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What to wear to a winter wedding

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Fashion tips for wedding guests

Winter weddings can be very beautiful whether they are held inside or outdoors. If you are deciding what to wear, follow these fashion tips to help choose the perfect outfit to wear to a winter wedding.

Winter wedding

Though winter is not the most popular time of year for a wedding, the number of winter weddings has increased dramatically in recent years. If you have been invited to a winter wedding, you are probably trying to figure out what to wear. The proper attire for wedding guests depends on a variety of factors including the wedding style, location and time of day.

What to wear to a winter wedding

Is it a black tie wedding?

The wedding invitation will normally state if the wedding is black tie. If that's the case, it makes dressing a bit easier. For black tie weddings, men are expected to wear tuxedos and women don full-length evening gowns. If it's anything less than black tie, that's where it can get confusing.

Where is the wedding taking place?

If it's a church wedding with a reception at the local country club or hotel ballroom, then you can expect formal yet conservative attire. Select a dress, knee-length to tea-length. Anything shorter isn't appropriate and a long gown may be too much. For a church wedding, add a wrap or bolero jacket if you are wearing a strapless gown. Avoid plunging necklines and high slits.

If the wedding reception is being held at a restaurant, wear whatever you would normally wear to dine at that establishment. For an upscale restaurant, a dress is appropriate. For something more casual, perhaps a cashmere sweater and slacks are a better choice.

Purple sheath dress - NordstromChoosing the right colors

When selecting the color of your outfit, there are a few things to avoid. Don't wear white - it's not appropriate for anyone but the bride. If the wedding is in the daytime, do not wear black.

Avoid bright colors such as sunny yellow and orange. These shades are best reserved for spring weddings. Instead look for a dress in rich, wintery colors such as burgundy, deep plum and forest green. Red is an appropriate choice, but lean more toward dark reds rather than bold fire engine red.

Dressing for an outdoor wedding

Many couples are planning outdoor weddings, even in the wintertime. Snow and ice can make a beautiful backdrop for a weddding. If you are invited to an outdoor wedding, dress appropriately for the weather.

Don't wear a flowing skirt that can easily get caught by the wind. You don't want to expose yourself! Select a sheath style dress instead.

Choose chunky or wedge heels rather than stilettos. Skinny heels will sink into the ground and you may trip or fall.

Add a fur wrap or cape. Though you might not want to cover up your dress, you also don't want to freeze!

How to wear your hair

Wear your hair down but pulled back away from your face. An updo can easily come undone in windy or damp weather. Instead select a half up-half down style. This way your hair will be off of your face, but not at risk to come toppling down.

Watch this video for a fabulous half up-half down hairstyle that is perfect for the bride or any wedding guest. Of course, skip the tiara if you aren't the bride!

Check out: How to find the best hairstyle for you >>

More winter fashion and beauty tips

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