You've decided to elope - holy heck, yeah! Now it's time to shop your dream wedding dress and let me tell you, there are a quadrillion choices out there. Colors, styles, fabrics - here is what you should consider when looking for your elopement dress and where to find it, which dresses photograph best and my favorite brands.

1. The color

Elopements are all but traditional - they are about being yourself and personal choices. So why start making compromises with your dress? It already starts with choosing a color - you don't have to wear the classic white dress unless that is exactly what you want. Consider the location you are going to elope: which color would look stunning on a black beach, in a sandy red desert, a green spring meadow? What about the season? A bright white dress certainly wouldn't pop as much in the bright snow. Look for textures, subtle pastel colors or something more colorful instead.

If you choose to go with white, try to avoid extreme bright and "ice" white which often has a subtle blue tint and soaks up and reflects every color it can get a hold of, like a green lawn or a red carpet. Look for a hue like ivory or natural white instead.

Check out this pinterest board for non-white wedding dresses

Vow Renewal

2. THE texture

Vintage Lace elopement dress
glitter elopement dress

Wedding dresses with texture like vintage/antique lace, crochet, macrame, flower applications etc. photograph extremely well. The texture of the fabric adds an interesting element to your dress and they flatter the female form. Vintage lace dresses with sleeves are very forgiving and comfortable, they are the perfect adventure wedding dresses with a laid-back vibe. If you are going for a wild, bohemian, adventurous, yet feminine mood and get married outdoors - lace dresses are the perfect fit!

Not only lace is a beautiful evergreen, also glitter, floral or celestial elements add a contemporary twist on traditional wedding dresses.

Dolomites Elopement Vows
luxury wedding dress with flower applications
lace elopement dress
Couple reading vows at their Dolomites elopement

3. Movement, floofability and PACKABILITY FACTOR

elopement dress ideas
elopement dress fluttering in the wind

Some of the most dramatic photos I've ever taken were with brides wearing dresses that allowed lots movement and flow. It's all about the floofability factor! Ya think I just invented that word? I sure did! But it's true, gowns that get picked up by the wind and flow easily help to create movement in a still frame which results in more dramatic images. If you are looking for a dress that allows for dramatic movement, look for high quality tulle, lace or chiffon which are lightweight fabrics that allow your dress to dance in the wind. If you try dresses in a bridal shop, make a test: Twirl, dance, jump and run a few steps to see a) if you are comfortable moving around and b) how much the fabrics flows. That being said - not every dress will move a lot depending on the style you are looking for and that is totally fine.

When eloping another factor may be of interest: does the dress get wrinkles already looking at it? When eloping you probably have to take your dress either on a plane or pack it into your backpack when eloping in the mountains. Make sure you know what to expect and choose a fabric that is forgiving when packed into a small space.

elopement dolomites
Elopement Spain
Bridal Couple exploring the Dolomites
Innsbruck Tyrol elopement
bride with cape
Elopement Glitter Boots Bride


Complete your style with accessoires like a hat (panama, fedora, boaters), scarf, jeans/leather jacket or statement bridal shoes. Depending on the season you elope and time of the day, consider adding a matching blanket to wrap up and keep each other cozy before sunset or after sunrise. Bring a knitted cardigan or duster to switch it up or throw over if a blanket isn't an option, but you need an extra layer during the ceremony. Also veils or even capes make amazing add ons with the matching dress.

Other fun accessoires could be your shoes that don't always have to be Jimmy Choo's - even your good ole and well worn hiking boots can be upgraded to shine on your elopement day.

Elopement Hiking Shoes
Tre Cime Elopement

5. Stay true to your style and pick something comfortable

If you never wear spaghetti strap shirts, why would you want your dress to have any? If you don't want to wear a dress at all and rather wear a jumpsuit instead, go for it! You shouldn't feel like you have to "dress up" on your wedding day or buy a dress at all to be a bride and look completely different because you think you have to do something different or unexpected. In fact, the best compliment I've ever heard someone tell a bride is:

"I was wondering what dress you would wear but now that see you, I should have known - this is so you!"

"This is so me" should be the feeling you get when looking in the mirror. Don't buy a certain dress just because it looks cool or the style is trending but you can barely move in because the fabric is stiff or heavy or you can only make mini-steps. Make sure it's something you can imagine wearing for a whole day, move quickly and freely and still not wanting to change into something else.

best elopement dresses

When it finally comes to buying your dress, don't underestimate the power of a dress designer who can tailor a bespoke dress from scratch that feels like a second skin. Someone who can give you an honest opinion on styling and what fits you best. Here are my favorite brands as well as dress designers, get inspired!


This is such an awesome resource! And I love the word “floofability” 😂

What a great post! There are a lot of different factors that come into play with an elopement vs a wedding. Sometimes instead of just “can i sit in this dress” it’s “can I hike and scramble over rocks in this dress”. You have some really great tips in here!

Seriously such good information about choosing an elopement dress!! Dresses make such a difference in the vibe of the photos and you’ve listed all the things someone needs to think about so well!

Such wonderful advice to all the lovely engaged women out there looking for an elopement dress! Whenever I see a dress with a high “floofability factor”, I scream with excitement!

What a fantastic guide!! And such gorgeous photos! Such great advice in here when it comes to picking an elopement dress, and the example photos you used were beautiful! Totally inspired!

This is a fantastic write up! Super insightful to consider all these element when selecting the dream gown. Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise!!

Such good advice! ESpecially with the light pastels aGainst the snow. Not a lot of brides consider this, but it is sooo important to know.

I absolutely love this blog post. As a newly engaged wedding photography i found this extremely helpful. there are so many beautiful styles to choose from and so much to consider and you summarized it perfectly- and with stunning photography! love your style and advice!