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Dec, 13 2023

Your Complete Guide on What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

A wedding couple walking in the snow

The winter season changes many aspects of our lives, including the appropriate clothes for particular events. Accordingly, if you’re a wedding guest at a winter wedding, you need to follow a certain dress code. Most men wear a tuxedo or full suit (jacket and dress pants) in darker colors, such as black, navy blue, and brown, whereas ladies don maxi dresses made of velvet or other opulent fabrics.

Those are the basics, but that’s not enough for you to pull off a striking look. No worries – coming up is a detailed guide on what to wear to a winter wedding. We’ll cover the right jackets, shirts, pants, shoes, and accessories.

Decoding Winter Wedding Dress Codes

A pink and black wedding invitation

A winter wedding is usually more formal than a summer wedding. Therefore, the dress code may say “black-tie wedding” or “cocktail wedding” rather than “casual winter wedding.” A formal winter wedding requires men to wear a tuxedo or a full suit. On the other hand, women should go for a gown or maxi dress.

Best Winter Wedding Guest Dresses

A woman in a maroon dress

The formal wedding dress code has already been deconstructed, and you should be familiar with those details. Now’s the time to dive into the specifics of winter wedding attire for guests, starting with ladies.

Here are some of the best winter wedding guest dresses:

  • Midnight blue midi dress (dress that falls below the knees and above the ankles)
  • Olive green maxi dress (dress that goes all the way to the ankles and may even reach the floor)
  • Burgundy long-sleeve dress (below-the-knee dress with either one or both full sleeves for extra warmth)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Winter Wedding Attire

Two men in gray tuxedo sitting on a white car

The rules that dictate appropriate male attire for a winter wedding are similar. For example, you shouldn’t put on casual wear for wedding male guests for a summer event. This occasion is slightly more formal and requires suits or tuxedos, dress shoes, and elegant accessories.

The following sections will break down every element.

Velvet Elegance: The Go-To Fabric for Winter Weddings

The first thing you should consider when buying your winter wedding attire is the material of your suit or tuxedo. There are many high-quality options, like velvet.

So, if you don’t know what to wear to a Christmas wedding, look no further than velvet. Here’s what makes it so good:

  • It’s warm – Velvet has remarkable insulating properties, so velvet suits and tuxedos are better at retaining heat than some other materials. This keeps you warm throughout the event, even if it’s an outdoor party.
  • It’s durable – Another great thing about velvet is its strong fibers. They’re resistant to tears, allowing you to wear your suit or tux to multiple winter weddings.
  • It’s glamorous – Velvet is known for its luxurious, rich texture that works brilliantly well at nighttime, which is when most winter weddings take place.

Satin and Lace: Chic Choices for Winter Wedding Outfits

Then you have a satin and lace winter wedding outfit. This chic apparel is a sure-fire way to blend in and look fabulous. You should consider satin and lace winter wedding attire for many reasons:

  • It’s soft – The unique weft arrangement and its warp threads make satin and lace incredibly soft.
  • It’s strong – The fibers of satin and lace tuxedos and suits are tightly packed, which is why they’re extremely durable.
  • It’s resistant to wrinkling – Satin and lace suits are less prone to wrinkling than most other materials. That’s especially true if the garments are made of silk satin rather than polyester satin.

The Sparkle Factor: Perfect for New Year’s Eve and Formal Winter Weddings

Some people may decide to have their wedding on New Year’s Eve. A New Year’s Eve wedding is also a formal winter wedding, but the dress code is a tad different. Since everything glows on this magical night, your apparel should reflect this festive spirit through a sparkly suit or tux.

The sparkle attire makes sense because:

  • It’s perfect for the occasion – It hardly gets any classier than a sparkly (sequin) suit. And a formal New Year’s Eve wedding is all about class.
  • It’s eye-catching – If you want to stand out from other guests, a sparkly suit or tuxedo will help you do just that.

The Color Palette: From Burgundy to Jewel Tones for Winter Wedding Attire

Satin, lace, and velvet bring a lot to the table. Each material is ideal for your winter wedding attire in different ways. The choice comes down to your budget and the visual effect you wish to achieve.

Speaking of visual effects, no factor is as important as the color when you want to make a lasting impression.

Let’s discuss the appropriate color palette for a winter wedding:

  • Burgundy – This color is rich and dark by its very nature. And the darker the color, the more suitable it is for a winter wedding. It’s also great on a psychological level, as it indicates self-confidence.
  • Emerald – Continuing the rundown of jewel tones is emerald. It’s ideal for men’s suits and tuxedos due to its illustrious texture. It’s slightly subtler than burgundy but just as elegant, especially when paired with a black dress shirt and a purple tie.
  • Purple – If purple works for ties, why shouldn’t it work for suits and tuxedos? It’s a spellbinding choice for winter weddings, particularly for those on New Year’s Eve. It’s also incredibly versatile since it complements black and white shirts, black and white shoes, and many different ties.
  • Black – If you don’t feel like experimenting with jewel tones, there’s no going wrong with black. It’s a timeless classic that’s fit for pretty much any occasion, including winter weddings. You can go all-black or add some contrast with a white dress shirt or red tie to spice things up.
  • Navy blue – Like black, navy blue is designed for those who like to play it safe. It hardly gets any more versatile than this color, allowing you to mix and match endless combinations. White/black/gray dress shirts, black/brown shoes, and dark blue/brown/burgundy ties all work well with the nuance.

The Timeless Black Dress: A Formal Winter Wedding Guest Dress

When choosing a formal winter wedding guest dress (or dress for any formal event), ladies can rely on the same colors as men. But let’s face it – 90% of women will go for an evergreen black dress.

It’s a fabulous choice, but ladies should keep these points in mind if they decide to wear black:

  • Keep it long and not too revealing – Sophistication is key when attending a winter wedding. Ladies shouldn’t risk ruining their looks by wearing something above the knees. Instead, the dress should go all the way to the ankles and reveal minimal skin.
  • Prioritize comfort – Even the most confident lady won’t feel good if she wears an uncomfortable black dress. It shouldn’t be too tight around the waist, breasts, and hips. A tailored dress lets a woman express all her femininity. As Vera Wang put it: “A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.”
  • Choose a suitable material – In black dresses, it hardly gets any better than velvet. It’s smooth, comfortable, and durable, translating into an ethereal wear experience. Adding a sparkle here and there is also a great decision, especially if it’s a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding.

Tuxedo Rentals for Winter Weddings

A man unzipping his Generation tux bag

While a winter wedding is dazzling, it’s a rare event. Over 75% of all weddings take place between May and October, so your friends and family may not schedule another winter wedding in the foreseeable future. A logical question arises: “Why should I spend thousands of dollars on a tuxedo or suit I’ll only wear to one black-tie wedding?”

If buying attire for your formal wedding isn’t an option, finding wedding suits for rent is the answer. Generation Tux lets you try on your garments for free.

Free Home Try-On

Another great thing about tuxedo and suit rentals is that you get the same color and texture variety as if buying a suit. You can experiment with velvet, satin, and lace suits of different colors, including burgundy, navy blue, black, and many other shades. All that for a fraction of the cost!

Keeping Warm While Staying Stylish at Winter Weddings

 A wedding couple posing in the snow

Now that you know you don’t need to break the bank when finding winter wedding guest attire, it’s time to figure out how to stay warm during the event. Here are a few tips to help you endure the chilly weather:

  • Wear tights and thick socks
  • Put on a winter coat
  • Use fleece leggings
  • Try hand and foot warmers

Footwear for Winter Weddings: From Pumps to Boots

A man tying his black shoes

Finding appropriate winter wedding footwear is another key ingredient of a stylish winter wedding guest outfit. Many options are available.

For Men:

  • Loafers – Elegant, no-lace design
  • Chukka boots – Laced with a top that’s usually hidden by pants
  • Derbies – Aggressive needlework to help you make a statement

For Women:

  • Flats – For those who prioritize comfort
  • Boots – No-lace design and keep ladies warm
  • Pumps – Extra height for a classier look

Outdoor Winter Weddings: What to Consider for Attire

A wedding couple posing on a mountain cliff

Outdoor weddings are slightly different from indoor events, both temperature and style-wise. If you’re attending an outdoor winter wedding, the need to wear something that will keep you warm is even more pronounced. Follow these tips to keep the chill at bay and blend in.

For Men:

  • Stick to velvet suits for extra warmth.
  • Put on loafers or boots
  • Wear tights and thick socks

For Women:

  • Wear a long-sleeved maxi dress
  • Pair the dress with a long-sleeve top
  • Put on longer boots

Inclusive Style: Plus-Size and Navy Winter Wedding Guest Dresses

a woman holding a colorful bouquet

Those in need of a plus-size winter wedding guest dress want something to slenderize them. A navy blue dress is the perfect choice. It’s a darker shade that creates the illusion of a slimmer figure. Effective alternatives include brown and purple.

Accessories to Complete Your Winter Wedding Guest Style

A dusty blue accessory set

Lastly, don’t forget to elevate your wedding guest style with a few accessories to complete your winter apparel.

For Men:

  • Coat
  • Pocket square
  • Tie
  • Wristwatch

For Women:

  • Necklace
  • Sash or shawl
  • Purse

Winter Wedding Dress Code Demystified

A man in a gray suit

The winter wedding season has its charms, but you need to prepare for the event carefully. Men are best off with a full suit or tuxedo, loafers, and inconspicuous accessories. Ladies should go for a full-length dress and boots or pumps. Make sure to put on tights and thick socks as well to stay toasty throughout the celebration.

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