Winter weddings are just the absolute most magical, and even more magical when you’re lucky enough to get snow! While they definitely come with their own set of planning obstacles and might need a bit more preparation, it’s always worth it when the day finally comes!
Staying warm during winter weddings can also be pretty challenging, but I’ve compiled my best tips for keeping yourselves all warm and cozy even in frigid temperatures!
If you’re wearing a dress, long sleeves are usually the way to go. It’ll help keep you a little bit warmer, and also hide some goosebumps or redness from the cold! This one is definitely more of a recommendation than a requirement, but it’s good to keep in mind. If you fall in love with a sleeveless dress, look into bridal sweaters or wraps! They have great options on BHLDN, Etsy, and tons of other stores.
If you’re wearing a suit, heavier materials like tweed and wool suits will be the warmest and most insulating. In the next section, we’ll talk about base layers which will be really easy to layer underneath a suit, or whatever you choose to wear!
Winter weddings call for preparation, and the best place to start would be with the materials directly against your skin. Base layers will add so much warmth with not a ton of bulk, so I would definitely recommend investing in some of these, especially if you’re planning on hiking, snowshoeing, or just being outside for a long time!
If you choose something that’s meant to be a base layer, you can pretty much assume that it’s designed for moisture wicking (which is really important for staying warm), whether it’s made of natural or synthetic fibers. As far as warmth goes, you’ll usually see numbers like 150, 200, and 250, or lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight to describe warmth and thickness. As a general rule of thumb, thicker fabrics will be warmer than their lighter options, within the same material.
If you’re really on a budget, or don’t know if you don’t do a lot of winter activities and wouldn’t wear your base layers again, fleece lined leggings like these can be a great option too. These are also great because you can find them in just about any skin tone, so no one would even know you’re wearing them!
As far as shoes go, you don’t necessarily need to wear snow boots for winter weddings, but finding waterproof shoes will be really important. If you can, boots that go up a little higher than your ankle will help keep snow from getting in your shoes!
Socks will also have natural and synthetic options. Here, I’d just go ahead and recommend spending a little more and going for merino wool. They’re going to be the warmest and the antimicrobial properties are a huge bonus here. Plus, if you get a little bit of snow in your shoes, wool will still insulate and keep you warm if it’s wet.
Choosing the right outerwear for winter weddings is also going to make a huge difference. Again, we have the options of synthetic and natural fibers for warmth, and I’ll go into detail on both of those options below!
In general, down is going to have a higher warmth-to-weight ratio, is highly compressible and packable, and durable with the right care. Negatives of down would include that it’s more expensive than synthetic, loses insulation power when wet, and requires proper cleaning to ensure a long lifespan.
Synthetic fill is generally less warm than down, but does continue to insulate you when it’s wet. It also has a much more approachable price tag and is hypoallergenic.
If down or synthetic jackets aren’t really your style, you could also go for splurging in a nice wool coat if you like the look of those better. If you’re not going to be outside for long stretches of time, that would do just fine. Personally, I also think down coats can be really cute (I’ve seen some really cute white ones with wedding dresses!) for an adventure elopement, and these will be a lot warmer.
I’ve spent a ton of time searching for the most beautiful Airbnb’s for elopements and intimate weddings, or just for an incredible place to stay when traveling. Here are some of my top picks for winter weddings. Not all properties allow events or extra guests that aren’t staying on the property – make sure you always contact the host to ask permission before booking if you’re planning on having people over for a big dinner, ceremony, or anything else wedding-related.
Also check out Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado for a unique location, and Salted Roots Alaska for more incredible locations for your intimate winter wedding! If you want to rough it a little more, rent a campervan or RV from Outdoorsy! (this link will give you $50 towards your rental!)
If you’re looking for more inspiration for winter weddings and elopements, check out this Southern Colorado Wedding. I also have an entire page with blog posts all about planning your wedding or elopement – find that here.