How to Choose an Outdoor Wedding Dress

One of my favorite things about elopements - there are no rules.

You can wear whatever you want. You can hike in your wedding dress.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of things to consider when buying a hiking elopement dress.

Don’t worry if you already bought a gorgeous dress you can barely move in - I have tips for that too!

When choosing an outdoor wedding dress there are three main factors to consider: fabric, fit, and mobility.

We want to make sure you can frolic in meadows, scramble up rocks, and hit the trails in your adventure elopement dress!

1. fabric

There are hundreds of wedding dress fabrics for you to choose from.

If you want something lightweight that flows effortlessly in the wind look for dresses made of fabrics like chiffon, charmeuse, and organza.

Or if you like texture in your dress look for lace, embroidery, or tulle fabrics. The more layers the dress has, the heavier and hotter it will be.

When you try on each wedding dress consider how the fabric feels on your body. If there is any part of your dress that feels itchy, hot, or uncomfortable - then it’s not the dress.

2. style

The style and shape of the dress can have a big impact on determining if it’s the right hiking elopement dress for you.

Trumpet, fishtail, mermaid, fit and flare dress styles are tight around your thighs. This will strict movement around your legs and may be difficult to hike in.

Ballgown, bateau, princess, a-line, empire, column dresses are easier to hike in because the cut drops the waist.

3. movement

Remember you can wear whatever dress you want. If you fell in love with a mermaid style dress we will find a way for you to wear it!

Identify which part of your dress restricts movement. There are always quick and easy solutions to make your dress more wearable for your hiking elopement.

Don’t worry, we will work through the little styling details together!

Should You Hike in Your Wedding Dress?

Hiking elopements come in all shapes and sizes. You might be walking ten steps from your car or you could be hiking three hours to get to the summit by sunrise.

If you are wondering whether or not you should hike the full length of your dress there are two main things to consider: distance and elevation.

I recommend that you pack your wedding dress if you are hiking more than two miles or if you’re increasing more than 1,000 feet in elevation.

As a general guideline, if you are hiking for less than a mile you can easily wear your wedding dress.

Not sure if you can hike in your dress or not? Time to do the dress test:

If you want to hike in your wedding dress there are three simple movements to put it to the test.

These movements mimic what it’s like to hike on the trails.

If your dress keeps falling down or severely restricts movement you might want to pack it in your backpack.

1. try stepping up onto a chair

2. do alternate forward lunges across a room

3. lift your arms overhead

Colorado Based Adventure Elopement Photographer
Colorado Based Adventure Elopement Photographer

How to Pack Your Adventure Elopement Dress

I want to avoid that gorgeous gown getting stuffed down at the bottom of your bag. Let’s show that beautiful dress a little respect.

Allow me to introduce the ‘garment bag.’ A lightweight foldable garment bag is the best way to carry your wedding dress. Here is a little step by step on how to pack your wedding dress:

1. Hang your wedding dress on a hanger

2. Place it in the garment bag

3. Fold the bottom of the bag up around the hanger

4. Grab a carabiner or other fastening device

5. Clip garment bag to the outside of your backpack

Hi, I'm Kjersten!

I plan and photograph elopements in Northern Colorado.

Do you need help finding the perfect elopement dress?

Or are you still searching for a secluded ceremony spot?

Remember you don’t need to go through the planning process alone.

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