Every November 10th Marines around the world pause to celebrate their “birthday”, the date the Corps was formed 243 years ago at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, as the story goes.
It’s a time for everyone to get dressed to the nines, enjoy a 3-course dinner and continue a tradition. It’s also the one time a year my hubby dons his dress blues, which is my favorite uniform for obvious reasons!
The night begins with cocktail hour where everyone gets some grade A people watching in – sometimes over a drink – and the night really gets going.
Then the ceremony begins. We watch a video message from the Commandant, then a succession of Marines from the highest ranking to the lowest ranking march out in pairs and line the aisle for the flags then the cake to be presented.
The cake is then cut – with a sword – by the oldest aged Marine, given to the youngest Marine (the youngest Marine was born in 1999!), then the commanding officer speaks and introduces a guest of honor who also gives a speech just before food is served.
Dinner consists of a salad course, an entree course (usually fish, chicken or beef), then the dessert course. This year the dinner was not very good and the organization was even worse, so after an hour of waiting between the salad and the entree course I didn’t even bother to take pictures. After dinner it’s back to the bar and out on the dance floor, which is our cue to leave before things get too crazy!
If you read my birthday ball gown guide from September you know what my favorite part of the whole event is…
Sparkling, shimmering, satiny flowing ball gowns!
(Now, these next few photos are not the *best* – I am still struggling to figure out how to use my camera – so thank you guys so much for bearing with us and our blurry pictures while we figure this thing out!)
This is what I wore. A satin, emerald green ball gown.
I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous emerald color and the 1950s Dior-inspired look of this gown. The almost off-the-shoulder, plunging back, structured bodice and billowing ball gown skirt make this dress so elegant.
OH! Did I mention it had pockets?!
The pockets were a dream come true, as the vintage velvet clutch I carried – a gift from my late grandmother – was not designed with smartphones in mind.
I accessorized with my favorite color to pair with a vibrant emerald green – GOLD.
I love the dainty sophistication of these Kate Spade bracelets! I was absolutely tickled when I found the one with the black spade, which perfectly tied all the accessories together!
For earrings I chose these showstoppers – and showstoppers they were!
I knew I wanted statement earrings and since I was not planning on wearing a necklace I needed the earrings to be just the right length.These hit the nail right on the head, don’t you think?! The best part is that they are light-weight despite looking like they weigh 20 lbs. By the end of the night they still felt weightless. These will definitely be making as many appearances as possible!
Finally, the shoes. Oh my glittery goodness, these shoes! I bought these past season Kate Spade goddesses from 6pm.com for a fraction of the retail price (yaaaaaas!).
It was love at first sight.
Made in Italy and topped off with a black velvet bow, these pumps were comfortable enough to make the rounds about the venue multiple times. Again, another piece I will be wearing as much as possible!
Maybe even for next year’s ball!
You can see more from the ball on my Instagram page in the “USMC Ball 2018” highlights, including a few videos!