New This Month

For the Guests: What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

We consulted a few wedding experts.

Contributing Writer
wedding guests in snow
Photography by: Lacie Hansen Photography

Winter weddings are gorgeous. The crisp, cold air and the snow that sometimes sheets the ground makes for fairytale-inspired photos and an evening to remember. The only thing that's difficult about a winter wedding is deciding what to wear as a guest. Most formal gowns tend to be designed for warmer weather—with capped sleeves or no sleeves at all. To help guide you towards the most appropriate attire for winter weddings, we asked stylists to share their dressing dos and don'ts.


Related: Wedding Guest Dos and Don'ts


Do: Use Bridal Trends as Inspiration

Kerline Docteur of Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, in Windermere, Florida, recommends taking cues from what's hot in bridal fashion. "From mini capes to moto jackets, jumpsuits to amazing slacks, you can find a trend that fits your style to perfection," she says. "Long sleeves, bold prints, sequins, lace or gold threading are beautiful embellishments that can be incorporated in winter wedding outfit."


Don't: Wear Winter White

Depending on who you talk to, wearing white after Labor Day is totally fine, but most certainly not to a wedding (any time of year, for the record). "Although 'winter white' can be a very sophisticated look, the same rule that always holds true at weddings (unless the bride specifies otherwise), that only the people getting married should be wearing white," says Sara Kirsner, owner and designer for Doie Lounge. "Even if you've got the perfect white wool pantsuit, even though it isn't a dress, it is still not appropriate for this event."


Do: Accessories with Faux Fur

No matter how much coverage your dress offers, having a little something extra to add warmth aside from your actual coat can be helpful. Choose something stylish, like faux fur, which is an affordable accessory to dress up your outfit while also adding warmth. "Faux fur has an elegance all its own, which works well with the timelessness of love, Champagne, and all things romantic," says Kirsner. "We're seeing faux fur all over the runways this season, so although timeless, it is also very on trend."


Don't: Rock Flower Print

Seriously. Though it's possible to get away with floral prints at a spring or summer wedding, you should skip this look for a winter wedding, our experts agree. Try another print instead for a more seasonally-appropriate look.


Do: Wear Jewel Tones

It's tempting to rely on a good old LBD when a wedding invite arrives, but stylists recommend instead trying out a color palette in jewel tones. "Deep purples, emerald greens and royal blues, were made for winter weddings, as they all add a pop of color while still feeling appropriate for the season," says Kirsner. If you do choose a bold color, make sure it's one without a lot of texture. "If you do sequins, it's best to keep it black or silver. Other colors may make it look like a costume," notes wedding planner, Guerdy Abraira. "Simple yet bold is key here!"


Do: Add Some Sparkle and Shine

We're seeing sparkle and shine, especially in metallic hues, everywhere this season—in makeup, clothing, you name it. "Metallics and crystals are ruling the runways," says Kirsner. Even if you don't plan to wear a shiny or sequined dress, there is almost no excuse not to add a little dazzle to your outfit by way of crystal earrings or a glittering clutch. "The darkness of winter makes it the perfect the time to shine—and what better place than a wedding?"