Everything You Need to Know about What to Wear to a Winter Wedding
October 25, 2017
Temperatures are cooling off but love is still in the air – winter wedding season is coming up fast. There’s just one question: what in the world do you wear to a winter wedding? Maybe you’ve been invited to a winter wedding, are picking out your bridesmaids’ gowns, or just can’t decide which outfit is best to show off your flower girl’s cuteness. We’ve got the scoop on what’s in and what’s out. Whether you’re heading to hills of western Massachusetts for a ceremony by the lake or taking a trip to one of the swankiest ballroom in your home town, you want to look picture perfect and these tips on what to wear to a winter wedding will definitely help.
From delicate filigree-type designs to heavy layered fabrics that are almost royal in feel, lace is the kind of timeless fabric that can be used for a variety of styles and applications. Lace is normally associated with more formal affairs but it can be dressed down if you opt for a shorter or more modern cut. Long sleeves or tea-length dresses offer modesty for those who might appreciate a more mature or conservative ensemble but an A-line dress with a lace bodice can also come across as feminine and youthful. Go for an all-over lace look or opt for a design that features lace edging for a subtler touch.
From shimmery gold to stately bronze to the sleek aura of platinum or sterling silver, metallics give any outfit a touch of shine and class. Reflective fabrics and accessories can also be evocative of the holidays – think tinsel, wrapping paper, and Christmas tree ornaments. Look for a vintage clutch, reflective pumps, or a soft pashmina shot through with glittery threads.
Soft, plush, and deliciously downy, velvet is the kind of dreamy fabric that always feels wonderful when you slip it on. It’s also the go-to winter fabric of fashionistas because it exudes warmth without sacrificing style in the process. You can wear wide-leg pants in velvet, pair a skirt or slacks with a bell-sleeve velvet top, or opt for a gown. Even a long velvet duster would look gorgeous while warding off the winter chill.
A Well-Tailored Suit
Brilliantly tailored pants and a blazer that nips in just right at the waist will be super flattering. For a swankier look, choose a suit in a metallic, patterned, or silky fabric or you can pair a more traditional pant set with a silky t-shirt, lace-edged camisole, or brightly colored blouse. A black suit provides the ideal backdrop for statement jewelry like chandelier earrings or a chunky necklace, too.
There are tons of clothing companies currently doing wonderful things with faux fur. You can select a coat with a fluffy trim, wear shoes with fur ankle accents, or try on a dress that uses fur as a flirty accent in place of ruffles or frills.
Boots can be both practical and attractive and they’re wonderful for plodding through an unplowed parking lot or snowy field on your way to the church. Boots with flat or low heels are best for traction and dancing and styles featuring sleek lines and high-end materials will complement your dress. Go for knee-high boots with a midi sheath dress or shorter wool skirt or swap out your clunky stand-by clompers for of-the-moment ankle booties to prove that you’re always on-trend.
Keep bare legs from getting chilled to the bone by slipping on some tights – and we don’t mean nude nylons like your Granny used to wear! There are tons of fashion-forward leg coverings currently on the market. From brocade tights to fishnets to iridescent legging-like styles, there’s bound to be something that provides coverage and ups your style quotient at the same time. To avoid being overly garish, balance out a more daring pair of tights with a dress or skirt in a more basic hue and cut.
You can’t go wrong with layers but shivering in never fun at a wedding. Instead of stealing attention away from the ceremony, keep warm with a wrap. Slinging a cashmere scarf or wooly cardigan over your shoulders provides an extra barrier against the cold without hiding away your pretty outfit. You can also shop for a stole so you can snuggle your hands in its furry folds in between toasts.
Jumpsuits aren’t having quite the moment they were a year or two ago but they’re still very popular. In fact, designers are having more fun with jumpsuits than they have in decades, crafting renditions that feature fun necklines, cool cutouts, and mix-and-match fabrics that add a ton of visual interest. When you’re wondering what to wear to a winter wedding that also fits with your desire for a more eclectic ensemble, a jumpsuit may be a flawless way introduce a funky aesthetic to a more formal occasion.
Eggplant, jade, royal blue, cabernet – all these rich, deep tones feel both warm and inviting. You can even get away with pairing a more summer dress (think spaghetti straps or strapless) in a lush hue with a warming topper so you don’t have to completely revamp your wardrobe just to make a memorable appearance at an upcoming winter wedding.
Glitz and Glamour
Winter weddings tend to be more formal affairs, meaning you can debut that sparkly number you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Paillettes, sequins, rhinestones, oh my! They’re all fine for a reception, just make sure your selection isn’t over-the-top for the venue (especially if there’s a more traditional ceremony before the celebrating starts).
A Chic Coat
You want to make a statement coming and going as well as while you’re at the wedding, right? That requires outerwear that’s every bit as interesting as whatever you’ve decided to put on under it. A structured trench or pea coat will do the trick or go vintage with a swinging capelet that swings beautifully as you sashay to your car.
A Three-Piece Suit
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the men! Snowy weather is the perfect excuse for unpacking that three-piece suit you splurged on but haven’t yet had the chance to wear. You’ll look incredibly dapper without worrying about sweating through the ceremony and the extra pockets a waistcoat provides are perfect for sneaking a few extra shrimp or hiding away your best man speech.
What to Avoid
You’re now armed with plenty of ideas as to what constitutes stunning winter wedding wear, but are there are no-nos you need to know about? Prepping for cold-weather “I dos” does come with a few possible pitfalls.
- Strappy Sandals and Open-Toed Shoes: Neither option is an automatic fail but anyone who has put on a beautiful new pair of silk-strapped stilettos only to ruin them trying to traipse through sleet or snow knows the pain of losing their favorite footwear. Worse than that, your feet are now soggy and that makes you cold through and through – not the way you want to start (or end) a party.
- Floral Fabrics: There are some floral prints that work as winter wear but you’ll need to find a pattern in the right rich color palate or try on a dress with floral embroidery instead. Tropical motifs and bright colors will likely look out of place.
- Pastels: Speaking of bright colors, pastels practically scream “Easter” and that’s not what you want to evoke in the middle of January.
- Suede, Silk, or Raw Leather Footwear: Fancy fabrics and wet grass don’t mix. Whether you’re attending a wedding in the middle of the city or at a lakeside cabin in the Berkshires, you need to account for the weather when you’re selecting your shoes or your likely to be pretty upset with the results.
- Denim or Flannel: We get it, it’s cold and you want to be comfortable, but there are few couples who want their wedding pictures to include guests who wouldn’t look equally at home on the farm or out fishing. If you’re normally more casual style wise, you can still be true to yourself without coloring outside the lines of wedding etiquette. A blazer over a button down and khaki trousers works well for men and ladies can dress up cigarette pants and a slinky blouse with a few pieces of costume jewelry.
- White: It’s wrong for the season and for the occasion – unless of course you’re the bride! Need we say more?
We’ve got you covered as to what to wear to a winter wedding, but a lot will depend on where you’re headed for the big day. Still on the hunt for a wedding venue that’s both different and out-of-this-world romantic? Discover the all-season lakeside luxury of our guest cottages at The Lake House. Here you’ll find all the natural majesty of the Berkshires combined with top-notch accommodations that will impress guests and your wedding party alike. For more information on how you can make your day unique, check out our wedding page and schedule a tour!