When it comes to picking an elopement dress, there are a ton of considerations! That’s why we created this guide to help you pick the perfect elopement dress for your special day.
There are a few different things that differentiate a wedding dress from an elopement dress. I mean, you can wear whatever dress you’d like, but when it comes to adventurous elopements, you want to consider your surroundings. You’re definitely going to be adventuring a little, whether that’s hiking, kayaking, climbing, or anything else. So, elopement dresses are going to be easier to move in and often more comfortable. You’re not going to want something that isn’t extremely tight if you’re hiking or exploring. Instead, an elopement dress would be something that you can hike, dance, or explore in very well! By the end of your elopement, your dress will definitely LOOK like you had an adventurous elopement, if you know what we mean!
What location are we considering eloping in?
What styles do I like? What makes me feel the best?
Am I going to be walking, hiking, or doing any activities in my dress?
Is the dress comfortable?
Do I want a veil, cape, or any accessories?
Do I want it to be flowy or tight?
What color dress do I want to get?
How should I prepare for the weather and the environment?
Lightweight fabrics like chiffon and tulle are going to be some of the best materials to look for when getting an elopement dress! These materials are light and often layered, meaning that they won’t be too heavy to hike in and they’ll provide a lot of beautiful movement. Chiffon is a very beautiful silky looking material that goes great against any background! Tulle is more sheer and can often pick up things, like twigs. But tulle catches the light beautifully and both materials work great for twirling!
Some other dress fabrics include silk, cotton, satin, and polyester. These fabrics are slightly heavier in comparison to tulle and chiffon usually, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t still great materials for an elopement dress! We’re here to help you find the perfect dress, not tell you what you can’t wear!
A-Line Dress: An A-line dress is probably one of the most common styles of wedding and elopement dresses. It’s beautiful, simple, and classic. When looking for an A-line dress, you have a lot of amazing options! You can opt for something with thin straps, a plunging v-neck, or even a slit in the skirt. A-line dresses are very flattering on all body types! They fit beautifully in the bust and flare out a little bit adding movement with the bottom of the dress.
Boho Elopement Dress: If we’re being honest, a bohemian style dress is probably one of the most popular styles for elopements! For boho dresses, think flared sleeves, peacock lace, lots of beautifully details, unique patterns, and an off-white color. Boho dresses are often a bit less traditional, which is why they make awesome elopement dresses! The boho style is often effortless, but also vintage. We’ve seen a lot of brides add fringe jackets, jean jackets, or wide-brim hats to compliment their dress.
Long-Sleeve Elopement Dress: If you’re eloping in a colder location or in the winter, a long-sleeve dress is an epic option! You can go for an A-line fit with chiffon sleeves, or maybe a boho fit with lots of beautiful detailing! The options are honestly endless. But when it comes to sleeves, you also want to make sure that they are comfortable. When you try on your dress, make sure that you have fluid movement in your arms, especially if you’re doing any activities on your wedding day. Wedding dresses often can be more restricting, but when you’re choosing a dress for your elopement, you really want to make sure that it’s comfortable and that you can move well!
Elopement Dress With A Train: One of our personal favorites is when a dress has a train! Now, we know that that can be difficult to hike in sometimes, but it looks absolutely incredible with wind, on a cliffside, and just with movement in general. So, if you want to get a dress with a train, and you’re hiking with it, you can either safely tuck it in your hiking pack, or you can bustle the train to make sure that you can walk well. We love trains that are made of silky materials because they flow effortlessly and they look amazing when you flare them out. But also, tulle trains are epic and trains with lots of beautiful lace detailing. You really can’t go wrong with a train!
Colorful Elopement Dress: Do you want to stray even further from tradition? Do you have a favorite color or a color that will really complement the environment? Freaking go for it! Colorful dresses make an epic statement and they are just a really unique touch to your look. And you have a ton of options here! You can go for a white dress with a colorful pattern, or your entire dress can be a different color. Just make sure that the color doesn’t blend in with the environment, but instead, it stands out.
The awesome thing about elopements is that there’s no right or wrong answer for what you should wear or do! It’s YOUR day, so you get to choose everything. But when it comes to picking a dress, we know it can be stressful to choose the perfect one! So, one huge consideration is your location. Some things to think about with your location: color, texture, and movement. You want to make sure that you choose a color that will contrast your location. White and off-white will look great in any environment, but if you want to choose a color or pattern, make sure you consider the colors/patterns of nature. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose a green dress for the forest. Instead, yellow would POP off in the trees and look incredible! The same could be said about the desert, you wouldn’t necessarily want a yellow or orange dress, but a green dress would really stand out! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and be bold! For textures, you want to complement the environment. If your location has a lot of textuer, maybe opt for a dress that’s made of chiffon or silk. Whereas, if you’re eloping in a location that doesn’t have a ton of texture (think maybe a sandy beach), you could opt for a dress with more texture like lace. But again, these are just suggestions! You can do whatever you want, and we’re positive that you’ll look amazing! Lastly, if your location has the potential to be very windy, awesome! Pick a dress that’s going to move with the wind a lot.
Here are some examples of locations and how the dresses complement them!
Mountains: Think about a dress that has a train because if you have any rocks or cliffs you can stand on, the train will cascade down them! It looks incredible!
Beach: For the beach, most dresses look amazing! But we love adding a little bit of texture, like this dress from Lulus.
Forest: For the forest, think about a dress that is going to really stand out! We’d say to go for either a very smooth dress, or a dress that has bequtiful detailing in a completely different texture than the texture of the trees.
For your elopement, you definitely want to consider the season and what the weather is going to look like. For example, if you’re eloping in the desert in the summer, you’re going to want a dress with straps (no sleeves), and you’re probably not going to want a tight dress at all. If you’re eloping in the winter, you might want a dress that has long sleeves, and you might consider adding a jacket or fur coast for extra warmth!
Spring in the PNW means lots of layers that you can keep on or take off. Weather is not very predictable here in Washington (and we imagine it’s the same in other locations like Iceland). So, you want to make sure that you have additional layers such as leggings, a jacket, and even hand/body warmers. That way, you are comfortable if it is chilly outside, but if it starts to get warm, you can peel your layers to cool off.
Summer in basically all locations is going to be very warm, if not hot! That means that you definitely want a dress that is lightweight, and again, not tight. A more flowy dress is going to mean that you’ll be able to get better airflow. Also, consider materials like cotton or silk (so long as they feel comfortable to you). These materials are going to help you stay cool, whereas other materials might lock in moisture and make you hot.
Fall is one of our favorite seasons! You’re often going to have warmer days and cooler nights. This means that you have a few more options when choosing an elopement dress that is going to be comfortable with the weather. If you’re on the coast or in the mountains, it might be windy, so consider all additional weather possibilities! We’ll help you with this if you want! We make sure to go over weather and what to pack with all of our couples (unless they already know).
Winter means cold breezes and potentially snow! It’s really important to us that you enjoy your elopement day as much as possible, which is why you need to be comfortable. Layer, layer, layer! Leggings are almost always a must, and same with cute/functional jackets. If you’re worried about the leggings showing, you can opt for a color that matches your skin tone! Also, you might want to consider slightly heavier fabrics or more dress layers.