20 Seasonal Outfit Ideas for Winter Wedding Guests

surprise wedding guests
Carmen Santorelli Photography

Most guests take one of two approaches to winter wedding attire. The first involves donning that summer dress that could pass as cold-weather appropriate, especially if you add a cardigan and tights. The second means panicking (what even passes as winter-ready guest attire anyway?) as you sort through your closest or department store clothes racks. While neither approach is really wrong, there are much better ways to go about choosing winter wedding attire. In fact, we're of the firm belief that dressing for an end-of-year fête doesn't have to be the slightest bit stressful. The season is packed with so many rich textures and patterns—like velvet and plaid—so you have plenty of choices as you decide what to wear.

To kick off the closet search or shopping spree, we've rounded up a few of our favorite looks that actual attendees have worn to their friends' and families' celebrations. A few things to note? We were sure to include plenty of inspiration for the guys—these well-dressed guests will surely inspire your plus-one to opt for something seasonal (and not just the same-old suit he wears year-round). We also recommend a few looks for the little ones, since dressing them appropriately and keeping them warm is often the most difficult part of getting ready on the morning-of.

For the ladies, it's important to note the winter-ready guest attire doesn't necessarily require bundled-up looks. Since the event will (most-likely) take place inside, you have some leeway when it comes to style. Feel free to rock that sleeveless evening gown—just be sure that it feels timely through color, texture, or silhouette. Click through to discover all of the wedding guest attire inspiration you'll need for the season's slew of celebrations.

01 of 19

Pine Green

winter wedding guest attire pine green bridesmaids dresses
Leila Brewster Photography

Take inspiration from a major winter motif—like pine trees!—when getting dressed for a cold-weather wedding. This guest proved how pretty the seasonal shade of green could be.

02 of 19

Bold Orange

winter wedding guest attire woman in blood orange coat
Alyssa Wilcox Photography

Breaking free of traditional winter color palettes is an option, too. This guest's bright orange overcoat is a lesson in effective "rule breaking."

03 of 19

Flannel Suit

winter wedding guest attire boy in flannel suit
Cimbalik Photography

We can all take notes from this little guy, whose flannel jersey suit (a perfect winter fabric!) was as cozy as it was adorable.

04 of 19

Festive Embroidery

winter wedding guest attire couple woman in festive embroidery
Ryan Ray

Looking for a way to make a winter-appropriate moody-hued dress feel a bit lighter? Opt for an embroidered option with sheer accents, like this fashionable guest's ensemble. Her date's look wasn't half-bad, either—we're loving that festive bow tie!

05 of 19

Cozy Fabrics

winter wedding guest attire couple man in kilt
Vicki Grafton

A wool pea coat is a chic, warm addition to any wintry dress, especially if you're skipping tights. And if you're Scottish? You're in luck. Wool kilts are about as warm as it gets.

06 of 19


winter wedding guest attire plaid bow tie and pine cone boutonniere
Leila Brewster Photography

Tartan is a defining pattern of the season, so why not work it into your look? Ladies will see that there are plenty of plaid dress options out there, but there are options for the men, too. While plaid looks just as good in suit form, we're a fan of this groomsman's subtle bow tie interpretation.

07 of 19

Seasonal Dresses

winter wedding guest attire women in seasonal dresses
Gia Canali

Floor-length dresses with seasonal patterns are always a solid choice for a winter celebration. Bonus points if you opt for garments in celebratory fabrics, like satin and velvet.

08 of 19


winter wedding guest attire couple woman in black lace
Mon Soleil

There isn't a wedding season when lace isn't appropriate, but there's definitely a way to make the universal fabric feel more winter-friendly. We love this take on lace appliqués, placed on both sheer black sleeves and a velvet bodice. Fellas, take note of this handsome guests' tie—the gold and copper color palette is perfect for a New Year's Eve wedding.

09 of 19

Suited Up

winter wedding guest attire groom and groomsmen in suits
Greg Finck

Speaking of the guys: These multi-toned suits are proof that gray, charcoal, and navy are the cold-weather color trifecta. We're particularly fond the second right-most attendee's ensemble. How cool is his mismatched jacket and pants ensemble?

10 of 19

Faux Fur

shelby barrett wedding guests
Corbin Gurkin

Make like these stylish attendees and opt for faux-fur or velvet shrugs in shades slightly darker than your dress.

11 of 19


Polly Alexandre Fine Photography

Velvet wraps in unexpected (but still seasonal!) hues like gray-plum and turquoise are sure to make a statement. A furry collar adds an extra dose of warmth.

12 of 19


hamida charlie charleson wedding guests
Gayle Brooker

You really can't go wrong with black and white. The classic color combination feels especially relevant around the holidays, especially at black-tie-weddings. Add a red lip, and you're ready to go.

13 of 19


wedding guests
Lauren Kinsey

It's no secret that layers are the key to keeping warm when the temperature drops, but layering stylishly isn't as straightforward. Take notes from these trendy guests, who both nailed it. We love this woman's chic cropped cardigan. Her date's layered look included a plaid collared shirt, boiled wool vest, and velvet blazer.

14 of 19

Color Palette


Rich cobalt and blush-and-black would look just as lovely on the same garment as they do on individual dresses.

15 of 19

High Shine

wedding guests posing

You'll want to bookmark this handsome guest's jacket for your plus-one. His high-shine satin suit (and matching skinny tie!) complete with leather trim is arguably the most dapper look on this list.

16 of 19

Wintry Textures

fall wedding guests attire red velvet
Alea Lovely Fine Art Photographer

While cut-outs (like those seen on the left-most celebrant's gown) might be too chilly for winter, a blood red velvet garment (worn by the guest on the right!) is heavy enough for the season. It's important to note that richer shades, like ruby, sapphire, emerald, and black bring out velvet's sheen—just something to keep in mind as you shop!

17 of 19

Cozy Coats

wedding guests in snow
Lacie Hansen Photography

Of all the takeaways from this fashionable bunch—from sheer tights to floor-length gowns—the best, by far, is their coat game. Whether you choose a furry cropped jacket (preferably with pockets!) or a more structured pea coat, it's a relief to know that staying warm doesn't have to mean sacrificing on style.

18 of 19

Furry Shawls

O'Malley Photographers

Most of these 'maids wraps and coats feel similar, but upon closer inspection you'll realize that each was distinct in its own way. We're particular fond of the spotted option, but all would complement a neutral floor-length gown.

19 of 19

Stylish Layers and Fabrics

joanna jay wedding family
Nina and Wes Photography

There are so many great winter outfit ideas to glean from this group. From the gold metallic, merlot, and raspberry colored dresses to the jackets, this stylish wintry guest scene is one to bookmark.

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