Entrepreneur and blogger turned designer Julia Engel’s dress line Gal Meets Glam Collection turned one this spring and to celebrate the anniversary of its launch, Engel and her husband and business partner Thomas Berolzheimer (whose wedding we’ve featured) brought together friends and guests for a late April weekend filled with events and festivities in Charleston, that culminated with an al fresco dinner on Saturday night. The GMG Collection drops a new lineup of pretty dresses, jumpsuits, sweaters, and more each month—which is good because the stock sells out quickly—and it’s all available for purchase online either through Gal Meets Glam or on Nordstrom. All of the ladies in attendance were outfitted in the Gal Meets Glam April collection look of their choosing, of course, which was gifted to them beforehand, making for lots of beautifully, color coordinated content.
The initial launch of the collection was four years in the making. “It was a mountain to climb, and when we reached the peak, Thomas and I turned to each other and realized that the work was only just starting. When I’m designing pieces for the collection and then get to see them on women all over the world, I know I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do though,” Engel says.
On the Pierre Bergé to her Yves Saint Laurent, Engel has never questioned her business partnership with her husband. “We have been working together full-time since 2014, and I wouldn’t have it any other way . . . While I’m more creatively driven, Thomas is more business driven. Over time, we’ve also rubbed off on each other, both becoming more well rounded,” she says.
It started with cocktails on the piazza, where Venita Aspen, Olivia Rink, Janelle Marie Llyod, and more gathered, mingled, and sipped in the new spring, pastel dresses. A Lowcountry Pink Lemonade was the drink of choice, made of mint, peach schnapps, Tito’s vodka, and pink lemonade over crushed ice.
“The guest list included our friends, family, owners of some of our favorite local businesses, the members of our own team, local Charleston-based bloggers and some from afar as well,” Engel explains. There were some funny “who wore it best” moments that led to lots of necessary Boomeranging. Engel herself proved that her flowing silhouettes effortlessly work as maternity wear, as the founders are expecting a baby girl.
Guests dined at one long table under twinkling lights amidst pastel floral arrangements inspired by the Gal Meets Glam April collection. The menus were hand-painted, and the glasses had guests’ names etched into them. It was as if the entire setting was tailor-made to complement everyone’s outfits perfectly.
“I shared my initial ideas and inspiration with Tara, but then happily handed the reins over to her to bring the evening to life. She did a wonderful job turning my thoughts on the look and feel into tangible, meaningful details that made the event so memorable,” Engel says.
Engel’s favorite part of the evening was “looking around the dinner table to see so many incredible women talking, laughing, and looking absolutely beautiful in their GMGC dresses. These are the types of moments I dream about when I’m choosing fabrics, tweaking sketches and samples: real special occasions where women feel their best and most confident in our pieces.”
Gal Meets Glam Collection also works for bridesmaid dresses. “I love seeing a bride choose GMGC for her bridesmaids on her special day. My sister is actually getting married this summer, and the bridal party will be dressed in GMGC,” Engel says. (FYI, her favorite bridesmaid picks are the Hillary, Sandra, Seraphina, Julia, and Genevieve.)
Dinner was served family-style and catered by Cru Catering. And after butter lettuce salad, pan-seared local white fish, roasted chicken with Vidalia onion soubise, roasted corn succotash, balsamic-marinated grilled asparagus, and herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, appropriately pink cupcakes from Sugar Bakeshop were up for grabs!
Nothing says celebration with Southern charm like an outdoor festivity with good company, good food, and great dresses! Click through the slideshow to view the gorgeous evening.