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The Best Wedding Dresses to Elope In

Wedding dress shopping is a dream come true for a lot of women, but it’s a different experience when you plan to elope. When you’re having a traditional indoor wedding, comfort is less of a requirement (than, say, when you know you have to hike 10 kms in a heavy gown). Whether you’re planning a low-key outdoor event or a full out adventure for your elopement day, choosing the right dress is important! Not sure what dress to pick for your elopement? After seeing what works – and what doesn’t – here are all of the best wedding dresses to elope in!

Boho scoop back Zoey dress from Wear Your Love XO
Scoop back Zoey dress from Wear Your Love XO

The Best Wedding Dresses to Elope In

Wedding Dresses vs. Elopement Dresses

Trust me – there’s a difference!

Indoor Weddings:

When your wedding is indoors – or there’s a climate controlled venue nearby – your dress style, fabric, and weight doesn’t matter as much. You can go into your fitting with a basic idea of style, and then try on different dresses until you find “the one”.

You don’t have to worry about too much movement for indoor weddings. Yes, you’ll obviously want to be able to walk around and dance. But you can get a dress that’s a bit more rigid if you’re just sitting and standing all day. You can also get a second, more movement-friendly dress to change into if you’ve opted for a ballgown or tight mermaid style dress that you can’t dance in as easily.

All Who Wander from Sinders Bridal

Outdoor Adventure Elopements:

If you’re planning an outdoor adventure elopement, your dress shopping needs to be a bit more strategic.

Besides choosing a dress that you like the look of, there are a few other factors that you need to keep in mind. Cut, fabric, breathability and movement all play a huge part!

How to Choose Your Dress Based on Where You Elope + The Climate

Picking a dress that works with your landscape:

It’s important to choose a dress that works with your landscape. Some brides will decide to ditch tradition and choose a coloured gown or skirt! It may sound obvious, but don’t pick a green dress if you’re getting married in a deep green forest. Or a blue dress if you’re getting married in front of the ocean.

What to do if you’re eloping outdoors in a monochrome setting (think sandy desert, red rocky area, or deep green forest)? Opting for a pop of colour is a great way to stand out against your background. An exception to this – is that sometimes blending in with your background can look badass…like wearing a champagne-hued gown in the desert. 👌

If you’re having a winter elopement and are going to be snowshoeing through white powder, then almost any colour other than stark white will look great against the snow. You can also add colour with accessories, wraps, or jackets.

The Right Elopement Dress Fabrics

Hot Climates

Fabrics like chiffon, organza and tulle are all light, breezy fabrics that allow for a lot of movement. If you’re eloping outside in an open area, these dresses will catch the wind and look amazing. You’ll likely pick up twigs and leaves in your skirt or train, but you can pick them out fairly easily.

A lightweight dress is great if you’re getting married somewhere hot, or if you have a fairly long hike on your elopement day.

The best dresses to wear in the heat:

  • Short sleeves
  • Sleeveless
  • Two-piece crop top
  • Long, floaty skirts
  • Light fabrics

Cold Climates

Heavier fabrics like silk, satin and polyester aren’t as breathable, but are much warmer. They don’t allow for as much movement, but they can work well for winter weddings or colder climates to keep you warm. Long sleeves are also better in the cold.

The best dresses to wear in the cold:

  • Long Sleeves
  • Weightier fabrics that will keep you warm
  • Long, flowy skirts that you can hide boots or leggings under

The Best Wedding Dresses to Elope In If You’re Hiking

Hiking Elopements

Lace dresses are the best to hike and move around in! Most of them are now made with a bit of stretch to them, plus, who doesn’t love a bit of boho flair for an elopement?! 👌😉

All Who Wander boho stunner from Sinders Bridal

Lace gives you the added benefit of being able to pack it in a backpack without wrinkling.

When to pack your dress? If you have a long hike, I usually recommend wearing comfy clothes and packing your dress to get to your ceremony location. You can change into your dress (and fancier shoes) once you get to your destination, and then hike back down in your dress.

A long train on your dress is also great for outdoor elopements!

I’m a huge fan of a dirty train on your elopement dress, because it just speaks to the adventure you’ve had!

As long as your dress fabric isn’t heavy, then a long train is still easy to hike in because you can gather it and drape it over an arm.

Save on Pinterest to read later! ⤵

How to pick the perfect elopement dress

Where to Shop – The Best Wedding Dresses for Your Elopement

I’ve rounded up some beautiful dresses at different price points to help you find your dream dress! There are some amazing designers and wedding dress boutiques in Canada, so those are listed separately. Otherwise, you can search for your perfect elopement dress based on your budget!

The Best Wedding Dresses to Elope In, by My FAVE LOCAL CANADIAN DESIGNERS + BOUTIQUES

Jolicoeur from Sinders Bridal

ONLINE BUDGET FRIENDLY DRESS OPTIONS UNDER $500

DESIGNER WEDDING DRESSES UNDER $3000

Lace and tulle Indy gown from Wear Your Love XO
Indy gown from Wear Your Love XO

HIGH END DESIGNER WEDDING DRESSES $3000+UP

Need help planning your own elopement?! I can help you with everything from finding the perfect location to where to pop the champagne! CONTACT ME and let’s start planning!

Loving this and want more dress inspo? Check out 5 Tips to Your Perfect Wedding Dress! ⤵

How to shop for your wedding dress

  1. Lauren McCormick says:

    Love this roundup girl!! So many great ideas, and SUPER helpful insight for any bride choosing to elope! – ALSOOOO this definitely sparked some ideas for my own wedding dress, so on a personal note, THANK YOU! xx

  2. Emily says:

    Okay wow! This is so helpful. I’ve never really thought about choosing a different style dress for different locations!

    • Danielle Gauthier says:

      Aw thanks Emily! And YES totally, different dress styles for different locations can take your day from great to unbelievable! 🙂

  3. Sienna says:

    What a fun and informative post! Love the tips like adding pops of color. A must-read for anyone going wedding dress shopping!

  4. Kat Carney says:

    This is an incredible resource for brides. So many great ideas and things that a lot of people haven’t even thought of! Thank you!

  5. Lucy says:

    This is such a great resource!! Flowy dresses 5ever!

  6. Amelia says:

    These dresses are beautiful. I’m definitely a boho fan, The lace and simplicity gets me every time.

  7. […] Dresses – I outline how to shop and where on this blog post […]

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