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Winter Bride Style Guide

Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography. See more from this styled shoot.

Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography. See more from this festive styled shoot.

If you’re planning a winter wedding, you can have the dress of your dreams and avoid getting a chill! Here are some tips for feeling beautiful while also staying warm.

Your Dress

Flip through a bridal magazine, and lots of the dresses you find are strapless or sleeveless. As a winter bride, if a strapless or sleeveless gown catches your eye, go with it! Summer styles can be warmed up with long gloves, a faux fur muff, or an elegant cover up (see below).

If you want a warmer gown, look for gowns made from heavier fabrics like satin, taffeta or velvet. You can also look for a gown with 3/4- or full-length sleeves – thanks to Princess Catherine, sleeves are back! Full skirts and ball gowns are also appropriate for winter weddings.

Keeping Warm

No matter what style of dress you choose, you’re going to need a coat or some other kind of cover up when you’re outside. If you’re worried about your guests seeing you as you travel from the car to your ceremony or reception site, reconsider wearing your everyday winter coat. Here are several options for keeping warm outside and looking incredibly chic at the same time. Best of all, you’ll be able to wear it again!

Capes and Cloaks: An elegant cape or cloak in white, ivory or one of your wedding colors is a great way to stay warm. It will be beautiful in outdoor pictures, and you’ll want to wear it again for special occasions once your wedding day is over. A full-length cape will keep your whole body warm, but it will cover the details of your dress. A shorter cape will allow the details of your dress to be seen but won’t keep all of you warm.

Stoles and Wraps: Cover just your shoulders with a faux fur wrap or stole. It won’t be as warm as a full-length cape, but it won’t cover up the details of your dress, either. A faux fur muff will keep your hands toasty and warm.

Jackets: Boleros are short jackets that stop at the waist. They’ll keep your shoulders and arms warm while letting the details of your dress show.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Keep the weather in mind when you’re choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses, too. Look for heavier fabrics and styles with sleeves. If you do choose a sleeveless style, consider giving a cover up like a stole as a gift or letting your bridesmaids wear their winter coats over their dresses when they’re outside.


Your open-toe heels might be great on a warm summer day, but your toes will get chilly when there’s snow on the ground. Choose elegant boots or closed-toe shoes that you can wear all day or bring a change of shoes. Do the same for your bridesmaids — let them wear winter boots or sneakers outside and change into their strappy shoes inside. If you’re worried about walking on ice, consider flats rather than heels.