We’re thrilled to have our Launch Party event featured in Mingle Magazine. It’s a magazine focused on unique events and this party was a dream come true for us.
You can pick up a copy of Mingle between January-March 2019 at any bookstore or craft store.
The story was composed by our writer, Audrey Ann Masur.
Twirling and pockets are a few of our favorite things, and we believe life gets more beautiful when you dress up for it. We’re a budding dress company creating high quality, ethical, and timeless pieces
inspired by grand adventures. Parties are at the heart of who we are, and when we launched Virginia
Dare Dress Co., we threw a bash to celebrate! Held at Birkby House in Leesburg Virginia, dozens of
friends and businesses chimed in, and within just a couple weeks we planned and pulled off an event
that felt part garden wedding and part English afternoon tea. It was a beautiful October day to bring
to life the love of beauty we hold so dear.
Upon arrival, there were signs placed throughout the event, leading guests through the courtyard and
house in a set way. Birkby House is a charming old home, and we wanted the venue to convey a sense
of heritage, quality, and artistry that mirrored our company’s brand and values. We tried to have
everyone enter through one door, and then they could enter a “story” room that had beautiful old
props and also special pieces of the design process, like the first sketches, the different fabrics we use,
and our founder, Rebekah’s design journal.
We wanted beautiful and delicious food to represent the hospitality of our company. The main food
room was focused on a classic Virginia feel, so apples (freshly picked from an orchard!) with the leaves
still on felt appropriate, and an alternative to the usual fall decor. Using locally-inspired decor with
elements found in nature is a nice touch and often less expensive.
We used this event as our company’s launch party during the pre-order phase. As guests walked
through the home, they saw some of the company’s journey through photographs and inspiration
boards, and could pre-order a dress while there. In an out-of-the-way room upstairs, people could
escape and enjoy Pride & Prejudice playing with popcorn and snacks.
Once people arrived outside, it was just a time with friends, to see and touch the dresses in person. A
dramatic flower installation spilled out around the dresses, and we had a gazebo with homemade
cookies and pies, as well as some giveaways. Rebekah made some of the decorations herself, worked
with a graphic designer for other pieces like the signs, and a stylist friend helped bring it all together.
Working with a vintage rental company and a florist was an investment, but it added such exquisite
beauty. If you’re limited by the items you own, renting pieces is a possibility. Even just a few props or
an interesting statement piece can help bring your vision to life. Many businesses contributed food,
decor, etc, so it was important for us to highlight them well. We made takeaway booklets giving a little
introduction for each one involved in the event so guests could learn more.
We ordered most of the supplies online, which saved a lot of shopping time. For an event on this scale,
setting up a day ahead of time is so important. Thoughtful touches need time to develop and the
bringing together is all part of the creative process.
There was magic in the air that evening, as we introduced the heart and mission of our business.
We don’t think we’d change a thing! Our venue and decor added a historic, timeless feel we desired as
a company, and our volunteers were full of warmth and friendliness. We tried to highlight the behind-
the-scenes creative process and inspiration for being a clothing company, giving guests a peek at the
process. Collaborating with talented creatives and local businesses felt very collaborative and helped us
feel more established. It was a lovely experience to introduce our dresses in person, but even more than
that, it was a time to remember that our dreams can become realities and the adventure is always better
with loved ones gathered for a party.
To see photos from the event, click here for the blog post!
It was also so delightful to also see other chums in the same edition of Mingle Magazine. Julie of Beaumont House Design is also featured for her floral workshop where our Samantha dress made an appearance!