For many brides this year, everything down to the dress was specifically picked for a warm-weather wedding, but the coronavirus pandemic caused them to postpone the celebration until fall or winter.
Fortunately, bridal fashion has become more seasonless, offering brides plenty of style options for any time of year. With the following simple additions and alterations you can still wear the dress you originally envisioned.
Change the Lining
Sheer and tulle dresses are popular with spring and summer brides. “Typically, spring wedding dresses feature a blush or nude lining, but swapping it with a lining that picks up the tones of the gown will give it a more fall or wintry feel,” says Samantha Levis, Los Angeles-based bridal stylist and owner of the Bold & Bridal. Ask your bridal boutique or a trusted seamstress to switch the lining to a dove gray, warm white, or even a pale cerulean for your something blue.
Cover Up With a Cape, Capelet or Jacket
Winterize your original spring bridal look with a dramatic cape, delicately-embroidered capelet, or a fun jacket. If you’d like to add a bit of a vintage feel, go with a faux-fur capelet, such as one by Genevieve Rose Atelier. “A cape or jacket is a nice touch when going from one event location to the next or for photo opportunities,” said Selina Howard, a stylist based in New York and Atlanta and the owner of Vainglorious Brides by Selina Howard. “It’s also a great way to add another layer while staying as close as possible to your original bridal vision.”
Add Detachable Sleeves or an Overskirt
Layers of fabric aren’t practical for most summer weddings, but winter bridal looks can add volume and texture with detachable sleeves and overskirts. If you’re wearing a dress with shoulder straps, take inspiration from Princess Beatrice’s recent bridal look where she added charming puffed sleeves to the vintage dress she borrowed from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. If you’re wearing a short dress or slim-silhouetted gown, pair it with a tulle A-line or ball gown overskirt for a fuller look. Many designers offer detachable sleeves and skirts that pair with their designs, but your bridal boutique or seamstress should also be able to customize your dress. You can also find an overskirt from online bridal retailers like Madeleine Fig and Untamed Petals to match your dress.
Accessorize with Fanciful Earrings or Bold Necklaces
“Going into winter, jewelry can be more whimsical and festive, as the holidays call for sparkle and glamour,” Ms. Levis said. Use jewels to complement the silhouette and style of your gown, though be sure not to over accessorize. Ms. Howard suggests choosing one statement piece that won’t detract from your dress or overall look. “I love statement earrings specifically because they don’t compete with the veil like a headpiece may,” she said. And a chunky or collar necklace can be the perfect piece to accent a strapless gown, sleek sheath, or spaghetti-strap dress.
Suggest the Look of Sleeves With Long Gloves
Accessories are a bride’s best friend regardless of season. But for a winter or fall bride, dressed-up accessories that bring to mind colder weather — like elegant long gloves of silk, lace or tulle — add a fun and useful detail. Elbow and opera-length gloves give the look of sleeves to a strapless or sleeveless dress and easily lend to a quick outfit change when removed.
Change Your Shoes
Shoes complete a bridal look, but they can also help to make your gown more style appropriate for the given season. While you can wear any shoe style that your heart desires, remember that a closed shoe can be as flirty as open-toe summer footwear — think a charming pair of embroidered tulle pumps, embellished heels or sassy mules.
Define Your Waist With a Chic Belt
Look past bridal and toward the ready-to-wear runway for inspiration to accessorize your wedding dress. Beaded and crystal-embellished sashes have made way for more fashion-forward belts to accentuate the waist. Wide or double-wrap belts cinch the waist and add a modern touch to A-line and ball gown silhouettes.
Keep It Casual
Your change of date might have also led to a change in venue or event style to accommodate a more intimate gathering. If you’ve decided on a laid-back celebration at your home or the home of a loved one, a sophisticated, yet casual bridal look may be in order. A bridal suit or jumpsuit can fit the bill. “I love the juxtaposition of a tailored suit in a soft garden or backyard,” Ms. Levis said. “A boho look is also lovely in this setting.” Play with soft draping and texture to compliment the crisp autumn air and backdrop for an outdoor affair. “Since the event is at your home you can have a little fun with your look,” she said.