A black-tie wedding is considered a classic evening event with a formal dress code, and oftentimes, it comes at a high financial cost. Wedding prices increase quickly based on your guest count, especially when it comes to providing food and drink for guests. If you love the elegance and attire of a black-tie wedding but don’t have the budget to go all out, an intimate guest count may be the perfect balance to create the right aesthetic for your special day.
Our goal with this Vintage Black Tie & Pearl Styled Shoot was to show that elopements can be any formality, and this cocktail-style black-tie experience is a great way to get fancy without feeding steak to 100+ guests. The ceremony and cocktail reception were set in an upscale garden setting, with black and white details accented by pearls and gold for a simple, elegant look. Along with a sweetheart table, cocktail tables, and a dance floor, traditional details such as a cake cutting and first dance were included.
The Vintage Black Tie & Pearl style shoot was sponsored by ElopeNC as elopement inspiration. All featured items and services were graciously donated by the following incredible vendors. The prices listed are estimates provided by the vendors to reflect what a couple could expect to spend on this 5-hour elopement, with 10 guests in attendance. Total elopement cost: $14,000-$16,000
Sponsor: ElopeNC (*ElopeNC members)
Venue: Key Rose Estate $4,500
Planner, Stationer: Designs by Lady Vye $1200-$2100
*Lead Photographer: Maria Sollecito Photography $650
*Florist: Green Thumb Floral Boutique $3,200
HMUA: Flawless Visions Bridal Suite $600
*Baker: Curbside Cakery $200
Bride Attire: Together As One Bridal Boutique $1660
Groom Attire: JT’s RSVP Suits and Tuxedos
DJ + Dance Floor: Five Star Entertainment $2000
Jewelry: Diamonds Direct
Rentals: Saam’s Party Tents and Rentals (price included with venue)
Associate Photographer: Anna Danielle Photography
An intimate, elegant, outdoor wedding venue
Key Rose Estate is a venue in Fayetteville, NC that, “specializes in black tie and elegant weddings and elopements.” The venue, recently purchased and given fresh life by Jessica Quiroz and her husband, is a fully outdoor venue with a long hedge garden featuring fountains set between two Tudor-style buildings, reminiscent of the rural countryside of England or France in days long past.
“What we enjoyed the most about this shoot,” florist Aften Solomon of Green Thumb Floral Boutique shared, “was viewing the property on Key Rose Estates. The outdoor venue is extremely beautiful and elegant, with so much character and scenic beauty!”
Not only did the venue set the scene for this vintage elopement experience, but the black, white, and gold details created an elegant black tie design throughout the venue, contrasting beautifully against the lush green setting. According to Green Thumb Floral Boutique, “All of the floral arrangements were inspired by the Vintage Black Tie and Pearl theme. Neutral tones accented the lush green landscape of the gardens with a very grand and upscale look but yet simple and compact as a collective key feature for the event.”
Associate photographer Anna Danielle Photography also felt that, “The location was great. Key Rose Estate is perfect for small weddings. Brides have a space to get ready, and there is enough outdoor space for a good number of guests while still feeling like a very intimate and secret location.”
Vintage elopement attire, jewelry, and bouquet
Our model bride and groom, a real-life couple, got ready in the venue’s dressing suite. The newly-renovated bridal suite featured an open area with large counters, multiple back-lit makeup mirrors, windows that let in natural light, and a large, elegant gold-framed mirror.
Hair and makeup stylist Carmen Johnson of Flawless Visions provides “professional on location luxury bridal makeup and hair services.” She created a beautifully soft and elegant bridal look and did light makeup touch-ups for the groom.
Together as One Fayetteville provided the bridal gown and veil. Bridal shop owner Cindy Harrington selected this bridal attire because, “The theme displays a soft intimate inspiration with class.” The Annika Wedding Dress (Morilee style #5872) had a sheath silhouette, lace bodice, wide straps, and a V-cut open back. JT’s RSVP Suits and Tuxedos provided a black tuxedo with a white shirt, black bowtie, and black button covers.
While the couple got styled and dressed, lead photographer Maria Sollecito Photography captured the details. Maria wanted to participate in this vintage black tie styled shoot because, “I do alot of elegant styling and posing. I was able to use my large soft box and be more creative with the detail photos.”
The paper details, provided by Designs by Lady Vye, were white with an elegant black script and accent designs, and included invitations, RSVPs, programs, and menu cards. Jewelry from Diamonds Direct included a double halo pearl and diamond ring, a freshwater pearl Y necklace with multiple pearls, freshwater pearl drop earrings, and an alternating pearl tin cup bracelet. These simple and elegant jewelry pieces, with the pearl halo ring in particular, created a lovely vintage bridal look.
When the couple was fully dressed, the groom was escorted outside to a hidden garden before a first look. Maria Sollecito said, “Since the bride had a form fitting dress, I was able to use my posing knowledge to accentuate her figure.”
“Our floral recipe for the bridal bouquet,” Green Thumb Floral Boutique shared, “turned out to be very tasteful and aesthetically pleasing, artfully designed specially for ElopeNC’s Vintage Black Tie styled shoot! The bridal bouquet was also very lightweight for the bride to hold during her photo session for the event. We incorporated eco-friendly, aromatic Baby Blue eucalyptus to add texture and elegant Italian Ruscus greenery for dimension to garnish the focal point and outer regions of the bride’s classy bouquet.
“The focal flower featured in our floral design for her chic bouquet were premium white Playa Blanca garden roses which have an abundant petal count, creating fullness and beauty! We also layered her bouquet with standard select white hydrangea as the base blooms featured in her garden style bridal bouquet. For the secondary blooms in her bouquet, we utilized novelty white Snow Flake spray roses. For the groom’s boutonniere, we also included Baby Blue eucalyptus and Italian Ruscus greenery. His boutonniere had novelty white Snow Flake spray roses as the focal flower in the design which created a very classy and debonair feel that accented and contrasted the color of his formal wear for the event!”
An intimate garden ceremony featuring pearls and gold
An intimate ceremony design was set up at one end of the garden, with a water fountain as the focal point. Gold chiavari ceremony chairs were set for 10 guests in two rows, with strands of pearls draped from the chairbacks.
“Two tall exquisite arrangements displayed in the garden at the alter were elegantly designed with white novelty Larkspur cut flowers, premium white Playa Blanca garden roses, standard select white hydrangea, Italian Ruscus, Baby Blue eucalyptus and Robellini palms to add depth to the contemporary centerpieces,” according to Aften.
Formal cocktail reception for an intimate guest list
Outside the main garden on the front lawn of Key Rose Estate, a small tent was set up by Saam’s Party Tents and Rentals, which is a regular part of the venue rental. At the center of the tent was a dance floor provided by FiveStar Entertainment, who said, “We felt that our black and white dance floor set the tone for the ‘vintage black tie’ and the black and white centered theme.” Weddings of any size can include dancing and revelry, and we enjoyed creating a space where the couple could share a formal first dance.
“Because it is black and white, it brings more focus to the couple,” Maria Sollecito Photography said. “They also do not have to focus on matching and coordinating colors. Black and white is also better for skin tones. Too much red or blue may create a color cast on the couples skin.”
Centered on one side of the dance floor was the Sweetheart table, which was designed and set up by Designs by Lady Vye. The linens were black, with black and gold-sequin napkins secured by gold leaf napkin rings. Place settings consisted of gold chargers, gold flatware, printed menus, and stemmed glassware, as well as Mr and Mrs champagne flutes. Gold and clear candleholders were place alongside a small floral table arrangement to complete the tabletop.
In front of the sweetheart table, sitting on the grass, was a gold and glass riser featuring a large white floral arrangements. “The extra large sweetheart table arrangement was designed with a triple floral oasis tray as a special component of the mechanics, to add length to the low table centerpiece,” shared florist Aften. “The arrangement was designed with white standard select hydrangea, premium white Playa Blanca garden roses, and Nagi greenery. This created a stunning conversation piece for the couple during their reception scenery!” We were also able to repurpose the ceremony floral arrangements to add an extra impact to the sweetheart table.
Two cocktail tables were set on either side of the dance floor and included small flower arrangements that were designed with the same floral ingredients as the bridal bouquet, with an additional greenery called Nagi for a more bold and fuller look. One of the cocktail tables featured a beautiful, pearl-inspired wedding cake.
Curbside Cakery, who provided the 2 tier wedding cake, shared that “I had to hand place the edible pearls. The pearls are a sprinkle that is made of sugar. To get the white very bright, I added a drop of purple to counter active the yellow from the butter.”
Can you have a classic wedding aesthetic with an intimate guest list?
Designs by Lady Vye shared, “I feel the total look of this styled shoot was very complimentary of the Vintage Black Tie & Pearl. It held a lot of classic elements with modern day twist that still embraced the “vintage” essence. This look gives a lush look for an reasonable price.”
Green Thumb Floral Boutique said, “The styled shoot would be good inspiration for a couple choosing to elope because they could focus more on their personal, intimate experience on their wedding day, rather than the guests, wedding party or preparations for the ceremony and reception.”
“The overall theme of the photoshoot was beautiful,” says Anna Danielle Photography. “A very classic look that I believe many brides can relate to. It shows that even at an elopement, you can still have a classic and elegant wedding.”
“If you are thinking of eloping, don’t skimp on it,” Jessica of Key Rose Estate said. “It can be just as stunning even if it’s just the two of you. No reason to not have it all even if you are eloping.”