Finding the perfect winter wedding guest dress is no easy task. Not only have you got to think about keeping warm, but you’ve also got to consider your personal style and the type of wedding you’re going to – formal, black tie, maybe even Christmas themed?
Panic not – if you’re not sure what to wear to a winter wedding you have coming up, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the high street to bring you 45 of the most beautiful wedding guest dresses of the season, with something for every budget.
Whether you’re after a glamorous midi wedding guest dress or something short and playful, there will be a dress in this edit for you. We’ve even got some wedding guest jumpsuits thrown in there for good measure.
Oh, and once you’ve found your perfect winter wedding guest dress, why not browse our wedding guest hairstyle guide? You’ll be feeling ready for the wedding pictures (and reception dancefloor) in no time.
NB: We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.
Top Tips for Choosing a Winter Wedding Guest Dress
- Consider the dress code. Have the couple made any mention of a colour scheme to adhere to on their wedding invitation? Have they specified “cocktail attire” or “black tie”? Attention to detail could save you a lot of stress here.
- Consider the weather and be prepared for cold, wind, rain or even snow! Even if the wedding is inside, chances are you’ll be outside for a confetti shot…
- Make a mental note of what not to wear to a wedding. Y’know, the glaringly obvious like not wearing white, plus the unwritten rules like no denim and nothing too short.
- Make sure you don’t upstage the bride. Weddings might be a great excuse to get glammed up, but we’d recommend avoiding anything tooOTT.
- Winter is the perfect time for berry hues, dark greens and plenty of texture from velvet and sequins. And unless the couple explicitly says otherwise, you can definitely wear black this season.
1. Zara Dress with Matching Ruffles – £79.99
If your operative word is ‘showstopper’, this Zara halterneck dress certainly fits the bill. The way the contrasting ruffles drape down the open back of the piece is seriously beautiful – you’ll just need to keep a scarf to hand to drape over your shoulders if things get chilly.
2. Zara Printed Dress – £59.99
We love the boho feel and unusual print of this knotted Zara dress – the sleeves and long skirt will keep you cosy, while the plunging v-neckline shows just enough skin. Add layers of polished gold jewellery and simple black mules to complete the look.
3. Zara Jacquard Dress – £59.99
This season, you might notice something of a purple reign on the high street – from soft lilacs to rich plums, this regal colour is definitely having a moment. One of our favourite incarnations is this Zara jacquard dress – with its covered buttons and gently puffed shoulders, it’s a twist on the traditional tea dress that you’ll wear year after year.
4. Zara Sequinned Halter Dress – £49.99
You knew it wouldn’t be long before we snuck some sequins in here – and at under £50, this Zara dress is amazingly well priced for its levels of embellishment. The chocolate brown colour is great if you like to stick to darker shades, but are keen to take a break from your usual all-black wardrobe.
5. & Other Stories Rouched Smock Sleeve Midi Dress – £85
This flowy, smocked midi dress from & Other Stories has the most delicate floral print, and would look just as good with natural, pared-back make-up as it would a bold red lip. Trade the model’s chunky boots for strappy white block heels and pop on a set of statement earrings to amp up the glamour.
6. & Other Stories Voluminous Tiered Midi Dress – £95
An even roomier option from & Other Stories comes in the form of this gorgeous cornflower blue maxi dress, a seasonless gem of a garment that can be dressed up or down for daytime or evening affairs. We’ll be taking advantage of that smocked waistline by going back for seconds at the dessert table.
7. & Other Stories Metallic Satin Midi Dress – £85
Alternatively, if you want to keep your colour palette super seasonally appropriate, it doesn’t come much more festive than this & Other Stories Metallic Dress. The balloon sleeves and tie waist will show off your figure, and literally no one (bride aside) will be able to compete with the wow-factor of that shimmery fabric.
8. Monsoon Rosa Embellished Midi Dress – £140
Teal tulle may sound like a tongue twister (hey, you try saying it five times quickly) but there’s no denying that the combination is stunning in this Monsoon Rosa Dress. The addition of beading and sequins – plus that velvet tie at the waist – elevates this from an everyday staple to something really quite special.
9. Monsoon Gwenevere Glitter Floral Sequin Dress in Recycled Fabric – £130
The Gwenevere is part of Monsoon’s S.E.W. Sustainable range, a capsule collection made from sustainable fabric alternatives – in this instance, 100 per cent recycled polyester. We adore how each polka dot is actually a tiny touch of sparkle, while the neckline and floral beadwork add even more interest to this unique winter wedding guest dress option.
10. Monsoon Eleanore Asymmetric Button Shift Dress – £70
While we love the deep jewel tones that usually fill the rails at this time of year, brights don’t have to be totally out of the question – take the Monsoon Eleanore dress, for instance. This hot pink dress is a reminder that showing off your shape in an asymmetric nipped-in cut will never go out of style.
11. Topshop 70s Floral Print Midi Dress – £45.99
The 70s are back, and whether you were here for them the first time around or not, this 70’s floral print dress from Topshop will fast become one of the hardest working items in your wardrobe. For a winter wedding we’d suggest teaming this with a sleek updo to showcase the bow fastening on the back.
12. Topshop Black Taffeta Bardot Midi Dress – £49.99
If you’re going to wear black to a winter wedding, this dress is the way to do it – part party dress, part timeless classic, it’s a great all-rounder. It’s also available tall and petite options, making it more height inclusive than many similar offerings on the high street.
13. M&S Collection Floral Print V-Neck Midi Waisted Dress – £39.50
At just under £40, this M&S dress is an absolute steal, and that’s before you even consider your cost per wear. With a print that won’t ever date and a fit that works for any occasion, you can slip it on for date night, drinks with the girls or even to the office long after the big day takes place.
14. M&S Per Una Lace Insert High Neck Waisted Dress – £45
Also on our radar from M&S for winter 2020 is this Per Una dress, which gives us serious Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen vibes (without the £2,000 price tag, we hasten to add). With the right jewellery this could have a wonderfully Christmassy feel, but would also be a fab option for winter weddings that aren’t in December.
15. H&M Voluminous Chiffon Dress – £39.99
Crocodile print to a wedding? We’d never have guessed it either, but this H&M dress really manages to pull it off with graceful organic drapery galore. If you love the shape but not the print, it also comes in a scattered ‘pigeon blue’.
16. H&M Smocked Dress – £34.99
Shorter hemline more your jam? The high neck and oversized sleeves of this heather hued H&M dress make the look winter appropriate. Even for venues where you might be spending a lot of time outside, you can always pop this on with a pair of tights – we love the idea of patterned versions with polka dots or tiny hearts, as well as the usual black opaques.
17. H&M Satin Dress – £34.99
Part of H&M’s collaboration with designer label Giuliva Heritage, it’s no surprise that this satin dress looks far more expensive than its £35 RRP. Showcase the gold buttons on the cuffs with coordinating gold jewellery and an eyecatching clutch.
18. H&M Crepe Dress – £39.99
For some, this H&M crepe dress will skate a little too close to the white for a wedding rule, but we think the light beige fabric and trend-led sleeves and skirt are enough to stop it looking remotely bridal. For added ice queen energy, we’d pile on silver jewellery in its droves – a chunky, glitzy necklace would look particularly chic over its clean round neckline.
19. H&M Long Tulle Dress – £59.99
Another H&M partnership, this time with Sandra Mansour, who’s known for her romantic designs. This is the winter wedding dress for any guest who wants to earn her style points – the ruffles, tiers and tulle will garner you endless compliments from fellow fashionistas in the know.
20. ASOS Design Satin Sweetheart Tie Neck Maxi Dress in Mixed Floral Print – £42
If you’ve coveted the mix and match prints of high-end brands like Rixo but never quite had the budget to make them your own, this ASOS dress could be the outfit you’ve been holding out for. The volume sleeves and tie necklace ensure your outfit will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
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21. ASOS Design Pleated Maxi Dress with Fluted Sleeves – £40
Proof that pastels can absolutely be worn in winter, this pistachio green dress from ASOS is elegance personified – whether you pile on the accessories or keep it simple. A low chignon, brown smoky eye and nude lip would be the ultimate trifecta to set this off.
22. ASOS Design Puff Sleeve Satin Maxi Tea Dress – £42
The burgundy wine shade of this ASOS dress was what caught our eye, but the panelled seam detailing and satisfyingly weighty satin material were what made us hit add to basket. It’s a super feminine pick that will give your final ensemble a fun, flirty feel.
23. ASOS Design Garden Party Vintage Cup Detail Prom Midi Dress – £65
Speaking of fun, we’re obsessed with this playful retro-look prom dress for weddings this season. While the peachy hue might not instantly scream winter, the 1950s silhouette would look great with a slick of red lipstick and a furry jacket, so you can pull it off no matter what the unpredictable weather might throw your way.
24. Nasty Gal Cowl On A High Maxi Dress – £30
Invest in this Nasty Gal maxi dress and you won’t just walk into the ceremony space – you’ll positively glide. It’s a brilliant buy for anyone looking for winter wedding guest dresses on a budget, as Nasty Gal quite often runs promotions that can get you anywhere up to 40 per cent off.
25. Nasty Gal Cowl Midi Dress – £38
For a more tailored option with less drama in the skirt, we’re also championing Nasty Gal’s cowl neck midi. Pop on a pair of heels and grab any clutch from your existing collection, and it’ll take you from vows to reception dinner to disco with minimal effort and maximum style.
26. River Island Beige Long Sleeve Animal Print Midi Dress – £46
In the wise words of style guru Erica Davies, leopard is a neutral, and you really can wear it anywhere – even to a winter wedding. The ruched sleeves on this dress add interest and give you the opportunity to showcase any great bracelets or bangles you want to wear (although a statement necklace wouldn’t go amiss here either).
27. River Island Red Floral Print Wrap Dress – £46
Walk on the wild side aside, perhaps flower power is more your thing – in which case we’d like to direct your attention to this River Island wrap dress. The full bloom print has a red and green colour palette that’s just the right side of Christmassy, and is complimented by the wrap twist front and bell sleeves.
28. Mango Sequinned Midi Dress – £99.99
A winter wedding is the perfect excuse to give ‘em the old razzle dazzle, and it doesn’t come much more dazzling that this Mango dress. Every inch of this midi is covered in light-reflecting sequins that will essentially turn you into a human disco ball (and we truly mean that in the best possible way).
29. Mango Flowy Puff Sleeves Dress - £49.99
Keep things short and sweet with this forest green midi from Mango – we love the addition of a turtleneck and billowy cuffed sleeves to this shape. You won’t be able to head into your local store to pick this one up as it’s an online exclusive, but it's the work of seconds to pop it into your virtual cart instead.
30. Mango Sequin Wrap Dress – £119.99
Have you ever seen disco look this good? The sequins on this Mango dress twinkle from blue to silver to purple, set off with a batwing sleeve and open back that wouldn’t look out of place in a far more expensive designer collection. We predict this one will sell out quickly, so snap it up now while you still can.
31. Mango Asymmetrical Satin Dress – £59.99
Our final selection from Mango this season is this sophisticated scarlet number from the Spanish retailer. While (as you’ve seen by now) long sleeved midi aren’t uncommon on the high street at this time of year, the quirky neckline, asymmetric hem and teardrop fastening really set this one apart – don’t underestimate its refined, classy charms.
32. New Look White Spot Tie Waist Tiered Midi Dress – £32.99
You can always rely on New Look for purse-friendly fashion for any type of wedding, and this tiered printed midi would look just as good at a county hall reception as it would in a boho barn. Top it off with coordinating monochrome or metallic accessories and a low bun to show off that open neckline.
33. New Look Black Pleated Satin Spot Belted Midi Dress – £29.99
We’re also big fans of this second black and white New Look beauty, which is even more affordable at just a smidge under £30. Whether you want to create the illusion of curves or just accentuate them even more, you can’t go wrong with a flippy fit-and-flare structure like this.
34. Ghost Quinn Frill Maxi Dress – £169
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Ghost is one of the most reliable brands on the entire high street for wedding guest dresses. For winter, however, we’re especially keen on the Quinn, an understated but genuinely divine dress with an unusual fitted waist-to-hip bodice and pretty frills aplenty.
35. Ghost Mabel Star Embroidered Maxi Dress – £189
Elsewhere at John Lewis, we’re swooning over the new Ghost Mabel dress, a celestial dream of a dusty pink crepe dress that comes covered in gold and silver stars. The angel sleeves and cinched-in waist give it an ultra ladylike look.
36. French Connection Fia Lace Sparkle Sequin Dress – £199
If you know for sure that the winter wedding venue is a) predominantly indoors and b) very well heated, you can afford to go short and sleeveless – and this Fia dress from French Connection is impossible to overlook. Even if you’re likely to face the great outdoors at some point, you can optimise your outfit for warmth with a lined camel coat.
37. French Connection Clara Embellished Strappy Jumpsuit – £220
Don’t forget the power of a jumpsuit when it comes to wedding guest dressing – this Clara design, also from French Connection, will enable you to bust any number of moves at the reception disco. Partner it with an oversized black blazer for effortless cool.
38. Reiss Harley Drape Detail Jumpsuit – £245
Reiss is also a fab source of jumpsuits for events, as evidenced by this illusion two-piece jumpsuit with quite possibly the world’s most exquisite bow tie back. On the other side, it’s a drape-front satin top and straight-leg trousers that you only need the smallest sprinking of jewellery to dress up.
39. Reserved Ladies Dress - £39.99
The neutral tones, the dainty print, the flattering fit – we’d wear this Reserved dress anywhere, including to the next wedding in the diary. Black strappy heels and a matching clutch would edge it up a little, as would a pair of thick gold hoops.
40. Dorothy Perkins Multi Coloured Sequin Midi Dress – £45
Sequins don’t always come cheap, but Dotty P’s is a brilliant secret weapon if you’re after a touch of sparkle without the major spend. This multi coloured sequin dress ticks all of our boxes, and is pretty unbelievable for just £45.
41. Uterqüe Two-Tone Pleated Dress – £99
Uterqüe, Zara’s grown-up sister brand, is another line that’s climbing higher and higher on our occasionwear agenda. For winter 2020, we’re head-over-heels for this two-tone dress – with its high neck, sleeveless cut, double-layer design and flowing pleats, it looks like it just stepped straight off a fashion week catwalk.
42. Uterqüe Linen Dress with Bejewelled Buttons – £180
Linen and winter aren’t usually synonymous, but Uterqüe’s upgrades, including embeliished buttons and passementerie trim have made us rethink our preconceptions completely. We imagine this dress stealing the show at a city wedding, but wouldn’t rule it out for more formal venues either.
43. Stradivarius Midi Camisole Dress – £19.99
Yes, you’ll probably need to wear a jacket with this Stradivarius camisole dress, but seeing as it costs just £19.99, your outfit fund might just stretch to a cover-up too. The toffee colour and front slit make it subtly sexy but still wedding-appropriate.
44. Hobbs Cassandra Twist Neck Satin Dress – £199
The Hobbs Cassandra looks like it’s just stepped off the set of Mad Men – we’re head over heels for its vintage look and feel, and the heavy satin and luminescent fern green colour will pop in all of the group photos. It’s also a more eco-conscious buy, as it’s made from recycled materials.
45. Reformation Galena Dress – £300
Okay, so we appreciate that the Reformation collection doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re going all out for the wedding of the year, take a look at the Galena. Every single element of this dress has been designed to make you feel like a million dollars, so if you can afford it, it could be the best investment you’ve made in a long time.
So you've found the perfect winter wedding guest dress, but what about accessories? Don't miss our round-up of the best wedding guest accessories to buy now!