By Sharon Auld
Ahhh, the dilemma of what to wear (and pack!) for a winter wedding in the mountains. Most likely, when you think of a winter wedding in the mountains, you’re thinking snow-capped peaks and bundled up guests. Well, the truth is, here in the Rocky Mountains, that’s likely what you’ll get (and we couldn’t be happier!).
In the mountains, its all about function – staying warm and dry, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! The mountain chic culture dictates, first and foremost, practicality. However, an indoor ceremony at the Fairmont Banff Springs, is very different than an outdoor wedding on a ski hill! Step #1, find out exactly what kind of winter wedding; indoors or out, formal or casual? Sometimes though, even the couple won’t have a clear vision of what they expect for their guests! Weather and location are often a deciding factor in what to wear.
If the ceremony is outside, whether at a ski hill or outside the venue. Dress appropriately. In general, winter weddings are a little more relaxed especially if there’s an outdoor ceremony. No couple choosing an outdoor ceremony wants their guests to sit shivering while they say their vows and perhaps they’ve even taken steps to ensure their guests’ comfort (think outdoor heaters and warm throws). Regardless, you will likely be outside in the elements for at least fifteen minutes and it could get downright chilly!
If you are invited to an outdoor ceremony on a ski hill, then nice, warm activewear is a must. We’re talking, down parka, tights or pants, mitts, hat and nice boots are all usually appropriate attire (skis or snowboards too if you’re heading down the slopes afterwards)!
Of course, if you are attending an outdoor ceremony in a courtyard outside the venue, the dress code is generally a little less casual. A warm coat or jacket is still a must, and a scarf is a stylish touch. Dress pants are usually acceptable and often warmer, heavier fabrics are fine too. For footwear, choose closed-toe shoes (not strappy sandals) or stylish winter dress boots. If it’s really cold, a stylish hat is not out of the question either. For older guests and children it is especially important to put warmth and comfort over style if need be.
Grey wool coat and black cashmere dress via Ralph Lauren.
As well, keep in mind that inside the venue is going to be warm and heated. If you don’t have time to change your attire, don’t fret too much about what you’re wearing. The dress code, is likely more relaxed and chances are there will be others in the same boat. If you do have time to change, ladies may want to change into a dress and heels. Sleeveless dresses are fine if you plan on wearing a shawl or cashmere sweater, otherwise slightly heavier fabrics with longer sleeves may be more comfortable. If you can’t change entirely, consider bringing a second pair of shoes for inside.
Winter weddings do afford the opportunity to wear rich, vibrant colors and fabrics especially around the holidays. Deep reds, purple and sapphire blues, slate grey, velvet and shimmering metallics can all look fabulous! Just remember, wearing white is still considered a “don’t” by many (though Pippa Middleton’s white bridesmaid dress is changing some people’s views!).
Festive Dresses from BHLDN
Stay tuned for more tips on keeping the wedding party stylishly warm and what to wear to outdoor, winter activities in the mountains.
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