What to Wear To A Winter Wedding? Chic Outfit Ideas

There’s something magical about a winter wedding. The snowy backdrop, the frosty air – it’s all so stunning. But here’s the big question: What to wear?

If you are unsure what to wear to a winter wedding when it’s freezing outside, I’ve got you covered.  Check out my guide on choosing the most elegant, season-appropriate wedding guest attire. I’ve also styled some winter wedding guest outfits for inspiration.


winter wedding guest attire - jewel toned dresses

Navy Sequin dress | Green Silk dress

1. What to Wear to a Winter Wedding -Wear Deep, Rich Colors

Pink, peach, and light blue are natural choices in the spring/summer, but a deep, rich palette is more inviting in the winter. Go for:

  • Jewel Tones: Consider darker colors like deep emerald green, royal sapphire blue, and luxurious burgundy to add luxury to your winter wedding look.
  • Neutrals: Timeless winter whites, chic grays, and classic blacks are elegant choices that complement the season beautifully.
  • Metallics: Shine like fresh snow with metallics such as gold, silver, or rose gold. Silver is the top choice in 2024!
  • Rich Reds: Deep reds like maroon or wine can make a bold statement and are perfect for holidays in Nov/Dec.
  • Black: It’s fine to wear black year-round to any formal wedding, but it is especially appropriate in winter. Add some sparkle so it’s not a somber look!

Red velvet dress for -Winter wedding


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2. Chose Luxurious, Elegant Fabrics

Let’s talk fabrics, ladies. In the winter chill, you’ll want heavier materials for extra warmth, that are also elegant. The best winter wedding guest dresses are made from these sumptuous fabrics:

  • Velvet: My favorite of the thicker fabrics when the temperature drops. Whether it’s a velvet dress, blazer, or accessories, it adds a touch of luxury to your outfit.
  • Silk/Satin: Smooth, elegant, and comfortable, silk and satin dresses, blouses, or scarves are beautiful in winter.
  • Brocade: Consider brocade or jacquard if you’re in the mood for texture and intricate patterns. These are excellent choices for gowns or blazers.

When my sister was married in December many years ago,  I wore a long, red velvet gown with lace. It was warm, wintry, and luxurious.  Another guest wore a short taffeta cocktail dress in deep purple and looked just as stunning.



3.  Sleeves are a Good Idea

A sleeveless dress can leave you feeling chilly in a drafty church during the ceremony or at the reception venue if you are sitting near a window.  Long sleeves make sense if you tend to get cold.

However, when they are opaque, they can look heavy. So instead,  try 3/4 length sleeves a semi-sheer long-sleeve dress or lace sleeves.

Of course, a pretty wrap with a sleeveless or short-sleeved dress is always elegant and solves your arm problem.



what to wear to a winter wedding jewel tones

Blue Sapphire Dress | Black Embellished dress

4. Dress to Code

As with any wedding, any season, pay close attention to the dress code mentioned in the invitation. Here’s how to dress for different levels of formality:

  • Black Tie Wedding: Opt for a floor-length gown or formal winter wedding guest dress in a classic silhouette for a black-tie winter wedding. For example, an elegant one-shoulder dress.  Add glamorous accessories like statement jewelry to complete your look.
  • Formal: If it’s a formal affair, choose a cocktail dress in black or rich color or wear a tailored pantsuit. Don’t forget a stylish belt, clutch, and heels to elevate your style.
  • Semi-Formal Winter Wedding: Semi-formal weddings offer more flexibility. A knee-length dress, chic pantsuit, little black dress, or dressy evening jumpsuit is perfect, paired with chic accessories.
  • Casual: You can dress more relaxed for casual winter weddings. Think of a midi dress with boots or dark pants and a fancy blouse or top.

Wedding Guest - blue

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5. Think Twice About Your Shoes

Your choice of footwear can make or break your winter wedding guest outfit. Choose from:

  • Heels: Strappy evening sandals work year-round but are not the best shoes in cold January and February. I prefer dressy closed-toe pumps or peep-toe pumps because they are more practical. A pointy-toe pump will look the most elegant.
  • Boots: An excellent choice for outdoor winter weddings. Opt for knee-high or ankle boots that complement your outfit. Indoors – sometimes a pair of fine, sophisticated booties can work, but they will give your outfit an edgier look.
  • Flats: Chic flats can be just as stylish as heels and much more comfortable for dancing the night away. I’d recommend they have some pretty detail or embellishments like crystals.

6. Accessories: Bring on the Bling

Winter wedding guest dresses are richer, darker, and heavier, so feel free to pile on larger, more luxurious accessories. Think statement jewelry that is big, bold, and eye-catching.

A glamorous clutch is a great way to add some sparkle to a dark jewel winter wedding attire. You might even need a hat and leather gloves if you are gathering outside the church or if the wedding takes place outdoors.

Wedding Guest - Black

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7. Don’t Forget A Dressy Coat

What do you wear over your dress on the way to the church and when you enter the reception hall? Don’t think you can get away with your everyday puffy parka or casual car coat.

A cocktail dress calls for a classy jacket, a cape, or elegant winter wrap. Plan and consider these stylish options:

  • Faux Fur Stole or Shrug: A faux fur stole adds a touch of glamour while keeping you cozy.
  • Pashmina Shawl: Elegant and versatile, a pashmina shawl can be draped over your shoulders for added warmth.
  • Cashmere Coat: For a formal touch, consider a cashmere coat. It’s warm and timeless.
  • Trench Coat: A high-quality classic trench coat is perfect for semi-formal or casual winter weddings where it’s not quite as cold. It’s always sophisticated.

I suggest coordinating your outerwear with your outfit’s color palette to create a cohesive, classy look. So, for example, if you are wearing a soft pink dress, wear a beautiful white coat instead of a brown one.


8. Put on Your Winter Beauty Face

Remember to adjust your makeup and hairstyle for this time of year. Opt for winter-inspired beauty looks like deep berry lips, smoky eyes, and soft curls.

Consult with a professional makeup artist and hairstylist for a flawless finish.

Remember, confidence is the ultimate accessory.

Your Winter Wedding Guest Outfit – Done!

Knowing what to wear to a winter wedding at the coldest time of the year is easy. Visualize luxurious, rich, and even a little ornate.

Embrace the cold weather and the regal-looking winter wedding guest dresses that naturally complement it.

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27 thoughts on “What to Wear To A Winter Wedding? Chic Outfit Ideas

  1. What hosiery should a woman over 70 be wearing for dressier occasions? I see the bare leg look everywhere this year and don’t think I can get by with it anymore. On the other hand, wearing a hose says I am really old.

    1. Hi Judith, If your legs need a hose, wear a hose. I saw one woman in her 70s who tried to go without to look fantastic and was not pretty. There’s nothing wrong with hoses so long as they are ultra-sheer and as close to your skin color as you can find. I like Donna Karan Nudes Collection of hosiery and see they look very natural. Why don’t you give them a go? They are available at most major department stores.

  2. I’m attending a wedding in New Hampshire next weekend, Nov 10th. It’s being held at a barn venue, All rose Farm in Greenfield, NH. I have slim gray pants, an oversized gray and cream sweater, and a black knit dress of heavy material that I can layer with a bright jacket. What type of hoses do you wear? The idea of going with nothing on my legs in NH in Nov makes me cold just thinking about it.
    Thanks for your help.
    Cheryl S.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I don’t blame you for not wanting to go bare leg. It’s cold and doesn’t look right in November at all.
      This wedding sounds a little more casual, and if so, a pretty knit sweater dress would be lovely. The weight of the dress needs to be in balance with the importance of the dress, so if it is a heavy knit, you need a heavy opaque hose, and if it is a light fine knit, you can get away with a sheer dark hose (dark if the dress is unclear). In between, go with a semi-opaque hose. Have a great time!

  3. Hi Deb! I will be attending my nephew’s Christmas wedding in New Hampshire and love the green dress with the soft ruffle and accessories you posted under What to Wear to a Winter Wedding.

    1. Hi Linda, All the links are under the Outfit collage where it says SHOP THE POST. You can click and buy! You may have your ad blocker on if you don’t see them. Let me know. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessie, This is a church occasion so what about a pretty lace or floral dress? I think that is ladylike and would look lovely. A classic sheath dress would be nice.

  4. I love the actual dress, but my shop now feature is not working. Please tell me what brand it is, where I can find it, and the accessories. Thank you so much!

  5. Great ideas, thanks. But what to wear on legs for these dresses? Sheer stockings or bare legs? That’s my dilemma.

    1. Hi Deborah, It will depend on the climate and how you feel about your legs. There’s nothing wrong with a super sheer nude hose. Make sure they match your skin tone, are not shiny, and don’t wear them with open-toe sandals. I recommend Donna Karan Nudes. They are light and sheer, but you can get them with tummy control. Cheers, Deborah

  6. I love the Navy dress with sleeves and ruching. My daughter’s wedding is coming up n would love to wear this!!

  7. Lovely styles but none of these colors look good with my skin tone. I was an autumn, and even with silver hair, I still have skin tone and brown eyes, and I look better in greens than royal/navy blue. Not a lot of options out there for people like me. I am also 5’7 1/2″ and slim, and finding fit clothes is a real problem. And yes, I do have a MOB wedding coming up, and there is no MOG with whom I will have to coordinate outfits.

  8. Hi Deborah & Glam Gals! All of these dresses are elegant and just beautiful. The best fashion advice I received was from my best friend’s daughter-in-law, a professional model, ten years ago. She said, “Look at yourself in a full-length mirror from all angles (be honest with yourself) and determine if the outfit is both flattering and comfortable.

  9. Great outfits. I’m thin, and even though I’m short, I’d look good in them. Problem: I can’t wear decent shoes, so I can’t wear any of these dresses. My boots would totally ruin the outfit. So I go for long skirts for dressy affairs. It’s a real problem!

  10. What suggestions do you have for a “pear-apple” shaped body for a wedding. I am a guest to a “beachy” style wedding at the end of August, when it can still be quite hot. I have fair brunette hair and Scottish skin (pink and freckled!) and prefer creams and greys. I do not have fabulous arms.


    1. If it’s at the beach Kirstin, then why not a maxi ? They are very popular and work well for this type of wedding. As for your arms, you could try and find a 3/4 length sleeve which is very flattering or just bring a pretty wrap to cover your arms. I think this looks very pretty and it makes more sense if it is going to be hot outside. Cheers Deborah

  11. I always thought a little bit of ruching helped people who are a bit overweight, to hide the extra “rolls” we may have. Am I wrong?

  12. My friend who was a Miss America contestant way back told me that the best fashion advice she received for women over 40 was given to her dance teacher. It was, “Always wear sleeves if you’re over 40.” If you have fabulous arms, go for it. I agree, take a picture of yourself in the dress first. The camera doesn’t lie. This is a beautiful selection of dresses!

  13. Love the ruched dress & on such a tiny lady I’m sure you will look beautiful. My only worry would be how your arms appear in the sleeveless dress. I think the ladies advice of taking a picture of yourself in the dress should satisfy any worries you may have. Good luck with the wedding, have a great day.

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