How To Choose The Perfect Elopement Dress

Hunting for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting things to do as a bride. Especially if you’ve dreamed of the day you go shopping with friends and family to find that one perfect dress that makes you feel like a bride the moment you put it on. That one dress that makes you light up from the inside out and say ‘yes to the dress’. 

However, if you are planning to elope and travel with your wedding dress, there are some additional things to think about when choosing your dress. Depending on how, where, and when you and your partner plan to elope, it is very important that you choose a dress that won’t add to the stress of the planning and will have you feeling like the most beautiful person in the world on your wedding day. 

Today, we’re sharing some tips for choosing the perfect elopement dress that will be both practical and stunning. If you’re an eloping bride, you simply can’t afford to miss this post before you go shopping for your wedding dress!

Bride and groom at sunrise elopement Lost Gulch in Boulder Colorado
Sunrise Elopement at Lost Gulch in Boulder

The Perfect Elopement Dress

Your elopement dress is a symbol of who you are as a bride and a woman and should be chosen carefully. Here are the three biggest components to take into consideration for the dress itself. 


Lightweight fabrics like chiffon, organza, and tulle are amazing at catching both the light and the wind in a magical way. However, they also catch twigs and briars too and can be more likely to rip in wooded settings. Silk and satin are much heavier and don’t catch the wind as much but look super elegant in photos. Lace is wonderful for hiding wrinkles which makes it great for traveling and there are so many lace styles to choose from.


Planning on an adventurous elopement? You will want to avoid mermaid-style dresses because they can be very restrictive and tight above the knees. Although they are beautiful, they’re hard to move in! Styles that are fitted and supportive on the bust and loose around the legs like A-line dresses and gowns are great for giving you more freedom to move around and are very flattering.


Minimalist is very popular for elopements. However, an epic ball gown can look stunning against a natural backdrop. Just consider packability & the fact that it can be very heavy if you need to hike with it. You could also do something totally different and unique like a jumpsuit, mini dress, or two-piece dress that shows off your personality better than a “traditional” style. 

Sunset elopement in Estes Park Colorado
Sunset elopement in Estes Park Colorado

Elopement Shoes & Accessories

Although your dress is certainly the centerpiece of your bridal attire, your shoes and accessories play a major role in your overall look and comfort level on the day of your wedding. Here are some important factors to take into consideration when tying your wedding outfit together with your shoes and accessories. 

Elopement Shoes 

Planning on an adventurous elopement? You’re going to want to skip those fancy stilettos and opt for something that will give you the grip and comfort necessary for navigating the terrain. Don’t blow a portion of your attire budget on shoes that never make it out of the box. Hiking boots are always a great choice and easy to hide under a long wedding dress skirt, but if you want something more dressy Steve Madden and Toms both make great elegant shoes that still have traction!

Elopement Accessories 

The accessories you choose should also help add to your overall look and comfort level. Planning a winter elopement? Shawls and faux fur coats can keep you warm and look gorgeous! Want to show off your edgy side? A nice leather jacket paired with an elegant dress looks spectacular. Planning a hike through the woods? A cathedral veil might not make much sense unless you put it on at the last minute before the ceremony and take it off right after. Just make sure you choose accessories that are as practical as they are beautiful and you will enjoy your wedding day a thousand times more.

Elopement dress hiking boots
Hiking boots under lace wedding dress for a snowy elopement in Dillon Colorado

Consider Your Plans & Your Values

We’ve already mentioned this a couple of times, but it’s worth mentioning again. Think hard about what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be for your elopement before committing to your dress. You’ll want to make sure it’s suitable for the setting and won’t hold you back from having an incredible day. 

Check out my post on How to Pack for Your Wedding Clothes and Bouquet for Your Hiking Elopement.

Also, if you’re like us and you like to minimize your impact on the environment and others, you may even consider renting a dress or purchasing one secondhand. When you rent you’ll need to be more careful of getting your dress damaged, so if you’re going on a hardcore adventure secondhand might be better for you. 

There are a lot of resale/wedding Facebook groups, websites like Craigslist, eBay, and Poshmark where you can find wedding dresses and rental sites like Rent the Runway and Lending Luxury. 

Psst… I know we’re talking about elopement dresses here, but there are also resale and rental marketplaces for suits and tuxes! Generation Tux and the Black Tux are a couple we’ve heard good things about.

Beautiful winter elopement on Dillon Reservoir

Have You Found Your Perfect Elopement Wedding Dress? 

Let me know in the comments below! And if you haven’t found your dress – what are you looking for? Maybe we can help. 

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