Winter isn’t always the most popular season for weddings. In fact, according to The Knot, only 11 percent of weddings take place between December and February, with February accounting for only 3 percent of them. If you’re a winter wedding guest, finding a suitable outfit can be daunting.
Depending on where you live, winters can be extreme… extremely cold and extremely unpredictable. And “weather” you’re the happy couple or a guest, winter wedding attire can be confusing. Do you go super fancy or keep it casual? Do you splurge on a luxurious coat to not detract from the elevated outfit you’ve styled? And what about shoes?
There are so many options! Here is our 2024 guide to choosing an ensemble that keeps you well-dressed, warm, and comfortable at a winter wedding.
Embrace the season’s color palette and textures.
Winter fashion tends to incorporate richer and darker colors than other seasons throughout the year. Jewel tones like ruby red, navy blue, and emerald green, or classic winter colors like burgundy or forest green incorporate your look with the season’s ambiance. Make a nod to the magic and whimsy of the season with sparkles, sequins, and metallics incorporated throughout.
Women can consider velvet, satin, or heavy silk for your fabric. They’re beautiful and luxurious and provide extra warmth. For a less formal wedding, consider a sweater dress. Men can try a wool or tweed suit for a formal wedding, or a velvet jacket with black slacks for a less formal wedding.
Experiment with the season’s silhouettes.
Winter weddings are the perfect opportunity to experiment with different silhouettes. Once you take off your coat, you still want to be warm enough for the occasion.
For women, long sleeves, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits not only provide extra warmth but are glamorous and comfortable. Men can explore various suit cuts, with a preference for heavier fabrics for added warmth.
Always anticipate at least SOME time outside. Whether you’re leaving the ceremony venue to head to the reception hall, standing outside to send off the couple, stepping outside to get some air, or sprinting from the car to the venue, you’ll want to be prepared for whatever is happening outdoors.
For women, incorporate a shawl, cover up with a peacoat or a cape, or wrap up in an oversized scarf. Men should consider a tailored or classic pea coat with a scarf that complements their outfit. Depending on your location and the weather, you might consider doubling up or adding an extra layer to wear inside.
Accessorize to add some glam.
Accessories play an important role in winter wedding attire. Women might opt for elegant gloves that match or complement the material of their outfit. Adding a statement necklace, ornate earrings, a classic broach or a beautiful barrett can elevate the look. Men can enhance their look with a sophisticated tie, pocket square, or cufflinks.
Keep your shoes sensible… or be ready to change at the venue.
More formal, fancy dress doesn’t typically go well with snow boots. And open-toed stilettos don’t go well with snow and ice. When the weather isn’t ideal, you may need to select something practical for outdoors and carry a second pair for indoor use.
If you don’t want to lug a second pair around, there are still sensible options. Close-toed shoes in winter-ready fabrics are a must and if possible, styles with some tread on the bottom can help keep you safe from slips.
Attending a winter wedding is an opportunity to showcase your style while keeping the season’s demands in mind. By embracing rich colors, seasonal fabrics, and sensible yet stylish accessories, you can enjoy the celebration in comfort and style. Whether it’s a formal affair or a casual gathering, there’s always a way to stay fashionable and warm for winter weddings.
Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and proud Cleveland sports fan.