Friday, February 12, 2016

Junior League of Nashville: Masquerade Ball 2016




The Junior League of Nashville Masquerade Ball was an absolute blast! I have been to several black tie events before but this one was unlike any event I've ever seen. There were so many surprises throughout the night and the Mardi Gras theme was such a fun idea! 

I was on the Masquerade committee this year and I was absolutely amazed at what these lovely ladies came up with. This event is the main fundraiser for The Junior League of Nashville and this is the 4th time that the League has held this event. However, this is the first time the event has been held at the glamorous and modern Omni Hotel.

The night started off with cocktail hour at 6:30, where you enjoy drinks while browsing the silent auction. Servers carried around appetizers on silver trays, which included fried artichoke bites, sausage puffs and shrimp n' grits bites. My mother, who is a sustainer in the Junior League, had one of her paintings in the silent auction:









The painting was beautiful and went with the event's Mardi Gras theme! Other items that were auctioned off were vacation packages, sessions with a private chef, workout lessons, Nashville restaurant meals, etc. The biggest site to see though were the cars parked in the dining room:




 

I really wish I had gotten a picture with the cars! Nelson Andrews Cadillac sponsored our valet and helped decorate the evening the two gorgeous Land Rovers above! Guests were even allowed to sit the driving seats throughout the night, which was truly funny to watch.



There was also a wine wall, where you pay $20 to grab a mystery bottle of wine to take home:

  


 These bottles of wine ranged in value of up to $250! Perfect idea for wine lovers like myself!



Next was the Masquerade dinner, which started at 7:30. This was a 4-course seated dinner and the food was amazing! Each course was inspired by the New Orleans Mardi Gras theme:


 





 Chicken & Sausage Gumbo with Rice






Beef Filet with Piquante Sauce over a bed of Maque Choux and Creole Roasted Califlower






French Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce, Whiskey Raising and Creme Anglaise







I was SO full by the end of this meal because the food was so tasty - I couldn't stop eating! They also served a really delicious glass of Chardonnay wine.



My friend Elizabeth Creed was in charge of designing the decor and table decorations, and she did the BEST job:













I loved how she incorporated the Mardi Gras colors and theme into the flowers and table decor! The cocktail tables also had sparkly sequin gold tablecloths that I loved!!

My role on the committee was to line up artists to donate work for our auction







The talented Roy Laws (info above) volunteered to do a live painting during the dinner! It was so fun to see him up there painting on stage - his painting was of the Nashville skyline:





Once the painting was finished, it was auctioned off to the highest bidder:




Before the late party started at 9:00, my committee and I did a second line dance with umbrellas- watch us below:




I'm so glad my friend Jamie took this video. It was a fun way to kick off the Masquerade Late Party!!





The Late Party started at 9:00. This was when most of my friends showed up at the event. The live band Top Tier played while drinks were served from the open bar:




















Signature cocktails were also served during the late party, as well as New Orleans creole style food - which included french macaroons, muffaletta sandwiches, and fried okra. 


The party ended at 12, but partygoers were sent home with a few surprises:









The party favors ranged from a Junior League cookbook, King Cakes from Wholly Chow,  and even Mardi Gras stationery! T Villager also made mini bud bouquets for all parting guess to take home. This bouquet service is brand new to Nashville and was such a big hit that night!

Side Note: It was pretty funny having a black tie event in a hotel. Many of the tourists staying in the Omni got a kick out of seeing all these black tie attired people from the ball walking around the place. They all kept asking my friend and I what in the world was going on. They must think us Nashvillians are pretty fancy!!! It was especially funny when the ball was over, and hundreds of us wearing ballgowns, furs and tuxedos were lingering around, sitting in the lobby waiting on our cabs. The hotel guests had looks of confusion on their faces. Hilarious!

Thank you to all the kind vendors who donated items to our auction or for our event! It is so greatly appreciated and it all will assist Junior League's efforts to help Nashville's community.  

I haven't heard how much money we raised that night yet, but I think a whole lot of money was raised from all the generous supporters. It was truly a one-of-a-kind, memorable event that we will never forget! I already can't wait for next year!!!

Let me know what y'all thought of the event!

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