A Guide to Picking an Elopement Dress | JayneMayAgnes Photographer
girl in wedding dress leans back and enjoys the desert sun in joshua tree national park on her elopement day

A Guide to Picking an Elopement Dress

Planning Resources

Picking an elopement dress isn’t wildly different than picking a dress for a traditional wedding, but there are a few additional things I recommend thinking about. Check them out below and let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to help.

Happy Dress Shopping,

Elopement Photographer


P.S. Every couple that works with me gets my Style and Details Guide to help them pick the elopement dress(es), suit(es), and accessories that make them feel incredible. 


How it Makes you Feel

This one is the most important and easiest: picking an elopement dress that makes you feel absolutely YOU and absolutely beautiful. At the end of the day, we can make anything work. 10-foot trains and all. 


The Wind Factor

Since you are eloping outside chances are there will be some wind, especially up in the mountains and on the coast.  For a wild wind-blown look, consider dresses made of Chiffon, Organza, and Tulle. The wind will pick this dress up and have a beautiful field day with it, which can make for the most glorious images. I recommend twirling and swishing your dress around when you’re trying it on to see how it floats and flows. 

Wind Loving Dresses


Heavier Silk + Sequin Dresses will still move with the wind but not with as much drama as a lighter dress. What they excel at is shimmering in the sun really well. There is just something about the way silk dresses glimmer with the warmth of the setting sun that creates a magical romantic feel. 

Heavier Silk + Sequin Dresses


If you really like the wind-blown look but prefer a heavier silk dress, think about adding a long cape or veil for extra wind action:

Packability

If we are doing a longer hike, it’s easier to pack your dress and change at the destination point. There are two ways to pack a dress. If your dress isn’t super huge and doesn’t wrinkle easily, it’s best to gently roll it up in a waterproof bag and tuck it into your backpack. If your dress doesn’t roll well or has a ton of fabric I suggest leaving it in a waterproof garment bag and attaching it to the back of your backpack (giant binder clips and carabiners make this super easy). 

Mobility + Comfort

It’s important to rememer, you are picking an elopement dress for an all day adventure! You’ll be in your dress for several hours, if not most of the day. Make sure to do the classic real-life tests to see how much mobility and comfort you’ll have on the day of your wedding. Try picking it up with both hands and running a few feet, raising your arms above your head or giving someone a huge hug. Make sure whatever dress you pick doesn’t poke or prod you in the wrong places. 

Dresses with Trains

Surprisingly, it’s actually pretty easy to hike with a train. You just toss it over your arm and off you go. If you are considering a train, make sure to toss it over your arm as if you were hiking to make sure it’s long enough to do so. 

Keeping Warm

It’s no surprise that wedding dresses weren’t made to keep you warm, so make sure to plan on bringing cute accessories to do the job. I suggest white or color-coordinated hats, earmuffs, gloves, scarves, capes, and thermal leggings. If you are dressed right, we can make any weather situation work. If you are eloping in the winter, consider getting hand and feet warmers and bringing a hot beverage in a thermos to sip along the way. A hot toddy or hot chocolate can go a long way to bringing you back to life. 


Just for fun, here are a few more show-stopping dresses that would look wonderful for an elopement. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Dress Shopping! 

I'm an outdoor obsessed elopement photographer based out of Oregon. I empower couples to plan a 'true to them' wedding day and document their story in a timeless and beautiful way. I travel worldwide for elopements and have a heart for protecting our beautiful land by following all Leave No Trace Principles in all my adventures. 

HI THERE, I'm JAYNE!

@jaynemayagnes

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