Winter is a distinctly unique time of year to say 'I do.' Unlike spring or summer when temperatures are high and the sun is out, winter’s icy months are punctuated by a cozy sensibility that feels equal parts romantic and dramatic. While you’ve likely attended a wedding during the warmer months of the year, if this is your first time going to a winter ceremony, rest assured there are plenty of options to choose from.
Alexandra O’Neill, the founder of Markarian, points toward seasonal design details when choosing a cold-weather wedding guest dress. “Heavier fabrics in rich, deep-hued prints or brocades and velvets are always perfect for winter weddings,” O'Neill says. And while the designer suggests investing in pieces with longevity, there’s a small handful of pieces she recommends saving for later. “Summer florals and wispy, lightweight chiffon dresses are better left to the warmer months,” she notes.
Read on for the best winter wedding guest dresses you’ll wear now and well into the future.
Zimmermann Ruched Tulle Mini Dress
Add an element of Victorian-inspired fashion to your winter wedding guest look with a ruched, puff-sleeve dress by Zimmermann—your look will be the talk of the town. Baroque pearl earrings would team well with this statement piece.
Price at time of publish: $695
Lulus Slinking Out Loud Burgundy Satin Side Button Slip Dress
A timeless burgundy hue simply can’t be beaten, and it doesn't get more sleek and classic than this slip dress from Lulus. What's more, this style retails for under $70 making it a great budget-friendly option.
Price at time of publish: $69
Best All-Over Sequins
Staud Dolce Cut-Out Sequin Maxi Dress
There is so much to love about this striking silhouette from Staud. The iridescent blue sequins feel fresh for a winter wedding, the faux leather trim is stylish and unexpected, and the cutouts at the waistline give it a modern edge.
Price at time of publish: $450
For Warmer Winter Weather
Saloni Isa Ruffled Floral-Jacquard Silk Midi Dress
This mock-neck asymmetrical hemline dress from Saloni is perfectly suited for a winter destination wedding. Saloni is famous for its bold floral prints, so check out the label's other designs if you're wanting a different palette.
Price at time of publish: $695
Classiest Cocktail Frock
Markarian Drusa Black Floral Brocade One-Shoulder Midi Dress
Brocade is one of those design details that always makes a piece feel more refined, and this elegant number by Markarian is what dreams are made of. Test out this fabric for your next winter wedding attendance.
Price at time of publish: $2,595
BHLDN Leila Satin Charmeuse Maxi Dress
For winter weddings, you can’t go wrong with a jewel-tone dress. This elegant gown in emerald green is not only a festive pick for a winter party, but it features a draped waist and flowy skirt for a comfortable fit to carry you through the day and into the evening. Complement this chic dress with silver jewelry and lace-up heels.
Price at time of publish: $248
Best Winter Florals
Reformation Aude Dress
There's a reason why Reformation dresses are the unofficial wedding guest staple. And florals aren’t just for spring and summer, as illustrated by this bold gown from the brand. Swap out your straw bag for a silky pouch to make it work for cold weather.
Price at time of publish: $278
Autumn Cashmere Tulle Off The Shoulder Dress
Just when we thought we had seen all the takes on the off-the-shoulder trend, this ruffled masterpiece enters our orbit. Crafted from a mid-weight ribbed fabric, it's the epitome of comfort—just add some thermal shorts underneath for added warmth. Behold the most perfect winter wedding guest dress that will never go out of style.
Price at time of publish: $396
Best Lace Detail
Little Mistress Lace Detail Midaxi Dress
Lace is often associated with spring, but if it’s crafted in a cold-weather color, like emerald green, it works perfectly for a winter wedding. Accessorize with gold earrings and keep warm by layering with a faux fur shawl.
Price at time of publish: $137
Best Silk Style
Ulla Johnson Heleen Silk Midi Dress
There are few things we love more than a floral print dress and this silk number from Ulla Johnson takes the cake. Wear with matching black accessories and knee-high boots if you’re feeling especially daring.
Price at time of publish: $845
Best Floral Print
La DoubleJ Visonti Night Garden-Print Crepe Maxi Dress
If your personal style is the opposite of minimalism, embrace your taste and wear this fun floral dress for a winter wedding. Pair with bright lipstick and statement earrings. The best thing? You can easily re-wear and restyle for a spring wedding, too.
Price at time of publish: $1,135
For a More Casual Wedding
Whimsy + Row Lola Wrap Dress
Flutter sleeves and an open-back are, in fact, a perfect combination when it comes to wedding guest dresses. We’re smitten with this olive green number from Whimsy + Row, which is sustainably made from Tencel and Cupro.
Price at time of publish: $248
For a Formal Wedding
Norma Kamali Ribbon Sleeve Gown
A simple, floor-length LBD—like this one by Norma Kamali—is rendered instantly elegant with this open-back detail and exaggerated ribbon sleeves with deep slits. Finish the look with a swipe of plum-colored lipstick and strappy sandals.
Price at time of publish: $225
Self Portrait Ruched Slate Powermesh Midi Dress
The dramatic ruching details on this powermesh midi dress from Self-Portrait take the aesthetic to a new level. It's a perfectly romantic complement to a frosty wedding setting. Try a pair of velvet heels to cement the look as wonderfully wintry.
Price at time of publish: $465
Fame & Partners The Ciel Dress
Fame & Partners is a great choice if you tend to get your dresses altered; the brand custom-makes each piece based on your measurements and preferred length, style, fabric, and color. This rich brown shade and pleated fabric combo give this minimalist dress the perfect dose of movement and dimension.
Price at time of publish: $309
For a Holiday Wedding
By Anthropologie Structured Tulle Dress
If you're attending a wedding around the holidays, you can't go wrong with this fun and festive mini dress. To keep warm without sacrificing style, wear yours with sheer tights and a faux leather jacket or wool coat.
Price at time of publish: $180
Meet the Expert
Markarian Founder Alexandra O’Neill has combined her love of celestial romanticism with timeless design and modern grace to create styles we love.
What to Look for in a Winter Wedding Guest Outfit
Scoring the perfect winter wedding look is all about picking a dress or jumpsuit that fits the dress code and keeps you warm–especially if you're attending an outdoor wedding. This means opting for midi-floor-length dresses crafted from heavyweight and warm fabrics like velvet, thick lace, and silks. Additionally, design details like long sleeves, high necks, and lined skirts not only look elegant but they add an extra layer of warmth to any silhouette. When it comes to color options, dresses in rich jewel tones, moody floral prints, earthy tones, and classic black look especially stylish set against a wintry backdrop. And if you happen to be attending a wedding around the holidays, give them glitz and glam in head-to-toe sequins or opt for a velvet number for a festive look.
How do winter wedding guest dresses differ from other seasons?
Since winter’s months are the coldest, you’ll want to ensure your outfit reflects the season. Go for details like long sleeves and fabrics such as velvet and silk that will help keep you warm.
Are there certain colors I should wear to a winter Wedding?
Embrace a warm palette of cold-weather colors such as olive green, midnight blue, or burgundy for a seasonally appropriate outfit. But don’t feel limited to traditionally winter hues, either! A minty green or dark floral pattern can also work well for a ceremony held in the colder months of the year, too.
Are there any accessories to keep in mind for attending a winter wedding?
If you’re baring your shoulders, you can look into a wrap or cool boxy blazer to complement your look if the ceremony is cold. Also, jewelry, bags, and shoes are all great ways to infuse your outfit with a splash of personality so don’t be shy when it comes to accessories.
Why Trust Brides
Nicole Kleist is a freelance fashion writer with more than nine years of experience in the digital publishing industry. Her work has appeared in Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, and more.