Swan Ball: Rooms of the Manor House

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Since 1963, the Swan Ball has been one of Nashville’s most anticipated events. This annual benefit is for Cheekwood and its botanical and artistic missions. In a town that loves its denim, it’s still a white-tie affair, and this year the chairmen made sure that the event wasn’t losing any of its historic glory. The chairmen, Ellen Martin and Jana Davis, said “We have sought to create an experience that in every way is designed to honor this incredible local treasure.” I would say, “Mission accomplished.”  

This spectacular event is too big for the Cheekwood mansion, so it spills out into tents on the Swan Lawn. As a designer, I love to see how event planners transform these tents into a themed wonderland. And I must say, I’ve never seen it done as well as this year’s Swan Ball. 

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The flowers, by my longtime favorites The Tulip Tree, echoed not only the colors but the textures of the fabrics and fixtures in the mansion itself. Everywhere I looked — when I wasn’t looking at the gorgeous gowns — were tulips and peonies, roses and foxgloves, hydrangea and spirea, in lush arrangements of deep peaches, bright pinks, and spring greens. Inside the manor house, those same flowers wound up the grand staircase and through every public room of the grand building.

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The WOW of the evening did not stop with the well planned décor. The food was done by the always yummy Kristen Winston Catering, and Lady Antebellum was on stage for the entertainment.

I feel like one lucky girl to be invited to this event. I can’t wait to see how they top it next year.

Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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  • This year’s SWAN BALL blew it out of the park! This Social
    Event was the grandest that I have ever seen in Nashville or at Checkwood. With ALL of the gorgeous flowers everywhere I thought I had arrived in HEAVEN……….