DESTINATION ELOPEMENT PLANNER // ELOPEMENT PLANNING // TRAVEL ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
What you choose to wear on your wedding day is an expression of who you are and you should feel like the best version of yourself in it. No matter how particular your personal style is there is a dress, suit, or jumpsuit for you! If anything, the real trouble lies in narrowing down all the options out there. Lemme help you out before you even need to cross that bridge!
The three things you should prioritize when looking for your wedding attire are: style, comfortability, and functionally (and budget as an honorary 4th thing). Let’s chat about all of the different places you can purchase wedding dresses, suits, and jumpsuits. Then we can get into the nitty gritty of fabrics, silhouettes, accessorizing, and everything between!
Back in the day bridal shops were the only places to get a wedding dress, but now there are tons of unique, budget friendly alternatives! Marketplaces, resellers, designers, and online retailers are excellent options to start your wedding dress search. Here are a few places I suggest:
If you’re looking to buy second-hand Facebook resell groups are an excellent resource; you might even find some dresses that are new with tags! Give these Facebook searches a try:
Etsy is FULL of unique designers and absolutely stunning gowns! With that being said it can be overwhelming if you just look up “wedding dress”, instead be as specific as possible with the style, silhouette, and vibe you’re looking for. Etsy is also one of the best places to find accessories for your elopement.
At your local consignment store you’ll find lightly loved dresses, by brides that are hoping to recoup some of the cost of their dress purchase. Compared to thrift stores I’ve found that brides have better luck finding dresses in better conditions and more modern styles.
I know what you’re thinking – “Duh, this is a no-brainer.” Hear me out! Smaller boutiques can be more expensive. Keep an eye out for sample sales and ask them if there are “off the rack” dresses available, as they’re typically sold at a discounted rate.
**If you see a photo of someone in a dress you love or a photographer’s pic, don’t hesitate to slide into their DM’s to ask. Most everyone is happy to share the designer and where they bought it from!
Lulus — $69-$399
ASOS — $50-$630
Anthropologie BHLDN — $298-$2,895
Park & Fifth Co — $312-$973
The Wedding Shop at SHOPBOP — $60-$1,650
Watters Designs — $575-$5,360
Flora and Lane — $850-$2,750
Grace Loves Lace — $2,100-$4,100 (pictured)
Wear Your Love — $2,120-$3,360
Dear Heart Bride — $2,275-$3,465
Online shopping strategy: Some of these stores you’ll be ordering custom sized dresses, while others you’ll be ordering a standard size then getting it altered accordingly. If you’re not buying a dress that is based off of your exact measurements, check out the return policy before ordering! Stores, like Lulu’s for example, you can buy multiple dresses, try them all on, and easily return the ones you don’t like!
I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to wear for your elopement, I’m just here to give you some advice! For instance…If you’re looking to wear a dress for your elopement, then a reception at a later date, it will be important to find a dress that can be dry-cleaned and won’t tear easily. More advice right this way! →
Lightweight fabrics like organza, tulle, damask, and chiffon are super breathable. The way they move with your natural movement and the slightest breeze is majestic. If you’re hiking or walking around in an outdoor space take note that these fabrics easily catch onto little twigs and leaves. You’ll be okay though, just be super gentle pulling them out!
Heavier fabrics like silk, polyester, lace and satin will be warmer and have less airy movement. These fabrics add a gorgeous pop of texture to photos. If you’re looking to have an outdoor elopement in cooler weather these fabrics are great for keeping you insulated!
Comfortability and move ability are huge when eloping. If your heart is set on a certain silhouette, go for it, you might just need to make some concessions. For example, mermaid and trumpet, although sexy af, that style can really impede your movement. Find one with a good amount of stretch and you’ll be gucci! If you want to wear a ballgown to your outdoor elopement, instead of trying to fight your way up the trail, pack it in your bag and change at your destination. Can’t imagine not having a train? I get it! Find a dress that’s easy to bustle so you can easily move from location to location. There’s always a solution!
First things first, ALWAYS pack your wedding dress as a carry on. Makeup is replaceable if luggage is lost or delayed, you don’t want to be caught without your wedding attire. Fabrics like chiffon, cotton and silk are light and super packable. Here is a video that breaks down how to pack your dress! Wrinkles are to some extent are avoidable, but that’s where handy dandy travel steamers can really save the day!
Tell me, are you more into classic black tuxes, snazzy wool suits, or chic jumpsuits? There are countless good options and modern suits to express your style. Let’s talk about where to find yours and how to choose the best one for your elopement!
Choose a color you LOVE and rock a pattern if that’s your jam. Color wise, it’s always great to pick a contrasting color to the environment you’ll be in, because it will make you really pop in photos. Rust colored against the mountains, deep teal in the desert, or classic all-black in the city. When it comes to patterns the less busy the pattern is the less distracting it will be in the images and it will complement your partner’s attire.
Wool is a great fabric for outdoor elopements as it’s moisture wicking; it’ll keep you warm in cold weather and cool when it’s hot outside. Fabrics that have a hint of velvet or stain add a touch of luxury. Cotton and linen are super lightweight fabrics that will keep you cool. Be cautious when buying online, cheaply made suits can’t withstand all day wear and are likely to tear with the slightest bit of stress.
Hats, suspenders, boutonnieres, pocket squares, pocket square boutonnieres, kick ass shoes, or subtle patterned vests — there are a multitude of ways to add your personal flare to your suit!
As much as I want to say “Fashion over everything!!” The truth is you have to prioritize comfortability and stability when choosing your elopement shoes. Nothing ruins a day like a rolled ankle or blisters. If you don’t feel confined walking in stilettos, then your wedding day isn’t the time to give them a whirl. Choose a sexy and chic block heel instead! Brand new dress shoes? Throw them on a couple times before your elopement and go on a walk to break them in. Trust me, your feet will thank you later.
If you’re hiking or going to an outdoors location a great option is to pack your snazzy footwear in a backpack and pop them on when you’re done hiking! Keen, Merrell, Chaco and Teva are great places to find comfortable and reliable outdoor footwear to keep you safe while navigating any terrain.
There is a wedding day outfit out there for everyone, don’t let the decision fatigue get to you! It helps to FIRST go in person to a store and try on a bunch of different styles. Nix certain ideas you had in mind, find what you love, and get an idea for what style(s) you feel best in! From there you’ll have a particular vision for what you want when checking out other stores and shopping online.
Alright—the hunt for your wedding attire is on! Where are you starting? You’ve got this!