Holiday Party Ready

To say that I am entirely unprepared for Christmas would be an understatement; I've only just begun my holiday shopping this week. Nevertheless, December is always my favorite time of the year. Sam and I finally got around to decorating our home last weekend and I must say that I have really been digging the holiday spirit since. I've been blaring non-stop, Christmas music - which is surprisingly not my style; I'm craving all things gingerbread, I switched out my favorite red wine for a festive moscow mule, and I'm styling blinged-out reindeer sweaters to the office (thankfully, we have a pretty relaxed dress code). Just this upcoming weekend, Sam and I have THREE different holiday parties to attend.

With that being said, I know that it can be difficult to find outfits to wear for your corporate holiday party, Christmas family dinners, and the ultimate New Years' Eve night out - especially on a budget. So, Sam and I decided to share our holiday best with you today! [I've added a ton of gorgeous options to shop from at the bottom of this post]

Since Sam and I both generally have fancy work functions to attend during the holiday season, I wanted to find a festive (and affordable) gown that I could easily dress up over and over again. This merlot-colored dress from LuLu's is the perfect Christmas gown and needs nothing more than a simple shawl draped over it to finish off the look. Although... a pair of crystal, drop earrings never hurt anyone, either ;)

To compliment my dress without going over the top, Sam styled his new Banana Republic chunky knit sweater with waxed Nudie Jeans, a button-down shirt, and simple dress shoes. He always knows how to dress up while remaining comfortable (and warm). Maybe he'll teach me one day - LOL.

Can you believe that this was our very first time shooting in Washington, DC? Sam and I both have lived within 1 hour of the capital all of our lives and had not visited the Lincoln Memorial together until this past Sunday. Although it was 35 degrees and my fingers had literally turned purple from shooting without a proper, Winter coat, it was decidedly very worth it. Even more so because I didn't wind up with an awful cold on Monday (the definition of a true Christmas miracle!) 

I mentioned on our Instagram story briefly that this day was an extra special one to put in the books of shooting with AE. The afternoon before this was shot, our location had fallen through with a vendor so, we were kind of scrambling last minute because of the chilly weather. Jade, our photographer, and I had decided to just go for it and drive to DC to shoot outdoors instead. What you don't see in these photos is that between shots, Sam had me wrapped up in jackets, coddling my fingers, and shielding me from the wind to keep warm.

After we made it back to our car and I changed into the coziest of sweaters in the back seat (#noshame), we ventured over to the Union Market and got ourselves two hot teas, Korean tacos, and warmed up while walking hand in hand through the gift stores. I could not stop smiling at how perfect the day turned out after being so stressed just the night before. It was a nice reminder that although life doesn't always go as planned, it is truly the people you are surrounded by that help make the best memories. 

Photography courtesy of Jade Nikkole Photo: 
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What are you wearing for your holiday parties this year? Tag us in your best holiday dress via Instagram or Facebook!

xo Anna Elizabeth