Adventure Elopement Wedding Dress Guide
Updated: May 9
Trying to find the perfect wedding dress for your elopement day? Searching for a wedding dress can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. As an elopement photographer, I've seen some incredibly beautiful dresses worn for adventure weddings. So, I created this guide for the adventure bride searching for the perfect dress for their adventure wedding or elopement day. I hope it helps you as you begin shopping for your dress!
Tips on Finding the Perfect Adventure Wedding Dress
1. Choose something that you absolutely love
This is hands down the most important thing on this list. Choose wedding attire that YOU absolutely love. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, comfortable, and happy. Don't pay attention to traditions, trends, or outside opinions. If you love the way you feel in your wedding dress, not only will it make you happier on your wedding day, it will show in your photos.
2. Remember, there are SO many different options for your wedding dress
While a lot of brides choose to wear white on their elopement day, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. If you don't want to wear a white dress on your wedding day, don't do it! Personally, I love black wedding dresses or dresses with a pop of color. Wearing something "non-traditional" is a great way to stand out and showcase your personality. If you want to wear your favorite color on your elopement day, go for it! Additionally, there are other options for wedding attire besides dresses. You also can rock a pantsuit or a bridal top and flowy skirt!
3. Choose something that is easy & comfortable to move around in
It is absolutely essential to choose something that you feel comfortable in and that is easy to move around in. If you're uncomfortable in your wedding dress, you aren't going to have as much fun as you would if you were comfortable. This is especially important if you're having an adventurous elopement or if you are hiking on your wedding day! Certain styles of dresses will make hiking easier, and others will make it impossible.
When trying on dresses:
Do lots of movement! Make sure that you can hike and move (and breathe!) in comfort
Lift your legs high, like you would if you were climbing over a rock or stepping on a high ledge
Try picking it up and twirling it around
Raise both hands while twisting and twirling around
Pick it up in one or two hands and try running & skipping
Grab a handful of the dress from the bottom and then hold your hand straight out at about waist level or higher and swish it around
One of my favorite things about adventurous weddings is all the elements of nature we get to play with- especially the wind! Keep that in mind when looking for a dress. Flowy skirts look so incredible and create beautiful, dramatic wedding photos. Dresses make a lot of different shapes when moving & being blown around versus just standing still… so loving how the dress looks & feels when you’re moving is super important!
4. Keep in mind your elopement location & the time of year you're eloping
Some people choose to hike up in their wedding dress, while others will hike up in regular clothes and change into their dress at the top. If you’re planning on hiking to your destination in regular clothes and changing into your wedding gown when you get there, consider getting a lightweight dress and avoid heavy or bulky materials that would take up a lot of space in your pack.
Keep in mind the time of year you are eloping and what the weather will be like at your chosen elopement destination. If you're eloping somewhere colder, consider buying outer layers (jackets, gloves, shawls, ear muffs, etc) that you wouldn't mind being photographed in. Another great tip for staying warm in your wedding dress on your elopement day is wearing nude, fleece leggings like these. If your elopement destination is going to be cold, I suggest choosing a dress where you can comfortably wear leggings underneath them (Trust me on this, these leggings are lifesaving! You can thank me later).
5. Explore your options of places to look
There are so many places you can look to get your wedding dress beyond traditional wedding dress shops- much of which have much lower price tags! Gone are the days of limited options. Your wedding dress can be anything you want it to be. Pro-tip: if you’re looking to avoid a hefty price tag- search “white maxi dress”. There are tons of beautiful, affordable options out there!
Where to Find Your Elopement Dress
Rue de Seine- This designer creates some of the most stunning dresses I've ever seen. Seriously. These dresses are absolutely breath-taking. Bohemian & beautiful, any of these gowns would be an amazing addition to your elopement day.
BHLDN- Home of more gorgeous dresses that would be perfect for an adventure wedding.
Hayley Paige- Another designer with absolutely beautiful gowns. Romantic & whimsical, these dresses were practically made to be worn on an elopement.
Lulus- I love Lulus! They have gorgeous, affordable gowns in a variety of colors and styles. This is one of my personal favorite places to search for dresses!
Amazon- Believe it or not, there are some beautiful dresses on Amazon that would be very fitting for an adventure wedding! With a little bit of patience, you can find your perfect dress here.
Etsy- Some absolutely stunning dresses can be found here! Check out one of my favorite options below, a gray dress with florals on it!
Azazie- A popular choice for bridesmaids dresses, this shop also has many gorgeous wedding dresses to choose from for the adventurous bride.
Adventure Wedding & Elopement Dress Inspiration
All gowns pictured above are designed by Hayley Paige and can be found here.
Another super fun option, and a great way to add a splash of color is doing a flowy skirt and a top! There are tons of beautiful bridal tops to choose from, like this one on Etsy here. For a fun, flowing skirt, check out this one on Amazon. There are plenty of colors to choose from to find a style just right for you.
Wedding Dresses in Action: Adventurous Brides on their Elopement Day
Want More Resources?
Read about a hiking elopement in the Mount Baker Wilderness here.
Learn Everything You Need to Know Before Your Hiking Elopement here.
Planning Your Own Elopement?
Hi! My name is Kathleen and I'm an adventure wedding and elopement photographer (and your new friend!). I'm here to help guide you to having the ultimate wedding day experience, and to document every single moment of it. I would love to help you plan your elopement and answer any questions you may have!
Get in touch with me and let's start planning your dream adventure.