What to wear for a winter wedding

As if it isn’t tricky enough working out what to wear to the foray of seasonal events headed our way, many of us have the additional complication of dressing for winter weddings. While spring and summer might be the most popular months to tie the knot (and thankfully so – because it’s easier to throw on a floral maxi than it is to carefully compile a chic, wintry look), winter has its own charm and sense of mysticism making it a magical time for weddings.

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But the occassion also throws up a multitude of questions. Like, can you wear the same thing to a winter wedding as a Christmas party? (Answer- Yes, but you might need to tweak certain aspects). How much make-up is too much make-up? (Opt for an eye or a lip). Is colour permissible? (Yes). 

To make dressing for the occasion a little easier, we’ve narrowed it down to a palatable five points to keep you on an elegant straight and narrow.

Let your cover-up do the talking 

It’s worth investing in a cover-up that you love, and that will add to your outfit, because chances are you’ll be wearing it a lot. Weddings often involve quite a bit of moving around followed by prolonged periods of hovering, so for winter, we suggest opting for a chic coat (a trench or pea coat are good options) or cape that you’ll feel comfortable in both indoors and outside.

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Sienna Miller at the Letters to Andy Warhol opening in New York, 14 November

Sienna Miller kept cosy by throwing an ankle-grazing coat on over her dress at the Letters to Andy Warhol opening in New York, 14 November Credit: Rex 

To ensure that you won’t want to whip your only source of warmth off at the first chance you get, try accessorizing it with a brooch, or make it an essential layer and allow the pussy bow tie on your blouse or dress to sit proud over your coat’s lapels. A chunky necklace over a collarless coat will offer a similar effect.

Cover-ups for winter wedding

Eye brooch, £19.50, Marks & Spencer; crossover cape with faux fur collar, £69.99, Zara; MSGM navy ruffle coat, £485, Sense

Choose appropriate footwear 

We understand that weddings are an opportunity to wear fancier footwear than that we live in day-to-day, but dressing for a winter wedding requires a little more thought than throwing on your favourite block heeled mules. Steer clear from suede if you can (unless the wedding is based entirely indoors) and try to avoid light colours (it only takes one rainy day to ruin a pair of pale hued heels). 

Alex Chung  at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in December 2015

Alex Chung wore sheer tights with heeled sandals to excellent effect at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in December 2015 Credit: Rex 

There’s also nothing more miserable than cold feet, so to ensure your tootsies stay toasty, wear shoes that don’t leave the majority of your foot bare. If you’ve got your heart set on that pair of jeweled sandals, wear some sparkly socks (see COS) or 20 denier tights underneath (yes, what was once a fashion faux pas, really is now socially acceptable). 

Footwear for a winter wedding

Velvet over-the-knee boots, £145, & Other Stories ; Doreteymur turbojet mirrored-leather pumps, £255, NET-A-PORTER; high heel velvet gem sandals, £115, Uterqüe

Make the most of suiting 

A suit is an ideal option for winter weddings. It’s suitably (sorry) seasonal and will keep you warmer than a dress or skirt will. For an evening wedding, try a slinky top or silk T-shirt underneath, and for day-time try a printed blouse or even a shirt (but tuck it in loosely and opt for a colour other than white to avoid corporate connotations). 

Solange Knowles in a metallic suit by Off White

Solange Knowles in a metallic suit by Off White at Vogue’s CFDA Fashion Fund Awards Credit: Rex 

Depending on the trouser shape, you can wear flats or heels (cropped trousers lend themselves well to flats, as flares do to heels). If you’re clever you will opt for a velvet or metallic co-ord that you can recycle for New Year’s Eve. 

Suits for winter weddings

Suit trousers, £74.95, Massimo Dutti; suit blazer, £149, Massimo Dutti; velvet suit, £117, Topshop

Be dramatic

We’re not suggesting you steal the bride’s thunder, nor go overboard with the glitter and sequins (perhaps avoid altogether), but winter weddings do offer an opportunity to be a little more daring. This can be in the form of print (pair a brocade midi skirt with fishnets and a silk blouse), fabric (silk, suede, velvet and even shimmery iridescent fabrics are all good options), or shape (experiment with voluminous sleeves or a cascading cape).  

Glen Close Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Glenn Close wore a dramatic pussy bow blouse-cape combo to the 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Awards Credit: Rex 

You can also afford to go a little heavier on the make-up. Where spring and summer weddings call for dewy skin and a peachy lip, winter allows you to err on the gothic side. A swipe of a liquid eyeliner and a matte red lip will suffice for day-time, but if the wedding goes on into the night, experiment with shades of purple and gold (a word of caution though: opt for either a smokey, sparkly eye or a moody lip – the double whammy might be a bit much for nuptials).

Velvet and lace pieces to wear to a winter wedding

Ganni hayden velvet dress, £355, Selfridges; double Georgette Bill blouse, £295, Joseph floral embroidered skirt, £95, FineryRebel lipstick, £15.50, MAC

Don’t shy away from colour 

Just because it’s colder and darker, doesn’t mean you have to avoid colour. A bright, printed dress or skirt is a great wedding option whatever the season. As is colourful blouse or blazer. If you’re opting for a block colour, we suggest going for rich, jewel tones that won’t look out of place- think emerald green, burnt orange and byzantium purple. 

Anna Wintour in Prada 

Anna Wintour in a burnt orange Prada dress at the Glamour Women of the Year awards 2016 Credit: Rex 

If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to dress head-to-toe in black ever since the first of September, then do so, and add pops of colour to your look with punchy accessories and interesting footwear. There might be rules around wearing black to a summer wedding, but those guidelines are relaxed this time of year. 

 Colourful pieces for winter wedding ​

 Disco leopard jacquard skirt, £35, Warehouse; Vince satin flare skirt, £198.55, Shopbop; Diane Von Furstenburg Britni blouse, £207, Matchesfashion.com 

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