Girlfriends’ Guide to Graduation: Soda City Style

With graduation season quickly approaching, I thought I’d bring you some tips for making your weekend one to remember and to help your weekend go as smooth as possible!


No dress? No problem.  Rent the Runway is the best thing I’ve ever signed up for It’s perfect for wearing statement dresses, jewelry, and bags without the splurge. My dress had a retail price was $398 but I was able to rent it for only $45. Use code FIRSTRTR to get 20% off any rental if it’s your first time renting from the website. Totally worth it if you’re like me and you don’t like to wear special occasion items more than once and you’ve taken 100 plus pictures in the dress.


Photos:  A photo shoot isn’t complete without the beautiful scenery of the state house. If you’re a graduate of a Columbia area college this is a must. Also, the USC Horseshoe or a place you spent a lot of time (your specific college at your university) for instance, I graduated with my Masters in Teaching, so it was only right that I snap a few photos in front of The College of Education.





  • Bourbon – a nice cajun creole place open for brunch or dinner – the biscuit of champions and 3.00 mimosas are a must on Saturday or Sunday mornings. For dinner try the duck noodle bowl…thank me later!
  • Publico – hello buy one get one brunch cocktails.
  • Mr. Friendly’s – the fish of the day is always a win in my book…and stomach.
  • 1801 Grille: great dinner options and even better brunch, especially if your family can’t decide where to go because they offer an unlimited breakfast buffet for only $15 per person so they can enjoy a nice selection.


Places to take your family:

  • Soda City – because did you even spend a weekend in Columbia if you didn’t spend a couple of hours here? They’re open each Saturday from 9am – 1pm.
  • The Grand
  • City Roots Farm
  • Devine Street Shops – stop by Za’s and get the amazing blackened cajun pasta while you’re there!
  • River Rat Brewery
  • Richland County Public Library – Assembly
  • Columbia Fireflies Game


Graduation Cap: get it designed so you can stand out, they’re over 5,000 graduates each year so the chances of your family seeing you in a crowd are slim to none. Plus it’s super cute and fun. I got a local artist to use my cap as a canvas and it turned out beautifully.


Oh and one last thing…DO NOT buy another graduation gown if you’ve already received a degree from the same university, they all look the same! I had the pleasure of also receiving my undergrad degree from The University of South Carolina. Same cap, same gown, the only thing I actually purchased was a new tassel and my Master’s hood (use that $65 on something else)!



dsc03235Shoes: Steve Madden – Jewelry: Alex & Ani – Dress: Tory Burch

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.



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