What to wear to a winter wedding: Stylish AND Warm
You’ve RSVP’d to that upcoming winter wedding, and so begins the low-level panic.
Choosing a wedding guest dress is particularly challenging when you’re contending with cold weather.
Your outfit needs to be match-fit; ready to withstand chilly temperatures and rain, should it rudely interrupt the day.
So, where to begin? In this guide, we explain what to wear to a winter wedding to stay stylish and warm.
No matter whether the impending wedding is at a winery, farm, inner-city venue, or church — we’ve got you covered.
What to Wear to a Winter Wedding
If you’re wondering what exactly constitutes cold wedding attire, there’s really no straightforward answer.
As a general rule of thumb, start by checking the invitation for a dress code or specific outfitting instructions.
This will help to guide you towards, or away from, certain silhouettes. For example, a formal or black-tie dress code signifies your hemline needs to fall at a midi or maxi length, but you may be able to get away with a mini dress at a semi-formal or cocktail wedding.
You’ll notice we reject the idea that bright colours and prints are reserved for summer weddings only.
But more on that below. When it comes to colour, the only no-go on our list is white (or anything that could pass as white; your soft beige dress is out, too), unless otherwise specified by the bride or groom-to-be.
The one feature we do believe is a must for winter weddings? Sleeves. Whether the sleeves are part of your dress, or you opt for a faux fur coat or cape to throw on top, covering your arms will lock in the heat and keep you comfortable all night long.
What to Wear to a Winter Wedding Outside
For winter weddings taking place outside, sleeves truly are essential. Keep your spaghetti-strap number for a wedding where the temperature is more than 20 degrees celsius.Most outdoor weddings will take place at wineries or farms, either under a marquee or under the twinkling night sky.
Below, we share our top picks for what to wear to an outdoor wedding at a winery or farm.
At a Winery
If you’re heading to an outdoor winery for a wedding, the dress code is likely to be lounge suit, cocktail, or semi-formal.
While we love a good mini dress, it simply won’t be the most comfortable option for an outdoor winter wedding.
Opt for midi or maxi-length dresses instead. A longer dress will help to keep your legs warm and is a safe silhouette for all dress codes, so you’ll be comfortable and event-appropriate.
As wineries are slightly more relaxed settings than churches or inner-city venues, we recommend fun, floaty silhouettes with statement features.
Think dramatic puff sleeves, wrap-style waist ties, and bow detailing.
Moody dark-based florals or softer earthy tones work well at wineries. If you’re particularly sensitive to the cold, it’s a good idea to come prepared with an overcoat or shawl to snuggle up into as night falls.
A faux fur wrap will always be our top pick. They’re cozy, easy-wearing, and feel a little glamorous.
At a Farm
Looking for dresses for a farm wedding? There are a few things to consider here.
At a farm wedding, we suggest leaning into colour. Yep — forget what you heard about bright colours and winter being incompatible.
Don’t let the dreary weather stop you from stepping out in something vibrant and joyful. You’re at a wedding, after all!
Take hints from the landscape and opt for floral-inspired prints and shapes. For daytime weddings, orange and pink tones work well, while bold reds and greens are ideal for nighttime nuptials.
Keep hems at a midi or maxi length to ensure warmth and to avoid any dress code mishaps.
As for accessories, keep in mind that a farm wedding may require walking on grass. Read: stilettos are a definite no. Opt for block heels, wedges, or boots instead.
What to Wear to a Winter Wedding Inside
At an indoor winter wedding, you’ll be shielded from the elements, but long sleeves and lengthier hemlines are still ideal.
The travel to and from the venue alone is enough to warrant some extra coverage.
That being said, do check the dress code to save yourself from arriving at a casual reception in a floor-length gown.
Let’s take a look at what to wear to winter weddings at inner-city venues and churches.
At an Inner-City Venue
Whether you’re heading to a special event space, bar, or ballroom for this inner-city wedding, lean into glamour.Satin or sequined dresses are perfect for winter weddings — these fabrications exude elegance and sophistication.
They also carry a bit more weight than summer-appropriate linen and cotton materials, meaning they’ll keep you warm over the course of the evening.
If you are opting for a satin or sequinned fabrication, go for a simple silhouette. Think classic wrap dresses and fitted high-neck gowns.
Avoid anything with excessive ruffles, frills, or cut-outs — these features are more fitting for summer weddings.
When it comes to colour palettes, dusty pastels and shimmering hues work beautifully at winter weddings.
Soft blues, lilacs, and silvers speak to the season, while rose and gold tones add a touch of much-needed warmth.
At a Church
Church weddings usually require dresses that are formal and modest.
If in doubt, stick to conservative hemlines and necklines.
The bonus? That extra coverage will keep you warm!
Consider styles with raised collars, bishop sleeves, and peplum hems; features inspired by old-world silhouettes.
A faux-fur wrap makes for the perfect outer layer.
For very traditional church ceremonies, opt for rich wine and earthy tones.
Alternatively, for a more modern feel, opt for a chic wrap dress or a fitted midi dress.
These styles also work well for petite frames that may be overwhelmed by sweeping silhouettes.
Plum, ruby, chocolate, and navy hues are ideal.
If the event is a little more relaxed, look to a dynamic print in celebratory, vibrant hues.
What Do You Wear Under Your Dress?
If you’re still concerned that you’ll feel the chill, pop a slip and a pair of thermal bike shorts underneath your dress.Go for skin-tight beige styles that won’t bunch up or show through.
These will add a bit of extra warmth and comfort, as well as prevent your dress from clinging to your skin.
Hire Your Winter Wedding Guest Dress
With some style inspiration under your belt, it’s time to get shopping for your winter wedding guest dress.You can hire all of the dresses mentioned in this article online through our website.
Dress hire allows you to wear a designer item for just a fraction of the price and save space in your wardrobe too!
When you hire your special occasion outfits, you’re also contributing to a circular fashion economy and helping to limit the amount of fashion and textile waste ending up in landfills.