2018 West Point Graduation Week Recap
Y'all I am officially back from my not-so-planned hiatus! I really had planned on having blog posts going live over the course of our wedding week but with all of the graduation excitement and dealing with loss, I just was never able to sit down for long enough to write anything! I promise I'll be making up for it in the next few weeks though with some pretty exciting posts about the rebrand as well as moving vlogs!
I can't believe it has already been almost two weeks since Justin graduated from West Point! Graduation Week at West Point is a whirlwind of emotion and events and that's why I'm so glad I focused on vlogging and taking as many pictures as humanly possible. I figured I would recap West Point graduation week for y'all so you can have a little bit of a better idea of what really goes on during grad week at West Point, what I wore for all of the West Point graduation events, and so that I can capture some of our favorite moments from the week!
Wednesday was the first day of graduation activities for us. We kicked off the graduation week by going to the Protestant Baccalaureate service at the Cadet Chapel on Wednesday evening. The service talked a lot about the importance of rings and how each of us is like God's signet ring which I was kind of blown away by. Rings became pretty much a theme for our next week with our wedding so it's funny to look back at this and see how much of a prevalent theme it really was.
Pro tip: The uniform for the baccalaureate services is India Whites and the last time Justin wore this uniform was for Ring Weekend so make sure your Cadet checks their uniform so you aren't trying to get set in salad dressing stains out of their sleeve during grad week!
For the Baccalaureate service, I wore this adorable t-shirt dress from Francesca's. Now, a little bit of backstory, I had planned out my outfits for the week ahead of time and then packed up the rest of my clothes, not expecting to need a dress until Thursday. I also found out that I hated one of the dresses I was planning on wearing which lead to me frantically running around J. Crew looking for dresses on Tuesday of grad week. Anyways, it worked out because this Francesca's dress was absolutely perfect for the occasion when paired with my Marc Fisher wedges (which I've practically worn non-stop since grad week).
Thursday was a busy day for me because in the morning Justin's mom and I went to the DUSA West Point Bride's Coffee and then we had Justin's Regimental Reception in the Superintendent's Garden that afternoon. Your cadet's regiment will determine whether you attend the reception on Wednesday or Thursday.
The Bride's Coffee is basically just exactly what it sounds like. All of the soon-to-be brides come and gather for coffee and refreshments and conversation. There are prizes and a few people offer advice based on their experiences. There are also booths for you to visit and ask questions about spouse employment and things like that! Overall, I really enjoyed the Bride's Coffee and it was a great opportunity to get to spend time with my (now) Mother in Law! We also got to grab Justin for breakfast and a few pictures beforehand.
For Thursday I wore this adorable dress from J. Crew Factory that was navy with a floral detail. I love the way the ruffle at the bottom flattered my figure. It's now one of my favorite items in my closet! I paired it with a mustard color sweater that I picked up at the same time which picked up on a similar color in the floral pattern. I paired it with the Marc Fisher wedges for the Bride's Coffee and switched into leather sandals for the rest of the day. The sandals are actually from Naturalizer which are my go-to for shoes when I know I'm going to be walking a ton. They were perfect for grad week!
Friday was a big day because it's the day before graduation and there are also two major like can't miss graduation events that day. The Graduation Parade in the morning followed by the Graduation Banquet in the evening. The Graduation Parade has been my favorite West Point event since I first went to it back in 2015. I was a hot mess for the Graduation Parade because of one, how hot it was, and two, all of my emotions about finally being there to celebrate Justin graduating. The Graduation Banquet is a lot like all of the other West Point banquets but this year's grad banquet was easily my favorite because of how hilarious General Milley was.
For the graduation parade I chose to wear a red floral dress from J. Crew Factory with navy earrings, specifically for the post parade photo ops but it's perfectly acceptable to dress way more casually for this event during grad week. I was also happy that I chose this dress since I ended up sitting in the direct sunlight for like 4+ hours before and during the parade. For the banquet, I opted for this navy blue gown from LuLu's that I found on sale at Nordstrom.
To round out the week there's obviously the pinnacle of the week: the graduation ceremony! This year it decided to be 90 degrees and perfectly sunny so it was hot and I was drenched in sweat almost immediately after leaving the car. It was so hot that it was almost miserable sitting in the stadium but really nothing can dull the excitement you feel once the ceremony starts. Following the graduation ceremony the new 2nd Lt's go to their rooms and change, grab anything they haven't gotten out of their rooms yet, and have their official commissioning ceremony. We had a picnic at Buffalo Soldier Field afterward with sandwiches and fruit and it was absolutely a perfect way to end the afternoon. We followed up with dinner at The Vault in Beacon after a much-needed shower and nap.
For graduation and commissioning, I chose to wear the same dress though if I had known how much I was going to be sweating at the ceremony, I would have chosen two dresses and worn my hair up. This yellow Eliza J dress is probably my favorite dress from the week. I paired it with lilac statement earrings that I got on clearance at Target and both pair of shoes I had been rocking all week!