Practicality isn’t normally the word that comes to mind when you’re thinking of your dream wedding dress. Glamorous, romantic, sexy? Absolutely. Practical? Unless you’re planning on going for a hike on your big day, probably not.
If you’re planning on getting married in the UK in the depths of winter, however, it might be something you want to take into consideration. Yes, your dream wedding dress might be a slinky backless number with a thigh-high slit, but do you really want your overriding memory of the ceremony to be shivering at the front of a draughty church? I don’t know about you, but goosebumps don’t feature too prominently in the best day of my life.
Thank the bridal powers that be, then, for a swathe of savvy dress designers who have created fabulous confections perfect for the cold weather. From voluminous gowns that utilise layers of tulle as insulation to long-sleeved dresses that don’t skimp on the sex appeal, these are the best winter wedding dresses to know about now.
Gala by Galia Lahav Tiana Wedding Dress
Wedding dress designer Galia Lahav is one of the best-known names in couture bridal (Instagram following at time of writing: 2.4 million) and she’s amassed a celebrity clientele to match. Recent clients include Paris Hilton, Beyonce and Lily James, so you know you’re going to be in good company with a GL gown.
Lahav is known for her discreetly sexy detailing – think semi-translucent fabrics, peekaboo cut-outs and flashes of thigh. For winter brides, the Tiana dress promises all the signature Lahav touches complemented by long seasonal sleeves. A 3D floral beaded net overlay is simply the icing on a very glamorous cake.
Grace Loves Lace Anu wedding dress
Founded in Australia in 2011, Grace Loves Lace quickly became the cool girl’s go-to for fashion-forward wedding style. In 2017, the brand opened a bridal boutique in Shoreditch, bringing its unique approach to wedding gowns to our fair shores – and attaching some sleeves here and there to accommodate our inclement climate.
Taken from the new Memoirs of Her collection, the Anu gown exudes old-school Hollywood glamour with a modern twist. Crafted from stretch-silk, embellishment is minimal but the cut and tailoring are masterful, with the fabric draping elegantly and asymmetrically around the body for an endlessly flattering fit. An open tie-back also offers a range of versatile styling options.
Peter Langner Poppy wedding dress
Milanese bridal designer Peter Langner has been creating some of the world’s most fantastical wedding creations for more than three decades. Having cut his teeth in the ateliers of Christian Dior, Guy Laroche, and Emanuel Ungaro, Langner takes a couture approach to bridal design, employing a team of artisans who have mastered traditional handcrafting techniques.
An ideal choice for the traditional bride, Langner’s collection riffs on the classics, with extravagant lace, full skirts and timeless necklines throughout. The Poppy, for example, takes a simple A-line ballgown and overlays it with embroidered tulle finished with Bridgerton-worthy ruffles.
Nadine Merabi bridal seperates
Suits have long been a go-to for alt-brides with a penchant for a bit of Bianca Jagger flair and, while once you would have found yourself on Savile Row in search of perfectly-fitted female tailoring, British-Lebanese designer Nadine Merabi is bringing down the cost of entry considerably with her bridal range.
A great choice for brides considering an outfit change, Nadine Merabi's bridal collection features an array of separates so you can mix and match your favourite pieces to create completely new nuptial looks. We recommend pairing the flattering crepe and satin Charlotte straight-fit trousers with the Ella White corset top accessorised with the lush feather Leona jacket.
Roksanda Pascale cape dress
Who said you need sparkle, lace or tulle to make a big impact on your big day? Red carpet favourite Roksanda is famed for its sophisticated gowns which eschew embellishment in favour of dramatic silhouettes and masterful craftsmanship – and the Pascale cape dress is a perfect example.
Cut in ivory crepe, a simple midi dress is given a cathedral-worthy spin courtesy of the trailing cape-overlay draped across one shoulder. The antithesis of the fairytale ballgown, this is about as elegant as wedding gowns come.
Viktor & Rolf Airy Abundance Fantaisie Mermaid gown
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren may be best known for their jaw-dropping couture collections and buzzed-about celebrity dressing moments (fans include Lady Gaga, Lizzo and Tilda Swinton) but their eponymous brand also does a fine line in contemporary wedding dressing.
Designed for the thoroughly modern bride, don’t expect to find any beaded belts or sweetheart necklines here. Viktor & Rolf Mariage is all about unexpected cuts, statement detailing and unexpected twists on bridal traditions. 21st-century princesses won’t go far wrong with this sculpted crepe mermaid gown, complete with draped tulle detachable sleeves and satin organza flowers and coquette-ish bows around the straps.
Whistles Loretta wedding dress
The high street probably isn't your first port of call when in pursuit of your dream winter wedding dress but, since launching its bridal collection in 2017, Whistles has become a firm favourite among thrifty brides seeking style that doesn’t break the bank.
Its wedding collection is designed to cater to every kind of bride with styles including jumpsuits and tailoring. We’re fans of the Loretta – a flatteringly sequinned dress with puff sleeves, a cut-out at the back, and a flared hem. The even better news? You won’t have to wait months for it to be delivered.