As guests arrived at the Cheekwood Mansion for the Swan Ball’s 60th anniversary on Saturday, expectations were high. But those expectations were met with a spectacular experience that will surely be remembered as an enchanted evening filled with surprises.
The White Tie Ball, which attracted over 650 attendees, raises funds for Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. The 2020 and 2021 proms were canceled due to the pandemic, so the excitement within the company this year was even higher.
Arriving through the flower-draped entrance to the grand lobby, guests were greeted by Bailey Mae Anderson in a larger-than-life layered tulle gown adorned with vibrant florals designed by Johnathan Kayne. The stunning dress was an instant hit, and it was the first of many photo opportunities for prom guests.
See past installments: Swan Ball through the years
Figures and dancers in fantastical costumes appeared throughout the evening, adding whimsical charm to cocktail hour as guests mingled on the loggia admiring exquisite floral designs by Alex Vaughn and FLWR, accented by bold floral backdrops setting the tone for what awaited guests in the magnificent dining tent on the Swan Lawn.
Under the tent, Experiences Designer Ken Fulk and his team of “Magic Makers” had designed a Swan Ball that would carry the traditions of the glamorous ball into a living Technicolor dream. Guests were transported to an outdoor garden brimming with floor-to-ceiling pops of color. It was truly a celebration of the flowers from the floral paneled walkway leading to the dance floor, to the stunning flower arrangements centered on tables covered in moss green custom-made Busatti linens paired with a delicate shade of lavender napkins. Stunning canvas floral panels covered the walls of the tent while a vivid kaleidoscope of rotating floral images were projected onto the ceiling. Completing the ethereal atmosphere at every unlikely turn are eye-catching chandeliers covered in sculptural wisteria, created by Gary Musick Productions.
As guests were seated for dinner, Cheekwood President and CEO Jane McLeod welcomed guests and paid tribute to this year’s prom chairs, Mary Catherine McClellan and Elizabeth McDonald, as well as Anne Maradik, Jane Anne Pilkinton and Janette Smith, chairs of the canceled 2020 and 2021 Swan Balls. Mish Tworkowski received the 2022 Swan Award from McClellan and McDonald.
The delicious dinner from Kristen Winston Catering was accompanied by wines from Lipman Brothers. It started with a salad of tricolor beets and fresh mozzarella, arugula, citrus, pistachios, balsamic and edible flowers, paired with Chalk Hill Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2020. This was followed by a beef tenderloin palate-pleasing with herb butter, over fresh corn grits served with green beans, portobello mushrooms, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, accompanied by Napa Smith Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015. A frozen lime mousse with graham crumble and fresh berries was the perfect dessert, light and refreshing.
After dinner, country singer Darius Rucker delivered an energetic performance that had guests singing as they were drawn to the dance floor. After Rucker’s performance, the Simply Irresistible Band provided dance tunes until 2 a.m.
Yes, Swan Ball 2022 was a truly enchanted evening that Nashville society will long remember.
Rusty Terry is a Nashvillian native and freelance writer who covers Nashville’s social scene. Contact him at [email protected]