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Picking the Perfect Elopement Dress: Your Go-To Guide 2024

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The BEST Elopement Dresses

elopement dress guide couple dancing in the field

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. 


boho elopement wedding dress bride with hat


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.  


detailed photo of beads on elopement dress


Your No. 1 Elopement Attire Rule

Listen up and listen good, because I’m about to share with you the ultimate elopement wedding 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 attire? 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. 


gorgeous elopement dress with long sleeves


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? Kayaking? 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 attire search. Think about what you’ll be doing during your day? If you’re hiking, you may not want ta tulle dress that can get snagged on twigs and sticks. If you plan on dancing or kayaking, you may want to make sure your long-sleeved dress isn’t too stiff.  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. Adding some long sleeves to your wedding dress is also a great option!
  • 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. 


amazing black elopement dress


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 wedding 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. 


Designer Brands 

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 you’re 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: 


Plus Size Elopement Dresses 

Finding the ideal plus-size elopement dress is a journey that combines self-expression and comfort. Find a wedding dress that beautifully embraces your curves, reflects your personal style, and complements the intimate elopement setting. Every detail matters, from the fabric that gracefully drapes to the silhouette that accentuates your unique figure. Find a dress that not only celebrates your love story but also empowers you to radiate confidence on this cherished day of union.

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 or even a white 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.  




detailed lace elopement dress with floral design


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.



Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



  1. Katy says:

    These are some really phenomenal tips! And I totally agree, wear what makes you feel like you. Choose something authentic to the experience you want to create and forget all the baggage of family, friends, and others with expectations. You’re the one who is going to look back on these memories the most, you should feel confident in what you’re wearing!

  2. Hillary says:

    This article is seriously information packed and you take absolutely gorgeous photos!!

  3. Diana says:

    I love this energy! What great advice in that first section about wearing whatever you want to.

  4. Dakotah says:

    First . . . all these photos are so beautiful!!! Second . . . all this info is so helpful for couples planning their elopement. Love how you go over different topics that can help determine the best dress and also how you list different brands in different price points!

  5. Alexandria says:

    I love this so much! You can wear whatever you want because it is your wedding day. I love all the information you gave as well for all the things to think about when it comes to your outfit and packing, and seasons for example! great resource!

  6. Carissa says:

    This is such an amazing resource! I love how you included different designers / brands for each different elopement dress price point!

  7. Molly says:

    Fabulous dress maker recommendations and I love the practicality you discussed about what to look for in a dress!

  8. Marla says:

    This is so so thorough and helpful! You did an incredible job laying out all of this info.

  9. This is such a great resource for people trying to pick their elopement dress! I love your insight into this topic!!

  10. Jennifer georgette says:

    Love this blog on finding the perfect elopement gown. So many great tips !

  11. Leo says:

    Some great tips and advice for finding an elopement gown. Most importantly, helping people understand that there’s no blueprint for this and they really can wear what they feel most comfortable in, thanks for sharing!

  12. This is such great information and I love you broke it down to help find the perfect elopement dress! Your photos are so beautiful!! 😍 😍

  13. Sierra says:

    Awesome blog post for how to pick an elopement dress! I love all the budget friendly options as well!

  14. Julia says:

    I just love the fact that you gave brides permission to choose the dress they truly deserve. People do have opinions and this is a great reminder to do what makes you happy!

  15. Dakotah says:

    All the info that you have included will be so helpful for a bride to be and all the photographs are beautiful!!!

  16. I absolutely love the diversity for all of these dresses as well as all of the helpful tips. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

  17. Danielle says:

    So informative, thank you!!

  18. Trista says:

    I’ve been debating a nontraditional elopement dress and this makes me feel better about it! Thanks for the resources.

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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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elopement dress guide couple dancing in the field


Picking the Perfect Elopement Dress: Your Go-To Guide 2024