What to Wear to Winter Weddings

Guest attire suggestions for when the temperature drops.

Consider these different styles and fabrics for your next winter wedding!

Photo: Laurie Bailey Photography

Wedding dress codes are notoriously difficult to figure out for those who aren’t accustom to the rules. Just when you think you have it figured out after surviving another wedding season, you have a loved one’s winter nuptials instead. Suddenly your go-to knee-length frock no longer seems appropriate. When it comes to destination events in tropical locales or celebrations held in temperate climates, the season doesn’t have to impact attire. However, when the temperatures drop, guests may want to consider different styles and fabrics.

what to wear to winter weddings, dress code tips for winter wedding

Photo by Artistrie Co.

Naturally, floor-length dresses are more common as it gets colder, and sleeves or high necklines can be both practical and chic. Velvet can be a very elegant option for evening gowns, and is conveniently back in style thanks to the re-appreciation of ‘90s trends. Sequins can also be a good choice for more formal affairs, provided you know the style of the wedding will be on the glitzy side. Matte sequins do help to tone things down if you don’t want to be overly flashy. Even if it’s not a holiday wedding, it always feels a bit more festive to dress up more at this time of year. Embrace texture instead of more relaxed chiffon gowns. If you still wear a shorter dress for a cocktail or semiformal dress code, try a more fitted brocade fabric instead of something light and flowy.  

Layers may not be necessary – particularly for a hotel wedding where you never have to go outside; however, if you don’t want to risk shivering, be sure to pick up an elegant long coat. Tights are always a great way to stay warm – plus they can make a shorter dress winter-ready, particularly for a wedding more casual than formal or black tie. Pumps are typically a safe choice for shoes, as strappy sandals or open-toe heels seem less appealing in the cold. However, booties paired with a knee-length dress and wool tights would be a good fit for a more laid-back rustic or boho-chic event. 

For more ideas, see color scheme ideas for a winter wedding and learn eight ways to keep your guest list small