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  • November 23, 2017, 06:44:20 PM

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Author Topic: Semi-formal/garden attire  (Read 2735 times)

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DCGirl

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Semi-formal/garden attire
« on: July 06, 2017, 12:49:52 PM »
My niece's wedding will be at 3:00 in the afternoon in October.  In Virginia, that means that the weather could be anything from cold and rainy to hot.  (They're getting married on my and DH's 17th anniversary, and it was in the 80s on our day.).  The ceremony is under a tent, and the reception is in a barn that is used for wedding receptions.  The attire has been announced as semi-formal/garden attire.  Any suggestions?  I have these shoes in gold, which I figured would be good for an outdoor ceremony.

http://www.coldwatercreek.com/shoes/heels%2F-wedges/%E2%80%9Csienna%E2%80%9D--leather-and-suede-wedge-sandals-by-me-too/12837.html?dwvar_12837_color=386#start=7&cgid=heels-wedges

Winterlight

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 01:02:04 PM »
I'd have a wrap handy for sure. Also an umbrella.

I hate the term semi-formal because it's meaningless. Using garden as a descriptor I'd go for a floral dress with sleeves or a matching/coordinating jacket. If you're not a dress or skirt person, wide-leg flowy pants and a draped blouse would be pretty.
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Chez Miriam

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 01:03:08 PM »
My niece's wedding will be at 3:00 in the afternoon in October.  In Virginia, that means that the weather could be anything from cold and rainy to hot.  (They're getting married on my and DH's 17th anniversary, and it was in the 80s on our day.).  The ceremony is under a tent, and the reception is in a barn that is used for wedding receptions.  The attire has been announced as semi-formal/garden attire.  Any suggestions?  I have these shoes in gold, which I figured would be good for an outdoor ceremony.

http://www.coldwatercreek.com/shoes/heels%2F-wedges/%E2%80%9Csienna%E2%80%9D--leather-and-suede-wedge-sandals-by-me-too/12837.html?dwvar_12837_color=386#start=7&cgid=heels-wedges

Those shoes look lovely, and I think would be perfect for a wedding if the weather is nice.  Could you plan a different pair of shoes with the same outfit in case the weather is cold/rainy?  A matching/contrasting stole/scarf/pashmina would add warmth, if necessary, while still looking wedding-y.  Ditto some pretty gloves [I bought wrist-length gold ones from eBay for £1.25, as I had time for them to ship from China].

What is garden attire?  I can imagine semi-formal [pretty dress, jacket/non-business suit (perhaps more flowing) with a floaty blouse/shell/fancy t-shirt], but for me 'garden attire' is something that will withstand staining*/prickles*, and is probably best described as: would be refused by even the most desperate charity shop!

* And probably already has the stains/holes to prove it! ;)

Edited: Oops, Winterlight posted as I was still trying to achieve coherence: I like those suggestions.
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metallicafan

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 09:21:28 PM »
I would have two outfits in mind, in case the weather goes either way.

A floral dress if it is supposed to be warmer, and since it will be October,  it could be a black or navy background instead of a more summery white or light background.

If it will be cooler outside,  dressy Palazzo type pants and a blouse, or a jumpsuit for something different!

Also, for a cooler day, with a darker floral dress, you could wear tights underneath it for another option. Add a jacket or sweater as needed. 

Flats, high or low wedges, and dress boots with a sturdier heel will all work well.

gellchom

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 10:14:13 PM »
I was hoping metallicafan would answer this question.  She is the best stylist!

And I do agree with her advice.  For October, even if it's hot, I'd go with darker or brighter colors than pastels.  The most important clue is that it's daytime, so even though they say "semi-formal," I'd avoid evening fabrics, sequins, etc.  So just a nice daytime outfit, either dress or pants, but not just a sundress or anything business-y; more like you'd wear to go to a nice restaurant.  Something like a navy shift dress with red, lavender, or apple green accessories would be smashing.  Small, cute bag -- not your big one you use every day -- and nice shoes but a pair that will work outside.  The ones you showed us in the link are perfect!
 
I had a similar wedding invitation last year -- "semi-formal outdoor."  I think it means they want fairly dressy clothes, but they are warning you about party shoes on the grass or gravel.  At that wedding, which was an evening wedding, people were dressed across a wide range of dressiness.  I felt good in my choice of a simple dress with nice jewelry and some nice sort of wedge shoes -- thanks to the help of the ehellions!

metallicafan

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 10:36:59 PM »
I was hoping metallicafan would answer this question.  She is the best stylist!

And I do agree with her advice.  For October, even if it's hot, I'd go with darker or brighter colors than pastels.  The most important clue is that it's daytime, so even though they say "semi-formal," I'd avoid evening fabrics, sequins, etc.  So just a nice daytime outfit, either dress or pants, but not just a sundress or anything business-y; more like you'd wear to go to a nice restaurant.  Something like a navy shift dress with red, lavender, or apple green accessories would be smashing.  Small, cute bag -- not your big one you use every day -- and nice shoes but a pair that will work outside.  The ones you showed us in the link are perfect!
 
I had a similar wedding invitation last year -- "semi-formal outdoor."  I think it means they want fairly dressy clothes, but they are warning you about party shoes on the grass or gravel.  At that wedding, which was an evening wedding, people were dressed across a wide range of dressiness.  I felt good in my choice of a simple dress with nice jewelry and some nice sort of wedge shoes -- thanks to the help of the ehellions!

Thanks Gellchom!
I also agree with not really wearing sequins, or anything truly formal.  A reception held in a barn just doesn't scream formal to me. Do people dress formally for barn weddings? I've never been to one. 

DCGirl

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 07:04:06 AM »
Thanks!  I am so not the jumpsuit type, but it's a thought.  I'll probably ending up having something made to measure by eShakti, but now I have some ideas.

My wedding was outdoors, albeit on the grounds of the hotel where we had our receptions, at 11:00 in the morning (brunch reception), and we had people in everything from women in floor-length gowns to one man in corduroy pants and a flannel shirt. 

The barn belongs to the B&B where the wedding party will stay (everyone else is 30 miles away at the closest motel -- apparently, there will be a school bus to take everyone back and forth).  It's been converted to an event space.  If you do a Google Image search for barn wedding you'll see examples.  Think centerpieces of seasonal flowers in mason jars rather than roses in crystal vases for the decor. 

metallicafan

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 11:59:17 AM »
I admit, I'd be thrown for a loop if I were invited to a barn wedding.  All the weddings I have ever gone to were evening weddings at a banquet hall, and I wore either a cocktail dress or a long dress.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 12:08:53 PM »
Sometimes, I think people put 'semi-formal' on invitations just to ensure that people don't show up in jeans and t-shirts!   ;D
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 01:25:51 PM »
Try checking out the venue website for photos of other weddings around that time of the year, and you may get some more ideas.

gellchom

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 01:42:44 PM »
I've seen venues called "party barn" that were actually quite nice.  You picture a working barn or at best a hoedown, but really it's just a pretty regular event space outside of town.  Google and you'll see. 

rose red

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
For some reason, I picturing something like the brown polka-dot dress from the movie Pretty Woman. Maybe paired with something with sleeves over it if it gets cold.

Chez Miriam

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 03:01:46 AM »
I've seen venues called "party barn" that were actually quite nice.  You picture a working barn or at best a hoedown, but really it's just a pretty regular event space outside of town.  Google and you'll see.

I'd forgotten I'd been to a barn wedding!  It was in the church barn of the church where my friends got married, and had been done up to be a proper reception hall - like a village hall, only much nicer [because: old, quaint, architecture/beams/roof, etc (not remotely tiny like 'quaint' might convey)].  Like the grand hall at mediaeval manor house.  It hadn't been used as a barn in decades, and possibly not for over a century.

So I'm echoing gellchom, it could just be a regular event space [or it could, of course, be a working barn ;)].

Hope you enjoy the day, and let us know what you did actually wear to it.
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

metallicafan

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 04:03:43 PM »
Just curious if OP has found an outfit yet!

SamiHami

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Re: Semi-formal/garden attire
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 10:11:06 PM »
I'd have a wrap handy for sure. Also an umbrella.

I hate the term semi-formal because it's meaningless. Using garden as a descriptor I'd go for a floral dress with sleeves or a matching/coordinating jacket. If you're not a dress or skirt person, wide-leg flowy pants and a draped blouse would be pretty.

I so agree! I know that I've read in one of my Miss Manners books that there is only formal or informal. Semiformal is not an acceptable category because it's just impossible to define. Semiformal can mean vastly different things to different people so one is likely to wind up having an event with people dressed at many different levels of formality. We are more relaxed about such things that folks were in prior generations, but I admit I was still shocked that I've seen people show up to weddings wearing t shirts, shorts and flip flops at not one but TWO weddings. Heck, one person showed up at my wedding reception wearing old blue jeans and a t shirt...and barefoot.

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