What To Wear to a Winter Wedding in 2023

urban girls with their shoes indoor shot

Key Points

  • Weather considerations are vital to dressing for a winter wedding.

  • The event's tone helps determine formality or casualness.

  • Choose long sleeves and heavier fabrics for a winter wedding.

  • Shoe and boot choices should be stylish, warm, and comfortable.

Spring and summer weddings require sundresses and sandals, but winter weddings differ. You want to be warm and comfortable but stylish, too. In the colder weather, footwear is essential. Your everyday winter boots might be what you wear to stomp around and get to and from the store, but they are not wedding-friendly.

Consider the following options to wear to that winter wedding to ensure your style and comfort and intact.

Consider the Weather

Some areas of the United States have pleasant weather all year long. And then there are the states with winter weather so cold it's hard to breathe! Look at the forecast for the city where the wedding will occur. You might have to bundle up in layers, or it could be okay to bring a sweater. Weather predictions help you determine what you must wear to a specific region's winter wedding.

Pay Attention to the Event Details

Weddings are often formal events, but not always. The wedding may be black-tie, but some families like to have a casual event filled with comfort for everyone. You don't want to show up in a floor-length gown when everyone else is in sweaters and slacks. Look at the invitation details to get clues, and if you're unsure, check with the family before you go in the wrong direction.

Bridal party wears boots and holds bouquets

General Outfit Styles

Weddings usually call for something more than you would wear for a casual, everyday event. These are special days, and they're always unique. You might wear a long or shorter dress, a pantsuit, or, because of the winter temperatures, you could also wear nice pants and a jacket or sweater. Pairing pants with the fitting blazer, accessories, and shoes makes them look as lovely as a full dress.

Warmer Fabrics

In the spring and summer, you want light, flowy outfits that fit the area's temperatures. In the fall and winter, you will want thicker fabrics that look good for the occasion. Look for a velvet or satin dress, or a pantsuit. Layered fabrics are also a good idea; texture stands out and keeps the outfit warmer.

You also want long sleeves, high necklines, and other things that accommodate the chill in the air. Items that feature faux fur also serves you well, whether it is the coat you chose to go over your outfit, the jacket you are putting over your dress, or the lining of your boots.

Longer Lengths

In addition to long sleeves, choose an ankle-length dress to keep your legs warm. You can, however, place a calf-length dress with the right shoes. Pantsuits are also an excellent way to keep your entire body nice and warm while looking stylish for the occasion.


Staying warm inside the wedding venue may be easy, but you must get there from your car. You might be waiting outside to watch the bride and groom leave for the reception. Layers are ideal for any winter occasion. Start with the base layer — your dress or pantsuit. Put a nice sweater or jacket over that, which you can take off if you are warm inside. Layer a stylish coat on top for when you are outside.

Gloves, hats, and other items are also good options. If your dress has flowy fabric instead of fitted, it might not be all that warm, even if it is a warmer material. Pair the outfit with tights or other tighter-fitted garments underneath.

Three woman sit on ledge wearing boots

Stylish Accessories

Wearing many different winter accessories to a wedding stands out and brings the outfit up a notch.

A colorful scarf is a fun way to keep your neck warm while adding something extra to your outfit. Larger jewelry looks great on many people. Add a winter hat or headband to keep your ears warm and your outfit in style.

The handbag or purse you bring could also be similar material to the dress or pantsuit you chose. Coordination FTW! For the outside portions of the event, sunglasses are never a bad idea — even in the winter.

Winter Wedding Colors

Generally, no one should wear white to any wedding, no matter the season. Lindsay Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of Collective/by Sachs told MarthaStewart, "Out of respect to the bride and the legacy of tradition, go with another color [other than white]."

That is especially true of a winter wedding due to the ongoing debate about wearing white after Labor Day. Some colors fit in well with both the season and the occasion. Some popular options include navy, black, dark brown, maroon, deep purple, forest greens, and even silver and gold tones. A hint of sparkle and shine draws the eye at a winter wedding. Bold colors like orange and red stand out and add color to the drab weather outside.

Depending on how well you know the bride and groom, you might want to wear the colors they have chosen for their event to go along with the theme. For example, if their colors are rose gold and dark wine, you could choose an outfit that features one or both colors; this is a charming idea for family members who might be in pictures.

Woman wearing black boots steps up on ledge

The Right Shoes

The right shoes are subjective for any event, but when looking into what to wear to a winter wedding, some things work, and some are best to avoid.

Open-toed sandals, for example, are not a good idea. You want your toes hidden and warm for the colder weather, just like any day of the week. Boots in a variety of different styles are a great way to go.

Here are some options to consider:


Whatever shoe style you choose, you want the toes closed so your entire foot stays warm. There are many different shoe shapes, and you want to choose what looks nice and comfortable. Consider pointy toes if you want the shoes to appear formal. Shoes also look dressy with rounded toes. Square toes give off a unique look and feel.

Whatever kind of closed-toe shoe you end up with, you want it to be comfortable and broken in so you do not end up with aching feet halfway through the night. Boots are a great winter option, and there are wide varieties from which to choose.

Woman wearing white boots and white purse

Lace Up Boots

Boots you lace up are suitable for many different occasions. Wear them casually every day or don a pair for walks or hiking. The right color and style may even be suitable for special occasions like winter weddings.

Lace-up boots are a staple of any wardrobe and may feature design elements that work well for dressing up. Watch for boots with high, low, or even block heels that give them that extra style for a wedding during the winter months.

Ankle Boots

One of the most common pairs of boots you might wear during winter is your ankle boots. When you have a winter wedding on the calendar, you want your shoe choice to be practical, stylish, and comfortable at the same time. If there's going to be a dance, you need to be able to move around without blistering your toes. Even if the event includes a simple dinner, you could be on your feet, talking to family and catching up with friends.

Comfortable boots with a low back and a simple design fit many styles. These boots go under a pantsuit; you will only see the bottom half. They also look great with the right dress.

Knee High Boots

If you want to add extra style to your look, knee-high boots bring your style statement home. Options range from vintage and classic to modern and unique. Consider your outfit choice before deciding which knee-high options would work the best.

If you wear a pantsuit, knee-high boots do not even show. Here, the style is a waste, but they keep you warm. For a knee-length skirt or dress, however, these boots are a great option in the winter. They allow for extra warmth while placing style at the top of your list.

Woman wearing knee high boots

Boots With Color

Regarding boots, the most popular colors are brown, black, and white. However, there are boots in every color of the rainbow, and you will make a style statement by choosing a vibrant color for your footwear.

White boots are not often as popular after Labor Day, but black and brown are common. Think about the outfit you're going to wear to the wedding. Add a colorful boot to your look if your clothing is neutral. You could wear a black dress anywhere, but the red boots you pair with it stand out. The brown pantsuit is something you wear to business meetings, but pink boots pop at weddings.

Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots are not just for working on a farm or wrangling horses. They're highly stylish and make a loud statement. Cowboy boots go great with jeans and work for winter weddings. You don't have to worry about tramping through snow, getting cold, or looking like you have bulky footwear.

There are so many cowboy boots designs, colors, and styles that it is hard to narrow down the options. Keep your outfit and your style in mind to find the right fit. Cowboy boots are often more expensive than regular boots, so you may want to get a pair that fits well and works for many occasions.

High-Heeled Boots

Boots help feet get through the cold weather, but that does not have to be all they are. High-heeled boots are not always great in the snow but are fabulous in style, including on winter wedding occasions. Anything with a heel on it is going to have a dressier appeal to it. Turn heads and make the boot the focus of the outfit. Boots with heels are casual for other occasions, so they are versatile for work, a night on the town, or a meeting with friends.

Black ankle boots for winter wedding

Put Together the Perfect Winter Wedding Outfit

There are many wrong ways to go when the time comes to get dressed for a winter wedding. You do not want a short, sleeveless dress; you do not want jeans and a ripped T-shirt. However, there are a variety of suitable choices to make. Lean on the tone of the event, your style, the winter temperatures, and what you have available in your closet or the budget you must work around.

The next time you face a winter wedding, what will you wear? Wear a pantsuit and flats, a dress with knee-high boots, or something in between. Watching for outfits that work well for elegant occasions is often a good idea, so you have something on hand. Match your style and the weather, and you are on the right track.

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