How to keep warm at a winter wedding

The past few years have pushed some interesting wedding dresses into the spotlight, but no style has lasted quite like that of the strapless gown. With 2021’s trends making headlines already, although straps are popping up once again, it’s clear that the strapless look is still at the forefront. Next year, however, designers are introducing a new aspect along with the seasoned style.

If you’ve had your heart set on a strapless dress but you’ve been worried about a chilly walk down the aisle of your autumn evening wedding, you’re in luck. Whether you reach for a scarf, a shawl, or even a cardigan, wrapping up your gown has never been so chic.

Shawls and Wraps

Once you’re in your dress, you’ve got a lot to worry about. You need to make sure your dress stays in place as you take careful steps down the aisle so as not to trip yourself, all the while clutching your father’s arm and holding onto your bouquet. On top of it all, you’ve got to keep your head up straight as you prepare to meet your new husband’s eyes during what you’ve been imagining as the most romantic moment of the day.

With so much going through your mind while you’re in the spotlight, the last thing you want is an additional piece of clothing to worry about. If you’re considering adding a wrap to your wedding day look, it’s important to choose one that will sit comfortably on your shoulders with no chance of slipping in the middle of the ceremony.

Luckily, wraps come in all sizes and configurations these days. If you don’t have a specific shape in mind, look for wraps that taper at the ends, encouraging you to tie them around your shoulders. A lighter wrap might come adorned with a small clasp, allowing you to fasten it securely in place. It’s not uncommon for larger shawls to be accompanied by loose sleeves as a way to hold themselves in place, so if you’re taking the strapless route, you might reconsider adding sleeves on top.

Scarves and shawls are at times interchangeable, but scarves can be a bit trickier to secure depending on their size and material. If a scarf is too bulky to tie and too loose to simply set on your shoulders, employ the use of a small safety pin or two. Brides with less-intricate bodices might consider pinning a flower or brooch to the scarf to hold it in place as well.

If you’ve found the perfect scarf but you can’t make it five minutes without it slipping off of your arms, it might be tempting to think, “Oh, I’ll just deal with it.” Don’t give in! Bring it to an alterations specialist or a sewing-savvy friend and ask for suggestions to secure it in place.

Constantly resetting a scarf that completes your look might sound like the price you have to pay for perfection, but it’s not worth it. Between the hugs and the barrage of gifts, food and drinks that will be handed to you throughout the night, your arms are sure to be full more often than not. Any extra weight you add to your shoulders should be guaranteed not to slip off.


Some people just don’t get scarves. Try as they might, they can’t get the knot to sit quite right, or they were raised to believe scarves existed only as superhero capes. In lieu of the wraps that seem to be storming the 2021 winter wedding scene, some designers are reaching for cardigans to shake the chill that can come along with the strapless gown.

Cardigans have a major advantage over most scarves and shawls because they come with sleeves, which all but guarantee that the sweater will be staying exactly where it’s supposed to be for the entire celebration. However, with so many different kinds of cardigans on the scene, you want to be sure you pick one that will complement your dress instead of adding the air of a librarian to your wedding look.

The proper length of your cardigan will depend on the length and style of your dress, but crop cardigans are ideal if you’re going for elegance. A sweater that falls below your gown’s waistline could present an unwanted sloppy effect. The same goes for solid, baggy sweaters, so if you’re adding an opaque cardigan into the mix, make sure it hugs you tightly. Sheer cardigans—such as those made of lace, mesh, or loosely knitted materials—automatically bring an air of openness with them, so in certain cases, baggier can be better.

Remember, it’s your wedding day, so you shouldn’t feel compelled to cover up. If you’ve already picked out your strapless gown and you’re prone to a chill, though, it doesn’t hurt to explore your options. When you find the right piece, try it out around your house for a few days. If it proves to be more of a burden than an asset, you might prefer the goosebumps.