What to wear to a winter wedding

a winter bride holds a green, white and blue floral bouquet

Choosing the right outfit to wear for a wedding can be hard enough at the best of times, particularly if there is a theme or colour code to stick to. Attending a wedding in winter can be even more difficult – not only do you have to worry about aesthetic concerns, but practical ones too.

If you’ve been invited to a winter wedding and are struggling to decide what to wear, keep reading for our top tips for your winter wedding wardrobe.

What to wear for a winter wedding

The first step to dressing for a winter wedding is to know the details of the event. Where is it being held? Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it in the middle of December, or closer to the fringes of winter, such as the tail end of February? Getting as many details as you can about the event will help you to make the best choice about what kind of clothing and footwear is appropriate. For example, if the wedding is in the height of winter, you may wish to wrap up far warmer than you might for a February wedding.

Additionally, it’s worth considering the type of event you’re invited to. If you’re invited to the wedding ceremony and the reception, your outfit will need to be appropriate for both events. Unless they’re being held in the same venue, you’ll need to be dressed adequately for travelling between the two locations. This might include sturdier footwear and warm layers you can take off once you’re indoors.

Think about the weather

Winter weather can be variable, so it might not be possible to predict the exact conditions you’ll be dealing with on the big day. However, keeping an eye on the forecasts could help you to avoid getting too cold or wet and ruining an otherwise enjoyable experience. Remember, you should consider the temperature for the whole event, not just when you arrive. Many wedding receptions stray into the night, when temperatures drop, so bringing a cardigan or jumper could help to keep you snug when the evening ends.

Most winter weddings will take place primarily indoors, but some may involve outdoor photo opportunities. If you’re close to the happy couple and will be involved in these photos, it’s worth choosing outer layers that coordinate well with the rest of your outfit. However, if you won’t be spending much time outdoors, prioritising warmth and comfort over style could be the way to go. If the weather is going to be really cold, jackets and coats with a fleece lining can be an excellent way to stay warm.

Footwear is also an important thing to think about for a winter wedding. One factor you shouldn’t forget is the location of the event. While farm or nature inspired weddings are often beautiful and joyous occasions, it’s vital to remember that grass can get very muddy in the winter. In order to keep your feet clean, dry and warm, skip the open toe sandal and opt for some thick socks and warm winter boots – perfect for any wedding location. Choose boots with a deep tread on the soles, as these can help you to keep your balance in snowy or icy conditions.

Think about the formality of the occasion

One piece of information you’ll likely be given on your invitation is the dress code. Some couples love the glitz and the glam, while others prefer a more casual, dressed down affair. Make sure you know the dress code for the event well ahead of time to avoid being the odd one out in the crowd.

Additionally, the role you play in the wedding can have an impact on what you wear. If you’re close to the happy couple or even part of the bridal party, there may be certain fashion expectations you should be aware of. Generally speaking, those who are simply attending the wedding as a guest can get away with being a little less formal, whereas those in the spotlight are often dressed to the nines. For most weddings, formal dresses or trouser suits are good options.

What colour can I wear to a winter wedding?

If you’re stuck between two outfits of different colours, your first port of call should be to check if there is a theme or colour scheme for the wedding. While you may not want to wear the same colours as the wedding party if you’re not part of it, you could choose a colour that complements their outfits. If no such colour guidelines can be found, then it’s up to you. Consider what options your partner or family have to create a complementary colour scheme of your own. At the very least, you should try not to clash with the wedding party or your close companions for the event.

Many winter wedding outfits lean towards darker shades, such as maroon, navy and forest green. Lighter, more summery shades are often favoured for warmer weather, and so the fabric may be less insulating – although there are, of course, exceptions. Metallic colours are also popular for more formal occasions, adding a little glamour to the outfit.

When choosing your main colour, be sure to consider the items you don’t have many options for. For example, if you only have one pair of winter boots, you should keep their colour in mind so your footwear won’t clash with the rest of your outfit. You should also consider your accessories and how you’re going to carry items such as your phone, car keys or purse. If your outfit has sufficient pockets – great! If not, you’ll need to pick a handbag or similar item that goes with your clothing.

What are the best fabrics for a winter wedding?

When choosing your outfit, you may wish to opt for heavier fabrics such as brocade or velvet to ensure you stay toasty all night long. Alternatively, you may prefer soft, cosy fabrics such as cotton or wool. If the wedding is to be held indoors, you should bear in mind that it might be quite warm inside the venue, with lots of people’s body heat filling up a room. To avoid overheating, it might be best to stick to cardigans or shawls for your warmth layer – this way, you can simply take them off if you get too warm.

With these top tips in mind, you should be able to find a suitable outfit for any winter wedding without having to sacrifice style or comfort.

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