bride and groom dancing

A Guide to Buying Your Dream Elopement Dress

The perfect elopement dress is not a one-size fits all-it lies in what makes you feel your best! I’ve had the privilege of shooting so many elopements with different styles-from vintage pieces, to more traditional gowns from wedding dress shops, to dresses with some color, to jumpsuits, to dresses that are not from bridal shops and really affordable. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, and that it reflects you.

Here is a list of things to consider when shopping for the perfect elopement dress for you!

bride and groom dancing

What to Consider When Finding Your Perfect Elopement Dress


1. Fabric types

It’s important to pay attention to the fabric of your dress! You’ll want to make sure the fabric won’t wrinkle and crease throughout the day, especially if you’ll be doing anything like hiking or moving your body a lot.

For example, chiffon is a great fabric for your dress because it’s really lightweight and moveable. If you’re looking for something to fly in the wind up on a mountain, look for a dress that has a long and lightweight fabric for the skirt, like chiffon or tulle. Or one that has amazing sleeves to play with!

But do keep in mind that because of that, it can snag easily.

Lace is another great fabric for dresses-it adds a traditional look and feel, and doesn’t wrinkle when packed for your hike.

Here’s an article from Brides Magazine all about Traditional Wedding Dress Fabrics if you want to learn about some other popular fabrics.


bride and groom dancing


2. Packability

Next, if you’re having an adventure elopement, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be hiking, to some degree! That means that you’ll probably be wearing hiking clothes, and bringing your elopement attire to change into when you get to where you’ll be exchanging vows. 

You’ll want to consider having a dress that will pack easily for the hike to your ceremony location site. It’ll be easiest to pack if it’s foldable, lightweight, and if it’s a fabric that won’t get too wrinkled from being folded for a little while. 



3. Comfort and ability to move around

This is a big consideration!- get a dress that you can comfortably and easily move in. Elopement days often require some degree of walking/hiking, and being outdoors. There may be rocks, loose gravel, sand, etc, and so comfort and ability to move around easily is important.

The same goes for shoes-you will want something comfortable on your day. If your feet are in pain from your shoes, it will be harder to be fully present on your day, and really soak in the beauty of the day and overall experience. Some options are-hiking boots, hiking sandals, strappy sandals, or barefoot. You can also bring a change of shoes if you would like to have some of the images be more formal.


bride and groom getting married at waterfall

4. Think about the flowiness of your elopement dress

If you’re hiking or doing any kind of adventure elopement, you might be going somewhere that has some wind. Take advantage of this and find a dress that will move beautifully in the wind and create some movement! This could look like flowy sleeves or a long, lightweight train. This will add a lot of movement and dimension to your final images, and is really fun to play with.


groom twirling bride

5. Consider having a veil

Next, on the note of things blowing beautifully in the wind, consider having a veil for your adventure elopement! They’re not just for traditional weddings, and can be really beautiful for elopements in the outdoors.

Veils add ton of extra dimension and movement into your look, and there’s plenty of different lengths, fabrics, and designs available.


bride and groom walking on beach

6. The color of your elopement dress doesn’t have to be limited to whites & creams!

There are no rules with your elopement attire-you can go the traditional route, or opt for something more unique. You can absolutely choose a different colored dress or a print. Your elopement day is all about you, and your outfit should be a reflection of that!


couple eloping in forest


7. Find a style that fits you and makes you feel the most confident!

To sum it up-find something that is absolutely you. Whether that means a more traditional or classic style, an elegant look, or something totally non-traditionalfind something that you feel beautiful and confident in.

You are stunning and should feel that way, especially on your day, without getting distracted by your outfit!


bride and groom dancing


Here are a couple quick tips for grooms!

  1. Choose something comfortable that you can move in, especially your shoes. There’s a lot of options, and dress shoes can be uncomfortable. So take some time to find a good fit!
  2. If you want to express yourself in your outfit, totally go for it! You can wear different colored pants and jacket, no jacket, patterned shirt, hat, tie/bow tie, no tie/bow tie, denim jacket, maroon pants, etc. Find what feels most like you, but of course compliments your partner as well!


bride and groom snuggling


Here are a few of my favorite shops to browse when looking for the perfect wedding dress for you.


I hope that this post helps you when searching for the perfect elopement dress for you!

Find more Oahu elopement tips below!

Where to Elope in Hawaii

7 Reasons to Elope


And find inspiration for your elopement dress on this Pinterest board!

Hey friend!

Hi! I’m Emily, a couples, elopement and brand photographer based on Oahu, Hawaii.
You want a stress free, meaningful, and inspired approach to photography-something creative but still refined. Comfortable, but still elegant. I deeply value every couple that I get to create with, and can’t wait to hear your vision and collaborate with you!