Outdoor Winter Wedding: What do I wear?

You were just invited to an outdoor winter wedding. In the north. Now what?

When the bride and groom reveal on their wedding invitation that they're having an outdoor wedding, your first reaction might be: "oh this is so exciting! I love being outside in the warm…wait…this says January? Honey, this wedding invitation says it's a January wedding. And the ceremony, it's…outside in the open air? As in: this is an outdoor wedding in the middle of the winter…dress appropriately? What?! How?"

Hey, winter weddings can be outside too. To be fair, they're more unique and less expected than other seasonal weddings. That being said, winter weddings are something that can be enjoyable when you go in prepared.

Pros: the ceremonies tend to be shorter and you're likely to return inside as soon as the ceremony is over. Also, it's a wedding. Cons: well, the cold, but that can be handled.

Now that we have the initial skepticism out of the way, what should you wear to a winter wedding?

Bundle up.

The ceremony will likely be up and running at the warmest part of the day, but that might mean it's no warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That kind of weather will be on the low end for plenty of people but with a few extra layers you'll be golden.

Bring along a warm winter coat.

Wearing the best and most comfortable winter coat for an outdoor wedding will help you stay warm, especially if you're wearing less for the reception afterward (a dress and not a coat, for instance).

A wool coat will keep you nice and toasty from the moment you leave the car to the moment you get back home. When the party goes inside, there should be a coat check and you won't have to worry about carrying it around until you leave later on.

The best winter gloves are essential for an outdoor winter wedding.

We all know that one crate or drawer we have in the mudroom: filled with cold weather accessories like mismatched gloves, hats, and there's always some stray item that's found its way to the bottom (a penny or a piece of hay from those autumn adventures).

Well, we also have a place for our more formal winter items. Since an outdoor wedding begs for some noticeable formal wear, bring your best leather gloves.

Should you wear a hat to an outdoor wedding?

As for hats, you might want to avoid a hair conundrum by wearing earmuffs. They'll wrap behind your neck or over the top of your hair so you can avoid hat hair. If you have shorter hair you can also give a headband a try. If you're confident a hat will do the trick, you go for that hat. I believe in you.

If it were a destination wedding to, say, Hawaii, of course you wouldn't need a hat. But these are the cards we were given and a winter hat, pair of earmuffs, or a headband will only make that ceremony better.

It's definitely leggings weather.

You've got your coat, your hat and gloves, and you found the perfect outfit for the reception, but what else could you possibly need? Leggings! Since you'll be sitting outside for (fingers crossed) less than an hour, it makes sense to add an extra layer. Leggings can help tie your dress together with your shoes, which brings us to:

Winter boots!

Winter snow boots are going to be the best choice if you want to keep your feet and legs warm beyond just leggings. You can also throw on a pair of wool socks for that extra cushion and warmth too. If you want all the bases covered you can bring flats for the dance floor.

As for a winter wedding gift?

You're always thoughtful of others and you might be inspired to give gifts that remind the newlyweds that you're proud of them and excited for their future together. Beyond the registry, gifts like hot chocolate, blankets, outdoor heating lamps, or a recipe book of your favorite hot dishes could all be great indicators as to how much you like to stay warm in the winter. But if they love winter so much, you could always get them a monogrammed blanket.


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