What to wear to a winter wedding

Nikki ParkinsonHow to 33 Comments

Judging by the number of questions I’ve received of late about what to wear to a winter wedding, there are a lot of people out there lucky enough to be frocking up and celebrating love with family and/or friends.

So today, I thought I’d tackle the three of those questions and include some shopping ideas.

I guess of all the occasions we might need to dress for, a wedding is up there with the biggest and potentially the most fancy.

This puts a whole lot of pressure on when it comes to outfit planning.

The pressure skyrockets if you happen to be a part of the part of the the family of the bride or groom and will potentially find yourself in a tonne of photos.

What we need to do is TRY and forget the pressure while we are thinking about – and shopping for -wedding outfits. I know it’s easier said than done but shopping under pressure is a sure-fire way to end up settling for something less than fabulous.

And fabulous the outfit has to be – in the sense that it FEELS fabulous on you and that you FEEL confident wearing it for the good part of a day or an afternoon and evening.

And a word to anyone organising or coordinating a wedding, please DO specify the dress code. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving an invitation to a wedding or event with no indication as to what you should wear.

A clear dress code gives you a starting point for outfit planning. Without it, it’s difficult to focus and narrow down options.

Mother of the bride – or groom – outfits

I’m seeking some ideas, my daughter is getting married in July on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland). I can’t find anything that doesn’t look like … well … “mother of the bride”, if you know what I mean. The reception venue is heated so I won’t have to dress too warmly. I would love your ideas. Meg

I think we’ve very much moved on to the concept that a mother-of-the-bride – or groom – outfit needs to look matronly.

I really detest the old-fashioned notion or “rule” that we should dress for our age. Dress for your attitude, I say.

For a special occasion, one in which you’ll also be to a certain extent in the spotlight, it’s most important that you feel comfortable and confident. To that end you need to be true to your own style.

Start with a dress in your style that suits the dress code for the wedding. Find out what colours the bridal party is wearing – not to match those colours – but to complement the colour scheme in photos.

DO get opinions from your daughter or future daughter-in-law. If you both like shopping, it might be a fun thing to do together.

Here are some wedding-style dresses I’m loving right now.

What to wear to a wedding - mother of the bride - mother of the groom

1. Lover dress $699 @ David Jones | 2. Bianca Spender dress $580 | 3. Runway to Rack dress $119 @ Target | 4. Leina Broughton dress $235 @ Birdsnest | 5. Sacha Drake dress $399

Dress code formal

I have been invited to a wedding – YAY! – but have no idea what to wear – BOO. The wedding is during the day (on a weekday), the dress code is formal, and the current forecast for the day is 16 degrees and raining. I don’t know what’s acceptable for a formal dress code these days anyway, let alone how to make concessions for the dismal weather forecast. What are the rules these days? ARE there any rules? Em

A formal dress code is a tricky one. Black tie formal would dictate a floor-length gown. Cocktail formal would be a knee-length dress. Think about the fanciness of the reception venue when erring on which side of the dress-length equation you think the dress code will fall.

If this style of dress is not one you think you’ll wear again in a hurry, then consider hiring the dress instead. GlamCorner has a great range.

A cocktail dress, tights, heels and some glam accessories should see you through the occasion. For warmth, I’d work in a stylish coat for outside. If you don’t own one, then ask around to see of someone you know has one they could lend you. For inside the reception, a faux fur stole around your shoulders should work in a heated venue.

Check out the outfit idea below based on a little black dress.

What to wear to a winter wedding - the LBD

1. Y dress $89.95 @ Birdsnest | 2. Dannii Minogue coat $119 @ Target | 3. Blue Illusion scarf $129.95 | 4. Mimco earrings $129 | 5. Adorne ring $26.95 | 6. Django & Juliette pump $149.95 | 7. Adorne clutch $59.95

Styling a black dress

I am off to Europe in two weeks and will be attending a wedding in the Netherlands while I am there. I have purchased the Y crossover dress (which is just gorgeous on and perfect for travelling as it is versatile and doesn’t need ironing) but am a bit stuck as to how to style it for the occasion bearing in mind that the weather is still cold there and we will be walking from the ceremony to the reception afterwards on cobblestones. Help! Narrelle 

Yes, it will still be cold, so a bit like my suggestion for Em above, having a stylish coat on hand and wearing tights will definitely be helpful. I would wear a block heel so the dress still looks dressed up but you are able to walk on the cobblestone street.

As for accessories, it’s time to add some bling – a clutch and a combination of either earrings and bracelets and or a necklace and a cocktail ring. Whatever combination you feel most comfortable with.

So, over to you … been to a wedding of late? Been a mother of the bride or groom? Come across a difficult dress code? Share your experience and tips in the comments below.

PS. If you have a style question you’d like answered, please email [email protected]

Comments 33

  1. That Sasha Drake dress is divine!! I have no events on the horizon but I will be keeping that gorgeous frock in mind as soon as an invitation arrives. Thanks for the amazing edit Nikki. x

  2. I have a significant birthday in July and have booked a private room in a favourite restaurant for the celebration. I haven’t found the right outfit yet, but these have got me thinking I need to really get into it.

  3. lovely choices nikki!
    I wore black/teal to my niece’s wedding
    my sister had a gorgeous Anthea Crawford dress for her son’s wedding!
    her son said no black! his prerogative! … love m:)X

  4. I need to find an excuse to dress up! I have to admit I did go to a wedding where dress code was left open because they wanted to embrace whatever people felt comfortable wearing. It definitely left us all confused even though the intentions were good.

  5. I’m probably very old fashioned, but I think black is a big no-no for weddings.
    Don’t get me wrong, my standard outfit tends to be black, but I think wearing black (unless a suit for men, of course) to something that should be a joyous occasion, is bad manners.

    1. It’s no longer considered bad manners K – thankfully! My bridesmaids even wore black. The thing is if you wouldn’t feel confident in black at a wedding then it wouldn’t be the choice for you.

  6. Those dresses are beautiful and absolutely perfect. I wish I had a wedding or special occasion to go to but nothing on the radar at the moment.

  7. Perfect. I LOVE that Blue Illusion scarf! I have a LBD but thought it was too plain – that is just perfect for it. Thanks Nikki. I knew you’d knock it out of the park!
    (Thanks for your support with my post last week, too. Your blogging generosity is inspiring. x)

  8. I stumbled on the brand Montique in MYER a few months back, and they sell lots of really lovely dresses/outfits that are perfect for a wedding. I bought the Alice Spot Taffeta Dress and felt amazing in it all day/night and got so many compliments. Dress spoke for itself, so all I did was pair it with some black patent shoes and nothing else required.

  9. I love these suggestions Nikki ,no I haven’t been to a wedding for a while and I’m not sure when my son and his fiancé are getting married yet, but when I know I will be looking for an amazing dress!
    Have a lovely weekend Nikki Xx

  10. When in doubt add great shoes, great bag, bling jewelry. If you feel comfy you will be confident…oh good shapewear helps too

  11. When my son got married, I headed to Chermside Shopping Centre. Bought my dress from Diana Ferrari, the ladies in there were brilliant! Dress, shoes, bag sorted. My dress was beautiful!

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