I'm a destination wedding and elopement photographer currently based in Montreal, Canada. It's my passion to capture your authentic love story
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Wedding dress shopping is a dream come true for a lot of women, but it’s a different experience when it comes to choosing your elopement dress. When you’re having a traditional indoor wedding, comfort is less of a requirement (than, say, when you know you have to hike 10 kilometers in a heavy gown). Whether you’re planning a low-key outdoor event or a full out adventure for your elopement day, choosing the right dress is important! Not sure what dress to pick for your elopement? After seeing what works – and what doesn’t – here are all of the best wedding dresses to elope in!
Zoey Dress from Wear Your Love XO
Trust me there’s a difference!
When your wedding is indoors – or there’s a climate controlled venue nearby – your dress style, fabric, and weight doesn’t matter as much. You can go into your fitting with a basic idea of style, and then try on different dresses until you find “the one”.
You also don’t have to worry about too much movement. Yes, you’ll obviously want to be able to walk around and dance in it, but you can get something a little more rigid if you’re going to be sitting and standing all day. You can also get a second, more movement-friendly dress to change into if you’ve opted for a ballgown or tight mermaid style dress that you can’t dance in as easily.
Besides choosing a dress that you like the look of, there are a few other factors that you need to keep in mind.
It’s important to choose a dress that works with your landscape. Some brides will decide to ditch tradition and choose a coloured gown or skirt! It may sound obvious, but I suggest you don’t pick a deep green dress if you’re getting married in a deep green forest – or a blue dress if you’re getting married next to the ocean. If you’re opting for colour, think about complimentary colours to your landscape that will make you pop!
One exception to this – sometimes blending in with your background can look badass…like wearing a champagne-hued gown in the desert. 👌Sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. If you do chose to go with a traditional white or off-white dress, you can also add pops of colour with accessories, wraps, blankets or jackets.
Fabrics like chiffon, organza and tulle are all light, breezy fabrics that allow for a lot of movement. If you’re eloping outside in an open area, these dresses will catch the wind and look amazing. You’ll likely pick up twigs and leaves in your skirt or train, but you can pick them out fairly easily. A lightweight dress is great if you’re getting married somewhere hot, or if you have a fairly long hike on your elopement day.
Heavier fabrics like silk, satin and polyester aren’t as breathable, but are much warmer. They don’t allow for as much movement, but they can work well for winter weddings or colder climates to keep you warm. Long sleeves are also better in the cold.
Ashley Skirt by Alice in Blush
Lace dresses are the best to hike and move around in! Most of them are now made with a bit of stretch to them, plus, who doesn’t love a bit of boho flair for an elopement?!
Clare Dress from Espaces Blanc de Blancs
If lace isn’t your style, then any of the lightweight fabrics like chiffon & tulle will also look and feel amazing!! If you have a long hike, I usually recommend wearing comfy clothes and packing your dress to get to your ceremony location. You can change into your dress (and fancier shoes) once you get to your destination, and then hike back down in your dress.
A long train on your dress is also great for outdoor elopements!
As long as your dress fabric isn’t heavy, then a long train is still easy to hike in because you can gather it and drape it over an arm. Some dresses even have a button in the back to pin up your train as you hike!
Clare Dress from Espaces Blanc de Blancs
I’ve rounded up some beautiful dresses at different price points to help you find your dream dress! There are some amazing designers and wedding dress boutiques in Canada, so those are listed separately. Otherwise, you can search for your perfect elopement dress based on your budget!
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Copyright Trish Chiasson Photography 2022