The spring and summer months always seem to be the most popular for a wedding. On the heels of April showers, May flowers instantly garner a romantic mood while summer sun always sets a joyous tone. But not every bride dreams of getting married in on a warm breezy day or balmy evening. Some dream of saying "I do" when there's a chill in the air, perhaps in a winter wonderland setting outdoors among the snowflakes, with a view of snow-dusted mountains, or an intimate gathering inside with a swanky holiday theme. For such an occasion, a winter wedding dress is essential, of course.
When it comes to shopping for a winter wedding dress, it's important to find a dress that not only reflects your bridal style but is practical, too. After all, the very last thing you want is to be shivering at the altar. So, whether you’re getting married indoors or outdoors, we suggest looking for wedding dresses crafted from heavy-weight fabrics like crepe, velvet, lace, and brocade. These fabrics are warm, look luxe, and feel particularly fitting for wintery backdrops and cozy venues. To help you find a winter wedding dress that's both stylish and season-appropriate, we've scouted some of our favorites from beautiful budget buys to ultra-dreamy designs.
Read on for the best wedding dresses for a winter wedding.
Best Illusion Details
Watters Frances Gown
For the winter bride who's been dreaming of a long-sleeve lace wedding dress, this Watters design is incredibly elegant. You won't have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions, either — the illusion neckline ensures that everything is perfectly in place.
Price at time of publish: $2,850
Danielle Frankel Simone Gown
For the minimalist winter bride, this satin gown is utterly stunning. The open back offers a chic reveal of skin that's in stark contrast to the high neckline.
Price at time of publish: $4,600
Best Lace Long Sleeves
Lulus Following Your Heart White Lace Long Sleeve Maxi Dress
Crafted in pretty floral lace and featuring warm long sleeves, this dress is a fresh take on bohemian style for winter. Keep the intricate detailing as the focal point by finishing with a pair of drop earrings and a bare neckline.
Price at time of publish: $119
Reformation Delphi Silk Dress
At first glance, this long-sleeve wedding dress is super simple. Upon closer inspection, you'll discover the elongating front slit and interesting twist detail on the bodice, which is a beautiful enhancement to the sexy neckline.
Price at time of publish: $698
Best High Neck
Norma Kamali Turtle Cutout-Back Jersey Maxi Dress
Crafted from sculpting yet comfortable jersey, this gown is impeccably cut for a minimalist bride. For a flash of the skin, the open back is alluring as ever. Wear yours with delicate personal jewelry and barely-there make-up.
Price at time of publish: $345
ASOS EDITION Curve Embellished Bodice Wedding Dress
For the bohemian winter bride, this flutter-sleeve dress is sweet and romantic. Complete with floral embroidery, no one would guess it cost less than $300.
Price at time of publish: $305
For the Bold Bride
Erdem Macie Caped Lurex Gown
This dramatic cape gown is ideal for the winter bride dreaming of making a bold entrance. Beyond its eye-catching cape silhouette, Erdem's "Macie" gown is crafted from pale gold Lurex for a dazzling effect.
Price at time of publish: $5,095
For a New Year's Eve Wedding
Retrofête Camille Sequined Chiffon Maxi Dress
In dazzling all-over sequins and featuring a high slit, we can picture this sequin gown on a New Year's Eve bride—it's party-perfect! If you prefer something more traditional for your ceremony, it's the perfect second-look gown at the reception.
Price at time of publish: $985
Best All-Over Lace
Norma Kamali Long Sleeve Turtle Open Back Fishtail Gown
This high-neck dress is peak romance, featuring a floor-length silhouette, open-back, and a floral lace overlay. Done in a peachy hue, this gown is perfect for the bride looking for something softer and warmer than traditional bridal white.
For a Garden Wedding
ASOS EDITION Lucille Beaded Floral Dress
We can't think of a better venue to don this dress than a charming garden, perhaps with a cozy shawl to keep warm in the snow. The plunging neckline and flowing silhouette are beyond elegant, while the bead and faux-pearl embellishments add a glamorous touch.
Price at time of publish: $455
Erdem Kenley Cape-Effect Gathered Sequined Chiffon Gown
For a winter wedding, there is nothing more glamorous than a dramatic cape gown in all-over shimmering sequins. This breathtaking style from Erdem will catch the light beautifully as you float down the aisle.
Price at time of publish: $5,995
For a Winter Beach Wedding
Paco Rabanne Exclusive Crystal-Embellished Satin Maxi Dress
We love a beachy winter bride (yes, it's a thing!). In places like California, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean, this lightweight satin maxi dress is a gorgeous pick. Plus, it's embellished with tiny sparkling crystals perfect for catching the light in all your photos.
Price at time of publish: $1,990
Best Under $100
Lulus Awaken My Love Long Sleeve Lace Maxi Dress
For the winter bride on a budget, this long-sleeve gown is dreamy as ever. With long lace sleeves, an open back, and a soft ethereal skirt, no one would guess it's under $90!
Price at time of publish: $89
Taller Marmo Casta Diva Feather-Trimmed Silk-Chiffon Kaftan
If you're planning a festive evening wedding in winter, we love this feather-trimmed gown for a glamorous look. It's unexpected and will wow your guests as you walk down the aisle.
For a Black-Tie Wedding
Tadashi Shoji V-Back Long-Sleeve Dress
This effortlessly chic long-sleeve dress would be right at home at a cold-weather wedding. Details like lace paneling over translucent mesh and a dramatic V-back silhouette make this gown all the more unexpected and alluring.
Price at time of publish: $998
Lulus Feeling of Forever White Long Sleeve Mermaid Maxi Dress
This achingly chic dress was designed for the unfussy bride who appreciates clean lines and simple silhouettes. Wear yours with minimal jewelry and a matching white coat for a timeless monochromatic look.
Price at time of publish: $99
What to Look for in a Winter Wedding Dress
Not all winter wedding dresses are created equal. It largely depends on the style of your wedding, the venue, and your bridal taste. A long-sleeve crepe gown with a high neck or open back is spectacular if you're the type to keep things classic and, possibly, minimal. For more traditional tastes, lace is always stunning, as are tulle layers and intricate beadwork. For bohemian sensibilities, tiers of ruffles, crochet lace, and elegant embroidery are divine details, particularly with wispy fabrics as part of the equation. For a more casual and intimate winter wedding, a retro-inspired design like a tea-length dress is simply chic, while ultra-luxe details like metallic fabrics, rhinestones, and feathers are just right for a holiday-themed evening wedding.
What wedding dress fabrics work best for a winter wedding?
For winter weddings, you'll want to choose warm fabrics like heavyweight crepe, velvet, thick lace, brocade, and silk.
What wedding dress silhouettes work best for winter weddings?
This will depend on whether you're getting married indoors or outdoors and what silhouettes work best for your body type. However, generally speaking, floor-length wedding dresses with long sleeves and high necklines work particularly well for winter weddings.
What should I wear over my winter wedding dress?
If you're baring your shoulders, décolletage, or back, you may want to invest in a shawl, faux fur shrug, or bridal jacket to keep you warm.
Why Trust Brides
Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a writer and editor who covers fashion, accessories, beauty, and fine jewelry for Brides. Her work also appears in ELLE, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery29, POPSUGAR, Well+Good, and Barneys New York.