Winter weddings: Fashion trends, from sleeves and lace to metallic-hued bridesmaid dresses |

Winter weddings: Fashion trends, from sleeves and lace to metallic-hued bridesmaid dresses

Jennifer Geisman
Special to the Vail Daily
“Long-sleeved lace sleeves with an open back are great options and can be found at all of the local Denver bridal boutiques, such as Anna Be, Emma & Grace Bridal Studio and Little White Dress Bridal Shop 3,” said Chelsea Dillon, of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production.
Manzanita Photography | Gold Leaf Event Design & Production |

Items for your checklist

• Dress alterations: Jordan Ensminger, buyer and master stylist for The Bridal Collection, encourages brides have alterations done at the store where the dress is purchased and start approximately two months before the wedding. For last-minute alterations in Vail, make an appointment with seamstress Marcy Tracy, who co-owns Sew Fantastic and Second Skin Boutique with her daughter, Jen Hooker, in Avon. Brides can contact the duo at 970-470-4992 or 760-846-0419.

• To preserve or not to preserve? Preserving your wedding gown for a future bride is the most popular option; however, there are brides who repurpose their wedding dresses in other ways, including using a piece of the fabric to display in a shadowbox or donating the dress to an organization that helps brides who may not be able to afford their own gown, such as Brides Across America. Brides Across America also provides a military bride a free wedding gown during a Brides Across America’s Nationwide Gown Giveaway. Learn more at

• Don’t forget the groom! Of course, the bride and wedding theme dictate what the groom will wear, but a full tuxedo is still the staple for a traditional wedding. For something a little more lighthearted, Ensminger sees many grooms opting for charcoal or navy suits, with patterned ties and fun socks.

The dress

As winter weddings will have it, the temps are chilly, and a blushing bride should never have chattering teeth during the ceremony. The clear choice would be to put a ski jacket over your nuptial whites to keep warm, but that isn’t the picture-perfect ensemble for your big day.

Sleeves, whether cap or three-quarter length, will take the edge off any cold wedding day without abandoning style. The wedding experts from The Bridal Collection in Centennial say long-sleeve sheath gowns complement all winter dress trends and can be embellished, tying into embroidery or beading at the waistline or throughout the dress.

In addition to sleeved dresses, The Bridal Collection is anticipating trends for beaded bodices with fuller skirts and vintage-inspired dresses with stunning details on the back. Lace is always popular for weddings, as are ethereal fabrics such as tulle, and accents such as crystal beading and fur shrugs are au courant for winter ceremonies.

Chelsea Dillon and Kate Ryan, of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production, a wedding and event-planning firm in Aspen ( are also seeing the sleeve trend this winter.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“Long-sleeved lace sleeves with an open back are great options and can be found at all of the local Denver bridal boutiques, such as Anna Be, Emma & Grace Bridal Studio and Little White Dress Bridal Shop 3,” Dillon said.

“Other trends this year include wearing a wedding dress that has a hint of color to stand out in the white snow-filled background. Many wedding dresses can be ordered in a blush color as well as white, and blush is lovely in the winter.”

The Bridal Collection services local and out-of-town brides and has many dress options for them to choose from.

“We have the largest selection of wedding gowns in Colorado, so we carry quite a few designers. Some of our most popular designers are Justin Alexander, Martina Liana, Lazaro, Sottero and Midgley, Pronovias and Madison James,” said Jordan Ensminger, buyer and master stylist for The Bridal Collection. “We also have Willowby, WToo, Stella York, Simone Carvalli, Victor Harper, Atelier Pronovias, Casablanca, Enzoani, Badgley Mischka, Allure Couture and two private labels.”


Once you’ve picked your dream dress, it is time to choose the finishing touches that will truly make your entrance pop.’s rules for accessorizing are tried and true and will ensure that your wedding photos don’t include any glaring fashion faux pas. The website emphasizes that less is always more and that brides don’t need to go over the top and get bedazzled from head to toe. A necklace and earrings or tiara are perfect for a more simple dress, while very little jewelry is needed when your dress has unique and beautiful detailing and embellishments.

Classic gold accessories are on trend for winter weddings, as are veils that give your wintery union that certain je ne sais quoi.

“For jewelry and hairpieces, brides are liking gold and rose gold accessories that will sparkle in the natural light, as well as halo headbands,” Ensminger said.

Ensminger said long veils are also very popular in the winter, as well as fresh flowers in deep burgundy or winter whites against the snowy backdrop.

“As for shoes, you can find a Colorado bride in anything from a peep-toe Badgley Mischka pump to Sorels,” she said.

Another way to accessorize for your outdoor photos is to embrace the alpine environment. One of Dillon’s brides incorporated the woodsy-chic look into her wedding dress ensemble and wore a J. Crew buffalo plaid jacket for outside photos.


Don’t let the cliche “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” bum out your ladies in waiting. Gone are the days of uncomfortable gold lame dresses that will never be repurposed for anything other than a Halloween costume party. The bridesmaid dress trend of mismatched lengths or styles will allow you to help your bridesmaids choose dress options that fit your color scheme, while at the same time complementing everyone’s shapes and sizes.

“Many brides choose a color and let each woman pick her own dress style or they choose a color family where all of the dresses are different colors, like jewel tones, pastels or earth tones,” Ensminger said.

She said the trend for this year is different full-length gowns in the same color and incorporating a winter theme with fur wraps or pashmina to stay warm. In addition, sequined gowns in gold, champagne and rose gold are also a popular choice for bridesmaids, which not only makes the bride stand out in her white gown but also adds a bit of vintage glamour and sparkle to the snow-white surroundings.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User