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Black-tie affair meets southern charm

Design Spotlight, News | August 1, 2017 | By:

Photo by Mary Lawson, Honey Heart Photography.

Details bring warmth and a sense of home to a formal wedding reception.

Can a black-tie affair also radiate southern charm? Shelly Fortune of Shelly Fortune Event Design, Lexington, Ky., set out to combine the two motifs for a tented wedding reception celebrating a couple who desired both formality and intimacy in their event. Fortune began the design process by taking time to get to know the bride, in order to create the vision for the wedding through her eyes. A 60-by-60-foot high peak pole tent, installed by Bryant’s Rent-All Events & Tents, also of Lexington, was selected for the reception because of its classic lines and its size. “When selecting the right tent, it is important to have a tent that feels comfortable without feeling too vast,” Fortune says.

Layers of greenery

Fortune set a formal tone through linens and lighting, and then layered the space with items that would make guests feel at home, such as ferns as the centerpiece component on the tabletops. The greenery complemented a classic, neutral color scheme of champagne, ivory, gold and silver. “The challenge was to make sure things felt formal without feeling too stuffy,” Fortune says. Tables were set with a champagne Shantung linen, and a mix of round and square tables created visual interest in the room by breaking things up. “It is important to us that when you walk into a room, details are noticed,” she says. “The best way for that to happen is to make sure you are not looking out into a room where everything is the same.”

Tabletop details

Guests arrived to tables adorned with gold chargers, napkins, silver flatware and menu cards. Tables also featured flowers in vases and julep cups. “I think it makes a guest feel special when all those details have been paid attention to,” Fortune says. “They know we care about them being there and that is being shown through the table.” A final challenge was a significant change in the guest count close to the day of the event, which resulted in a last-minute change in tent size and floor plan. “It is really important for us that the tents are always sized properly for our needs,” she says. In the end, the client and the guests were incredibly happy, with guests from as far away as the West Coast and Europe giving the night rave reviews, Fortune says.

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