Your Complete Guide on What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings are undeniably romantic, but for wedding guests, they can be tough events to tackle because typically, the type of attire required for a formal event like a wedding isn't exactly the most comfortable to wear when it's frigid outside. From slinky ball gowns to cute cocktail dresses, wedding attire can often leave you shivering in the cooler temperatures.

To provide you with a little sartorial guidance, below we’re sharing our complete guide on what to wear to a winter wedding—with plenty of outfits ideas and tips for every dress code, whether you’re going to a black-tie or more casual affair. Unlike spring and summer weddings where you can wear the bare minimum, winter weddings call for dresses and pantsuits that are made from thick fabrics like velvet and come with sleeves or high necklines. You can also amp up your jewelry and cute cold-weather accessories to work with the icy temps outside.

Before we go into plenty of wedding guest dress options for a winter wedding, here are a few dos and don’s to keep in mind.

Do: Consider the Location and Weather


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Will it be windy, snowy, sunny? Is it a city or country wedding? What's the terrain like? It's good to have a gauge on the temps and conditions so you can bring the proper outerwear, layers, and shoe options. If it's snowy, it's completely fine to wear boots then change into closed-toe heels later.

Do: Wear Seasonal Colors


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Lean into winter's jewel tones and icy hues—rich burgundy, emerald green, silver, gold, plum, and deep blues are just some of the excellent options. And of course, a little black dress is totally fair game.

Do: Layer Up


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The best way to look stylish while staying warm during a winter wedding is layering appropriately. Think a faux-fur coat, a plush shrug, a soft shawl, a chic vest, as well as tights to keep you toasty. Opt for warm and eye-catching textures as well as thicker fabrics such as velvet.

Do: Try Pantsuits and Jumpsuits


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You don't always have to wear a dress to a winter wedding. In fact, dressy one-pieces or separates in luxe fabrics such as satin, velvet, or glittery knits are suitable and stylish options.

Do: Wear Cold-Weather Accessories


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Look chic without getting frostbite, and opt for elevated cold-weather accessories to wear with your outfits such as chic ear warmers, a faux-fur scarf, and gloves with fur accents.

Don't: Wear White


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This is kind of obvious, but white is a no-no when it comes to dressing for weddings—no matter the season. Stick to classic black or the other winter colors mentioned above.

Don't: Wear Inappropriate Footwear


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If you know you're going to be outdoors, closed-toe shoes are a smarter option than open-toe sandals to keep the chill away. If there is going to be snow, opting for a pair of boots (and a change of shoes later) is a good idea. A barn wedding could call for cowboy boots. In other words, research the temperature and location, and make an appropriate shoe choice so you stay comfortable and warm all day and night.

Don't: Wear Extremely Thin Fabrics


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Unless you’re heading to a winter wedding at a tropical locale, skip ultra-thin fabrics such as mesh, lace, and chiffon in favor of warmer, thicker fabrics such as velvet, knits, and faux-fur outerwear that will keep you warm all night.

Don't: Forget a Chic Coat


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If it's a cold outdoor winter wedding, you'll want a chic and warm topper to throw over your ensemble. Opt for a chic silhouette and luxe textures such as faux fur to elevate your ensemble.



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When it comes to the dress code, winter weddings typically tend to be a bit formal in nature, with many couples opting for a formal or black-tie attire. In this case, opt for a floor-length gown in classic deeper hues such as navy, burgundy, and black. A velvet dress or even something with subtle sparkle is a great option. Style with a statement coat and pointed-toe pumps.




(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reach for a statement cocktail-length dress paired with tights and heels. Layer a chic blazer or coat on top and don't forget statement accessories.




(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

While it may be semi-formal, it's always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Opt for a velvet pantsuit with a silky top underneath and finish with pointed-toe pumps. You're guaranteed to look sharp in this. 


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Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.