The Monthly Dress Tour is complete and it was even better than I dreamed it would be!
In total, we had over 600 women attend The Monthly Dress Tour over the past 2 weekends and it was absolutely and honor to meet so many of you!
Here is a look into the very first night of the tour. Throughout this week I will be sharing each night and different elements about the tour. Today I’m sharing all about opening night, our incredible venue, and what it was like to be a guest at The Monthly Dress Tour.
< I love that I was able to involve my boys at the tour!>
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE VENUE
With any wedding, exhibit, or large important event, the venue is almost always the first big decision to make. When I was looking for the perfect place to hold The Monthly Dress Tour, I knew that I had to select a venue that would hold the large amount of guests that would be attending and a place that would be the perfect backdrop to display my dresses from The Monthly Dress Series.
PICKING THE PERFECT UTAH VENUE WAS EASY
I decided to hold The Monthly Dress Tour at Noah’s Event Venue in Lindon, UT. They graciously partnered with me for this tour and I am so happy I worked with them. Many of my guests were coming from Southern Utah, and many from Northern Utah, so Noah’s Lindon was a perfect middle spot. It’s right off of the 15 freeway and very easy to find. It’s a larger stand alone building that is within driving distance of hotels and lots of yummy spots to eat around Provo, Orem, and Lehi.
<Jill was absolutely my everything through planning this entire tour. She put just as much of her heart into this as I did, she is the best!>
Noah’s Event Venue had everything I was hoping for in my Utah Dress Tour. We reserved the entire building for both nights and they were such a dream to work with. Noah’s provided and set up all of the chairs for the first night of the tour and they took them all down after the night was over.
I opted to add the Spoke ceiling onto my package and I am so glad that I did! They had the chairs and the ceiling completely set up and ready to go when we walked in the space to prep for the night. The beautiful twinkling ceiling and drop down center chandelier really pulled the entire ballroom together. I wanted all of the decor in the room to be white except for my dresses, and the gorgeous white ceiling was the perfect finishing touch. It felt like you were walking into a jewelry box when you entered the room!
If you are newly engaged or in the market for a great venue for a reception or big party, I can’t recommend Noah’s Events Venue enough. They were so easy to work with and so accommodating. It is pretty stressful trying to plan this large of event out of state, but the team at Noah’s really put my mind at ease and walked me through the floor-plan, all of the staging for how I wanted to display the dresses. They saw my vision and helped me execute it.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE AT THE MONTHLY DRESS TOUR ON OPENING NIGHT..
I am so happy I kicked off the tour at Noah’s in Utah. We completely sold out the first night, which was so exciting! The doors opened at 7pm sharp, the guests entered venue, were checked in and received a Monthly Dress Tour “dress guide” that walked them through each of the dresses.
We didn’t open the doors to the ballroom until just before Garrett and I spoke, but we had a media room with all of my “Behind the Dress” videos playing and chairs set up theatre style for guests to watch.
Another room we set up was a merchandise room full of my Monthly Dress Paper Doll books (that were a hit!). We also had individual prints of each dress, a smaller 5×7 print of all the dresses, and Monthly Dress notebooks with gold outlines of all the dresses on the cover. I was so happy with the merchandise we had available! I am pretty partial to the paper doll books though. I think they made the perfect takeaway from the tour. Something to highlight each of the dresses, and a way for little girls to remember the tour by. We are hoping to take preorders for the paper doll books in the near future for any you who weren’t able to attend the tour!
When it was time for Garrett and I to speak, they opened the doors to the ballroom and the gorgeous jewelry box room filled with over 200 women. Women in pretty dresses (some that they even made themselves!). These women were mothers and daughters, sisters, aunts with their nieces, college roommates, supportive husbands with their wives (some of the husbands had surprised their wives with tickets! I made sure to give those husbands a great big hug!!), longtime friends, and groups of women who met there as strangers to attend together and left as friends.
Garrett kicked off the night by giving a really beautiful introduction to the tour and to me. He also gave away Monthly Dress Paper Doll books to the oldest women in the room, the youngest woman in the room, and the woman who traveled the furthest (the first speaking night the winner was Ashley who traveled with her husband from Huntsville, Alabama. The second night of the speaking tour was a tie- Charlotte, North Carolina, and Manhattan, New York.
<the oldest woman at the tour. isn’t she darling?!>
<the youngest girl there that night. She was so excited to get a Paper Doll book!>
After Garrett’s introduction, he called our boys up on stage and let them introduce themselves. Eli pulled the greatest on-cue stink eye, and then he sent them to go get me. I got to hold their hands as they led me through the middle of the crowd and onto the stage. This was the first time I got to see all of these beautiful women who had come from all over to support me and it was so touching and incredibly humbling.
I spoke to the women about my struggles and triumphs with learning to sew and create my own clothing. About my bad grade in Beginners Sewing, and how I decided to teach myself how to make my own clothing when Garrett was in school and money was tight. I talked about how I received inspiration to start The Monthly Dress Series (you can read a little more about that in this post), and how it evolved into a Monthly Dress Tour.
I spoke about how I felt so strongly like I needed to make this tour a reality, but how 2 negative comments almost made me cancel the tour altogether. I spoke on what it really means to overcome self doubt and shut out the voices in your head or from others that might discourage going after your dreams.
I spoke about creativity and how important I believe it is to practice on a daily basis. How I firmly believe that every single women is creative and all the different forms creativity can take. One part of my speech that I feel very passionately about read:
“To the non-creatives out there, I’m here to tell you that you are creative. You don’t need a needle and thread to be considered creative. Not all forms of creativity can be placed on a pedestal.”
MY DRESS FOR DAY 1
Mood Fabrics graciously let me select fabric from their LA store for some of my Dress Tour dresses, If you remember a few weeks ago I brought you along with me on Insta Stories and showed you some of the fabrics I was choosing between. This gorgeous crystal mint fabric completely stood out to me. Mint was a color I hadn’t used for one of my Monthly Dresses, and the scalloped eyelash lace along the edges was perfect for the hem of my dress. I also created cascading layers of the trim when I created my sleeves, much like I did for my sleeves in The March Dress. I wanted to keep the length of the dress longer and elegant, but I also wanted to show off the incredible shoes Badgley Mischka sent me, so I made it tea-length. I created 4 panels for the skirt that opened at the bottom so that it flowed and sparkled a bit as I walked.
I made it over the course of 2 nights right before we left for Utah. It took me exactly 5 hours to make and I broke 6 needles sewing it. You better believe I was wearing my protective glasses to sew that dress!
I went with these statement earrings that picked up a bit of the mint along with beautiful touches of spring pastels. I kept the rest of my jewelry simple, and wore this Tory Burch Coin ring (a little Monthly Dress Tour gift I bought for myself. I’m obsessed!) along with this thick gold cuff ring.
Samantha, my incredible makeup artist created a really sophisticated lighter smokey eye with taupes and light brown to make my eyes pop. We opted for one of my favorite mauve shades in Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” liner for my lips. I wanted a bronzed look on my skin, so I used my current favorite self tanning mousse on my arms and legs, and a drop of my favorite face tanner (I use the medium/dark shade) in my night cream the night before. I added this incredible smelling golden body shimmer on my arms, and wore Chanel’s Chance perfume (my latest obsession). It’s a jasmine and grapefruit mix, but the real magic is the underlying white musk scent. Any perfume with white musk always lasts so long on me!
Shop similar dresses and my look from the night:
WHAT BLEW ME AWAY THE MOST ABOUT THE DRESS TOUR
After I spoke, we did a short Q&A (that actually could have gone on for much longer! It was so fun!). Then we turned on a playlist of all of my most favorite songs in the world (including Michael Jackson, Mariah, Taylor Swift, Natalie Cole, Ariana Grande, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Adele, and Michael Buble). We opened the room up so that everyone there could walk through and see all the dresses up close, and so I could meet and speak with the amazing women in attendance.
The distance that so many people traveled was what completely blew my mind. We picked Utah as one of the tour spots because a large percentage of women who took my dress tour survey months ago were from Utah. But never in a million years did I expect women to fly across the country to attend The Monthly Dress Tour! We had women attend the Utah tour from Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, Arkansas, Nevada, Idaho, Oklahoma, Colorado, and more! In California we had women that traveled from New York, South Carolina, San Francisco, Michigan, Ohio, etc. I was truly floored that so many women traveled incredible distances to come!
<all my sweet friends that came out to support me! love these girls so much!>
<Jordan and Jill. The best team a girl could ask for!>
<my photographer Jordan and her darling mom and aunts>
<Brittany from House that Lars Built>
<Alison from The Alison Show>
<love that my mom came up from California to support me!>
<my handsome brothers!>
all photography by Kenny Dawn Photography
Tomorrow I’m sharing all about DAY 2 of The Monthly Dress Tour, including how we pulled of the logistics of transporting the dresses to Utah, planning/set up, and how we brought each of The Monthly Dress Series photoshoots to life.