Trying to find your dream elopement dress? I’ve got you covered – keep reading for all sorts of elopement dress ideas: casual elopement dresses, fancier gowns, & more! Links to all dresses are at the bottom too if you want to get straight there!
Why is your elopement dress so important?
This is probably obvious to you already buuuut dresses are usually one of the most significant parts of a wedding or elopement! Simply because they signify that you’re a bride, getting married – and you want your dress to be something that you are absolutely in LOVE with.
Especially if you’ve dreamed of your wedding since you were a little kid, you might have some dreams about what you want your wedding/elopement dress to look like. Maybe you know you’ve alwayssss wanted a big white, fluffy dress that you can twirl around in. Maybe you know you want something with some lace + elegance. Or maybe you have a variety of ideas + aren’t sure which one is right for you.
Your elopement dress will totally affect how you feel on your elopement day, so it’s important to choose the right dress that will be perfect for you – we want you to look + feel just **chef’s kiss** on this huge, special day.
In this blog post, I’m going to guide you through five important things to consider when choosing your elopement dress. Then I’m going to give you a ton of ideas of where to look for your elopement dress, depending on what kinda style you’re aimin’ for! Here are 5 things to consider when choosing your elopement dress:
1. Size + fit
Number one to me is ALWAYS making sure the size + fit of your dress is PERFECT. If you have a dress that’s a little too big or a little too small, that’s what you’re going to be focusing on all day. You’re going to be distracted by how the too-big waist isn’t fitting or flattering you like you want it to, or how the stomach area is too tight and is making it hard for you to breathe comfortably.
We want you to feel like your most amazing amazing self on your wedding day, because this day is about YOU + your partner and you two feeling as happy as possible!!
This is why it’s important to try on dresses as far ahead of time as possible. Many bridal shops only have certain sizes actually in their store, so if you’re trying on dresses 2 months before your wedding, it’s unlikely they’ll have the size in stock that will fit you perfectly. They’ll have to ship one in, and it probably won’t get there in time for your big day.
(But don’t worry – if you’re planning a last minute elopement, I’ve got a bunch of online options for you to look at below if there’s no time for you to try on dresses + have a bridal shop order your size!)
2. Movement ability
This goes hand-in-hand with #1: it’s SO important to be able to move comfortably in your dress!!
Again: if a part of your dress is too tight, it’ll restrict your breathing and ability to move around + walk comfortably. And we don’tttt want you to be hobbling around awkwardly on your wedding day because you thought you’d be able to deal with how tight the waist was, but really, it’s bothering you a ton.
This is especially important if your elopement day is going to involve any sort of hiking or even walking decent distances. If you’re wearing a dress that you can barely move your legs in, you won’t be able to walk around comfortably – this is where the right shoes are also super important!!
You NEEDDDD to make sure for your own sake that when you’re in your dress, you are able to fully move like you naturally would – that you can walk, take steps, dance, etc. I promise you it’s going to be the worst if you’re uncomfy on your big day + all you can think about is how amazing you look, but that you can barely move!!
3. Color + style
These are big ones, too, obviously: color + style are huge when choosing your elopement dress.
I want to encourage you to think outside of the box + not feel pressured to follow norms: you don’t need to wear a pure white dress if you don’t want to!!
You don’t need to wear white, cream, lace. . . you don’t need to wear the type of dresses you see constantly on Instagram or Pinterest. Picking your elopement dress is a blast because you truly have the opportunity to choose what fits YOU best and not what’s “trendy” or “traditional.”
If you’ve always wanted a white dress, get a white dress! If you’d rather show up in all black, rock a black dress. Or if you really want COLOR poppin’ on your big day, find a dress that comes in a gorgeous light shade of blue, or a deep orange.
Seriously – you are ALLOWED to do something different!! And that means style-wise, too: if you’re not into the traditional lace, or aren’t feeling the trendy boho styles, don’t pick those. There’s nobody watching you from Instagram telling you that your dress won’t look good on the ‘gram. (And P.S. who the HECK cares about what your photos will look like on social media?! That’s not what’s important here!!)
Play around with what you think of when you think of your elopement dress: consider a jumpsuit. A two-piece. A blouse and pants. Or a totally weird, unique dress. (You heard me right – your elopement outfit doesn’t actually have to be a dress if you don’t want it to be!)
Material is a big aspect of elopement/wedding dresses that I don’t think brides think about too much!! The material of your wedding dress is so so important because it’ll affect everything I’ve already talked about – your ability to move, how it fits the different parts of your body, and how comfortable you are.
If you find a stunning dress but the material is just a lil scratchy, are you going to be itching on your wedding day + worrying about how uncomfortable it feels against your skin??
Pick a dress with a material that is soft, comfortable, and flexible. Material is also super important if you’ll be outdoors. If it rains, you want your dress to be able to withstand some raindrops! And if you get the bottom muddy, you want to be able to send the dress to a dry cleaner to get the dirt out.
One thing to also keep in mind when considering your dress material: what else could you do with it?
If you don’t want to keep your dress after your wedding, mayyyybe you could use the material to make something else. Or if you DO want to keep your dress forever and hang it in your garage, make sure the material is sustainable and will last. It’s all up to you!!
5. Cost + what’s “worth it”
Finally, you obviously want to consider the cost of the dress and how much of a priority it is to you + your elopement day. Is your dress the most important thing to you on your big day? Is your photographer your priority? Do you want to put the majority of your budget toward your guest experience?
Dresses can get SUPER expensive suuuuuper fast, so it’s important to decide beforehand what budget range you’ve got + how flexible you can be with that. If you have a budget of $3,000, is that a HARD number? Do you have any flex room if you find your perfect dress and it ends up being $3,500?
Plan + consider all of this before trying on dresses so that you’re prepared and know what you’re looking for. You also need to think about what you want to do with your dress after your wedding: if you know you’ll just hang it in your garage/attic/closet, is it worth it to you to spend a lot of your budget on it?
There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s different for every bride + couple! Just make sure you consider where your money is going + what will be “worth” spending that money on. Weighing costs + budget beforehand is super helpful so that you’re not going into buying your dress blind and not knowing what you have available to spend/what your limit is!
Where to buy your elopement wedding dress
Now, let’s dive into some ideas for elopement dresses to give you a place to start! I’ve split up these dresses + shops into a few main categories just to make it a lil’ easier for you to sort through. But know that these categories are not the limit/the extent of what you can look at – there are plenty more types of dresses/outfits available to you across the internet + in bridal shops!!
Take inspiration from this list + see what you like and don’t like, what you’re drawn to, etc. I always find that looking at examples of a variety of outfits helps me figure out a good place to start!
Urban Elopement Dresses
Beach Elopement Dresses
Boho Elopement Dresses
Long-sleeve Elopement Dresses
Short Elopement Dresses
Hiking Elopement Dresses
Colorful Elopement Dresses
Want some more elopement dress inspiration? Check out these recent elopements/weddings & what the beautiful brides wore!