I’m going to hit you with another disclaimer here before we dive right in. If it hasn’t sunk in yet, your elopement day is all about doing exactly what you want to do—so your attire is no different.
Ultimately, you should feel 100% comfortable, happy, beautiful, and wonderful in whatever you wear, so please don’t feel any pressure to wear something that doesn’t speak to you.
My best advice in the beginning stages of picking out your wedding attire is to keep an open mind. Many couples have told me that they started shopping for one particular style in mind and ended up with choosing something completely different. It happens often!
It’s helpful if you can find a local shop or boutique to try on a few styles in person. Even if you’re planning to eventually make your purchase online, it’s nice to see how different styles look and feel on you in person so you are confident that you have a good idea what you’re looking for before making an online purchase.
When picking out attire, remember that you’re likely going to be wearing it all day—so consider how heavy it is, how comfortable it is how easily you can move in it. Think about what activities you plan to do in your attire and what kind of attire would work best without holding you back from having tons of fun.
Your perfect wedding attire is the one that best “fits” you—if you’re happy, comfortable and feel amazing, you’re doing it right. There are no rules—pick what you love the most!
Your dress doesn’t have to be white—it can be any color you want! Black, blue, yellow, patterned, multi-colored—whatever you want, go for it!
If you’re having an outdoor elopement, it’s likely there will be a natural breeze. See how the dress flows and reacts to movement. Pick up the bottom fabric and mimic wind, twirl and spin to see how flowy it is. A simple skirt can look epic if it’s moved the right way, so sometimes the best “windblown” looks come from a dress that might seem a little boring on the hanger.
If you plan to do a longer hiking elopement, it’s a great idea to pack your dress in a backpack and then change when you get to your ceremony spot—consider avoiding heavier materials like corsets, boning, tulle, and super puffy skirts. Go for something lightweight!
Even if you’re not hiking, you’ll likely want to be able to move around freely. Are you able to take a big upward step in the dress? Will you be able to climb up on a rock or tree stump for an epic photo? Raise both arms up, dance, skip, run, swish it! Make sure it has the movement you love.
Is the dress lightweight enough for all day wear? Leave it on for an extended period of time and make sure it remains comfortable.
Can you sit down in a chair comfortably in the dress? Can you sit comfortably on the ground?
Do some jumping jacks and dance around! How does it feel? Does the dress bounce back into place or does it need a lot of adjusting after movement?
Are you interested in any accessories? Veils, capes, and shoulder shawls can add extra movement and add tons of drama to your photos.
Consider layering options that will go with the dress. If your elopement might have colder temperatures—find some cozy shawls or jackets that coordinate with your dress and that you would be excited about being photographed in.
Not looking for a dress but still want something sort of flowy? Try looking for skirts and sweaters. Maybe even a jumpsuit!
Think through who will be joining you while shopping and doing fittings (if anyone). I recommend only inviting people who are supportive of your vision, are totally on your team, and who can give you kind and honest feedback when asked.
Keep in mind that some dress shops can take up to 6 months to actually get a gown in, then you’ll also want to leave yourself with additional time for any necessary alterations.
Never feel rushed or pressured into making a decision. It’s ok to leave a shop having not found the perfect dress. You will find the one!