So you’ve picked your elopement location & date, but now you’re struggling to figure out what the hell to WEAR. It can be sooo overwhelming trying to find the perfect elopement outfits for you and your partner that work well together, bring out your personalities, fit your budget, & go with your location. But don’t worry – I’ve photographed enough elopement that I know what goes into picking an outfit that you’ll adore!
Here’s a full guide to putting together your perfect elopement outfit, including how to choose your colors, materials, accessories, & my fav places to buy from – happy shopping!!
1. Pick the type of outfit you want to wear
First, you gotta narrow down the type of outfit you actually want to wear. Wanna stick with the traditional suit & gown? Go for it! But many couples limit their options to that, when there are actually SO many bomb options for elopement attire these days. Feel free to say bye bye to gender norms & outdated wedding traditions!
Before I get into the types of outfits you can choose from, let’s go through some of the most important things to take into consideration when you look for your outfit.
Things to consider:
Your elopement location + activities you’ll be doing
If you’re eloping in the forest, maybe you’re envisioning a fairytale-esque ceremony with you wearing an enchanting, flowy dress, and your partner in an earth-toned suit. Or if you’ll be on the beach, you might be picturing a dress that lets you go barefoot in the sand & walk freely with an outfit that’s easy to move around in.
Make sure you think about the location(s) you’ll be hitting up during your elopement day, and that you choose outfits that will work well with the environment! If you’ll be saying your vows at the top of a windy mountain, you might want to choose an outfit that keeps your body warm, or something that allows for gorgeous movement in the breeze.
And if you’ll be hiking 5 miles, you probably want to choose an outfit that’s either 1) comfortable enough to hike in, if you really want to hike in it or 2) is easy to change into once you get to your destination!!
Obviously think about what the weather will be like, because your outfit is the only thing that’ll keep ya warm if it’s cold out, or allow you to air out if it’s a hot day.
If you’re eloping in the winter, pick an outfit that allows you to wear some sort of leggings or long underwear underneath, and gives you room to wear a warm jacket on top. If you’re eloping in the summer somewhere where it could get hot, maybe opt for an outfit that doesn’t cover your armpits so that you’re able to air out! Or choose something with layers that you can remove for the warmer parts of the day.
Something not a lot of people automatically think about when it comes to elopement outfits: choosing the right material! The material of your outfit affects your body temperature and how easy it is to move around, so you want to pick something that works well with the weather + activities of your day.
If you’re eloping somewhere chillier, choose an outfit with more layers or thicker material, something like velvet. For warmer locations & seasons, choose something with thinner material that won’t make you super sweaty!
Take a look at Jared & Cameron’s Intimate Washington Mountain Elopement, for example – they wore custom-made velvet suits that looked bombbb and so unique for their elopement on top of a mountain!
Also consider how easy it’ll be for you to move around: don’t pick a material that’ll restrict you in any way, especially if you’ll be walking around or hiking at all!
If you’re hiking to your ceremony location & will need to pack up your outfits to carry, choose outfits made up of materials that won’t wrinkle easily, and that are easy to fold/pack tightly to fit into your backpack.
Finally, make sure you know your budget when you go to pick out your elopement outfits – and think about how much value you place on your outfits. If you’re somebody who’s always dreamed of buying an expensive, unique, custom-made dress that you can keep forever, do it! But if you’d be okay with a less expensive outfit in order to spend more $$ on somebody like your photographer, or on the activities you want to do, that’s totally okay too. Figure out where outfits lie in your list of priorities, and budget accordingly!
Make sure your outfit:
Let me reiterate again how IMPORTANT it is that your outfit is practical, especially if you’re eloping in the outdoors!! Don’t choose something you can’t move around in easily while you walk over rocks & tree roots, or something you’ll be sad about getting dirty – be realistic about what your outdoor elopement will look like, and how you can mix the beauty & luxury of a great outfit with the natural elements.
Take Maddie & Madi, for example: they hiked 8 miles up a mountain for their Adventurous North Cascades National Park Elopement! But they knew they wouldn’t be able to do that while wearing their outfits, no matter how stylish they would look. So they changed into hiking outfits, packed their elopement attire in their backpacks, and changed once they got to their ceremony location.
If you’re really set on hiking in your attire or wearing it the whole day, just be sure to pick pieces that you can realistically wear outdoors!
Honestly above all else, make sure your outfit is COMFORTABLE. The last thing you want to do is spend your day in a suit that’s too tight or a dress that keeps falling down, just because you loved the look of it. Pick an outfit that you’re 1000% comfortable & confident in so that you can focus on what’s important on your elopement day, and not feel self-conscious or uncomfortable!
Feels like you
And lastly, make sure your outfit feels like YOU. There are no expectations anymore when it comes to wedding or elopement attire, no norms you have to fit into. So choose whatever the hell will make you feel like your truest, most confident, happy self, and then rock it!!
Types of outfits you could choose from:
If you need some help getting the ideas flowing, here are a few types of outfits you could pick from that aren’t just the traditional black & white suit + white dress:
- Colored suits/dresses
- Two-piece dresses
- Patterned suits/dresses
- Suits – but for women!
2. Choose your color palette
One of the most important parts of your elopement outfits is your color palette!! You want the colors you pick to bring out your personalities + go beautifully with the backdrop of your elopement location. There are a few ways you can go with your color palette: you can coordinate with the colors of the season + landscape, pick between neutral tones & colors, and then go with earthy tones or more vibrant shades.
Coordinate with the season + landscape
A perfect example of when you might want to coordinate with the season: fall elopements!! Fall is sooo stunning in Washington, with the trees changing from green to oranges, yellows, & reds. This is a perfect opportunity to match your color palette to the colors of the earth around you on your elopement day – stick with a red + orange color palette to bring out those dreamy fall tones.
It’s good to think about the landscape around you, too, so that you can stand out from the backdrop. If you’re eloping on the beach, you might want to stray away from sand-colored outfits that’ll just make ya blend in with the backdrop behind you. Same with forest elopements – maybe avoid shades of evergreen so you don’t get lost in the trees when you look at your photos.
Think through what colors will complement the landscape + scenery around you when you’re saying your vows, and how much you want to commit to coordinating with the time of year you’re eloping in!
Neutral vs. colorful
A good first choice to make about your color palette is whether you want to stick to more neutral tones or incorporate colors into your outfits. A neutral color palette will typically include shades of beige, browns, muted oranges/yellows, whites, and blacks. Neutrals can look really beautiful against the natural colors of the outdoors, and are perfect if you want an elopement that feels more bohemian! If you’d rather have a colorful palette, it might take a little more effort to coordinate your outfits, since you want to make sure your colors don’t clash.
Earth tones vs. vibrant shades
If you DO decide you want to have a colorful elopement & incorporate colors into your outfits, you can do so either with earth tones, or more vibrant shades! Earth tones are just that – tones you’d find in the earth, out in nature. These are typically deeper shades of colors such as deep greens, oranges, blues, & yellows – think rust orange, emerald green, and mustard yellow instead of brighter tones.
Russ is a perfect example of rocking earth tones – he wore a killer rust orange suit that brought justtt enough color to the table while also fitting his own unique style, and coordinating beautifully with the nature around him & Mayra for their elopement.
Another example of earth tones: Natalie chose earth-toned bridesmaids dresses that went together amazingly!! Deep greens & oranges are alwayssss a good way to go.
3. Start shopping
It’s time to start shopping! Here are some rad places to shop for your elopement outfits, depending on the type + style of outfit you’re looking for:
Elopement suits for all bodies
(check out Jared & Dan’s stunning custom-made suits from Indochino here!)
Seattle bridal shops
Larger online retailers
4. Find your accessories
Once you’ve picked out the main pieces of your elopement outfits, it’s time to find your accessories! Accessories are SUCH an amazing way to level up your outfit and really bring your look together + make it unique and feel like you. There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to accessories, but here are some of my faves:
Obvi. If you’re hiking, pick a cute pair of hiking boots to wear the whole time, or bring your elopement shoes to change into once you get to your ceremony spot. Make sure you REALLY focus on comfort when it comes to shoes, because the last thing you want is for your feet to be in pain or getting blisters all day because you picked shoes that you thought were cute, but not really practical/comfy!
Depending on the hairstyle you go with for your elopement day, hats are a hella easy way to add a cute touch to your outfit. Whether you wear it the whole day or just for some photos, find a hat that shows off your personality & goes with the color palette you & your partner are wearing!
Lots of dresses will have the option to add on accessories or custom touches, like veils, removable sleeves, and even CAPES!! (honestly who doesn’t want to get married in a bomb gown with a badass cape??)
Wear your everyday jewelry to keep it simple, ask your family members if they have any meaningful keepsake jewelry you could wear, or go shopping for some new pieces!
Here are the most common jewelry options:
- Hair pieces
Another unique piece of jewelry you can add if you’re wearing an open-back dress is a necklace that goes down your back!! There are plenty of options, from strings of pearls to simple gold chains, that add such a gorgeous, elegant touch to your look!
Because why not feel AND look like a damn queen on your elopement day, as you should??
Bowties, neckties, bolo ties, the options are endless! You don’t have to stick to just solid-colored, either: spice it up a lil’ with a patterned or multi-colored tie!
For more resources + tips to help you plan a killer elopement, check out a few of my fave blog posts below!