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What to Wear to a Winter Wedding for Guests & Brides

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Summer weddings are sort of a style no-brainer – throw on a sexy sundress, some strappy sandals, rock tousled, beachy waves and you look incredibly chic.

But it’s not quite as easy in the winter, especially if you live in a cold weather climate. In addition to looking fabulous, you also must consider how you’ll stay warm. Although the walk from the limo to the door isn’t a long one, you’d rather not freeze before you arrive.

One could argue, however, that winter wedding fashion is even more luxurious and dramatic. So, we say embrace the challenge and enjoy creating a memorable look that oozes elegance. Read on for a few of our favorite fashion pointers for brides and guests alike.

Luxuriously Warm Fabrics for Winter Weddings

Set aside the gauzy chiffons and light linens for thicker, richer materials like velvet, silk, lace and jacquard. These fabrics look heavier and more appropriate for the winter season and they do a much better job at keeping you warm when you slip outside for a glimpse at the stars or just a breath of fresh air.

This tip works well for brides too as many elaborate wedding gowns are quite heavy with several layers of material. So, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the perfect winter wedding style with touches of those luxurious winter textiles.

Stunning Headpieces

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that we fully support wearing fancy hats and fascinators to formal events all year round. But when it’s chilly out, the right hat can be just as useful as it is beautiful. And, in fact, we think they’re so indispensable that winter brides should have 2 bridal hats on their big day – one for inside and one for outside. We like the idea of having a smaller hat or fascinator with a birdcage or blusher veil for inside and a larger one with fur or feathers for outside.

For wedding guests, keep the height of the hat in mind as you choose. You may not want a very tall hat as it could get in the way of people viewing the ceremony. And be sure to choose a hairstyle that accommodates your hat or fascinator the way it’s supposed to be worn and figure out how you’ll keep in place before the day of the wedding to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

Outrageously Stylish Outerwear

No matter what you do, don’t neglect your winter wedding outerwear. After all, the first impression you make may be in your coat or jacket. Why not use this as the perfect excuse to wear fur (faux or real) for some serious insulation and style points? For brides, we love a fur muff and stole in outdoor pictures – again, useful and gorgeous all at the same time.

Rich, Jewel Tones

Summer weddings are often awash in soft, lovely pastel shades. Winter weddings, on the other hand, are the perfect time to bring out the deeper jewel hued colors like navy, eggplant, emerald and scarlet. The same can go for brides who want an untraditional look that strays far from a white wedding.

For the traditional brides who want to be just a little different, think about choosing a white dress with colored details or opting for a creamy ivory or blush instead of bright white. You can also incorporate pops of jewel tones in your accessories.


Credit: Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, David Meister

Although long sleeves don’t usually immediately spring to mind when we think of formalwear, there are so many lovely options for wedding guest and bridal dresses with various types of sleeves. One of our favorites? Illusion sleeves made of a sheer fabric with some beading or embroidery embellishment. It’s a great compromise that allows you to feel sexy while being a bit covered.

If you get a little nervous at the prospect of planning a winter wedding look for brides and guests alike that’s chic and warm, you’re not alone. Try to see it as an opportunity to look stylish in a new way and have fun with the drama that winter wedding style allows.

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