We're ready for the ball!
The interactive Bridgerton Experience in Chicago gave us a rare opportunity to dress up in a way we haven't since prom night (and our weddings!)
I, of course, wore my best pineapple costume jewelry with a glitzy green dress from Amazon. All it required was sliding the straps to an off-shoulder position to take this dress from 1980's "Enchanted Evening" to va-va-VOOM!
The fairytale tulle sleeves make me want to run down a candle-lit castle corridor on a stormy night into the arms of my love.
Jamie played up the details of this textured blue and silver gown with matching drop earrings, an elegant white jacket, and a jeweled clutch.
She wore this dress to a wedding several years ago, and thought she wouldn't get the chance to don it again, but the Bridgerton Ball gave it second life! Paired with strappy silver heels, Jamie's ensemble wow'd everyone at the party.
Hallie may be the luckiest girl yet. When her intended ball gown didn't arrive in the mail on time, she was stumped for what to wear. We rushed to Goodwill the morning of the ball and threw dozens of dresses into the cart for her to try on, many too casual to make the cut.
When we saw this ruched purple satin gown, it looked awkward on the hanger, but lo and behold, it fit Hallie's petite stature like a glove! The gorgeous asymmetrical neckline and jeweled details brought the whole outfit together.
As soon as we walked into the event venue, it was clear the Bridgerton Experience team had spared no expense transforming the XS Tennis and Education Foundation building into a Regency-era castle fit for royalty. Luxurious carpets and lighting set the scene for this 1800s dance party.
Our night began with a curtsy to honor Queen Charlotte. Lining up one by one, some chose a traditional movement while others twirled and added a touch of flare to impress the monarch.
From behind the scenes, the mysterious Lady Heartell dared not reveal herself, but commented on everyone's performance while the queen hinted at a smile.
Next, we lined up to dance a quadrille across the red carpeted-aisle, the formal gestures mixing with giggles as we cluelessly stumbled through the quickly-learned routine.
Check out this video of clips from the immersive ball, captured by Hallie.
A merchant off to the side held out feathered fans and sparkling jewels for us to try on, as if we needed any help with our wardrobes.
Glass cases displayed real costumes from the Bridgerton series on Netflix, a spotlight shining on each fine detail.
We all recognized the Modiste storefront from the show, where the Bridgerton girls and Featheringtons spend hours upon hours in dress fittings with Madame Delacroix.
This intricately beaded number is the actual dress Daphne wore in season one, episode three.
The lovebirds immortalized in their formal portrait - Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings.
We sat down for a family portrait of our own.
Before long, the queen stood up to take her leave, beckoning that we follow her into the ballroom.
Hallie captured this shot of the expert musicians in snappy white outfits and powdered wigs, playing each song for the performance that came next.
Two eager lovers emerged from the crowd to entertain us on the checkered dance floor. Using anything they could get their hands on, like these sheer white drapes and the golden seashell chandelier below, they professed their adoration for each other by whirling about, suspended in the air, eyes locked in an unbreakable gaze.
It's clear that while they may live cushy lives as affluent members of the Ton, their upper bodies are somehow strong as oxen.
While things heated up on the dance floor, we took a break to order a drink. Tanqueray sponsored the queen's ball with their variety of flavored gins, like zesty orange and lime.
We surveyed the signature cocktail list, themed specifically for the occasion. Which one would you order?
- Diamond of the Season
- Tanqueray London dry gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, hibiscus blueberry tea, and a lemon twist
- Birds of a Featherington
- Tanqueray Sevilla orange gin, lemon juice, jasmine tea, simple syrup, and a sprig of mint
- The Sharma Twist
- Tanqueray Rangpur lime gin, earl grey lavender liqueur, dry vermouth, and a lemon twist
Of course, other cocktails and refreshers were available as well.
- Penelope's Lemonade
- Lemonade and mint
- Cucumber Gimlet
- Sparkling water, cucumber, lime, and simple syrup
- Whistledown & Dirty
- Vodka, lemonade, lime, and mint
- Bridgerton Fashioned
- Bourbon whiskey, simple syrup, Italicus rosolio di bergamotto (distilled with rose petals), Angosura bitters, and a lemon twist
Don't we look marvelous together? Our dress colors compliment each other nicely.
Those sultry lovers are at it again!
This violinist stole the spotlight with a spritely solo, covering a modern song with a classical twist.
Almost all the music in the Bridgerton series and at this event are modern songs like Bad Guy by Billie Eilish and Break My Heart by Dua Lipa, played instrumentally.
For those who preferred to watch the show and sip their cocktails in luxury, this velvet VIP section provided a comfortable view of the dance floor.
Toward the end of the evening, the queen shooed the performers off the stage and looked around with a judgmental glare, searching for the Diamond of the ball.
This precious little grandma drew her attention in a shimmery silver gown, much like a diamond! There wasn't a dry eye in the house as the queen led her onstage for a curtsy and a shower of silver confetti. The pure joy on her face says it all.
Soon, the lights went dim and pink, and J-Lo boomed from the speakers, inviting us to leave our Regency decorum behind to get jiggy to some modern music.
We danced to Party Rock Anthem and a few disco songs before the final mystery of the night was revealed - the secret identity of Lady Heartell, unveiled below in her bubble gum pink gown and white gloves.
And just like that, the ball was complete.
For anyone who enjoys watching Bridgerton on Netflix, attending this live-action experience in Chicago is a must.
We're loving our new Chicagoland lives and keeping busy with lots of fun activities! Click below to see what else we've been up to: