Stepping into the Great Gatsby

10 July 2013

Though it’s been more than a month since I got home from Engage, I’m not going to let the time lapsed stop me from writing about it. Because the Gala on the last night? It was truly a once-in-a-lifetme experience.

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Start with a particular point in history when, between Downton Abbey and the Great Gatsby movie, 20’s style has never been more in vogue.

lounge area

Add in the majestic Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned house in America. Make sure it has a stupendous view.

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Choose a picture-perfect summer day.

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Invite a crowd that reinvents the idea of a costume party. Fringe and sequins and feathers, oh my!




Photo by Allan Zepeda

Serve the most delicious food, arrange for stunning decor, bring in pitch-perfect period jazz music.

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Photo by Allan Zepeda


Photo by Allan Zepeda

And a fire breather, just for good measure. Yes, seriously.


Now add in one gal who adores Downton Abbey, whose second favorite book of all time is The Great Gatsby, and who leaps at any excuse to dress up.



There. That is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Quite literally, almost: I had the chance to chat with one of the gals who works in the Biltmore catering office, and she said that they usually only do two events per year on the South Lawn — and that she had never seen anything like this one. Until time travel is possible, I think this is the closest I will ever come to experiencing another era, and I am just tickled that I got to do so.

Photo by Allan Zepeda

fireworks at the biltmore

Hope you enjoyed the peek!

All photos by Allan Zepeda, Jeremie Barlow, and Carla Ten Eyck & Andrew Henderson except second and group photo near bottom

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July 10, 2013 9:08 am

Oh my! Just stunning. The Biltmore is one of the places where I’ve always wanted to visit. Thanks for the peek!

July 10, 2013 9:46 am

WOW. What an incredible party!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Biltmore, and you sure did it in style!

July 10, 2013 10:18 am

JUST. STUNNING. That last picture just sums it all up so well!

July 10, 2013 11:15 am

I am so glad you posted photos from this! I have been dying for a good recap, this is beautiful!

Thanks Em!

July 10, 2013 12:04 pm

I have only been to the Biltmore once, but I still remember how gorgeous it is. The floral archway is absolutely stunning. I bet it was so surreal to be there. I would LOVE to go to a wedding there one day…

July 10, 2013 1:26 pm

Wow! so Beautiful!!

July 10, 2013 10:09 pm

I get butterflies every time I see pictures from this gala–what a dream come true!! You looked absolutely fabulous!

Also, no surprise at all really, but The Great Gatsby is my second favorite book as well :)

July 10, 2013 11:13 pm

Absolutely STUNNING, in every single way!

July 11, 2013 12:03 pm

WOWZA! That is a gala of epic proportions! Just gorgeous!

July 14, 2013 10:19 pm

That Rose arch. Is. DIVINE!!!

August 24, 2013 9:57 pm

I’m blown away. Every detail was perfect. Thanks for sharing!