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While there are no hard-and-fast rules for choosing a dress for a winter wedding, there are some ways to make the selection process easier. Here is some insight into selecting the right dress for your cold-weather nuptials:

Make a plan
As you create your wedding planning checklist, be sure to give yourself enough time to choose a dress. Winter is considered an off-season for nuptials, so there may be less of a selection of gowns available at some retailers. However, if you expand your approach to include all types of retailers, you can find the dress of your dreams.

Gather inspiration 
Before you start shopping, you need to learn what type of dress you like. Think back to gowns you may have seen at the ceremonies of friends and families. Did any of those dresses stand out? Also, many brides review magazines and online retailers to gain inspiration. Instead of looking for your exact wedding dress from these sources, pay attention to the gowns' overall silhouettes and details. This way, as you conduct your search, you have a game plan and an open mind - which will increase your chances of being satisfied with your options.

How to choose a dress for a winter wedding

Choose a style
Just as you wouldn't want to be uncomfortable in a heavyweight dress during summer, a lightweight gown may not include enough padding during winter. So opt for a dress that is made from a thick fabric, or one with lots of layers. You should also consider the length. Floor-length gowns are on trend and allow you to dress warmly. The sleeves and bodice design is another area to add extra warmth. Winter may not be appropriate for strapless gowns, so ask your designer or seamstress to add decorative straps. Don't shy away from long-sleeved dresses. They can be very stylish and have a classic look.

Look for add-ons
Many brides wear decorative cover-ups like thick shawls and cropped jackets for extra warmth. These items are also made in white and look like a natural extension to the gown. Seek out fur or knit options. Gloves are another great addition to a winter wedding. As a bride, you can wear short lace styles or the long satin varieties that extend to the your elbow. It's your wedding, so choose whatever works best for you. You can add only a few cold-weather garments or go all out and slip on furry white earmuffs.

Photo credit: Honey Heart Photography via Bridal Musings