The BEST Elopement Dresses
Eloping is one of those beautiful, totally non-traditional things that attracts all kinds of unique people. No matter why a couple chooses to elope, they’re typically very invested in at least one common thing about eloping—there are very few expectations and fewer rules.
Couples who choose to elope are generally attracted to the idea that their elopement day is about doing exactly what they want to do. Personally, I’m really on board with this. It’s something that I try to educate people on—not even just people who I work with—as often as possible. A wedding day is about what you and your partner want, no matter what that means. It’s your perfect day in your perfect way.
Still, no matter how many couples I work with who totally get and subscribe to this idea, the concept of elopement attire—especially elopement dresses—can sometimes get lost in translation. Often, couples wonder how to pick the perfect elopement dress, what the difference between an elopement dress and a wedding dress is, and what they’re supposed to wear on their elopement day.
My response? Wear whatever the hell you want—it’s your elopement day.
This blog is dedicated to exactly that. I’m here to remind every last one of you out there—engaged, eloping, just thinking about, etc.—that there are no regulations you have to follow, not even with your elopement attire. I’ll also give you some of my go-to considerations for helping you pick your perfect elopement attire, too.
Remember, your elopement day is about what makes you and your partner feel authentic and ecstatic. That’s all there is to it.
Your No. 1 Elopement Attire Rule
Listen up and listen good, because I’m about to share with you the ultimate elopement dress rule that every single about-to-get-married person out there needs to know to pull off an all-time epic elopement ceremony.
When it comes to your elopement attire (dresses, suits, etc.), the only rule is this—there are no rules.
Basically, your only guideline for picking out your elopement attire is that you should wear whatever the fuck you want.
Pardon my French, everyone, but I feel really passionately about this. It’s my whole-hearted belief that elopements are about what you and your partner want—from the ceremony to the guest list to the outfit you wear. Make it your own, make it you, and forget what anyone else thinks.
Still thinking about what your grandma might say about your two-piece elopement dress? Not sure if your in-laws will love the look you picked? Here’s what I think about that—grandma will love you anyway and your in-laws, well, they’ll get over it. What matters is that you’ll look stunning, feel wholly beautiful, and be purely happy knowing that you’re wearing exactly what you wanted to wear on one of the most important days of your life.
The Top Factors to Consider When Choosing an Elopement Dress
No matter what type of elopement you’re planning, the top priority for your elopement attire is to ensure you feel beautiful in it. But if you’re struggling to find what this is for you, it can help to narrow down the search by considering some seriously important factors. If you’re on the hunt for your perfect elopement dress, suit, skirt (whatever it might be) but you’re not sure where to start, try running through some of these questions to get your creative juices flowing.
How Mobile is Your Attire?
Will you be moving around a lot on your elopement day? Hiking? Biking? Picnicking? Will you mostly be sitting on your elopement day? There’s no wrong answer, just be honest. If you need to plan for attire that allows you to be more mobile, then that’s the first thing I suggest on your elopement dress search. If you can, when you’re trying on your options, move around in them. Do some of the things you’d be doing on your elopement day. Heck, jog around the bridal shop, if you have to—to hell with what anyone says. You want to make sure you’re comfortable and beautiful on your day.
What Are the Packing Parameters?
Are you flying to your elopement destination? Driving? Consider how you’ll pack your dress or if being wrinkle-free matters to you. If you’re working with small packing space (like, in a backpack while you hike), a big, flowing dress might not be realistic. (Or you’ll just need to get really creative with your packing skills).
When Are You Eloping?
Let’s talk about something super important—seasons. While I totally encourage you to wear whatever you want on your day, it’s also crucial to consider some of the logistics. A crop top and long flowing skirt might look absolutely amazing on you—but if you’re eloping in the dead of winter, it’s probably not the best choice to ensure comfort, right? I’m not here to tell you what to wear when you elope, but I do have some recommendations for seasonality that will probably be super helpful for your elopement:
- Winter: Think layers on layers (on layers, people). Did I mention layers? Wool leggings, Spanx, gloves, a winter coat, a blanket, an adorable shawl—you’ll want to pack the layers on. And trust me, there are plenty of ways to make your winter elopement look just as stylish as a summer dress situation. You’ll be gorgeous—and warm. It’s a win-win.
- Spring: If you’re getting married in the mountains in the spring, well, you’re still going to want to pack on the layers. The higher the altitude, the more unpredictable the weather is, so you’ll want to prepare for a winter-esque situation even if you’re getting married in the spring. But remember, spring is wet. That means you’ll want to plan for rain boots, umbrellas, and a rain jacket, too.
- Summer: Lightweight and breezy is the name of the game here. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!
- Fall: Cozy and cute jackets are your best friend for Fall evenings. While you can likely get away without wearing one during the day (depending on where you are and what the weather decides), you’re definitely going to want to pair a jacket with your elopement dress for a Fall wedding.
Does Your Dress Complement Your Landscape?
And, as a follow-up question, does this matter to you? If you’re not worried or concerned about this factor, then go ahead and skip right over it! This doesn’t have to matter to you. If it does, then that’s great, too. If you’re hoping to wear something that fits the setting, I urge you to consider the colors of the landscape.
What Colors Do You Love?
Remember that talk we had about how there are no set rules for your elopement? That applies to the color of your dress, too. Or any wedding attire, to be honest. Don’t love the idea of wearing a white dress? Don’t do it! Pick out some dresses that speak to your soul—who cares if it’s red, green, multicolored, glittery, or patterned. Choosing the perfect dress is actually all about choosing the perfect dress for you. Your elopement day is yours to create with the person you love most—you should wear the attire you want to wear that makes you feel your absolute best. No white dresses required, you guys.
Elopement Attire Brands to Check-Out—Dresses & Beyond
Budget Brands (We Love an Under $300 Elopement Gown)
You know what the no. 1 thing I love about elopement dresses is? There’s way less pressure when it comes to the price tag. Personally, I think some of the most beautiful elopement dresses I’ve ever seen are considered “budget” options in the bridal world. But that’s kind of the beauty of it, right? Who cares how much an elopement dress costs? If you love it and love how you feel in it—rock it on your elopement day. If you’re totally into finding a sweet deal and a gorgeous elopement gown to boot, you’ll want to check out some of these brands. They’ve got tons of under $300 options you’ll want to browse!
Mid-Range Brands (A Few Under $500 Options)
Remember, there’s no one single perfect dress out there, but there are tons of dresses out there that will be perfect for you! If you’re looking to browse through a few more options with a little more budget flexibility, these brands are an absolute must. There are some more expensive options available, too, but you’d be surprised how many mid-range priced elopement dresses are available.
Picking the perfect elopement dress is all about what’s perfect for you. Just like a $100 dress could be the perfect choice for someone else, a $1,000 dress might be your perfect choice. There’s no shame in the elopement dress game because it’s all about what works for you. If you’ve got a little more room in your budget and your open to checking out some designer brands, I highly recommend looking at some of these shops. There are some seriously beautiful options available through these brands.
Thrifted Elopement Dresses
If you’re not a thrifter, you can skip right over this section—but personally, I’m a thrifter through and through. In fact, I found my wedding dress at a consignment shop. For $500. I loved every inch of it. You can, obviously, check out consignment and thrift shops in your area (safely!) There are lots of online options, too! Some of my favorites are:
Alternative Elopement Attire
I probably sound like a broken record by now, but seriously, who even said that you have to wear an elopement dress? If the dress thing just isn’t your jam, then why would you strap yourself into one for the most important day of your life? Like I’ve been saying this entire blog, your elopement is about you and your partner, what works for you both, and what makes you feel your most beautiful and comfortable. If a dress doesn’t do it for you, I highly recommend not forcing that.
Wear a kickass jumpsuit, buy yourself a two-piece skirt and bodysuit combo, rock a sleek AF suit, or tap into your inner badass and wear an all-black getup. No matter what attire you decide on, my only recommendation is this—make sure it’s 100% true to who you are and what you’re about.
Ready to Create Your Perfect Elopement Day? I Can Help
It’s my job to help you capture beautiful moments on your elopement day—but it’s my passion to help you craft an unforgettable experience. That’s why I’m so invested in writing up blogs like this. It’s my hope that—with a little advice, tons of encouragement, and a dash of inspiration—you and your partner will truly understand the absolutely limitless potential of your elopement. It can be anything you want, anywhere you want, and, as I mentioned a ton in the blog above, wearing anything you want. I’m here to help you get to that point.
Are you ready to craft your dream elopement? I’m ready to help. Let’s connect! Get in touch with me here to say hey, ask questions, and get to know me. Your dream elopement is waiting for you—let’s create it together.
I'm Marcela! I'm an Elopement Photographer here to help you plan a deeply connective and intimate elopement of your dreams!
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