It seems that weddings are back in full swing which means you’ll need a refresh on your wedding guest attire. After more than a year of cancelled weddings and delayed engagements, it is so exciting to think about celebrating with loved ones and having weddings again.
A major wedding trend I’m seeing for this summer is the destination wedding, which I love! I’m all for traditional weddings, but destination weddings allow you and your guests let your hair down a bit more and you all get to enjoy a vacation together. For a destination wedding, I like to wear fun, elevated maxi dresses…here are a few I would wear if I were going.
Another wedding trend for this summer will be intimate daytime weddings held outdoors. For this occasion, I think wearing a beautiful sun dress is the best option. I love sticking to pastels for weddings, but since it’s summertime, maybe throw in a subtle pop of neon too.
For a more traditional wedding, I think the most popular dress code is cocktail attire. I can’t even remember the last time I wore a cocktail dress so it was so fun to look through cocktail dresses today. Here are a few I would wear for a wedding this summer.
Now for black tie…if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I loathe reading “black tie” on an invitation. Not because I don’t love getting dressed up, but because it is often misinterpreted. Nine times out of 10 when you are invited to a black tie wedding, most of the female guests are just dressed in really nice cocktail dresses and you show up in a gown and feel like a fool. BUT for the one time out of ten that guests are actually in gowns, I live for that wedding and I am here for it.
Just as an aside to all brides…please don’t say you are having a black tie wedding if it isn’t super formal! It is really confusing to guests and pretty unnecessary. So if your wedding starts before 6 p.m. or isn’t a formal seated dinner, consider putting “elevated cocktail” as your dress code.
Now back to ACTUAL black tie or white tie wedding guest dresses…. here are a few of my favorites that I would love to wear this summer! Let’s start with this beautiful blush number by Katie May. I love Katie May because her dresses are made well, look amazing and come at an even better price point. If you’re wanting to spend a bit more, I also love formal dresses by Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. They come at a moderate price point and look amazing on all body types. Now, if you’re wanting to SPLURGE…take a look at this citrus inspired gown by Oscar de la Renta!! I mean, it is the dress of my dreams. If I had been invited to a fancy wedding on the Amalfi Coast in Italy this summer, I would definitely be showing up in this.
Are you going to any weddings this spring or summer? Which dress code is your favorite?
I know it sounds crazy because of the recent spike in COVID cases, but I went to a wedding last weekend (my first since January). I have to admit that I was nervous to go, but since it was the wedding of one of my husband’s best friends, I sucked it up, treated myself to some fancy new face masks and tagged along with my hubs.
The wedding ended up being beautiful and in a huge church so guests had room to spread out. Everyone wore masks and had temperature checks and the reception was all outdoors so I felt really comfortable being there. Attending this wedding made me think about dressing up again because lord knows it has been a minute since most of us have been able to do that and I wanted to share some beautiful dresses with all of you in case you’re attending a wedding this fall!
While I ended up wearing one of my favorite dresses from a last year, I was a little stressed about what to wear.
The invitation said black tie, which traditionally means formal and floor-length, but I had a gut feeling that I would be overdressed in a gown, which my husband and mother-in-law confirmed. As my mother-in-law said, black tie is more for the men to wear tuxedos and for the women to wear elevated cocktails dresses in New Orleans, but that may not be the case where you are. I think good indicators of what a dress code really means are the time of the wedding (after 6 p.m. is definitely more formal) and the location of the wedding and reception.
Let’s start with perhaps the most common dress code, cocktail. Since most weddings are in the evening, cocktail attire is generally on the invitation. For men this means a nice suit and for women it means a nice dress, usually around knee length.
Things get trickier when couples list “Black Tie” as the dress code for their weddings. Traditionally, black tie means to wear a floor length gown, but that is often not the case at these weddings that request black tie on the invitation. For men, black tie does mean to wear a tuxedo or very nice suit, but for women it can in some cases mean a gown, but more often than not, it really means an elevated cocktail dress.
If you’re invited to a wedding that really is formal…say a night time wedding at a really fancy location like a fabulous ballroom or if the couple has rented out a museum , then you will want to go with a floor-length gown.
As we all know, weddings have been thrown for a loop by coronavirus and one trend I’ve noticed springing up is outdoor day weddings. Inspired by the outdoors and rustic decor, I would wear a casual flowy dress (even a bit prairie) with a great pair of boots to a wedding like this!
If you do have a wedding you’re contemplating going to, make sure you feel comfortable going and if you do go, make a plan. I made sure I had face masks and lots of hand sanitizer in my bag and tried to keep enough distance between myself and other guests. But most of all, have fun! We are living in a crazy time so we deserve to have a little *healthy and safe* fun!
Hello, friends! I know I haven’t posted in a while, but the past couple of weeks have weighed heavy on my heart and I decided to take the last week to listen and learn as much as I can about the Black Lives Matter movement instead of speaking and sharing about the trivial things in my life.
In a bit of happy news, today is my second wedding anniversary. I’d like to share with you a bit about my wedding as it was one of the happiest days of my life.
My husband and I actually met seven years ago today and that is how we chose our wedding date. I’m so glad we met in June because since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of being a “June Bride.” When I was four-years-old, my dad got a job transfer from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Salt Lake City, Utah, and for a few months, he lived alone in Salt Lake until me, my mom and sister joined him. During this time, he often stayed at this little Bed and Breakfast called the Armstrong Mansion. It was a 12-bedroom mansion in the foothills of Salt Lake and each room was dedicated to a different month, my favorite room was called the June Bride suite and all of the furniture was white and dreamy. Ever since we stayed there, I always wanted to be a June Bride.
We got married in Santa Barbara, California at the Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara. We decided on Santa Barbara because I moved around so much growing up and have family all over and my husband is from New Orleans and has a lot of family in California so there wasn’t really one place that would work well for our family and friends. Because of that, we chose a place that we loved and that our family and friends would love visiting. We also knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and since Santa Barbara has a nearly perfect climate and very low chances of rain, we thought it would be the perfect spot. The hotel is also one of the most beautiful properties I’ve ever been to in my life.
But nothing is ever that easy or perfect. About six months before our wedding, major wildfires caused severe damage throughout Santa Barbara and after the fires, a devastating mudslide wreaked havoc on the area and killed 15 people. Because of the damage caused by the mudslide, our venue closed. We were told they would reopen after Easter, but April came and went and the hotel did not open. As our June wedding date creeped closer and closer, I was a nervous wreck. I had spent a year-and-a-half planning my dream wedding and it started to hit me that it might not happen. But five days before our wedding date, the hotel reopened and looked incredible.
Since we knew most of our guests were traveling a long way to attend our wedding, we wanted to make the weekend as special as possible. To kick off the celebration, my parents hosted the most incredible rehearsal dinner that also doubled as a welcome party for all wedding guests. Traditionally, rehearsal dinners are just for the wedding party and family, but since this was kind of a destination wedding, we invited all of our guests.
The party was held on the rooftop of the Canary Hotel in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. We chose this location for a few reasons… first of all, the view. This hotel has 360 degree views of Santa Barbara, the ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains and we were there for sunset so it was absolutely incredible. Our goal was to give our guests a taste of the best parts of Santa Barbara so we had events at our favorite spots around town throughout the weekend.
I chose a fiesta theme for this party because I love margaritas and Mexican food. It was also the perfect set-up for guests to meet each other in an elegant-casual setting and just enjoy themselves.
The day of the wedding was amazing. We got our hair and makeup done at the Jose Eber Salon on the Four Seasons Property and it is one of the most beautiful salons I’ve ever been to.
I chose to get ready in this Patricia’s Couture Caftan with photos of my beloved dog Emma on it! Emma was 15 at the time and the flight to California would have been too much for her so this caftan was my way of having her at the wedding with us and it was honestly one of my favorite things from the whole weekend! For my bridesmaids, I chose blue cotton robes from J.crew for them to get ready in. On my wedding day, I also wore my Grandma Bea’s topaz earrings and I cut a swatch of fabric from her bridesmaid’s dress and put in in my dress as my something blue. My grandma Bea passed away in 2016 and I wanted to honor her at my wedding. She and my two grandfathers who passed away in 2014 and 2015 were all Irish so as a nod to them, I had Belles of Ireland in the floral arrangements on the aisle and at our reception.
The wedding itself was truly a dream. Set in the resort’s Jungle Garden, we overlooked the Pacific Ocean as we took our vows. I stuck to very simple, white and green flowers for the ceremony to accentuate the stunning venue and views. We also had a string quartet playing music for the ceremony and our family friend, Marty, officiated the wedding.
Will and I are both foodies so a main focus of the reception was on the food. I’m kind of sad because our photographers didn’t capture any of the food, but it was amazing. We had a four-course meal starting with salad, then lobster bisque, a sorbet-course to cleanse the pallet and then entrees of filet mignon, halibut or a vegan bolognese. My parents, sister, grandma, Will and I hand-picked the menu because it was so important to us. We finished off the evening with a wedding cake for dessert. The cake was three layers, the bottom layer was a white almond chiffon cake and the top two were carrot cake, our favorite!
To cap off the weekend of celebrations, my mother-in-law hosted a party for us at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective in the Funk Zone–a must visit if you are in Santa Barbara. We tried wines from vineyards in the area, had pizza from Lucky Penny and had fun with our guests!
My wedding was an absolute dream and I’m happy to say, married life has been just as amazing! Our second year of marriage was packed with quite a bit–we both turned 30, we moved to Austin, TX and survived a pandemic…Lets see what year three has in store for us!
I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me.