What to Wear to the Wear to the Wedding {Dress Codes De-Coded}


As we continue into the most popular season for weddings, it’s inevitable that you have received at least one invitation to attend a wedding celebration.  And depending on the location and timing of the event, you’ve probably also had at least one moment of panic as you wonder what you are going to wear.

With so many things to consider- tradition to climate to formality to terrain- it’s no wonder the etiquette for wedding guest attire has gone cloudy for most. So when the men’s clothier Paul Fredrick contacted us to weigh in on the subject we jumped at the opportunity to join in the conversation!






This infographic is a handy reference guide Paul Fredrick put together in conjunction with a team of stylists, wedding specialists, and the like. At first glance you can see how the formality progresses as the day goes along.

We thought we could elaborate on this even further by discussing the fine line between tradition and our thoughts on how to dress your best for every style of wedding- for both men and women.

Formal- After 6p

Wedding ceremonies beginning at 6p or later call for your most polished duds- and even more so if the invitation indicates Black Tie. A tux will always be the way to go in either of these situations, polished black shoes, and we agree with this graphic that the traditional bow tie (ala Bond) is the only way to go (and besides, ladies do you not agree the men look so dapper in a bow tie?).

Sara + Dylan Photography

Ladies you’ll want to pick out a dress, tea-length to floor length (black tie), to really seal the deal at a formal wedding. If you have straps, bring a shawl or bolero to cover your shoulders if the ceremony is held at a church. And let’s weigh in on the debate over whether you can wear white or black to this affair. In short, we think black is chic and is completely acceptable. White? Though times have changed a bit and traditions have loosened we still agree with etiquette and say let the bride be the only one shining in white.

Semi Formal- Before 6p

Ceremonies beginning at 5:30p or earlier call for a less formal look, though by no means casual. Guys look cool and polished in a dark suit- think dark navy or gray. A slim tie or vest (with a jacket over top) is acceptable in this situation too.

Ampersand Studios

Ladies will look for what we call cocktail attire for this style of event. With the exception of a floor length gown, you can often intermix the attire requirements for a formal and semi formal event. One rule we live by- for cocktail attire, keep the hemline at the knee, longest at the calf. We are not clubbing so let’s leave the super short dresses at home, ok?

Casual- Before 6p

If the wedding invitation clearly states a casual celebration, don’t overdress for the occasion. Men can look to lighter fabrics like khaki, poplin, or seersucker (tradition holds this to Memorial day through Labor day only if you’re really by the book).  A sport coat would be the way to go here, though guys can even get by with a nice dress shirt, tie, and slacks sans the jacket (Paul Fredrick has a great selection of looks here), loafers or other less formal dress shoe, and a smile. And by no means are you allowed to wear jeans to a wedding.

Ampersand Studios

A more casual wedding can also be considered “garden party” attire for the ladies. Think summery fabrics (cotton, linen, light silks), and getting a little more colorful in patterns is acceptable (and don’t worry- it doesn’t have to be florals). The most important issue to note here is the terrain.  Most of our garden party or casual weddings have included grass or other nature to contend with, so consider wearing flats or wedges to avoid sinking or other ankle rolling debacles.


Resort Chic- Anytime

With more and more destination weddings becoming the go-to celebration, we’ve found a lot of would-be guests struggling to find the right seaside look. Unless Black Tie or other formality is indicated, much lighter fabrics and styles of dresses (ie: we would find the maxi dress totally acceptable in this situation) are the norm. Depending on the locale, men would even be good to go in flat-front khaki shorts and a button down shirt with loafers.


And there you have it- the complete thought list on what we think your guests should be wearing. We would love to have you weigh in on the discussion- what are your thoughts on wedding attire and formality?

{Featured} Real Soiree- Sarah + Laura's Garden Valley Wedding

Happy Tuesday! So excited to be able to finally share this intimate, sweet wedding with you. Featured on Wedding Chicks today, do head over to take a peek at the whole spread- and get some great ideas on how to really personalize your wedding. We'll be back tomorrow with more photos from this mountain destination wedding, so stay tuned!


Xo,

Brandi

On Copying Vs. Inspiration

I know what you're thinking- I get back on the blogging train after a few months hiatus and after a few lighthearted posts I go straight into a serious one. But in reality, it's been on my and some of my industry friends' minds lately. And when I saw an Instagram post from Kathryn at Creme Brands (@kathrynduckett) the other day, which lead me to the source of the conversation,  I decided I wanted to join in on the conversation too.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I believe it's extremely hard to define the fine line between copying and simply being influenced by someone else's work. After all, everywhere we turn there are beautiful pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...everyday someone is perfectly styling a table in the right light for the perfect 'sneak peek'. I think it's natural to want to hold yourself to a standard, or to admire what someone else is doing. I find this especially hard if you're a perfectionist, like me. I mentioned yesterday that I realized I only have four posts on Instagram in the month of October- and I completely realize it's because most of the photos never made it off my iphone because I just didn't think they were good enough.

But perfectionism aside, I do agree with these ladies that way too much gray area is being taken advantage of. It almost seems the days of "how can I create something different" are replaced with "how can I recreate that". I think being inspired by someone or something is a beautiful launching pad for something even better. I've come to realize over the years that everyone has to find their own way of doing things. Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details (@lovelydetails) even mentioned once that she never looks on Pinterest anymore because no matter what it seems everyone has already done "your great new idea".

So with that, I propose that we have a little tunnel vision. Put your head down and respect your strengths and weaknesses in business, social media, and how you find inspiration. Now I understand why almost all of the wedding designers I've had the opportunity to speak with almost always say they never read wedding blogs- they don't want to become swayed, even subconsciously. It's like the saying goes- be aware of what's going on (trends, competition, etc), but don't become obsessed. For me, I'm realizing that while I still read wedding blogs, I've also added in a copious amount of interior design and home reads....it still keeps me in the creative, and most of all it inspires me to find ways to incorporate those style elements into my work.

I'd love to hear...what have your experiences been with copying, or seeing so much of the same things in your industry on social media? How have you dealt with it? 

Xo,

Brandi


October Insta-Favorites

October was a big month for the Soirettes- we had a myriad of projects and weddings to tend to- who ever said wedding season ended in September?? Looking back through all of the photos, a few things became obvious to me: 1) I really need to be posting on Instagram more. Seriously, 4 posts in October? Not good. 2) Kim is much better at posting on Instagram than I am, and therefore most of these photos are from her account (good job Kimmy!) 3) October was a busy month, and no wonder I'm tired. Here are a few photos from our adventures in October-and now that I've admitted to the world that I'm not so great at publicly documenting things, please check my Instagram for what will be a crazy amount of posts this month!



We started this month off with the sweetest private ranch wedding, ever. Dubbed the "fancy farm wedding", our bride wore a gorgeous pink dress, and lots of gold and sparkle made way into the farm setting. It was also one of the most torrential wind storms ever, too- back up plan in the barn worked well in a split second change of weather!


Baby Hudson is a star. 



Our most favorite project to date- an amazing collaboration with so many great vendors. Our "Come Away With Me" photo shoot introduced a brand new venue in McCall and had so much fall and winter inspiration included- can't wait to share more of this one! And no, those were not Moscow Mules in our cups, but rather warm coffee as we were freezing!


The three musketeers at our last wedding in October


And bonus: this one is actually not on Instagram (surprise), but on my iphone, so I included it anyways. A snapshot of the fall-inspired table we designed for Paperie and Pen's grand opening at the Village at Meridian....it was actually quite a challenge to take the ideas of one design and change it up a bit. Fun nonetheless, and hope you've been able to stop by their amazing new store! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Xo,

Brandi





Office Inspiration

We've been in our office space for a little over a year now (same building since about 2011, but last September we moved into the basement level), and once the whirlwind of wedding season came to a close this year for us, we realized that we haven't done one thing with our office since our holiday party last December. As creatives, that's sad. When we moved downstairs, we were originally faced with two main problems: 1) the lime green and orange walls (thanks, Ampersand Girls! Muah!)  and 2) the added space and the fact that we had exactly one desk, 2 ottomans, and a conference table. The space we moved from was in the ballpark of about 200 sq ft (gotta start somewhere!), and our studio is now likely more in the 1000 sq ft range. We had a lot of ground to cover. So between September and early December of last year, we went on a buying spree to purchase as much as we realistically could (thank you, slow season) to at least make it look less like a 25,000 sq ft warehouse and more like a stylish wedding planning office.

Well fast forward to the end of October 2014 and I've decided it's time to start really personalizing this space. It was such a roller coaster season that styling the office was just the last thing on the list. In fact, I don't think it even made the list. So as I've gotten more in the office planning mood, I've already seen so many inspiring images that maybe one day our studio will grow into, and here are some favorites so far. Happy Monday!

xo,

Brandi




Loving the reclaimed or vintage doors hung barn-style. Would love to do something like this to our extra-wide doorway leading into the main room of our office. 




Via Domaine

Let's talk about all the beauty oozing out of Lauren Conrad's newest Paper Crown office make over. It's the perfect marriage of eclectic and sophistication- this is exactly what we are aiming for in our office. Bring on the personality and style! 




With our great room being so expansive, and well, great, we are doing a little space planning on how to lay it out better. Considering moving all of our work stations into the great room with shared desk spaces to make better use of the area. And the chalkboard from designer Erin Gate's studio? That was totally the inspiration for our giant gold-framed chalkboard. We need to use it now, though...it's so pretty we never want to mark it up! 



Definitely loving the mix of textures and patterns in this one! 

I'll be on a pinning spree over the next few months- feel free to check more inspiration out on our pinterest pages too! 


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, lovelies!

I've been on a quest for more "me" in my life...and all of these things just spoke to me this week. Here are five of my favorites...what new finds or loves do you have this week? Happy weekend!

Xo,

Brandi


1. Julep Wedding Nails. Loving these shades for a big day | 2. Just feeling a little smitten with this gold pattern by Saffron Avenue | 3. These monogram cups are perfect for the cup of joe in the morning...Soirette Stephanie actually bought me one last year for my baby shower and it has become my favorite cup since | 4. Loving the newest patterns and palettes from Plum Pretty Sugar for BHLDN | These candles from Anthropologie are equal parts cheery and chic.

An August Soiree


{Sometimes, in the midst of planning weddings and parties, we find a spare moment to dream up our own perfect iconic wedding. Here is a look for an August bride I'd love to see....}


The August Soirette.....

  • Is elegant and cool in a form-fitting back-see gown perfect for the garden
  • Loves a succulent over a peony any day
  • Sips on a Watermelon Sangria
  • Isn't afraid to show her soft and daring side with a mix of gold and diamonds....and a little blue for hue
  • Knows that gold heels can be worn after the wedding, too
What are your current favorites for August? 




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