Like The Perfect Man, A Great Winter Wedding Dress Is Hard To Find

Like The Perfect Man, A Great Winter Wedding Dress Is Hard To Find

One of the first things you notice when shopping for your winter wedding is that some designers seem never to have heard of the North at all. (Some can be forgiven, since they live in more temperate climates.) To them, every dress is a summer dress, with variations based on the level of pomp and circumstance, not the weather.

But if you happen to fall in love with a summery design despite the fact that average temps for your wedding day hover around 20 below, never fear — you still have options.

One gorgeous look for the winter bride is a strapless gown topped by a faux fur-trimmed, hooded cloak. Throw back the hood, wear your hair in a sleek, tiara-topped chignon, then warm your hands with a luxuriant fur muff. Of course, this combo won’t quite work if your dress is made of a delicate chiffon, so to be sure to choose a gown that’s substantial and lined, made of satin, brocade or any other heavy fabric.

Another popular choice is an asymmetrical faux fur wrap that rests on one shoulder, or the fur or marabou shrug that covers both. These styles are the perfect finish for a strapless gown with minimal beading.

Capelets and stoles are more substantial faux-fur accessories with a dramatic, ice princess look, but they obscure more of your dress.

Wintertime isn’t only the perfect season to bring out the “ice,” it’s also ideal for wearing strong colors under that snow-white cloak or shrug. A bold red gown will take your guests’ breath away, and would be especially nice for a Christmas wedding. Other brides may find that pale blue gowns suit their winter wonderland fantasy to a ‘t’, while this season’s trend toward bold black beading complements almost any wintertime affair.

Winter is also a terrific time to go all-out with ball gown, princess or A-line silhouettes, cathedral-length veils and trains (make sure they’re detachable), sleek formal updos, and plenty of glittering jewelry. St. Pucchi’s Classics line has some wonderfully lacy, lined, trumpet-sleeved gowns that fit the bill perfectly.

For the more daring bride, Monique Lhuillier offers a few offbeat gowns with a vintage touch that also suit the winter months, with their long sleeves and illusion lace bodices. If you go to a major couture clearinghouse and search for long-sleeved dresses, you might find season-appropriate gowns by Reem Acra, Paloma Couture and Carolina Herrera, for starters. But if your budget’s not up to the occasional ,000 price tag, see if a local seamstress can’t copy the dress you desire for a much more palatable price.

And while we’re talking tailors, remember those gorgeous winter wedding gowns you saw in the magazines — the ones with dramatic faux-fur trim sewn right into the sleeves and neckline? The ones that, alas, are impossible to find? See if your seamstress couldn’t pull that off herself.

As for the shoes — well, you could wear something practical and change right before you enter the chapel. But winter brides have the perfect excuse to wear those beautiful lace-up wedding boots … an opportunity not to be missed.

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