Pride and Prejudice Easter Ball at the Empress

Victoria's first ever Pride and Prejudice Ball was held at the Empress Hotel Saturday evening.

The costume ball, which has been hosted in Calgary and Edmonton in the past, transported participants back to the Gregorian era, with period costumes, foods and drinks, music and dancing.

Founder of the Pride and Prejudice Ball and owner of Regency Encounters, Tara Melanie, says "It's a costume ball, where participants were expected to dress in period costume."

"People dress in period attire, which involves sort of long dresses for women and tailcoats for men.  We have live music, we have dancing, we have cards, we have dinner and refreshments. Some of the refreshments are based on period recipes, we play card games that are from the period, we do some dances and music frrom that era."

She says the rules can be a little relaxed around the dress code, as they want participants to be comfortable and enjoy their time.  She just asks that men wear coats, and ladies wear full length dresses.  Though she adds that participants can have fun with their costumes.

"We do require some effort, but we're very welcoming We have videos, tutorial videos, on our website, where you can find videos on how to fudge a dress, make it look like you're from the period, or how to put together an outfit.  But basically as long as you're wearing tailcoat for a guy, you're fine, and for women, as long as you're wearing a full length dress, you're fine." 

She says people can rent a costume, make one from scratch, or wear an old bridesmaid or prom dress.  She says they are flexible, and just wants people to be dressed up in the spirit of the event.

Melanie adds that in order to create an air of authenticity and immersive event, this is a non-cell-phone event.

"We created that rule because I used to attend events like this in England several years ago.  Several times I went to these kinds of events, and I found it very distracting, and ruined the atmosphere allot, for people to be tweeting selfies from the within of the ballroom.  So we have a professional photographer taking pictures of the evening.  So they will be capturing that for people and sharing the photographs with people, so they don't have to worry about the fact that they won't have a record of that.  They will have a beautiful professional record of it and photos to remember it by."

She adds that people can take photos throughout the hotel, and there will be portrait photographs.

Tickets, which can be bought online here, cost either $119 or $189, depending on whether the participant wants to attend the dinner before the ball.

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