Wildflower Linens for tabletop overlay | Paula Rae Florae bouquet wrap | In-n-Out burger image | Wedding Cake | Ruffle Ring for bridesmaids | Vintage tote box for gift cards | Bouquet | Bridesmaid Dress | Boutonniere | Escort Cards | Colorful Candles for centerpiece | Fun encrypted Save-the-Date cards | J. Crew Wedding Dress

Inspire Me Monday: Charmed by Daisies

Downtown San Diego on a Friday night: The streets alive and busy, people out for dinner, getting ready for a fun night out. Among them were the two of us, my fiance Justin & I, hand in hand,  enjoying the nice evening. We walked past a flower stand in Horton Plaza where my eyes were caught by some cheerful and charming Gerbera Daisies in yellows and oranges. They inspired me to create this small Gerbera Daisies inspiration board. Hope they bring a little cheer and charm to you!


Links for photos, from top left corner going clockwise

Inspire Me Monday: Think Pink!

October is not only known for the ghosts, goblins, and trick or treaters that come out for Halloween, it has also become a nationally recognized month for the 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer. Today’s “Inspire Me Monday” is dedicated to the tenacious resolve of all those who have  courageously fought this disease in one way or another, and supported the seemingly endless battle that has become the second leading cause of cancer death for women. To all of you we say; Thank you for being an inspiration of strength, beauty, and hope.

Inspire Me Monday

Today’s Inspire Me Monday starts with an idea for home decor project that hit me out of the blue, then turned into a creative wedding idea…

My husband, Jamie, and I have been in our new condo over five months now. When we first moved in, I painted a wall in our bedroom a cool, soothing hue of blue….

As you can see, the wall is cool and calming BUT still bare because I’ve been waiting for just the right “thing” to hang on it. It finally did during a recent Lake Tahoe trip last weekend! It was a GORGEOUS day for hiking in Emerald Bay, Jamie and I had the trail all to ourselves. The luscious shades of green were memorizing…and THAT’S when inspiration struck down on me. With Jamie unaware, I fell back to create a little distance between us and I began snapping away.

These photos would be perfect matted, framed, and hung in a single horizontal row to finally add some interest to our blue wall.

Now let’s translate this idea into something for your wedding! While the most common time for you and your fiance to be photographed (a lot) and consecutively is your engagement photo shoot, why not find a series of photos you’ve taken during your relationship… maybe from several different birthdays or different trips to the same place, heck, why don’t you take your camera on that next little getaway you take? You choose!  The photos just have to be the reflection of who you are as a couple. My home project is especially meaningful for us because Lake Tahoe is one of our favorite places in the world. So now, every time I look at our wall, I reflect on all the memorable times we’ve shared in there.

After your select the photos (or coordinated the engagement shoot)-  mat and frame the photos to use them as your “guest book.” No, this isn’t a new trend or anything you’ve not seen before, but like with everything in YOUR wedding, this little detail is for you to keep & enjoy for years to come- so it doesn’t matter if it’s been “done,” it’s all about adding those personal touches that makes it Yours.

Pay special consideration of how thick to mat your pictures in relation to how many guests you plan to have at your wedding; you want to make sure there’s enough space on the different frames for all of your guests to sign. You don’t want your matting to be too little, otherwise, you’re guests’ notes will be crowding your pictures. Equally, you don’t want your matting too big or else you may end up with gigantic gaps between their notes. This can be a DIY project (Michael’s always has GREAT sales on their matted frames), or you can get the pictures professionally framed. When choosing how to display your series of pictures be sure to consider the look and feel you are trying to achieve in the room.  If your space reflects a modern feel, go with simple frames that have clean, straight lines. However if your space has a traditional feel, you may want to consider a more ornate, decorative frame. As far as the matting goes, you can get creative with this too- don’t limit yourself to a white or ivory mat. If your pictures and frames allow it, consider a dark color like navy blue, hunter green, black even, then use white, silver, or gold pens for your guests to sign with and PRESTO! Now you’ve got something artistic and memorable to decorate your home with .

Have so much fun putting yours together!



Crimson, Moss & Slate: Twilight Inspiration Board

It’s not easy being a hopeless romantic. The last time I got sucked into a movie to the point where daily viewings were a normal part of my day, was an ancient ten plus years ago, when I was hooked on Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing. I figured I might have grown out of that stage…apparently not!

I am, one hundred and ten percent, team Twilight Sagas!! Talk about beating to the tune of my hopeless romantic heart! Thank goodness for this new found obsession because it became my muse for this month’s inspiration board.

In the movies, there’s an “Edward and Bella” spot in the woods. For those who have never watched the movie {Brenda} Edward is the vampire and Bella is the human who are destined, by the hands of Fate herself, to be together. Their love story is passionate, mysterious, sexy, and most of all… timelessly romantic.

My interpretation of their spot came to fruition through my DIY contribution which is the dinner table centerpiece pictured above: Set in the woods, luscious green grass is a beautiful backdrop to the blooming flowers in hues of blues and purples. I absolutely loved the colors in the first movie, Twilight; Seattle’s gray with muted tones of blues and deep purples, vibrant green landscaping thriving from the little bit of sun that shines through, which also allows for the milky-white pale skins of our lovers to glow. My favorite color in the movie is the crimson-red hue on both Edward and Bella’s lips *insert me blushing*.

I purchased everything but one item of my DIY centerpiece at a local floral warehouse: Vase, river rocks, florist block (which is under the moss), tiny crystals, berry branches, red Sweet William dianthus, thistle (purple), and light Bella delphinium (blue)…go figure I subconsciously pick flowers with the name “Bella” in it? I also bought these toothpick-like things that had floral wire attached to it. I used them to keep the Bellas in place. The only other thing purchased for this project was the tiny, tiny crystals I glued onto the branches, which represents Edward’s glistening diamond complexion.

I appreciate how the movie incorporates old traditions in a present-day world. You’ll see how I’ve tried to achieve that well-balanced mixture throughout the board:

Beginning with the invitation at the top right corner. The monogram is regal and the perfect hue of red while the font and text placement is simple and clean. Continuing clockwise, I envision the table to be draped with a navy blue canvas over a white French brocade linen. The brocade linen is a classic and elegant, softening the look of the masculine, hatch-pattern textured  canvas.

On the table top, the gorgeous mosaic patterned dinnerware is in hues of greens and blues with a light trimming of antiqued gold, it’s classy and charming, perfectly accompanied by the absolutely sexy crystal champagne flutes. The bodice of the flute is wrapped in a Waterford Alana pattern which gives it a crisscross hatching pattern—when I saw the price of these bling-bling flutes it confirmed what I already knew, ”Girl’s got expensive taste”.

Continuing with the table, lighting is a key element to creating the right ambiance at any celebration. I found these enchanting mercury glass votive holders, with a pebble-like texture that repeats the shape of the small round crystals hanging sparsely on branches of the centerpiece. The mercury glass will cast a warm, antique glow on its surroundings.  The more of these on the table, the more dramatic effect will be achieved between the candles and the flickering of the crystals on the centerpiece.

Moving on with antique but including romantic, we have the Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dress in pomegranate. Its red hue draws me in like the passion between Edward and Bella. It will most definitely drape your bridesmaids softly and romantically.

Thanks to one of our favorite, talented baker Sumi, with Sumi’s Oven, I found my ideal cake in her portfolio! I was considering suggesting using different red flowers on the cake but these red roses perfectly match my bridesmaid’s dress. I love how soft and romantic the roses look. It’s elegantly simple with its monochrome filigree icing work. For the cake flavor?  I suggest Blood Orange cake with either light cheesecake filling or guava mousse filling…I’m torn between the two {Brenda will watch the Twilight Saga’s in exchange for a piece of this cake!}

Next are my two Etsy finds; First it’s a handsome bo\boutonniere made with an antiqued brass Rococo broche, natural moss, twigs and white baby’s breath…I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect boutonniere for this special board. It has all the old-world charm Edward encompasses. Lastly, I never knew Etsy carried such sweet, angelic flower girl dresses until I attended a very close friend’s, one-of-a kind wedding, where her flowergirl was donning one of the Etsy finds. What little girl wouldn’t want this dress added to her wardrobe? The silk and organza design is innocent and pure.  My only suggestion would be to replace the sash and flower color to the purple of the thistle or blue of the canvas table linen.

With that, we’ve come full circle on my Romantic Twilight Wedding inspiration board. I hope to have teased your creative appetite with your wedding planning through my obsession with the Twilight Saga movies. You never know when or how your next creative spark is discovered, but when you do, you just gotta run with it!!! Happy Wedding Planning and I’ll see you next month…

SOURCES (starting with invitation and going clockwise):

INVITATIONS – Designer: Wiley Valentine, Callaway Collection in his Luxe Album; LINEN – Wildflower Linen; DINNERWARE – Mosaico D’Italia Mattonella by Lenox; GLASSWARE – Alana Prestige Lime Toasting Flutes by Waterford Crystal; VOTIVE HOLDERS – Mercury Glass Pebble Texture Votive Holders; BRIDESMAID DRESS – Designer: Jenny Yoo, Ainsley in pomegranate; WEDDING CAKE – Bakery: Sumi’s Oven, San Diego Baker; BOUTONNIERE – Etsy Shop: Pomp and Plumage, Chevalier; FLOWER GIRL DRESS – Etsy Shop: Beane & Company, Silver, White and Yellow Satin Organza Flower Girl Dress.

Purple, Orange, & Yellow | Eclectic Inspiration Board

Welcome to my first blog EVER!!! I am excited to announce that I, Sherry Tarrant, am the newest member of the fantabulous Swann Soirées team. Being deemed the resident Designer/in-house Foodie, I created this department for the sole purpose of making it sound more posh than it really is – Director of Creative Design for our Wedding Inspiration Department…that was a mouthful huh? So whenever I find myself inspired, find or eat something absolutely amazing, I will create these inspiration boards and share them with y’all in hopes to excite your imagination and help you create a Swanntastic Event! <–Brenda made me say that! LOL.

Let’s navigate through this lovely board shall we?

Starting from the center then moving to the upper left corner going clockwise. While I was finding a fabric to re-upholster stools at home, I found this very cool P Kaufman fabric which became the centerpiece for this inspiration board; I envision this fabric as the exterior covering of a canopy tent with its wide strands streaming all the way down from the top center point. Any outdoor setting will welcome this colorful, organic, and  unique design.

I luckily came upon these awesome cane finial lanterns on a website called  I would have these clustered in the center of the canopy tent to give an illusion of a chandelier. Then, I’d add the origami butterflies (explained in further detail below) as if they are swarming all around the lanterns, sparsely spacing them outwards throughout the entire canopy ceiling. Imagine how the center would look at night once all of the pillar candles are lit??? STUNNING!!!

Invitations By Nature, crafted this whimsical, graceful butterfly wedding stationary.

One of our local San Diego faves, Paula from Rae Florae is the talented florist responsible for the wild, fun, yet elegant boutenniere & bride’s bouquet pictured, in tones that are a perfect compliment to the P Kaufman fabric. I definitely recommend arrangements with wild flower blooms too, just like in the pics!

There’s just something so delicate, sweet, yet elegant about the Saffron gown by, ex-contestant of Project Runway, Melissa Sweet. Its stunningly soft silk organza flows down elegantly, the Swarovski crystal embellishments add just enough glimmer for the glamour. GOOOOOORGEOUS!!!

I can always count on Etsy to add to the details. Timeless Paper is the seller of this delicate butterfly place card you see in the bottom right hand side.

I am proud to admit that I have recently joined the bandwagon on crafting. All thanks to my chiquita bonita Dana, who last year, during our annual New Year’s trip, brought a crafting project that got me hooked. So to celebrate my new found love for DIY projects, with each inspiration board I create, I will always include at least one DIY personal Sherry touch! My DIY project for this board is butterfly origamis. This idea came to me as I was brainstorming on this design concept for this board. After having my heart set on the Butterfly wedding stationary by Invitations by Nature, I knew I needed to repeat the butterflies somewhere… by repeating it, I wanted to make sure that the decorative butterflies exuded more of a masculine presence. After much research and realizing that I still needed to pick my DIY contribution to this board…butterfly origamis were the obvious choice! I made these in no time and found both written and video instructions easily on the web! I found the video instructions more helpful…Oh and my husband’s reading over my shoulder, asking why I didn’t give him credit for making one of the origami butterflies; therefore “WE made them in no time.” I bought oragami paper that are in the blue and purple tones of the fabric.

On to the beautiful plate from Anthropologie, who doens’t fall in-love with something in that store?! I thought to splash of color at the dinner table with their Sliced Persimmon Dinnerware collection was Deee-licious before you even get to the meal!

On the left of the dinnerware, another Melissa Sweet gown, specifically for your bridesmaids, in canary, identified as Vineyard style 1419. This chiffon, full length blouson dress perfectly adds to the soft flowy feel of the design concept. The canary yellow is a nice summer accent color inspired by the P Kaufman fabric.

I absolutely love the intricate detail of the pipework on this decadent cake by Cakes by Dee-sign, in Farmington, NM. The details repeat the delicate and organic concept that is part of the wedding theme while flirting with a hint of elegance…How about this for a cake flavor; Chocolate Ginger cake with a Frangelico pear filling???  Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

I am a true believer in a balanced design. I see design in many forms, one of them being masculine and feminine.  I find that the cane finials, origami butterflies, and wild flower blooms project add a bit of masculinity…BUT the over all feel is still flirty, feminine, fun, with a sheath of cultural grace. Thanks y’all so much for sharing in this creative journey with me. Til next time…