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SEPT 15, 2020



  • Angela Walsh

What to Wear When You Elope - Elopement Dresses

Updated: Feb 19

An elopement couple walking on rocks in Tahoe with the snowy mountains in the backdrop

Shopping for your elopement attire comes with a few extra challenges - unlike a traditional wedding, you’ll likely be hiking, climbing, and moving around! So what do you wear for a day of adventures? How do you stay comfortable, while looking and feeling your best?

In this guide, we’ll talk about what to wear when you elope! Elopement dresses, elopement suits, and tips for buying the perfect attire.

Elopement Dresses - What to Wear When You Elope

First, we’ll talk about what to wear when you elope if you’re wearing a dress. This isn’t as simple as going into a bridal shop and buying a wedding dress, because while all elopement dresses can be wedding dresses, not all wedding dresses are made to be elopement dresses.

Elopement Dress Styles

One of the first things to consider when shopping for an elopement dress is the style of dress you choose. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to walk and move around easily, so it’s important that the dress should be comfortable and not too constricting.

Some popular styles we recommend avoiding are mermaid and trumpet dresses, as these have tight skirts that are notorious for restricting movement and not allowing their wearers to sit down. Ball gown dresses are also not the best choice for elopements, as the huge, billowing skirts are heavy and can be cumbersome.

The best elopement dress styles for adventuring are princess and A line styles, and anything with a loose, flowy skirt! Avoid big trains or anything too long, but styles that flare at the hips and have a looser skirt are always a good bet.

An adventure elopement bride hiking in a long sleeve lace dress and holding it up so it doesn't get snagged

Elopement Dress Fabrics

Another thing to consider when you’re looking for elopement dresses is the fabric.

Weather and the weight of your fabric will be one factor when deciding what to wear when you elope. For hikes or warm weather elopements, choosing light fabrics like tulle, chiffon, and lace can help keep you cool. These fabrics are also a little easier to carry, as they’re lighter, which can be a factor if you’re hiking or need to pack your dress in a hiking bag.

If the weather is colder, you may want to opt for heavier fabrics that will add warmth - silk and velvet can be great for this! Lighter dresses flow and move a little easier, but dresses made with heavier fabrics are more elegant, so decide what kind of look you want as well. You can also add shawls, scarves, jackets, or capes for extra layering!

If you plan to pack your dress for a hike, another thing to think about when shopping is the wrinkle-resistance of your fabric. Lace is the best option, as it doesn’t wrinkle at all, but opting for fabrics that don’t crease or show wrinkles as mucj will help you look your best throughout the day!

A bride standing on a mountain top looking onto the mountains with a long trained wedding dress with slightly open back

Where to Get an Elopement Dress

When you’re shopping for your elopement attire, you can definitely hit up your local bridal shops to find the perfect dress. There are also some alternative options! BHLDN has a huge selection of gowns, and Reclamation dresses are known for their unique, boho styles. You can also look in bridesmaid’s sections for a more casual option, and check out Lulus for budget friendly dresses!

An elopement bride where a simple flowy wedding dress standing on a rock overlooking Yosemite Valley from Taft Point

Elopement Suits - What to Wear When You Elope

If you’re wearing a suit for your elopement, here are some things to think about when shopping! Suits tend to be a little easier, as they are easy to layer and come in less styles. But, there are still tons of options out there, so let’s make sure you find the right elopement suit for you!

A groom wearing a navy blue suit with red tie and easy slacks on his wedding day

Elopement Suit Styles

One of the first things to decide is what kind of suit you want, or what you want to wear. A three piece tuxedo can be right for a formal elopement, but something more laid back might just mean dress pants and a button up shirt. If a traditional suit isn’t what you’re looking for, but you aren't super into dresses, you can also consider a jumpsuit! Decide how formal you want to go, and look for suits that fit the vibe.

Elopement Suit Fabrics

Just like elopement dresses, the fabric of your suit can make a big difference. In warm weather, choose a suit with a removable jacket - but also, look for breathable fabrics. Linen, cotton, and chambray suits tend to be lightweight and will help reduce sweating.

If you’re eloping in the winter, or planning to be in high elevations, flannel or wool can keep you warm!

If wrinkling is a consideration, polyester, wool, and cotton tend to hold up well and wrinkle less.

Where to Get an Elopement Suit

For elopement suits, you can check out The Black Tux for unique, elegant suits. Suit Shop and Men’s Warehouse have a big variety of styles, so you can find something more casual or something more upscale. For gender neutral suits, check out Bindle and Keep. You can often find jumpsuits at bridal shops!

A groom wearing a non traditional suit with tweed vest and hiking hat for his elopement day

Tips for Deciding What to Wear When You Elope

Decisions are hard, and deciding what to wear when you elope can be a pretty big challenge! Here are some tips to keep in mind as you shop.

Think About Comfort

One of the first and most important things to think about is comfort. When you’re trying anything on, make sure it feels good! Any minor annoyances won’t feel so minor when you’ve been out and about all day, so make sure that everything fits well, lets you walk, sit, move, raise your arms, take big steps, everything! You definitely don’t want to be uncomfortable on your elopement day, so this is super important.

Don’t Forget the Shoes

Shoes and other accessories are part of your elopement attire too! For shoes, we recommend hiking boots if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. But, make sure your boots are comfortable, and if you get new shoes, break them in before the big day!

Get Creative

There are no rules when it comes to eloping - so don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Dresses don’t have to be white, suits don’t have to be shades of gray, and you can wear absolutely anything you want! Fun colors and unique styles can feel more like you, so if that’s the case, don’t hold back!

You can even plan your colors to complement the landscape you elope in - and as your photographers and videographers, we can help with that!

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