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!
Trust me – there’s a difference!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?! ??
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!
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.
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!