The complete guide to being prepared and stylish when the temperatures dip.

A Bride Laughing with Her Mom
Credit: KT Merry

If you heard that your son or daughter was planning a winter wedding and immediately resigned yourself to wearing an uninspired black gown with your everyday coat tossed over it, think again. Winter weddings offer just as many opportunities for color and style as warm-weather events do. And don't even get us started on the accessories: There's no better reason to invest in a formal coat or sophisticated scarf than a wintry ceremony and reception. Before you outfit yourself in velvet and faux fur, consider these dos and don'ts.

Consider the overall style of the wedding.

While your dress doesn't have to be the same color-or even in the same color family-as the bridesmaids' dresses, you should consider the overall look of the wedding when choosing your attire. If the couple has is planning an event with a black-tie dress code, then bypass shorter skirts or casual fabrics in favor of a more elegant style. And vice versa: "If the wedding is cocktail attire, don't wear a long beaded number," says Susan Norcross of The Styled Bride. "You will just look out of place."

Remember that light colors are perfectly acceptable.

Since the goal is to choose a gown you feel comfortable in, don't be afraid to choose a color you love and find flattering. There's no reason why you have to wear the more popular cold-weather hues like black, burgundy, forest green, or navy blue. "While we tend to look at more saturated, deeper colors for the winter, there really are no rules," says Norcross. "Lighter greens, blue, grey, and purple can all work really well for winter-just look at more cool undertones rather than warm ones like pinks, golds, and neutrals."

Don't be afraid to accessorize.

If the kids have their heart set on outdoor photos, be prepared for any weather: A winter wedding could mean anything from unseasonably warm temperatures to wind, rain, or snow. A gorgeous coat, perfectly tied scarf, cashmere gloves, or stylish boots can add to your overall look while keeping you warm and smiling. If you're not quite sure how to put a formal outdoor look together, enlist the experts. "Wraps, short faux fur coats, and even winter boots and gloves can look great," says Norcross. "You just need the right photographer and planner to help you prepare and style the look so it all looks cohesive when we photograph you."


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