Fêtes Galantes 2019
I’ve seen countless images and videos of Versailles but no photos or movies can truly convey its epicness and grandeur! I have to say that I feel extra special with the way and I experienced it for the first time. The Fêtes Galantes event is seamless with they way the servers and staff are in costume to completely immerse you into the 18th century world. Walking through those gates is like walking through a portal in time… if that time portal also had a metal detector.
My traveling companion Ruby and I opened a bottle of wine in our hotel room, which was a two-minute walk from the castle, and took our time to get ready. Packing such large gowns and carrying them across the world takes a lot of fluffing and ironing to bring them back to their original form.
So much of the 18th century look is defined by the hair styles! Ruby, lucky for me, is an amazing hairstylist and she designed a look for me that would best compliment my gown. First she pinned a hair donut to the crown of my hair, then she teased and curled tiny ringlets, gently stacking them around the hair donut. We thought we gave ourselves plenty of time to get ready but we were having so much fun getting dressed time slipped by too quickly. When we looked at the clock we were like “WTF! How did that happen??” The event started at 7:00 pm and and it was already 5 minutes after! We hurried into our gowns and quickly hustled over to the palace.
Once at the gate we realized we were missing one of our tickets! The event page said “No copy of your ticket will be provided.” We franticly searched our bags for the missing ticket, but with no luck. In our rush to get out the door one ticket must have slipped out of its sleeve. Ruby went back and found it, thankfully allowing our entire party into event *whew*
When purchasing your tickets you have options. There are two activities in each tour, plus a private visit. We choose the “Duke & Duchess tickets” Our first event was a Concert in the Chapel with two classical singers and a man playing the giant organ at the head of the chapel. Our photographer, a local to the area, was surprised that they let us into a section of the chapel that is not open to the general public! We were seated in the balcony so close to the organ that the music resonated through our bodies. We had an up close look at the ornate paintings across the ceiling. About midway through the second song, after I had a bit of time to soak in what I was in the middle of, I grabbed Ruby’s hand and squeezed it tight. I could feel my eyes welling up. I leaned over to whisper “This is freaking amazing!”
With our tickets we were granted access to a room serving champagne and hors d'oeuvres throughout the night. I was surprised to run into some of my fellow cosplayers from the mid 2000’s and reminisce over our old cosplay days. I was not expecting to run into them half way across the world so cool that we could appreciate an event like this together!
The second event was a tour of Madame Pompadour’s chambers. Walking through the narrow hallways was a little challenging with everyone’s big costumes. I was expecting a huge room for her bedroom but instead it was a series of small chambers.
The evening ended with fireworks viewed from the Hall of Mirrors. Seeing the sparkling lights through people’s pompadours and feathers is another moment I will never forget. I don’t think I’ll ever want to see Versailles again as a normal tourist. I can’t imaging walking around such a grand palaces in anything short of a ball gown.
Details of my French Lavender Gown