The bride flicks her flowy skirt. A joshua tree silhouettes her wedding dress.

The Best Elopement Wedding Dresses

Arizona Elopement Photographer

Picking Your Dream Adventure Wedding Dress

I’m not going to lie to you, I am STOKED to write this post. Ever since I was a little kid I have been a massive lover of pretty dresses and was 100% that person collecting wedding magazines at an early age JUST to look at the wedding gowns. I *still* love looking at new lines of dresses as they are released, so I’m extra happy to provide this resource for folks looking to wear an awesome gown on their elopement day.

Going wedding dress searching can be a ton of fun and it can also be overwhelming and stressful. There are SO many options out there and there are different considerations to be made when looking for the best elopement dress. This post is intended to highlight those important factors, and also give some inspiration to some of my favorite designers and places to get a rad as heck elopement dress.

Factor #1: Being able to breathe

This may seem obvious (like, don’t we always want to be able to breath?) but come with me on this journey. During elopements and adventure weddings, there is usually some amount of walking/hiking/adventuring. If you are not local to your elopement destination and there is a change in elevation involved, you are going to get winded a *lot* faster than normal. You are likely going to be taking a lot more deep breaths.

Combine that with what we know about some wedding dresses. Lot’s of wedding dresses have a lot of internal structure going on (ie: boning) that helps keep the often heavy dress up. This can actually inhibit your ability to breathe or take a really big deep breath. I often recommend staying away from dresses that have a great deal of boning for this reason. No one needs to be passing out on their wedding day (and I, true story, say this as someone who has passed out from not being able to breath from too-tight a dress. It is something of a bummer).

Factor #2: Being able to move

Questions to ask while you’re trying on dresses: Can you do a high step? Can you easily move from a seated position to a standing position? Does the dress weight 75,000 lbs? Is the dress strapless and you are going to have to hoik that thing up every 100 yards of walking? Can you climb rocks, hike, run, dance in this dress? Being able to move freely is pretty important on your elopement day, so have some fun in that dressing room and make sure it passes the movement test 🙂

Factor #3: I want to highlight one very important thing: wear what you love.

Yes these are all important factors but the *most important thing* is you love what you are wearing. There are no expectations here or “shoulds.” If you want to wear a bright yellow dress, wear a bright yellow dress. If you want to wear pants, wear pants. If you want to wear jean shorts, wear those or if you want a huge Cinderella ball gown then heck yeah, do that thing.

So! I can’t be talking about wedding dresses without actually talking about some places to get them! Wee!! Here is a list of my favorite wedding wear designers and places to get wedding attire.

Sustainability First: Reclamation

Reclamation is amazing. All the dresses are hand made with reclaimed lace, so the environmental impact is waaaaay lower than a brand new dress. Also: they are completely stunning.

Boho Dreams: Rue de Seine

Not gonna lie- I love Rue de Seine. The dresses are super unique (lots of texture, color, and movement) and basically scream bohemian, adventure bride. The atelier is actually located in Aukland NZ, and as someone in love with New Zealand I’m basically obligated to love these gowns.

Lots of options: BHLDN

The Anthropologie Bridal Brand, BHLDN offers up lots of options at various price points from various designers. Depending on the dress it’s also possible to get a dress with a fast turn around time.

For the twirl factor: Leanne Marshall

Ohhhh I adore these dresses. For someone who wants a more simple design but still a big wow factor, these dresses. Holy cow. I can’t with these skirts.

On a budget/short timeline: There are lots of strategies to get a killer dress on a budget or very quickly. A lot of designer dresses spend weeks in production limbo and if you’re planning an elopement on a short timeline, ordering a dress is often not an option. My first suggestion is look for your local consignment shop. I actually found my wedding dress at a consignment shop and it was a designer dress at a significantly discounted price that I got to try on and walk out of the store with. You can also get a preowned wedding dress on websites such as preowned wedding or once wed. I know I already talked about BHLDN but their sale section can have a lot of gems that are a) super affordable and b) ships pretty fast.

Also Preowned Wedding Dresses and Once Wed are great places to get new or gently used designer dresses for a fraction of the cost.

Okay. That was probably more fun for me than it should have been (I can’t help it, I still love wedding dresses). But seriously, the most important thing is that you love what you wear on your wedding day. Whether that’s a poofy white dress, a suit, hiking pants, or something else entirely, my hope for you is that you are just CRAZY about what you’re wearing. That you feel the most like you that you can. 🙂

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