Choosing the perfect adventure elopement dress doesn’t need to be scary! Paying attention to the ceremony location, weather, and your style will help you choose the best elopement dress. Here is the guide to finding the dress that best suites your adventure elopement plans!
One of the best things about an adventure elopement is a chance to get married in front of an epic view. In most cases having an epic view means that you will probably have to hike to the location. This means you need to choose an adventure elopement dress that allows you to walk freely, and also allows you to balance yourself. In adventure elopements, mobility is everything! You want to choose a dress that gives you mobility, but that also moves with you so that you can get epic shots of the dress moving with the wind as well. You might want to avoid mermaid style dresses which you see a lot in traditional weddings if you know the location where you will elope requires some hiking.
If you would rather not bother hiking in your dress, you can also change once you get to the top. If this is the case, choose a dress you can easily slip into. Unless you know for sure that the dress has only a few buttons and your soon to be life partner can help you, a dress with a zipper or no zipper at all is your best friend for elopements!
The main difference between a traditional wedding dress and an adventure elopement dress is that traditional dresses are heavier and more bulky, and this is mainly to create a certain body shape. If you already know that you want to hike to the location in sports attire, and then change once at the location, you will want to choose an adventure elopement dress that is lighter, less bulky, and that is not going to make you sweat too much.
Deciding if you will be ok getting your adventure elopement dress dirty will most likely depend on how much you spent on it. However, thanks to a boom in the world of e-commerce there are way more options now to find a great elopement dress than there were in the past. That means that you can find a dress for $2000 or less! (we’ve seen some for only $100). This is great news because in most elopement cases the chance that the dress will get dusty at the hem (especially for longer dresses) is extremely high. If it’s rainy season (in Hawaii this is from Nov-Feb), the chance that the dress’s hem will get muddy are even higher. If you are concerned about not wanting to get the dress dirty, communicate this with your photographer they will help you decide the best location for your adventure elopement.
Once you have decided on the adventure elopement location with your photographer, ask how long the hike will be and the intensity level. In most cases we recommend changing into your wedding dress at the top of the mountain, so that you can wipe down your sweat and freshen up. Hiking in sports attire will help you ease your nerves, and by being able to mainly focus on the hike as opposed to solely focusing on the dress will help you enjoy the hike more as well. For this option it is very important that the dress fits in your backpack, or that you can have it in a plastic cover to fold in half and attach to your backpack. We don’t recommend hiking with tote bags, paper bags ( hello rain!) or sports bags, as they don’t leave both of your hands open to balance yourself during more intense hikes.
Since you will be carrying the dress up the mountain, you need to make sure that you are ok carrying that weight on your back, plus the makeup to freshen up and other items you might want to put into your backpack. So the volume of the dress is very crucial here, as you might want to avoid carrying up a super puffy heavy dress that weighs a lot.
Another thing to consider when choosing the perfect adventure elopement dress is choosing a fabric for your dress that doesn’t wrinkle easily. Throughout our years of photographing couples, we’ve seen many beautiful elopement dresses, but if you don’t want to see wrinkles all over your dress, and you know that it will bother you when looking at your gallery, choose a fabric that has a lower chance or wrinkling. Some of the best fabrics to consider that don’t wrinkle easily especially if you will also be travelling with your adventure elopement dress are: crepe, tulle, and lace.
When choosing the fabric of the dress you also want to keep in mind that depending on the location, some fabrics such as tulle and lace have a tendency to get more dirty with leaves, and catch small sticks. Generally speaking though most brides that decide to elope are not too concerned about getting their outfits dirty as they are choosing an adventure elopement for the experience. If you know that this will bother you though, make sure that when you are walking with the dress on that you pick up the train of the dress.
Once you have a time of the year you are planning to elope, your elopement photographer, and your location, it’s very important to understand how the weather is during that time of the year. We recommend checking this on weather sites , where you can see the past year’s temperature in weather in the location where you are planning to elope.
In the case of eloping in Hawai’i islands, you want to do this research more specifically on the island that you will be getting married, since the weather changes significantly from island to island, and within the island itself. To get a detailed idea of Hawai’i weather, click here to get a good understanding of the difference between the weather in each Hawai’ian island, and understanding the different micro-climates throughout the year.
Taking the weather into consideration will help you decide on the style of dress that will not only fit the weather but also your personality.
Start by finding a dress that brides with similar body types are wearing. You can start this research by going into Pinterest and instagram. Also take into consideration if you are conscious of any body parts, (for instance arms or back), make sure you choose a dress that doesn’t highlight those areas. Here, we also recommend considering body shape wear such as Spanx to make sure you feel like a million bucks in your adventure elopement dress.
If you have your eyes set on Boho style elopement dresses, Etsy is a great place to start.
Here are some Boho style elopement dresses that are light in weight and perfect for your adventure elopement wedding. If you are looking for a two piece Boho dress, check out this beautiful Boho two piece elopement dress:
If you are looking for something more loose fitted, check out this backless Boho lace elopement dress that’s to die for:
If you are looking for a modern minimalistic look, check out this beautiful elopement dress at Lulu’s:
Or this Greek Goddess inspired modern look :
There are some serious gems that you can find such as this one:
The next question once you have chosen your elopement dress is if you also want to add a veil to the look. As photographers we love veils, because it adds movement to the photos on top of the mountains. That being said, we usually recommend taking anywhere from 5-10 minutes of taking the photos with the veil, and then putting it away, as this will give you more variety of photos, but also because depending on the wind, it will be hard to control and keep on fixing the veil through the entire length of the shoot, when in reality we want you to enjoy the moment with the love of your life.
If you want the veil to flow with the wind and get an epic shot, it’s important that the veil is long. Shorter veils don’t flow as easily with the wind. So, if you want that epic shot, choose a longer veil. You can find some very beautiful one in Etsy such as this one:
If you are planning to get married in Hawai’i, you might want to consider completing your look with a flower crown also known as Haku lei in Hawai’ian language. The haku lei will add more color to your look, and will make it very memorable. Just have in mind that the bigger the Haku Lei the heavier it is, so if you easily get headaches from wearing hats, go for a lighter haku lei.
You can find some real Haku lei gems for your elopement in etsy as well as local flower shops:
For a more dramatic look you might want to consider adding a head piece to your adventure elopement look. We found this really gorgeous one on Etsy:
For your elopement you have to decide how important it is to you to show your shoes. In most cases when you choose a longer elopement dress, we won’t even be able to see your shoes when taking the photos. But due to wind and your pose your shoes might show up here and there. So decide if you absolutely want nicer shoes in the photos. If this is the case, we recommend taking a few photos in these nicer shoes first, as you will have trouble moving around, not to mention that it might be dangerous depending on the elopement location. We usually recommend going for a longer dress that covers your shoes, and embrace the adventure spirit and wear converse shoes or just stay with your hiking shoes/sneakers that you don’t mind showing up in photos.
In case that you are getting married in Hawai’i and you are planning to finish the epic elopement shoot at the beach, you can also wear easy to walk sandals or just go barefoot.
Let’s setup a zoom call so we can talk about which location would be perfect for your elopement!
Click here and fill out the form. We’ll contact you soon!