Winter wedding dresses: what to wear as a thoroughly-modern bride

Bridal outfits are synonymous with a myriad of lovely components: tulle, lace and satin. 

And given that summer remains the nation’s favourite time to tie the knot (in 2010, 38,000 weddings took place in the month of August, compared to just 15,000 in December) a bride’s ensemble in warmer climes can really be something

You can play with lengths, textures, hairstyles, make-up and tan, without running the risk of a gale-force wind ripping your veil from your hair and causing your mascara to stream down your cheeks. 

You can throw your shoes off to run around with glee on your big day without worrying about rain or snow or sleet or hail. Yes, a summer wedding is unmistakably lovely. 

But can we take just a moment to ponder the myriad benefits offered by a winter wedding? There’s the lack of humidity (hello, sleek blow-dry), the increased availability of venues (get eyeing up those cheaper rates) and need we mention the inevitable hot toddies? Everybody’s jovial in winter – it’s Christmas! It’s New Year’s Eve! It’s time to eat lots of pigs in blankets!

And then there’s the fashion of winter: the layers, the chic jackets, the fluffy accessories, the boots (this season, they’re having a big moment FYI.)

This is how to nail the look of being a thoroughly-modern bride at a thoroughly-modern (and utterly gorgeous) winter wedding. 

It takes two 

Roland Mouret Rodmell one-shoulder crepe peplum top, £850, shop it here, and the Roland Mouret Uppingham cady wide-leg pants, £795, shop them here.  (NET-A-PORTER)

A flesh-baring dress, while it may work a treat in summer, just doesn’t quite cut it in winter (it may have a little something to do with those sub-zero temperatures.)

So it seems as apt a time as any to explore the world of the co-ord. By opting for two co-ordinating pieces, your look instantly becomes intentional and deliberate, and the more fluid silhouette of a co-ord makes them a little softer than harsh tailoring.

A co-ord is particularly handy if you usually wear a different size on top and bottom, as you can opt to buy the size you need in each, for a tailor-made fit – Roland Mouret creates some of the most en vogue winter wedding-appropriate ensembles.

Not only that, but once the nuptials are over, you can recycle the separates (every wardrobe needs a pair of wide-leg white flares.)

Dance ’til the eve with a sleeve 

ROTATE Birger Christensen Kim button-detailed leather mini dress, £475, shop it here. (NET-A-PORTER)

In case you missed the news, sleeves are back in a big way. Whether they’re attached to mini, midi or maxi dresses – it’s all about a sleeve and there are some fabulous offerings around. 

If you wanted to really grab the rule book and throw it as far out of the window as you can, then an 80’s revival-style mini may be for you. Look no further than ROTATE Birger Christensen for their puff-sleeve dresses in brocade materials. 

Or, if you’re looking for a slightly more demure look, opt for a satin sleeve-y offering. Olivia von Halle’s quirky silver silk midi ticks all of the boxes and costs £650.

Slide through the big day with a slip 

Ghost Bella Dress, £245, shop it here. (Ghost)

For a slightly more unconventional bride, a slip dress is often a good option. They’re transitional, they’re easy to dance in during the party and they’re easy enough to rip off after the party. The best news is that there are also some fabulous offerings on the high-street: Ghost’s renaissance is the best thing to happen to bridal outfit planning in years.

A slip can easily transition with the months and actually makes the perfect base for any bridal outfit throughout the year. For winter though try pairing it with a fluffy cardigan (they’re having a revival) or a structured blazer for a more directional look. 

Get suited 

Alexander McQueen lace-panel single-breasted crepe jacket, £2, 370, shop it here, and the Alexander McQueen leaf flared-cuff crepe trousers, £460, shop them here. (MatchesFashion)

The best thing about opting for a wedding suit for a winter wedding? It’ll keep your arms covered and you will undoubtedly wear it again – no one hit-wonders to be found here!

A wedding suit is a nod to the slightly more nonchalant dressers, but the beauty in wearing some sharp tailoring on your big day is that it means you can leave hair and make-up more loose and natural, to balance it out. For stand-out tailoring, look no further than Alexander McQueen. 

For shoes, it’s whatever you fancy (or whatever will keep your tootsies warm, which leads us on to the next…)

These boots were made for walking 

Paris Texas croc-effect leather boots, £484, shop them here. (MyTheresa)

Every bride wants a jazz-hands element to her outfit. And while in a summer wedding, this can be offered in ample flesh-flashing ways, in winter, we need to think a bit more abstractedly. 

This is where a major pair of shoes come in. Specifically boots because, let’s be real, you need all the layers you can get. But also, when they look as good as Paris Texas’s cream boots? Wear under a wide-leg suit or co-ord, or if you’re feeling super modern, opt to wear calf-length boots with a slinky midi dress.

For those who find the idea of wearing boots on your wedding day a little bit too thoroughly-modern, choose some embellished mules instead. Funky enough to jazz up an outfit, easy enough to kick off when you fancy a boogie on the dance floor. 

Scroll through the gallery above for more suggestions of what to wear as a thoroughly-modern bride at your own winter wedding.


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