The Complete Elopement Dresses Guide

And a Curated List of the Best Elopement Dresses for Every Season + Style

eloping couple walking in the mountains while the bride wears a two piece summer elopement dress

The Ultimate Elopement Dresses Guide

Let’s be honest: narrowing the perfect elopement dresses is hands-down one of the most exciting parts of planning your adventure elopement. 

As an expert on all things elopements (and as someone who eloped, too!), I’ve been in your shoes. And I’ve helped more couples than I can count find the perfect elopement dress of their dreams, following a tried and true system that’s sure to narrow down the ideal gown for you.

This guide is meant to be your go-to shopping resource. I’ll break down the most common questions I get about elopement dresses, and share my absolute best tips and advice on choosing the perfect gown, for every season and every style. 

And while elopements, by their very nature, don’t have any hard and fast rules, there are some important things you need to consider when finding the perfect elopement dresses. I’ll share all those details, so you’re not in the dark.

eloping couple standing on a lakeside bridge while the bridge wears a chiffon summer elopement dress

Disclosure: If you choose to purchase your elopement dress through my links, I may earn a commission, at no cost to you. Shopping through my links helps support this small elopement business and is greatly appreciated. The list of elopement dresses included in this article is curated with love, from selling platforms I use and trust myself (and that I recommend to the couples I work with).

Are Elopement Dresses More Casual Than Wedding Dresses?

The Difference Between Elopement + Wedding Gowns

Some more traditional wedding websites and magazines will have you believe that elopement dresses tend to be more casual than wedding gowns. Frankly, that’s a load of crap.

If you want to opt for a more casual, laid-back style, that’s amazing! Especially, if you’re eloping on the trails or the backcountry. That said, I work with couples all the time who opt for more formal elopement wedding dresses, and they look INCREDIBLE, too.

There are some general guidelines when it comes to choosing the perfect elopement dress, which I’ll get to throughout this guide, so you can shop with confidence.

How Much Should You Expect to Spend on Elopement Dresses?

The Best Dress Options for Every Budget

One of the coolest things about couples who choose to elope is that they define their own rules. That’s what elopements are about, after all!

And that same logic applies to how much you should spend on your elopement dress. I’ve worked with couples who spend under $100 on elopement dresses, and ones who spend $4000+. Both options are great, depending on how you’ve budgeted for your elopement.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing a huge selection of my favorite elopement dresses, at a variety of price points (including plenty of affordable elopement dresses – my fave place for those is Lulus adorable stunning collection of gowns). That way, you don’t have to feel limited by budget. Your dream dress awaits!

How to Choose the Right Elopement Dresses

For the Season You're Eloping During

couple making their way down a trail in flowy summer elopement dresses

The best choice of elopement dresses is highly dependent on the season you’re eloping during. Adventure elopements primarily take place in outdoors locations, many of which are remote. Which means, you’re that much more dependent on what you’re wearing to keep you warm or cool.

I’ll speak to the best fabric choices in the next section, but let’s chat styles real quick.

Generally speaking, with summer elopements, you’ll want to choose a dress without too many layers. Two piece elopement gowns are an amazing option, as are open-back styles, and shorter elopement gowns. They’re all super solid styles for staying cool.

For the colder months, long sleeve elopement dresses (like this dreamy layered one!) are an excellent way to layer up. Ballgown style elopement dresses also have an excess of layers, which can help with heat retention, especially in mountain climates (plus, the drama of a ballgown in the snow cannot be any prettier!).

Which Fabrics are Best for Elopement Dresses?

bride kissing her groom on a rock while wearing a satin open back summer elopement dress

Fabric choices can make or break how comfortable your elopement dress is. Much like choosing the best dress style, your choice of fabrics is also very season dependent, too.

For example, summer elopements lend themselves well to lightweight fabrics, like lace and chiffon. These fabrics allow you to feel the cooling effects of a summer breeze, without feeling weighted down in the heat. 

Tulle can be warm weather friendly, too, but I recommend choosing tulle with extra caution, as it can easily wrinkle during travel. You’ll have to take special care of it, if choosing this material for your elopement dress.

Meanwhile, materials like silk and satin are better suited for fall and winter, simply because they’re not as breathable. If you want a satin or silk dress for a summer elopement, I’d highly recommend choosing an open back option with no sleeves. This will allow you to keep cool.

Another gorgeous fabric option for the cooler months is velvet. I especially love velvet if you’re opting for a colorful elopement dress (like this stunning black velvet two piece elopement gown). It’s definitely a heavier fabric, which makes it not so ideal for warmer weather elopements in late spring, summer, and early fall. But perfect for late fall, winter, and early spring!

Choosing Elopement Dresses Based on Your Elopement Location

bride wearing a ballgown style summer elopement dress

Elopements generally require more adventuring and movement than traditional weddings. You may be trekking up a trail in the mountains. Perhaps you’re wandering through sand dunes or you plan on dipping your toes in an alpine lake. Or maybe you want to say your vows in the middle of the forest.

All of these are a testament to how active adventure elopements can be, which is why you’ll want an elopement dress that can match that. If you plan on being more active, I’d recommend choosing a dress with a looser, flowing skirt. That will provide you with the full range of movement you need.

Meanwhile, if you’re not planning on climbing on rocks, scrambling up mountains, or anything like that, you can opt for a more fitted elopement dress.

For years, I’ve had a fun little test that I have my couples do, called the “spin test.” Basically, when you try on your elopement dress, have a friend take a video recording of you spinning in it. If you love the way it looks in the video, you’ll probably love the way it looks in photos (especially in mountain locations, where the wind is blowing through your gown!).

The Best Accessories to Pair with Your Elopement Dress

bride wearing a veil and a simple elopement dress for a fall ceremony

Beyond just the elopement dress, there are certain accessories that will help elevate your look and also make it season appropriate.

For winter ceremonies, you’ll want a nice coat or shawl to keep warm (and I’ve curated a list of my favorite shawls, coats, and wraps perfect for the season).

To add an ethereal and whimsical effect to your elopement look, I can’t recommend capes and veils enough. Floral Jewellery on Etsy has some of my favorite styles. I’ll include a short list of some of my favorite items from that shop that would look stunning with elopement dresses:

When choosing a cape or veil to pair with elopement dresses, I’m a huge fan of cathedral length. It adds some gorgeous drama to the look, and catches beautifully in the wind.

Also, if you’re not sure on what type of shoes to wear, I’ve written the go-to guide on choosing the proper footwear for your elopement day.

Does an Elopement Dress Have to Be White?

bride wearing a colorful blue chiffon elopement dress for a fall wedding ceremony

The short answer: no, elopement dresses do not have to be white! In fact, colorful elopement dresses are quite common. I’ve worked with couples who have opted for blush elopement dresses (I’m particularly in love with this one), blue elopement dresses (how gorgeous is this blue silk and chiffon gown?!), and off-white options too! 

Another really popular option is black wedding dresses for elopements (like this insanely ethereal and striking black gown), especially for the colder months.

Unlike traditional weddings, elopements are all about crafting your own rules, and that includes the color of your elopement wedding dress.

Can (and Should) Elopement Dresses Have Trains?

bride wearing a Berta Bridal summer elopement dress with an extra long train draping down a sand dune

With all this talk about movement and adventure, it begs the question: should elopement dresses have trains? This is a question I get all the time from the couples I work with. And after being a part of lots of elopements (and having eloped too), I can confidently say yes.

In fact, my own elopement dress (the one in the photo above, photographed by Heather Wall) had an insanely long train, and it not only added an ethereal vibe to my wedding day look, but it’s a highlight in many of my elopement photos.

Plus, one of the. perks of choosing an elopement dress with a train is that it can pick up the elements when you adventure, whether that’s mud in the PNW or red dirt from the deserts of Utah. It’s kind of like keeping a little souvenir of your adventure with you.

The Best Elopement Dresses

For Every Adventure

Now that we’ve gone over the most common questions about elopement dresses and some must-know details, it’s time to go shopping! I’ve hand-picked each of these dresses specifically for how great they’d be for elopements.

I’ve also included the price ranges for the elopement dresses, along with a note on whether plus size options are offered for that style.

Spring + Summer Elopement Dresses

bride wearing a lightweight off shoulder chiffon summer elopement dress while sitting on the groom's shoulder

Since summer is the most popular season for elopements, it’s only natural that we chat about the best summer elopement dresses first! I’ve also included some spring-friendly styles that are perfect for the warmer months.

Elopement Gown Price: $700

Photo: courtesy of SuPrettyBridal

First things first, there’s nothing cooler than an elopement dress with pockets. Such a perfect, simple convenience, especially when you’re adventuring on your wedding day.

I love this whimsical elopement gown for the way it incorporates nature into the design. The three dimensional lace floral details are reminiscent of wildflower blooms, making this elopement dress perfect for both spring and summer.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 20.

Elopement Gown Price: $345.61+

Photo: courtesy of Romantique Bohemian

If you’ve been looking for a laid-back boho summer elopement dress that’ll catch the light beautifully during your elopement ceremony, you’ve met your match.

Lace has a magical, ethereal quality to it that makes it perfect for the great outdoors. The lace details on this elopement gown are large and dramatic. Kind of the perfect for making a statement on your elopement day.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 16.

Elopement Gown Price: $248

Photo: courtesy of Lulus

Lulus is quite possibly my favorite place for affordable elopement dresses (and they have so many gorgeous summer styles!). I’ve been recommending them for years, and for good reason.

The shoulder train and cape style of this gown has long been a favorite of mine for elopement dresses, because flowy styles catch beautifully in the wind. Which is exactly what you want if you’re eloping in the mountains, by the beach, or really in any adventurous location. The windswept look is magic, and looks killer in elopement photos.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: No, sizing stops at US 10.

Elopement Gown Price: $89

Photo: courtesy of Lulus

Ok, first things first, at $89, this flutter sleeve cutout elopement gown is a total steal (and a dress you could probably wear again and again, even after you elope).

Remember when I talked about choosing a summer elopement dress with a lightweight fabric? That’s exactly what the feathery light chiffon of this summer elopement dress offers. And the leg slit gives you optimal movement for outdoors adventures.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, sizing is based on the XS-XL scale.

Elopement Gown Price: $549

Photo: courtesy of Lavenir Boutique Bridal

If you’re looking for a summer elopement dress that’s unlike anything else out there, you may or may not fall in love with this seriously stunning and playful short elopement gown.

A short style like this is ideal for hot summer and spring days, and I personally think would be perfect for a beach elopement (because who wouldn’t want to stand in the waves in this gown?).

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, this shop does custom sizing upon request.

Elopement Dresses for Fall

couple kissing in a mountain meadow while the bride wears a flowy elopement dress for fall with a dramatic train

If I’m being honest, elopement dresses for fall might just be some of my favorite styles. You get to incorporate some thicker fabrics, variations on longer sleeves, and darker colors too. Narrowing down this section of elopement dresses was tough, but these are the ones I’m head over heels for.

Elopement Gown Price: $450

Photo: courtesy of She Said Yes Dress

There’s nothing quite as timeless as the pearl-dotted illusion sleeves on this dreamy gown. Illusion sleeves are seriously incredible for catching golden hour light, and make for some of the best elopement photos.

And this elopement dress is especially good for fall, given that the skirt is made of satin, which can be a bit warmer.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 12/EU 44

Elopement Gown Price: $749+

Photo: courtesy of Piondress Bridal

I’ve said it a million times, but elopements are all about crafting your own rules, and that applies to elopement dresses too. So why not wear a gorgeous black tulle gown like this one on your elopement day?

It’s easy for black to feel too moody, but this elopement dress definitely veers towards elegant. The floral corset bodice gives a nod to the great outdoors, and the layers of white and silver give a whimsical touch to the look.

Personally, I think black elopement dresses are perfect for fall. The colder weather calls for darker colors. Not to mention, black retains heat more easily, so you get practical benefits from it too!

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 12/EU 44

Elopement Gown Price: $493.75

Photo: courtesy of She Said Yes Dress

One of my favorite things about elopement dresses for the fall is the way that you can incorporate longer sleeves, while still taking advantage of sheer tulle and lace details. It’s the best of both worlds, and you get that with this dreamy, ethereal illusion sleeve gown.

The flowers on the sheer back and sleeves of this dress are hand-sewn by the dress designer, making for an utterly unique design. And the skirt is made of chiffon, which is my #1 fabric recommendation if you’re aiming for a super flowy elopement dress that’ll blow beautifully in the wind.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 12/EU 44

Elopement Gown Price: $399+

Photo: courtesy of Piondress Bridal

This dreamy, simple chiffon elopement gown is perfect if you want to go for a more minimalist aesthetic. The ankle length is perfect for showing off your elopement footwear. And the billowing, semi-transparent sleeves have a very ethereal quality that gives off a very elevated vibe.

One of the things I really love about this particular fall elopement dress is the fitted bodice and waistline, paired with the flowy skirt. It makes for a super form-flattering silhouette. Low key, I’m kind of getting Sound of Music vibes, in the best kind of way.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 22

Elopement Gown Price: $512.50

Photo: courtesy of She Said Yes Dress

Corset elopement dresses (especially for fall!) are some of my favorites, because they are such a form-flattering shape. And the elegance of pairing the fitted corset shape with the off shoulder puff sleeves is the perfect contrast pairing. I love a flowy + fitted combo.

And the fabric on this whimsical off shoulder elopement gown has a subtle glow and sparkle to it that’ll catch the sunrise or sunset light beautifully. Plus, there’s plenty of room for moving around, with a flowy skirt like that!

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 14/EU 46

Elopement Dresses for Winter

couple sharing their first dance in the snow while the bride wears a lace off shoulder elopement dress for winter

Elopement dresses for winter are probably some of the toughest to shop for, if I’m being honest. You’re dealing with a delicate balance of choosing a style that’s on the warmer side, while still embodying an epic aesthetic.

I particularly chose these dresses because they all have gorgeous designs that work well for layering in the colder months (and if you need some additional layering inspiration, I’ve curated an awesome list of the best winter elopement cover ups and coats).

Elopement Gown Price: $998

Photo: courtesy of Wardrobe by Dulcinea

If you’re planning a snowy wonderland wedding in the mountains, this dreamy long sleeve tulle dress is for you. If there’s one combination I think is awesome for snowy ceremonies, it’s the combination of the stark white snow with a colorful elopement dress.

And the puff sleeves and little bow detail on the back of this dress add to the fairytale aesthetic. This elopement dress is actually offered in custom color options, so if there’s a color you’re dreaming up, just reach out to the shop owner.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, this elopement dress is made to measure

Elopement Gown Price: $850

Photo: courtesy of Lace and Love Brides

The chiffon and lace details on this simple and romantic elopement gown, along with the plunging neckline, make it a great option for a ceremony in a more mild climate (think coastal elopements in the colder months).

The translucent puff sleeves have a poetic quality to them, and would catch the light beautifully. And the flowy skirt on this elopement dress is basically made for running and adventure. The slit and flowy chiffon allow for maximum movement.

Given that chiffon and lace are both lighter weight fabrics, if you’re venturing into a colder climate, I would recommend layering up with this dress. But it’s sure to make a statement.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, this shop does custom sizing

Elopement Gown Price: $99

Photo: courtesy of Lulus

This long sleeve lace elopement gown is more on the form-fitting side versus some of the more flowy skirt elopement dresses I’ve included in this guide. But frankly for the colder months, especially given the layering requirements, I think that totally works.

For starters, I love the dramatic modern touch of the squared-off neckline on this elopement dress. But I think my favorite part of the design might just be the slit. It makes what could be an otherwise constricting design much easier to move around in (which is crucial for adventure elopements!).

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size 3X

Elopement Gown Price: $915

Photo: courtesy of Alex Veil Bridal

Of all the elopement dresses on this list, this lovely one has a particular vintage-inspired quality to it. Maybe it’s the ultra dramatic sheer puff sleeves. Perhaps it’s the timeless quality of that satin skirt (which, given its material, is a good option for heat retention!). Or it could be the corseted top, reminiscent of the early 1900’s styles.

Whatever it is, I have no doubt that this elopement dress would look absolutely breathtaking for an adventure wedding in the colder months.

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, this shop does custom sizing

Elopement Gown Price: $512.50

Photo: courtesy of She Said Yes Dress

And to wrap up this list of the best elopement dresses, I just had to include the quintessential cold weather elopement gown: this stunning yet simple long sleeve layered tulle beauty.

The layered tulle adds dimension, but the bodice has a classic, simple and timeless aesthetic that’ll withstand any trend. When it comes to elopement dresses, this one definitely leans more toward the princess/ballgown vibe, but it totally works!

Plus size elopement dresses offered: Yes, up to size US 12/EU 44

Need More Elopement Dress Ideas?

If the Grecian goddess look is your vibe, I’ve curated an awesome collection of gowns that totally match that aesthetic.

Think a traditional dress isn’t for you? There are some awesome dress options in my guide on engagement session attire that’d be perfect.

Found Your Elopement Dress but Still Planning the Elopement Itself?

I’ve got you covered with all the resources you need to plan the perfect day. For all the details on what to wear to your engagement session, I’m sharing my best tips and outfits in this guide.

For advice on what shoes to wear for adventure-focused elopements in the great outdoors, head over here.

And for the A-Z on budgeting for your elopement and how it compares to big, traditional weddings, check out my full cost analysis.

Sheena Shahangian Photography LLC

Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Elopement, Your Way

Colorado Elopement Photographers + Adventure Wedding Photographers

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